One common argument for abortion is that the unborn is merely a fetus, or an embryo, and not actually a baby, person, or human being.
“Embryo” and “fetus” simply refer to human beings at a particular stage of development
The terms “embryo” and “fetus” refer to a human being in an early stage of development. “Fetus” is simply a Latin word that means “offspring,” “young one,” or “little child.” Saying that a fetus is not a human being because the fetus is in an early stage of development is like saying a toddler is not a human being because the toddler is in an early stage of development, which is ridiculous.
Where a human being is in her stage of development has nothing to do with whether she deserves to live. Does an older born human being have more of a right to live than a younger born human being? Everyone would agree that the answer to this is no. So, why would a younger unborn human being have less of a right to live?
Some argue that an unborn human being is different in that an unborn human being:
- is completely dependent upon the mother for survival. For a response to this, see Should We be Allowed to Kill Humans who are Dependent upon Others? (IN PROGRESS).
- is still inside the mother. For a response to this, see Should We Discriminate against Humans because of their Location? (IN PROGRESS).
Those who use this argument are usually trying to say that the “fetus” is actually not a human being.