Pavone: No, Spermicide Is Not Homicide

One of the more outrageous attempts to justify abortion comes from those who assert that the intentional killing of new human lives is the moral equivalent of the death of sperm cells or egg cells.

TINLEY PARK, IL - JULY 31: Stages of a fetus are displayed at the Illinois Right To Life a table while Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the Freedom's Journal Institute for the Study of Faith and Public Policy 2015 Rise Initiative on July 31, …A recently published op-ed asked the question: “A woman’s body kills one ovum a month. Where’s the pro-life movement for those potential humans?” I don’t know whether the author was purposely dissimulating or if she truly likens a human being’s dignity to that of an ovum or sperm (not to mention how this gives her a failing grade in basic biology).

Let’s be clear about something because language is important. A woman’s body is not killing anything. Her body releases an egg monthly and that egg, unless it is fertilized, runs the full course of its brief cell life. Her body is not killing her ovum any more than a change in season kills leaves on trees.

If that ovum were to be fertilized, the joining of sperm and ovum initiates a genetically unique human being — a new organism, which the ovum is not — and his or her lifespan would become a human lifetime. If a woman took a pill to deliberately prevent that embryo from implanting or if she took a pill that blocked off nutrients to that embryo, she is actually killing because she is ending a human life.

That’s a huge distinction. The death of that tiny human is not the same as the natural end of an ovum that was not fertilized. It is not the same as a sperm that did not hit its mark. It is the deliberate imposition of death.

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