How can we prove wrong this pro-abortion claim?


I heard this claim from a pro abortion person on the humanity of a life:

“One is a human until he/she has brain tissue”

I found this kind of reasonable because I haven’t heard of someone that does not have brain tissue, so it may be a factor that determines humanity.

I know we, as Catholic, don’t agree with this.

How can we prove that the absence of a brain does not mean someone is not a person.



The fetus might have brain tissue. That type of classification is arbitrary and animals that have brain tissue can be killed so it’s not a good reason in my opinion.


you have to accept the concept that for many you will never convince them otherwise. when it comes to a fetus the scientific fact is that a human fetus is a human period. its not a blob of cells with no species associated with it … it has one arc of development and that is to either grow to full maturity and be born or for the process to be interrupted and death is the result.

ask any family who was hoping for delivery that had the fetus die at any stage and you will see the grief that loss has caused those aspiring parents. they do not mourn a blob, they mourn the loss of a child and all the what ifs that went with their dreams.

ask any one who is for abortion what they think and they will say its up to the mother to decide whether or not that fetus deserves to live or die because it is her body. they will not accept any argument that is contrary to this belief in personal choice and freedom.

even “secular” law contradicts itself … the only time a fetus has value is when the mother wants to keep it. but the moment she chooses not to before a certain term … then the fetus has no value.

in our society the least valued lives are those who cannot defend themselves … and that is unborn children and children who are too young to defend themselves. so few rights are afforded children that it is really a stain on our entire species.


I’d be careful using this argument.

Before the fetus goes through differentiation and specialisation it is scientifically a blob of cells. All cells look and act the same. Gestation at implantation (roughly 4-5 weeks) is when specialised cells appear.

I am pro life. However I feel many pro life arguments actually cause more harm when objections are clearly not biologically plausible/correct.


the arguments to characterize a human are not of the order of biology, but are of the order of ideology.
So why a "blob of cell " having its own human DNA distinct from that of the mother, would not be a human? the answer to this question is purely ideological, it is not a matter of the scientific.


I can also say that I have never seen humans who do not have consciousness. So babies are not humans.
I have not yet seen a human who does not have a heart, so when you do a heart transplant, the moment when the patient is deprived of his heart, he stops being a human.


[quote=“emest11, post:1, topic:521075”]
“One is a human until he/she has brain tissue”

I found this kind of reasonable because I haven’t heard of someone that does not have brain tissue, so it may be a factor that determines humanity.
All human body parts and tissues are human! It’s simple biology. A human cell is proven as human cell in any lab report these days. It’s HUMAN DNA. DNA is unique. It is impossible for a human tissue to belong to another species.


Is anyone arguing that? I don’t think anyone is debating the fact human cells have human DNA.

The tricky thing with the argument is if someone was brain dead (thus no functional brain tissue) they would die without intervention. Just because their tissues contain human DNA does not make them immune to death.

I’m not sure I understand your argument.

FTR I am pro life. But using biology like this as a debate will fall short. It is a philosophical argument we need to be having.


Implantation actually occurs at around day seven. Folding over of the neural tube occurs around day 14. Essentially “brain tissue” occurs very early on in pregnancy. This whole argument is a bit pointless in a discussion of the morality of abortion, as " brain tissue" is definitely present by the time of a positive pregnancy test.


To me, it boils down to this, if the embryo/ fetus were anything other than human there would be no reason to kill it. At least I wouldn’t put myself at a serious health risk rather than pop out a kitten in two months time!

And if it wasn’t alive, there would be no point in killing it.

Abortion kills a small human. They can argue that they don’t believe that’s a problem, but if the fetus wasn’t alive, or human, there would be no point to abort it.


Basically, this person doesn’t understand science at all and is trying to conflate legal definitions of personhood (which affects whether or not an unborn child is protected by the law as currently defined) with what makes someone a human. A human is a human from the moment of conception. At the moment of conception the fertilized egg, fused with a sperm cell, carries all of the requisite DNA of a human being. The zygote will continue to grow and develop, much like a baby or a toddler or an adolescent does into an adult. Then one day, the adult will begin to experience degeneration due to age or disease. The entire human existence is defined by growth and change. Therefore, drawing an arbitrary line such as “a fetus isn’t human until it has brain tissue” is nothing more than a denial of biological science for convenience. Not only that, but the arbitrary nature of such distinctions leads to redefinitions that can be just as easily applied to children and adults.


At fertilization, the zygote becomes a distinct living organism. What type of an organism? A human being in its earliest stage of development. You and me, we began to exist at that moment. It is the same for everyone.

Is it ethically-wise to make a distinction between a human being and a person?

Even if we did allow it, and I’m not saying we should, a natural law argument not based around the zygote’s personhood can still be made that it is immoral to terminate a pregnancy.


The test is living, unique, complete, human identity.

That test is proven in conception and it continues until death.


That “blob of cells” is specifically a collection of genetically unique human cells. It is a unique and self-contained instance of the human species, and should be afforded all the same rights.

I know this is what you believe, but the claim that the fetus is human is accurate at all stages.


This is simply how they get around the moral conundrum of killing a defenseless human being. They’ve been altering definitions of when life begins. The truth of the matter is, that if life begins at conception, as we believe, then abortion is absolutely murder. Murder is already illegal.


Human, yes. However the debate often revolves around when it is considered a person.


All discussions of “personhood” are subjective positions which are only used to obfuscate the discussion.

It doesn’t matter if they are a “person” or not. In the eyes of the law, all that should matter is that they are a unique human being.


Are babies with anencephaly not human?


Yes, but it would also be an abortion if the egg was fertilized, without the girl knowing it, and she takes the next day pill.


I know proabortion people who are over the top dog lovers.
If a dog was having puppies, this kind of conversion, of ‘when’ are the puppies actually puppies? would be ridiculous. Of course they’re puppies. What else would they be?

Maybe talking about puppies might allow you a crack in their stronghold of being proabortion. It’s outside the ‘when is a fetus a person’ argument, which already gives them an advantage by using the word fetus.

A baby is not a disease requiring medical intervention. If left alone, the ‘problem’ will resolve itself by the birth of a baby.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit