NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: We feel this article is especially pressing, considering the President’s remarks last night. We will, periodically throughout the day, be posting our thoughts on the President and Governor Jindal’s remarks, so please check back for those at about noon (and it is likely we will have more than one article on his speech, so make sure and check back a few times). In the meantime, enjoy this very pertinent and excellent article by a new contributor.
I recently ran across a Youtube video that succinctly and profoundly demonstrated the simplicity of the pro-life logic, expressed by the acronym S.L.E.D. I submit it for your comments.
As a long-time pro-life advocate, I believe it is the argumentative and logical tent-peg of abortion discourse. Herein lies its 2 main strengths: S.L.E.D. can be used with the pro-abortion crowd who don’t accept the spiritual side of the arguments, and the counter-examples used in it are easy to wield—in other words, you don’t need a PhD in philosophy to successfully present it.
The argument goes like this: there are the only four differences between a baby inside the womb and outside the womb. if we can’t justify killing a person based on any of these four differences then there is no basis for abortion. Each letter represents one of the differences, and the acronym SLED is easy to remember. Here they are:
“S” stands for “Size”: Whether you are talking about the moment sperm and egg just combined to make a unique 1 cell embryo, which has DNA completely different from mom or dad, or the baby who is a day away from birth, its smaller size is not enough of a reason to kill it. We don’t allow big folks to kill small folks; we don’t allow adults to kill children; and it would be absurd to say that everyone over 6 feet tall could kill those under 3 feet tall. Therefore, size is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
“L” stands for “Level of Development”: All human life is in a stage of development, from conception to natural death. Just because it isn’t as developed as a baby outside the womb, or an adult thirty years old, doesn’t mean you can kill it. We don’t allow 10 year-old children to kill 2 year-old children; we don’t permit people in their fifties to kill people in their twenties; we also don’t allow those past puberty to kill those who haven’t reached puberty. Therefore, the level of development of a baby in the womb is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
“E” stands for “Environment”: Everyone occupies different space. I type this article from an office. My children go to school at a desk or table. This difference is not germane in deciding whether they should live or die. I can’t kill my children because they sleep in their own bedroom, or decide that because my wife happens to be in the laundry room that she is unworthy of life. We don’t allow people outside of a house to kill those inside a house based merely on the difference in their surroundings. Therefore, the fact that a baby is inside the womb and we are outside the womb, a difference in environment, is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
Finally, “D” stands for “Degree of Dependency”: All human beings are dependent in some manner, some more than others. When my children are ill, they need medicine. Diabetics often need insulin. Paraplegics often need wheelchairs. All of us need food and shelter. The baby in the womb is no different, just at a different level. We don’t kill an elderly man who needs a cane for assistance in walking; we don’t kill a person who suffers from two broken arms because he can’t feed himself. Therefore, the fact that a baby inside the womb is at a different degree of dependency is not a good enough reason to justify abortion.
If these reasons, then, are not good enough reasons, then why? I submit there are no “good enough” reasons. The spirit of individual rights which animated our Founders ideology recognized the right to Life. We need to enshrine that protection in the laws of our land.