When you take an extreme position to its logical conclusion, very strange things can happen. Nowhere is this more evident than on the extreme end of the pro-life movement. We start with a premise: A fertilized egg is fundamentally equal to an infant.
If you accept this premise fully, truly without reservations or cognitive dissonance, then where does it take you? Exceptions to abortion bans in the cases of rape and incest becomes nonsensical. (After all, you wouldn’t murder the three-year-old child of a rapist, would you?) People who kill abortion doctors morph from murderers to martyrs. (What else would you call someone who, in the face of government inaction, brought a mass murderer of children to justice, sacrificing his own freedom and sometimes his very life for the cause of protecting innocents?)
This faith-based assumption that embryos are full citizens can also lead to far-less-disturbing-but-just-as-weird places…
Enter: “snowflake children,” born as the result of embryo “adoption”.
Remember, in this alternate reality, an embryo is nothing but a tiny infant… which turn the massive liquid nitrogen tanks storing embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments into gigantic orphanages, housing thousands of children just waiting for a family.
For thousands of evangelical Christian couples — many of whom suffer from infertility — embryo “adoption” offers them the opportunity to be parents and practice the ultimate expression of the pro-life ethos, by treating an 8-cell embryo as the equivalent of a 2-year-old girl:
“If we’re going to stand against abortion, it’s not simply picketing a clinic,” said Gabriel Fluhrer, a public relations and publishing coordinator for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. “It’s doing the hard work of adopting the orphans around the world, whether embryos or orphans living in China.”
Anna Fluhrer was born in December 2010: from a frozen embryo to a healthy baby girl.
This strange statement may have you scratching your head.
Know that as you do this, you are likely killing a number of cells far superior to those that, in embryo form, are considered morally equivalent to a toddler by many evangelicals.
While undoubtedly bizarre, it can be argued that embryo “adoption” is mostly harmless. No one is being intimidated and no rights are being infringed. I suppose it could be argued that without these absurd beliefs, more actual orphans would be adopted. However, it’s likely that many of these couples would want a healthy baby. Actual healthy baby orphans, especially white and Asian ones, have no shortage of prospective parents anxious to provide them a family, so the “loss” of these peculiar pro-life couples will not affect them in the slightest. However it is an illustrative example of what happens when you try to apply religiously grounded dogma to a modern world.