Is it Right to Kill a Fetus?

Is abortion wrong? Does a woman have the right to “choose”?

It’s wrong to kill an innocent human being and there are only four things that differentiate a fetus from other humans. The four factors can be represented with an acronym: SLED = Size, Level of development, Environment, and Degree of dependency. None of these four things justifies murder, therefore abortion is wrong.

Does the size of a person make them more or less worthy of life? If that were the case, then basketball players would be more worthy of life than other people. Does someone’s level of development make a difference? If that were true, it should be more acceptable to kill pre-pubescent teenagers than fully grown adults. Does the environment make a difference? Is it acceptable to murder an astronaut because he or she is in outer space rather than on earth? What about dependency? Does someone like Stephen Hawking deserve life less than others? All of the factors in the acronym “SLED” make no appreciable difference to whether someone deserves to live or die. Scott Klusendorf, a pro-life activist, points out the following:

in the past, we used to discriminate on the basis of skin color and gender, but now, with elective abortion, we discriminate on the basis of size, level of development, location, and degree of dependency. We’ve simply exchanged one form of bigotry for another… no human being, regardless of size, level of development, race, gender, or place of residence, should be excluded from the moral community of human persons. In other words, the pro-life view of humanity is inclusive, indeed wide open, to all, especially those that are small, vulnerable and defenseless. (


Klusendorf, S. (2009). The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. Crossway.

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