How much is a newborn child worth?

This is a simplified argument but I felt like posting it.

While people who oppose abortion believe that an unborn child is worth the same as an adult, people who favour abortion believe that an unborn child is worth much less than an adult (less enough that it is okay to kill an unborn child but not an adult).

If an unborn child is worth less than an adult, is a newborn child of similar worth to an unborn child, or of similar worth to an adult?

If a newborn child is of similar worth to an unborn child, you would have to argue that it is okay to “abort” a newborn child (this is difficult)

If a newborn child is of similar worth to an adult, you would have to argue that there is a significant difference between an unborn and a newborn child but not between a newborn child and an adult (this is also difficult)

People who oppose abortion believe that a fetus is worth more than an adult. People who support abortion believe that a fetus is worth equal to an adult.

How do you conclude that? We don’t think it’s okay to kill an adult, we don’t think it’s okay to kill an unborn child - that’s equal.

A few weeks or months ago there was an article about a pregnant woman, who presented an interesting choice. She asked for a million bucks, and said that if she receives the amount, she will carry the pregnancy to term, and give up the child for adoption along with the money. If she does not get the money, she will abort, and send back the money to the donors. In neither case would she benefit from the transaction.

Unfortunately there is no new information (or I never saw it), but it looks like that a fetus would be worth a million dollars.

If you type in “how much is a human life worth” into Google, you will get all sorts of interesting results. It is somewhat strange that a “dead human body” is worth more than a live one. :wink:

There is something called Value of Statistical Life, which says for example if a safety measure will save one life per year on average, then it is worth spending that amount of money on (its about 5-10 million dollars).

The example you gave sounds like a terrorist holding a victim for ransom (even if the victim will get the money).

This thread is not really about a quantifiable value though. There’s several discrete levels of how you can treat someone. Most importantly there is “okay to kill if it benefits humans (eg killing a cow for food)” versus “not okay to kill even if it benefits humans”. If you put an unborn child in the first category and an adult in the second how do you decide where to draw the line?

A human newborn child is “worth” the same as an adult. The difference is that a newborn is perfectly innocent and defenseless. They also have more “potential life” than adults. We know this, and value and protect them carefully. We value them highly not because they are intrinsically more valuable, but because they happen to be perfectly innocent and full of potential. As they grow up, that will change, for better and for worse.

A fetus is likewise just a gestational stage of a human being. They’re not meaningfully different from a newborn baby, and everyone intuits this. One must do violence to one’s intellect to believe a fetus has no status as a human person, but suddenly gains it upon birth. “Personhood” is not a license granted by law, and is intrinsic to our species. There are no human beings who are not persons, and no persons who are not human beings. Dead bodies are not human beings, they are inanimate matter. A fetus though, is not dead, and is certainly human, and is a distinct (though dependent) organism. When we restrict our definition of “personhood” to only some human beings, we are in the company of slave holders and the perpetrators of genocide. This is obvious! How can this reasoning be opposed, seriously? All I ever hear are pragmatic arguments for why abortion should be legal. There are pragmatic arguments for slavery and genocide as well, that doesn’t make it right.

How much is a fetus worth?

“It is possible, of course, to grant intrinsic worth to a fetus, at whatever stage—even an embryo—on other grounds than its soul. Embryos and fetuses are of greater value than mere tissue largely because of what they may become. They borrow at least a part of their value from that possible future. But they also possess another intrinsic value, to those of us who are sensitive to such things. They possess the marvel that is the genetic code. As soon as all of those genes and chromosomes have come together, it has happened! Those fantastic, incredible things that will-be taking place over the weeks, months, and possible years that follow are already established in that microscopic miracle of creation! Forgive the hyperbole, but one is almost tempted to bow one’s head in awe and reverence at the vision. (I personally cannot understand how molecular and cellular biologists can avoid becoming deeply religious people.)”

A human at any stage is priceless, my two cents.


"The universal faith of the Church concerning the pious veneration of holy relics was confirmed by the God-bearing Fathers of the Seventh Œcumenical Synod in its decrees: “Our Lord Jesus Christ granted to us the relics of Saints as a salvation-bearing source which pours forth varied benefits on the infirm. Consequently, those who presume to abandon the relics of the Martyrs: if they be hierarchs, let them be deposed; if however monastics or laymen, let them merely be excommunicated.”

“All in all, the mystery of holy relics is at the heart of the universal mystery of the New Testament: the incarnation of God. The full mystery of the human body is explained by the incarnation, the embodiment of God in the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, then, the Gospel message concerning the body: “The body for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (I Corinthians 6:13). And through a human body also the entire creation, all of matter, received its divine significance, the universal meaning of the God-Man. By man, who is sanctified in the Church by the holy mysteries and the holy virtues, the creation and even matter are sanctified, united to Christ. There accrues to this also a joy—the myrrh-streaming property of many relics. This wonder of myrrh has been given to the holy relics in order to indicate that Christians are truly “a sweet-savour of Christ unto God” (II Corinthians 2:15), sweet-smelling to God and to heaven. The truth of the Gospel is that the sin of man is a foul odor before God and every sin pleases the devil. Through the holy mysteries and holy virtues, Christians become “a sweet-savour of Christ unto God.” For this reason, then, the holy relics of the Saints pour forth myrrh.”

Ma’am, I’ve excommunicated myself six ways from Sunday, but it doesn’t change the fact that dead bodies are dead bodies and that is that.

With the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, for you were taken therefrom, for dust you are, and to dust you will return."

Genesis 3:19


It boggles my mind that technology has evolved to the point that sonograms can show that the baby at just 6 weeks, and how it is NOT just a lump of cells. That we have 3D and 4D sonogram scans that show the unborn in perfect detail That preemies are able to be saved at younger and younger ages.

YET people still say it’s a choice, it isn’t a baby, allowing a baby to continue living denies women their rights.

A human being is priceless.

Here is what a human being looks like just 6 weeks after conception. This is what abortion kills.

And then comes the Resurrection of the dead and low and behold those
'bodies" were not as “dead” as you thought. Won’t you be surprised!! God Bless, Memaw

You are right, Ive never understood why so many people get SOOO upset whenever they hear of a parent killing their child (like a 2yr old), but when they hear about killing a baby yet to be born, its nothing to them???

By their standards, murder, at ANY age, should be allowed by anyone…??

People who support abortion do not think the baby is equal to the adult…

People who support abortion think that the baby has no right to life and can be killed at its mother’s whim.

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