A man has given anti-abortion campaigners something to think about by posing one simple question.
Speaking to his 20,000-strong Twitter following, author and journalist Patrick S. Tomlinson said he had been 'asking one little question' about the issue for the last decade.
In a thread, he wrote: "Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I've been asking for ten years now of the 'Life begins at Conception' crowd. In ten years, no one has EVER answered it honestly.
"It's a simple scenario with two outcomes. No one ever wants to pick one, because the correct answer destroys their argument. And there IS a correct answer, which is why the pro-life crowd hates the question.
"Here it is. You're in a fertility clinic. Why isn't important. The fire alarm goes off. You run for the exit. As you run down this hallway, you hear a child screaming from behind a door. You throw open the door and find a five-year-old child crying for help.
"They're in one corner of the room. In the other corner, you spot a frozen container labeled '1000 Viable Human Embryos.' The smoke is rising. You start to choke. You know you can grab one or the other, but not both before you succumb to smoke inhalation and die, saving no one.
"Do you A) save the child, or B) save the thousand embryos? There is no 'C.' 'C' means you all die. In a decade of arguing with anti-abortion people about this definition of human life, I have never gotten a single straight A or B answer to this question. And I never will.
"They will never answer honestly, because we all instinctively understand the right answer is 'A.' A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically.
"This question absolutely eviscerates their arguments, and their refusal to answer confirms that they know it to be true.
"No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child. That person does not exist. they are lying to you. They are lying to you to try and evoke an emotional, a paternal response, using false-equivalency.
"No one believes life begins at conception. No one believes embryos are babies, or children. Those who claim are trying to manipulate you so they can control women. Don't let them. Use this question to call them out. Reveal them for what they are. Demand they answer your question, and when they don't, slap that big ol' Scarlet P of the Patriarchy on them."
The moral conundrum has caused quite a stir across the Twittersphere, with conservative opinion site the Daily Wire arguing that Tomlinson's argument is flawed, with reasons including 'moral instinct does not always mean correct moral decision-making'.
The debate continues...