top of page
  • Writer's picture Peter Kupisz

Four Factors Make Abortion Wrong - SLED Test

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

Abortion is wrong because it’s wrong to kill an innocent human being. And a human fetus is an innocent human being with only four things that differentiate it from other humans. The four factors can be represented with an acronym: SLED = Size, Level of development, Environment, and Degree of dependency. But none of these four factors justifies murdering another human being. Consider the following. 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 prepubescent teenagers than fully grown adults. Does a person's environment make a difference? Is it acceptable to murder an astronaut because he or she is in outer space rather than on earth? Obviously not. What about dependency? Does someone like the late 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. The Life Training Institute, led by Scott Klusendorf, makes this point in the following passage.

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.

Learn More


“What Makes Humans Valuable? The Philosophical Case,” Life Training Institute, July 12, 2018,



bottom of page