Contact the Author |

Arguing Wombs and Warming
29 Oct


Some who would deny women the choice to bring her fetus to term or not use science to prove that there’s a life inside the womb. They trumpet the beating heart and the fact that the fetus feels pain. They also earnestly state that with ever improving technologies and techniques, fetal life will become viable at an ever younger age., placing the logic of Roe V. Wade at risk. Science from this view is clearly the unborn’s best friend.

But basic biology is also a science, and is primary to all others. Every fetus is by design attached to their mother by a life support mechanism known as the umbilical cord. By design, therefore, every fetus is utterly dependent upon their mother; in what she eats, in what she drinks, in how she exercises, in how fast she drives, in all her choices. That umbilical cord is biology’s way of establishing care for that fetus. A pregnant woman by our very design, by raw biology, is an autonomous, independent, human being who carries another human inside her. But that tiny human is, whether by nature or by design, completely dependent upon their mother.

Yes, the pictures developed by science are clear, but what is also clear is that those who would use scientific advancements to limit a pregnant woman’s choices are intruding into the natural order of things. Just because technology can alter the natural way of life, doesn’t mean it’s best to do it.

The pictures developed by science are also clear in the currents and chemistries that make our planet dynamic, but habitable. Technology has intruded into the natural order of things by unbalancing the proportion of substances in the environment. We have insisted on taking more water from certain places than nature can provide. And we have put more CO2 and other chemicals into the atmosphere than nature had intended

There is more scientific agreement about climate science than there is on the way pain works. Regardless, we’ll trust our bodies to aspirin to help ease our aches. There is more scientific understanding about climate science than there is about how gravity works. Still, we’ll prudently incorporate a healthy respect for gravity into everything we build. There is more certainty about the working of climate on this planet than there is about how life arrived here. But here is where warning flags must wave. For wherever we think life came from, it was designed for the circumstances in which it arrived. If those circumstances are changing, it represents a threat to life’s survival.

This is not matter of belief. It is logic. Scientific methods are designed to find what’s true, irrespective of faith. When scientists have partial knowledge, they can draw erroneous conclusions. The most important part of the scientific method, peer review, can tax the patience of both scientists and the journalists who write about them. But overruling occasional gossip, the progression of science ultimately corrects itself. The truth of understanding remains.

And yet, some who are passionate about denying climate change are claiming that same technological progress that allows fetuses to live outside the womb could never have intruded into the air.

So we are left with the question as to why so many would use scientific advances to make their arguments against the biological rights of mothers, and simultaneously deny scientific advances that counter their arguments about climate change? This opportunistic application of science belies an underlying disrespect for it. If results are being picked from science’s menu to support arguments, it can only be to service long held beliefs. The scientific method is a search for truth. Using scientific consensus or not as it is convenient to a point of view is searching for something else. These arguments don’t deserve conversation on their own terms. Their hypocrisy is too manipulative to be given the very respect they steal from science.

About the Author

Written by Stephen Taft

I live in New York City, work on Wall Street, and think about justice...all the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.