How to Argue Against Abortion (SLED)


The unborn differ from the newborn in four ways that have disqualified them as persons (according to pro-abortion advocates). The acronym SLED is a helpful reminder of those differences.

1. First, size or physical appearance the unborn doesn’t look like a person.

2. Second, level of development - the unborn doesn’t have the same abilities as real persons.

3. Third, wrong environment - the unborn isn’t located in the right place as real persons.

4. Fourth, degree of dependency - the unborn is too physically dependent on others to be a person; he is not viable and can’t survive outside the womb.


Let’s examine each of these four arguments:


 1. Size or Physical Appearance


Do humans lose value when they dont look right? Does size equal value? Men are generally larger than women. Does that mean men are more human than women? Shaquille ONeil is larger than Hillary Clinton. Does that mean Hillary Clinton is less human than Shaq? The term used to describe the destruction of groups of people based on their physical appearance is ethnic cleansing or genocide. But human value transcends physical appearance. Therefore, not looking right cannot disqualify a human being from being valuable.


2. Level of Development


Is a person’s value defined by his abilities, by what he can or can’t do? Do we forfeit our rights as human persons because we don’t have the capabilities others have? Do stronger, more capable, more intelligent people have more rights than others? Do human beings become disposable simply because at their level of development they are helpless, defenseless, and dependent? Human value transcends abilities or the lack of abilities. Therefore, missing abilities cannot disqualify human value.


3. Environment


Do humans forfeit their worth when they change locations? Baby Rachel was born prematurely at 24 weeks. She weighed only 1 lb. 9 oz., but dropped to just under 1 lb. soon after. She was so small she could rest in the palm of her daddy’s hand. She was a tiny, living, person. Heroic measures were taken to save her life. If a doctor had killed Rachel we would have recoiled in horror. However, if this same little girl was inches away from the outside world, resting inside her mother’s womb, she could be legally killed by abortion. Clearly, one’s environment can’t be the deciding factor. Changing locations is morally trivial. Environment has no bearing on who we are.


4. Degree of Dependency


Is human value determined by our degree of dependency on others? The unborn’s dependency on his mother for sustenance is irrelevant to the baby’s value. No baby is "viable" if degree of dependency matters. All babies need their mothers for feeding whether via blood (an umbilical cord), breast, or bottle. Human beings may be dependent on others for their survival, but they aren’t dependent on others for their value. All physically dependent people are at risk if degree of dependency determines their value - those dependent on kidney machines, pacemakers, and insulin would have to be declared non-persons. Dependency does not determine worth.


More interesting tidbits:

Day 1 - Fertilization! All human chromosomes are present and a unique human life begins.

Day 22 - The baby’s heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood - often a different blood type than the mother.

Week 6 - At this stage, brain waves can be detected. The child’s mouth and lips are present and fingers are forming.

Week 8 – At this stage, every organ is in place. Bones and unique fingerprints begin to form.

Week 17 - The baby can now have dream (REM) sleep.








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