Lila Rose, Dr. Phil Spar on Abortion: 'If It's Not a Human Life, Why Do You Have to Kill It?'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Lila Rose, Dr. Phil Spar on Abortion: 'If It's Not a Human Life, Why Do You Have to Kill It?'

Lila Rose, Dr. Phil Spar on Abortion: 'If It's Not a Human Life, Why Do You Have to Kill It?'

An exchange between pro-life activist Lila Rose and "Dr. Phil" Phil McGraw went viral on social media Tuesday as the two debated when life begins.

"The predicate of your positions, that life begins at fertilization [and] that science is very clear about that – and you have to know … [that] there's no consensus among the scientific community," Dr. Phil said during the back-and-forth, which took place during a new episode of Dr. Phil that spotlighted abortion in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Rose, founder and president of Live Action, pushed back on his premise.

"There is [consensus], Dr. Phil – 96 percent of scientists say life begins at fertilization," Rose said. "If you're an in-vitro specialist, you're looking to create a single-cell embryo, and then you know you have a new human life. So it is a scientific fact."

"Well, actually, it's not," he responded.

"When do you say human life begins, then?" Rose asked.

"It doesn't matter what I think – I don't care what I think. What I'm saying is the scientific community does not have a consensus about when life begins," he said.

"You're simply inaccurate," Rose said. "A single-cell embryo is a unique new human life."

"You can go to the body of scientific literature, and you can find neuroscientists who say that it begins when there is a detectable brainwave," Dr. Phil said.

"But Dr. Phil, in an abortion, if it's not a human life, why do you have to kill it?" Rose asked.

"I haven't spoken over you, and you keep speaking over me," Dr. Phil said, "and I assume that's because you don't want me to finish my thought which is if anyone here wants to fact-check me instead of speak over me, you can go to the scientific literature and query what the definition is of the beginning of life, and you will find that there are different definitions. And it's up to you to decide what you think."

On Twitter, Rose remained gracious.

"I think Dr. Phil was trying to argue the pro-abortion position that a human child's 'personhood' somehow gets assigned after birth," Rose tweeted. "But he's wrong there, too. Any time in human history, when we deny personhood, or human rights to humans because of ANY factor – race, age, sex, religion – we open the door to history's worst human rights abuse. The Holocaust. The Rwandan Genocide. Slavery… A human embryo is small & dependent, but so is a human newborn or toddler. Your size, development or level of dependency doesn't dictate your humanity or worth."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Rebecca Sapp/Stringer

Video courtesy: ©Dr. Phil

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.