The reason is that most who appeal to embryology and jurisprudence in this matter are also religious. Religion doesn’t prove the issue, but it gives people to capacity to understand science “scientifically.” Religious people can understand scientific evidence dispassionately and rationally because they are accustomed to disciplining their desire to get what they want at any cost. The scientific evidence is clear, but a woman who becomes pregnant without support will need to make great sacrifices to keep her baby. She will have to deny her own wants to meet the needs of another person. In general, those without the altruistic principles and habitual disciplines of right religion scarcely have the capacity to make the necessary sacrifices. They will rationalize irrational positions to deal with their dilemmas. They will appeal to “science” to excuse clearly irrational and unscientific behaviors.
Opposition to abortion and opposition to gender ideology (for example, insisting that men can compete fairly in women’s sports) are not religious issues. They are human rights issues. But it is mostly religious people who defend reason and science in these questions. There are exceptions, such as my friend Terrisa Bukovinac, founder of Pro-life San Francisco. Terrisa courageously advocates for unborn people at City Hall and in front of Planned Parenthood, and just as courageously declares herself an atheist, feminist, and member of the Democratic Party as she stands with mostly believing Catholics and Evangelicals. She’s got a tough row to hoe!
It is hard, but not impossible, to be an atheist and pro-life, because it is hard to be objective about science without a First Principle that grounds the science. One of religion’s first principles is that the human race needs help from a power greater than itself. Catholic theology calls the problem “Original Sin,” which fatally compromises the human intellect and the human will. Atheistic socialism pretends that humans can save themselves if they just think hard enough, and if they submit themselves to a sufficiently powerful government. History—another branch of objective science that is easily manipulated—proves otherwise. There is no historical evidence that atheistic socialism has ever successfully ordered a human society.
The questions of abortion, human sexuality, and political governance are clearly defined by the empirical sciences, but we need help perceiving and accepting the empirical science. That is why most non-religious people, who decline that help, cannot perceive and cannot accept the basic science. Those who do not want to admit scientific data when it interferes with their personal desires call these issues “religious,” and they convince us who have not received an education that enables us to think clearly, logically, and scientifically. I myself am painfully aware of the limits of my own education, although schools in the late sixties had not completely lost their way.
I will light a candle, with God’s help, rather than curse the darkness. Which is why I am putting a lot of time and money into reopening my parish school in San Francisco as an Integrated Classical Catholic Academy. Do your part to spread the word that there will be a Classical Catholic School in San Francisco this August. Many good parents imagine that the public and private schools are “good enough.” That is not true. The time has come to make a choice: either get your child into a school capable of educating your children in empirical science grounded in first principles and final ends, or watch them lose their faith. Watch them lose their ability to think clearly. Those who cannot think clearly become the slaves of those who have power over them.