Most Common Arguments (in this order):
My Body/My Choice
Life of the Mother
The Unborn Child Is Unfit/Unwanted
Abortion Is Already Legal — Stop Trying to Change It
By far the most common response we received in terms of difficult pro-abortion arguments dealt with matters of rape and incest. Here is just a sample of your replies articulating this commonly cited position:
“If a child is conceived from rape or incest, why is it fair to subject her to nine months of pregnancy that involves a reminder every day of what she went through?”
“I had somebody give the hypothetical situation of ‘What if my 11-year-old, small-framed daughter got pregnant after being raped, and the doctor said her still-developing body is in danger if she carries the baby to term?”
“My brother told me a female friend of his was gang-raped by three men and she became pregnant. She chose to have an abortion. He doesn’t think her decision was wrong. How do I change his mind about choosing abortion under these circumstances, and still show compassion for his female friend who was brutally raped?”
It’s interesting to note that rape and incest are arguably the most common objections used in support of the legalization of abortion, yet abortions due to rape and incest account for less than 1 percent of all abortions in the United States.1 That should immediately tell us something about why abortion proponents use the rape and incest argument so often — it is the most emotionally gripping objection and can be powerfully applied despite its actual infrequency.
Another point worth noting is that rape and incest are often lumped together in these arguments, yet they are not synonymous. Though it’s hard for most of us to comprehend, some instances of incest may be consensual. A baby conceived in such a situation may be aborted to avoid family shame, out of fear of a genetic abnormality, or due to the oddity of having a child that doesn’t fit well in a convoluted family tree. In cases where incest is forced, the reasons for an abortion are similar to those involving rape.
Rape, of course, is a violent crime resulting in a deeply wounded victim. In defending the life of the unborn child, we must be careful not to minimize the harm inflicted on the mother. The act is horrible and offensive, and it is emotionally, physically, and sometimes spiritually debilitating to women. In my view, the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for forcing himself on a female, in the most intimate way, for his own selfish satisfaction.
When the mother is the victim of rape, abortion advocates generally speak out on her behalf using the following logic: the mother has been brutally victimized. To force her to endure a pregnancy she didn’t want and give birth to a baby who will be a constant reminder of the rapist only inflicts more damage on the mother.
So how do we respond? Shouldn’t we stand by the rape victim and help her avoid more pain and suffering? Before you defend the rape/incest pro-abortion argument, please consider the following three points:
1. Should we kill another human being because we have been victimized?
We agree it isn’t fair when a woman is raped and then faces the crises and hardships that come with an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, it is tragic. But does it give her or anyone else the moral right to kill an innocent human being?
Imagine you are robbed and beaten at gunpoint. You have months of suffering and healing ahead of you, and it may take years to recover from the psychological impact. The crimes committed against you were unfair — do you now have the right to kill an innocent stranger on the street because you’ve been victimized?
Of course not.
Yet somehow we find it morally acceptable to kill an unborn child — an innocent third party who was conceived from a rape. But if we truly believe that life inside the womb holds the same intrinsic value as life outside of it, then this argument collapses on itself. All unborn children —at every stage of development — should be afforded an equal right to life, regardless of how they’re conceived.
2. Should we kill an unborn baby because once born, he or she may remind the mother of her attacker?
As pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf argues, since when did we become okay with killing another human being because he or she reminds us of a painful event? Husbands and wives divorce. Children become estranged from their parents. Friends sever their relationships. Do we have the right to kill someone just because seeing that person again may be painful?
Untold numbers of women have borne children conceived from rape and then either placed those children for adoption or raised them with grace and love.
Frankly, I believe the argument that women can’t raise children conceived in rape because the child reminds her of the crime actually demeans women. Are women not strong enough to conquer the negative impact of rape and raise a child or place the child for adoption? Do they not have the will and compassion to love the child despite the pain of a horrible crime? Do they not have the power to turn an act of evil into an act of grace? Women are far stronger than this argument implies.
3. Should we kill another human being because he or she isn’t wanted?
There are certainly cases where a rape victim doesn’t want a child or isn’t ready to raise a child. But there are also mothers who aren’t victims of rape who confess they didn’t want children or weren’t ready to have them when they discovered they were pregnant. Is it okay to kill these toddlers because they weren’t initially wanted or planned?
Again, the abortion advocate gets away with this point because most of our culture legitimately devalues life in the womb — whether we’re conscious of it or not. But if we correctly view the unborn child as being equal in value to the toddler, then we must defend and protect the unborn child whether or not he or she is wanted. Our value as humans isn’t derived from an external circumstance such as desire. We are valuable because of our intrinsic nature as human beings.
My Body/My Choice
The second most popular pro-abortion argument we struggle with is the “My Body/My Choice” dilemma. Let’s take a look at some of your submissions about how this argument is phrased:
“It’s fine for you to personally feel pro-life, but why are you making it a legislative issue? Why are you pushing your morals on others?”
“Keep your laws out of my uterus.”
“The baby doesn’t have the right to use the mother’s body for nine months.”
“Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”
The idea that a baby is just part of a woman’s body defies science. The decision to abort doesn’t involve just one body — it involves killing another human being that has his or her own body. Though a zygote or an embryo is not yet fully developed, both are human beings, both have substance, and both have bodies. You and I are just more mature versions of the zygotes we once were.
A zygote is a unique being that is distinct from the mother. He or she has 46 unique chromosomes and is internally driven to grow into more mature stages. Therefore, a zygote is fully human — as is an embryo, a fetus, and a born baby.
So when a woman trumpets her right to have an abortion by claiming, “My body, my choice,” she is ignoring the facts of life and medical science. Ironically, this right only pertains to females of a certain age, as roughly 50 percent of the 1.2 million unborn children who are aborted in America every year are females. What about their bodies? What about their rights?
Let me respond specifically to the questions you submitted regarding the Body/Rights argument:
“Why are you making it a legislative issue? Why are you pushing your morals on others?”and “Keep your laws out of my uterus.”
A very common claim of the pro-abortion movement is that the government should not tell women what to do with their bodies. In 1999, Hillary Clinton said, “Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting the decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.”2In other words, morality cannot be legislated.
That is a ridiculous and uninformed claim because that is one of the primary functions of laws — to legislate and enforce morality. Why can’t we steal money from a bank? Because it is wrong to take money from other people. Why can’t we beat our children? Because child abuse is morally wrong. Why can’t we shoot and kill our noisy neighbor? Because murder is wrong and against the law. Of course we legislate morality. Government exists to do just that for the protection and defense of its people.
But going back to Hillary Clinton’s comments, if a woman exercised her right to choose to beat her toddler to death, would we say, “We’re just trusting her to make the right decision for herself and her family” and “We wouldn’t want to entrust that decision to anyone with governmental authority”? No, we’d want the government to step in and protect the child. We’d want the government to enforce the law and impose morality on the mother — whether she wants it or not. In other words, we want the government to legislate morality.
Again, this argument only works if we accept the flawed premise that toddlers are worth something and unborn children are worth nothing. But if we agree that both are infinitely valuable members of the human race, then both should have the full protection of the government and its agencies.
2. “The baby doesn’t have the right to use the mother’s body for nine months.”
Let’s carry this argument to its next logical conclusion: Does an infant have the right to nurse after he or she is born? Does an infant have the right to be put to bed, carried, cared for, changed, or nurtured after birth?
Pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf calls this “degree of dependency.” Since when do we have the moral right to kill someone based on his or her degree of dependency on another person? A toddler is more dependent than a teenager (well, sometimes). Do we have the right to kill the toddler but not the teenager?
Additionally, this argument assumes the baby is somehow intentionally enslaving the mother for his or her own selfish purposes. In the majority of abortion cases, the abortion is a procedure of convenience after unprotected sex. The mother elected to have sex that resulted in a pregnancy. Should we now kill the unborn baby because he or she was conceived — and may potentially inconvenience someone — due to the mother’s choice to have sex?
3. “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”
What if we said, “Don’t like rape? Don’t rape anyone”? How would that statement go over on a bumper sticker today? While it serves as a catchy slogan, this argument collapses on itself when applied to any other immoral action.
Life of the Mother
The third most popular question was how to respond when the life of the mother is at stake.
It is my personal view that this is the only morally acceptable, although still extremely difficult, justification for taking the life of an unborn child. I have many good and thoughtful pro-life friends — including some people on staff here at Human Coalition — who disagree with me about this. They maintain there are no morally acceptable reasons for taking the life of an unborn child. I deeply appreciate that perspective. Both views indicate an intimate appreciation for the sacredness of life inside and outside the womb.
One of the fairest discussions on this topic is found in chapter 3 of Feinberg and Feinberg’s Ethics for a Brave New World, and I recommend this book to you.
It’s worth noting a few cautions and clarifications when dealing with this issue: the “health” of the mother and the “life” of the mother are two very different things. For decades, the “health of the mother” has been used to justify abortion for almost any reason. Because “health” is virtually impossible to define, a woman who is even mildly upset that she is pregnant can abort her child under this ambiguous phrase. Be wary of this critical distinction.
Another twist of words to be cautious of is “the health of the mother is threatened” versus “the life of the mother is threatened.” Pro-life advocates generally maintain that abortion is not morally permissible if the pregnancy may result in a decline in the mother’s health but isn’t ultimately fatal. Gestational diabetes is an example of a condition that is contracted during pregnancy, but it normally doesn’t kill the mother and is a treatable disease.
Morally speaking, the life of the mother and child are both priceless. Thus, the child’s life should be preserved, and the mother’s health should be treated and preserved as well. In those very rare cases where the life of the mother is genuinely at risk, difficult decisions must be made.
Sometimes issues regarding the health of the mother have nothing to do with the pregnancy. There have been numerous stories in the news recently about moms with cancer choosing to bear their children while refusing potentially lifesaving treatments in order to preserve the lives of their children. Sometimes the mother survives; other times the mother dies. I’m not sure any greater examples of maternal courage and sacrifice exist.
In cases where the life of the mother is genuinely threatened either because of the pregnancy or because of a pre-existing condition that can’t be treated because of the pregnancy, the family must make heartrending decisions. Prayer, comfort, support, and compassion should be extended to all during this time.
In all cases, however, I must stress that all medical and spiritual options, tools, and procedures should be implemented to attempt to preserve BOTH lives. All life is precious, and all innocent life should be protected.
The fourth most common pro-abortion argument you face deals with personhood. Here are some of your comments:
“It’s not a person yet.”
“It’s a potential life.”
“It’s a blob of cells.”
1. The “blob of cells” argument is uniformly refuted by science.
At the moment of fertilization, a zygote is created. The zygote has DNA provided by both parents and, therefore, all of the genetic information to develop into more mature stages. The zygote period lasts about four days. He or she develops into a blastocyst for some 14 days, and then develops into an embryo. After nine weeks post-conception, he or she is termed a fetus.
From zygote to delivered baby, he or she is a human being. There is no point during development when he or she matures into a human or somehow “turns human.” He or she is a unique human being from the point of fertilization.
Though there are numerous definitions of what it means to be “alive,” the most common criteria scientists use to determine life are if something has the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond to stimuli, adapt, and reproduce. Thus, from the time of fertilization, the zygote is alive because he or she possesses all of these qualities. The baby’s sex can be derived as early as five to nine days after conception. His or her heart beats around day 24, and brain waves can be detected as early as day 43. There is no point during development when he or she is an inanimate blob of cells.
2. This brief biology lessons also refutes the “potential life” argument.
Emily Letts, the 25-year-old woman who recently filmed her own abortion, pronounced, “Yes, I do realize it was a potential life. I have a special relationship with my ultrasound.” Her statement is confounding and paradoxical. The idea of “potential life” is folly. We are either alive or dead. We are not “potentially” alive any more than we can be “potentially dead.” We either exhibit the qualities of living beings or we don’t. Letts willingly killed the life inside of her and instead has a “special relationship” with the sonogram picture of her now deceased child.
The idea of “potential life” presumes that something has the ability to, at some point in the future, become alive. But as our brief look at the zygote confirms, he or she is alive at the point of conception. Through internal self-direction, he or she is growing, metabolizing, responding to various stimuli, adapting to the environment, and already has the necessary genetic material in place for reproduction.
3. “It’s not a person yet.”
The question of personhood is really the crux of the pro-abortion argument. But if you run across a pro-abortion advocate who brings up this claim, just ask this simple question: What is the distinction between a person and a human being?
Using Scott Klusendorf’s SLED examples, here are some typical responses and refutations to the various personhood arguments:
1. When a fetus gets to a certain size, they are now a person. Since when does size (S) determine value? Is a toddler worth less than a teenager because the toddler is smaller? What size determines our personhood and who determines that?
2. We can abort a fetus before he or she feels pain. We agree that fetuses are less developed than we are. But should we kill them because they are so? People in their sleep, on anesthesia, or with certain health conditions don’t feel pain. Can we kill them? Why does level of development (L) determine value?
3. When the baby is born, they are now a person. Since when does location determine value? Am I worth more inside a house than I am outside on the lawn? There are many pro-abortion advocates who believe we should value the baby in the womb — but only at a certain age. So which is it? Inside or outside of the womb? Why does environment (E) determine value?
4. Before a baby reaches viability, they can be aborted. Does degree of dependency (D) determine value? Infants are completely dependent on others for sustenance. Can we kill them because they are dependent on us? Why does viability outside the womb determine value? 3
Morally speaking, there is no difference in value between a zygote and an adult. There is no distinction between a person and a human being. The pro-abortion industry uses the personhood argument because science has proven beyond all doubt that zygotes are members of the human race. So pro-abortion advocates had to come up with some other reason to kill unborn babies that wasn’t based on science. They made arbitrary (and frequently changing) definitions of personhood in order to advance their abortion agenda. Don’t get caught in that trap. In the words of the immortal Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person no matter how small.”
The Unborn Child Is Unfit/Unwanted
Although this was the fifth most popular response in our survey, this is actually the number one reason why men and women abort their children today. They simply don’t want a child.
This argument takes numerous forms:
“If a baby has Down syndrome, she should be aborted. She will have a tough life anyhow, and her family will struggle with a special needs child.”
“Better to be aborted than adopted by a pervert.”
“The world is overpopulated and resources are limited. We need abortion to control the planet’s resources.”
“What will become of a baby born into a drug-infested home?”
“I don’t want a child right now. I can’t afford it.”
1. “I can’t afford a child right now.”
With an overwhelming number of abortions being performed because of inconvenience and/or financial constraints, the Unfit/Unwanted argument is the primary cultural assumption we must aggressively defeat. Fortunately, it is one of the simplest to refute. Again, I refer to Scott Klusendorf who trains people using a concept called “trot out the toddler.”4 If we agree with science, medicine, ethics, and philosophy, then we agree that life in the womb is equal in value to human life outside the womb.
So when someone claims that if a pregnant woman wants an abortion because she claims she can’t afford a baby, we have an easy response: “If the mother has a toddler, why not kill him? The toddler is probably more expensive than the baby anyhow. The mother will save more money killing the toddler than the unborn child.”
2. “If a baby has Down syndrome, she should be aborted. She will have a tough life anyhow, and her family will struggle with a special needs child.”
The “trot out the toddler” argument can again be applied to those who claim that “unborn babies with defects should be aborted. It’s better that they aren’t a burden to society.” Our reply should then be: “Why not kill toddlers with Down Syndrome, too? How about toddlers in wheelchairs, or toddlers with birth defects or cystic fibrosis?” If we are okay killing them in the womb, then why not kill them outside the womb as well?
3. “Some babies shouldn’t be born into harmful homes. It’s better if they never have to experience that.”
Okay, what about preschoolers who are living in those conditions now? Why not kill them and save them years of pain and hurt at home? “Trotting out the toddler” forces the abortion advocate to defend why the unborn is less valuable than those of us already born. ALL of these arguments are based on the assumption that life in the womb is expendable but life outside of it is not. Would we seriously considering killing a five-year-old because his parents abuse him? Of course not — we’d work to protect and defend the child. Why are we okay with killing a child in the womb simply because of the potential that he or she may be born into a difficult home?
Would we kill a child with Down Syndrome because his conditions make caring for him more of a challenge than caring for a child who does not have Down Syndrome? If that were the case, why do we have unique events like the Special Olympics that honor kids with disabilities?
Make the abortion advocate define and defend why life in the womb is worthless. It’s an argument that can’t be won based on science or ethics. The premise of the pro-life position is that the value of an unborn child’s life is not determined by whether or not her parents want her or will be good parents. The value of the child’s life is based on the fact that the child is a member of the human race, created by God with a special purpose and amazing potential — the same value as toddlers.
Abortion Is Already Legal — Stop Trying to Change It
Finally, I will address one more argument that commonly surfaces when debating abortion: “Abortion is the law of the land — deal with it.” My response? Slavery was once legal in this country. Not permitting women to vote was once legal. Should we have continued those practices just because they were legal?
This is probably the flimsiest of the pro-abortion arguments. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right or moral. I wrote about this at length in my book Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women,and so I refer you to that resource. Suffice it to say that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton are both examples of terrible laws. Not only is Roe v. Wade a sloppy decision that doesn’t even bother to address when life begins, but both laws are contradicted by another federal law that has been on the books for the last several years.
Laci and Conner’s Law protects unborn children, at any stage of development, from over 60 acts of violence.5 Reread that last sentence. Today there is a federal law that protects unborn children of any age from violent acts caused by other people.
But Laci and Conner’s Law makes a specific exemption for abortion. So the baby’s life is protected by the federal government if a woman, man, or child hurts the unborn child in the womb. But the baby’s life is deemed worthless if the mother kills the child through abortion.
In America today, the value of a baby’s life is determined by the person who harms him or her. The child is infinitely valuable if a father harms the child through a non-abortive act, but the child is worth nothing if the mother kills the unborn baby through an abortion. It’s lunacy. No other class of person is given value by the person who harms them. Our federal laws simultaneously provide for both the protection of and the killing of unborn children. It just depends on who harms the child.
So the next time someone tells you to stop complaining about abortion because it’s the law, ask them to explain why both Roe v. Wade and Laci and Conner’s Law are federal mandates. And then ask them if they want to bring back slavery.
The first action of every anti abortion person is to lie. This article proves that. You invent your own answers so you can tailor fit your answers. Its dishonest, shows a lack of integrity, shows your inability to deal with another person. And like all forced birth fanatics you reduce… Read more »
I can shut down any pro-life choice in its argument no matter what is brought up. I originally came here to see what everyone thought pro-lifers should say but it’s all the same. I was hoping to see something more original and thought-provoking to make a pro-choice member to actually… Read more »
I’ve addressed your objectives several times in other articles and comments, so I’ll summarize here: 1. The medical procedure (abortion) involves more than one body not just the mother’s. Thus it is perfectly understandable and right that society is concerned about a population of humans who are being killed at… Read more »
One common thread in pro-life arguments seems to be birth of the baby at any cost, while casting aside the mother’s well-being and feelings about the situation. Not everyone is the same or has the same ability to cope with difficult situations and it seems to me that the pro-life… Read more »
Hi Andrea – we do hear this argument a lot (“you only care about the baby, not the mother”), though I see little evidence to suggest that the pro-life community only cares about the child, and I’ve now been in this work in some fashion for almost 20 years. Perhaps… Read more »
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, single mothers are not hailed as heroes in our society. They’re frowned upon by literally everyone except their own kids and other single mothers and are ridiculed for not ‘keeping their legs closed’ without anyone understanding or thinking about the situation the mother… Read more »
Thank you for addressing my concerns; I think very literally and more often than not the way people word things can cause me to come to conclusions that are not necessarily what they mean or how they mean it. It can be irritating, which is why I tend to refrain… Read more »
On the contrary you made great comments – we must think critically and specifically.
This is total BS. its not killing a baby by having an abortion, you are only stopping cells from growing, its the same as saying master baiting is killing babies because the sperm or eggs had their own life. Already the earth is so populated there is no point in… Read more »
Cam – You are scientifically and biologically incorrect. Elective abortion is the killing of a pre-born human being, as we are all biologically human at conception. That is not opinion or a belief – it is fact.
What if two 16 year old kids get get pregnant, it did not mean anything to them and they don’t want a baby. this cell or in case a human to you, means nothing to them and they don’t want it. It will ruin both of their lives. Is ending… Read more »
What if two 16 year olds had a 1 year old daughter and no longer wanted her? Is it ok if they kill her? Even if she was ruining their lives? Cam, what you are stating is your ill-informed opinion. Your opinion is that a pre-born child is not actually… Read more »
I don’t often comment on articles but your argument that laws exist to enforce morality is incorrect. Reason: What about stupid laws? If we went by your argument that laws exist to enforce morality then pretty much every child in Virginia who goes trick or treating would have, by definition,… Read more »
Thanks for your comments, Shania. When you state “laws generally exist to protect the individual’s basic rights and interests by discouraging certain behaviors exhibited by other citizens,” there needs to be some basis by which those determinations are made – some moral framework to determine which rights and interests are… Read more »
Everyone agrees that a zygotes embryos and fetus’ are alive even if they don’t believe them to be human. If the #1 duty on ross’s hierarchy of duties is to protect life then to destroy it would be morally wrong… Ross never actually specifies what kind of life, he just… Read more »
People say that you should get an abortion because what if your baby is deformed and is going to live a life of pain. How would they know if they haven’t even given the child a chance at life to really know. Also, they aren’t them, they don’t know what… Read more »
The thing is, in our world, if your baby has a disability it will most likely not succeed. If it is bad as well, and it might only have a few years of life, why would you do that on yourself having your child die in your arms when you… Read more »
I think they would disagree. https://hucoprod.wpengine.com/films/the-martins-story-2/
“as roughly 50 percent of the 1.2 million unborn children who are aborted in America every year are females” I find this comment problematic because you are trying to elicit emotion from a fact that is probably true, but it also means 50% are males, or half and half. Is… Read more »
Only if you live in New York.:) The point is that, if we are truly working for gender equality, we must confront the fact we are aborting over half million females every year in the U.S. Abortion is trumpeted as a woman’s right, but it in fact fatally discriminates against… Read more »
I agree. People say that you should abort your baby if you were raped. But just because something horrible has happened to you in the past, doesn’t mean you have to take it out on a life of an innocent precious human being who hasn’t done any wrong doing. It’s… Read more »
I’m doing a project for school and it’s about social problems (which mine is abortion) and this article really helps a lot, I’ve read all the comments you added, Brian, and they are amazing. I always have people come up and argue with me about it and I never really… Read more »
Thanks John. So glad the site is helpful and hope your project goes very well. You might also check out Scott Klusendorf’s the Case for Life. Best pro-life apologetic book out there.
Many thanks for the articulate and well-thought out article! When I was younger I used to vehemently support the pro-choice argument but over the years I’ve become a lot more conservative of many topics, one of the most important ones being abortion. Now I’m glad to say I’m on the… Read more »
Thanks Aaron, I appreciate your post. And yes, we can find agreement on this for sure!
Brian, It cannot be argued that there are too many of us on this planet and it largly due to so many having children who do not plan, beilive it is a way out or a paasage to adulthood, beleive they can have as many as they can support or… Read more »
Think about where our world would be if Mary had aborted Jesus.. Chaos and madness that’s where it would be.
Well thanks for at least admitting to your unwillingness to engage on any terms but your own. That’s honest. Lamentable, but honest. Hardly speaks well for your apparent interest in debate, since debating can be a rough and tumble venue. I object to your characterizations, of course. Your complaints are… Read more »
Coach – when does human life begin? And does abortion kill a human being?
I’m disappointed that after that long, civil, inquiring post of mine that this is how you responded. So much left unanswered Brian! Hopefully when you have more time you’ll be able to go back and fill in all those holes. But I don’t want to disappoint you, of course, so… Read more »
I’m a bit confused. You are saying that a zygote is not a human being? What species or genus is it? And at what point does that species mutate or convert to being human?
Ok, Brian, so far you’ve not answered any of my questions, and you continue to pose the kinds of questions to me that I’ve already answered. Is this your debating tactic? Wouldn’t get a good grade where I went to school. Come on, man, step up! There is no genus… Read more »
Ok we finally agree on something – a zygote is a homo sapien. So at what point does that homo sapien convert from being a potential human to an actual human (or whatever you want to call us since you object to the term human)? And at what point does… Read more »
I know this discussion is between Brian and James, but if I may, at the risk of ad hominum attacks, jump in here with my opinions. To begin with, personhood and humanhood are not interchangeable terms. It is also not the case that “a precise definition of personhood is totally… Read more »
Welcome to the discussion, 5o7! Glad to have your contributions. (I think I’ve dealt with you on another board, since you raise exactly the same twists of logic, but maybe that’s just part and parcel of your co-believers. Still, it seems very suspiciously like the same guy. Neither here nor… Read more »
James, I’m sorry to disappoint, but we have not encountered each other before. In fact it’s unusual for me to be discussing something online at all. I’m glad you read my comment slowly and with attention, thank you. Is there something I can make clearer? I pointed out your claim… Read more »
Thanks for your response, 5o7. You seem to be much more game than Mr. Fisher. He refuses to answer my questions, insists that I answer his, then ignores my answers when I give them. Some discussion, huh? You, at least, attempt to engage at a level approaching mutual understanding. However… Read more »
I believe our discussion has moved beyond the scope of this article and I don’t want to clutter this comment section. Can you suggest another forum where we can continue our discussion?
I don’t think the discussion has moved past the topics addressed in the original article, no. I don’t mind continuing our discussion somewhere else, but all the abortion forums are incredibly crowded and I find them to be mostly used by underinformed people. It’s tough to track a one-on-one conversation… Read more »
Thanks for the discussion gentlemen. This thread has run its course so please take any remaining discussion elsewhere.
I was put on a medication that made my birth control not effective when I was a freshman in college. I chose to have an abortion. Instead of ending up single, dropping out of school for some time, and working the overnight shift at Denny’s, I am happily married with… Read more »
Hello MSS – I appreciate you sharing such a transparent perspective. I hope my response is careful and tactful considering your very insightful question and experience. You are assigning value to a human being based on “personhood.” I’m claiming that “personhood” is a fabricated and arbitrary designation invented by the… Read more »
Hi MSS, Congratulations on your clear and cogent defense of legalized abortion and for sharing your personal story, which gives vivid evidence of what’s really at stake in this discussion. Your questions are spot on. It’s a shame they’ve been dealt with so ignorantly by Brian. First, the designation “personhood”… Read more »
James and MSS – let me clarify my point on personhood. You are correct, James, that the Supreme Court did not invent the term. I was hurried in my explanation and I apologize. What the court did was pronounce that pre-born children were no longer considered persons under the law,… Read more »
Ah, now I get it. Totally. The title of this thread “Here’s how to stop any pro-choice argument in its tracks” is meant to describe how one hits the delete button when a pro-choice argument is posted that you can’t “stop in its tracks”. I thought the first time my… Read more »
Coach Jim – I told you to discontinue being rude and sarcastic. You didn’t. I also asked you a question that you didn’t answer with any substance – namely what is your standard definition of personhood and how do you justify applying it to human beings to the point of… Read more »
I found this article very informative and interesting, thank you for the insight. I just have a concerns about a few things that weren’t mentioned in the article, please respond if you can clarify them: – A human being is defined as a homo sapiens, no matter if they are… Read more »
Hi there Jessica – thanks for the insightful comments and questions. 1. “Personhood” is a fairly new convention and, to your point, is subjective. It is essentially a non-informed and mythical criteria used to assign value to human beings. If memory serves, the Supreme Court basically invented the term and… Read more »
What about bodily autonomy?
Hi Hannah – can you clarify please? Whose body are you talking about?
I’m sure she’s referring to the only body in the equation for most legal abortions…the woman’s. Try to wrap your closed mind around this: A woman’s home is invaded by an unwanted being. She is absolutely justified in expelling the unwanted invader. This is legal everywhere, and in most states… Read more »
James – your metaphor is incorrect. A baby does not “invade” a woman’s body like a thief entering a house. You are likening an innocent human being to a convicted criminal which is a ridiculous and troubling assertion. What you are really doing is devaluing, demeaning, and discriminating against a… Read more »
I’m disappointed that you don’t like my metaphor, Brian. I think it’s pretty good. The reason you give for not liking it, however, has the inconvenience of not being valid. Of course the fetus is an invader, and of course people who are in your home uninvited would not always… Read more »
What a joke mate you really had me laughing at page 2 there. SO what you “think” that a fetus is a human being? Does that really give us the excuse to bring faulty genetics into the world at purpose? Does you’re silly ‘cry for all beings’ rhetoric mean we… Read more »
Thor – cool name. Faulty reasoning. I don’t think a fetus is a human being – a fetus IS a human being. It’s scientific fact. And your statement about bringing faulty genetics in the world is chilling. You are using the same reasoning as eugenicists and racists. There actually aren’t… Read more »
No, Brian, we can “get bigger than that.” The number one cause of death in the world is death. It’s 100% of all people, everywhere. Again you use sloppy language to try and shoehorn your own definitions into an argument that should only be about facts. Worldwide, quick mathematics shows… Read more »
lmao i love how this is written by a man
Why thank you.
The number 1 abortion provider in the world is nature (or, to those who believe in a religion, their deity). Natural stillbirths and miscarriages are far more common than abortion at the hands of another human. One out of every 200 pregnancies in the United States results in stillbirth, while… Read more »
Actually the miscarriage rate is around 20-25%. You ascribe murderous intent to a God you don’t believe in – that’s a very strange and illogical approach. Though miscarriage can also be called “spontaneous abortion”, the way I use the term “abortion” can be defined as the unjust killing of a… Read more »
Ah, I see. So this all powerful, all knowing, all benevolent being you credit with creating us is not to be held accountable for those whose lives he created but then suddenly snuffs out prior to being born? That opens up a lot of questions. Who’s to blame for all… Read more »
When a woman gets an abortion, it seems as though she has been raped or heinously violated in some way, shape, or form. I cannot help get the impression that something horrible has been done to her that is not really according to her own free will but done to… Read more »
I found this paper very compelling, although I cannot say I have a strong opinion about abortion either way. That being said, there is another counterargument I would like you to address. Statistics show that countries where abortion is outlawed show no significant decrease in abortions compared to countries where… Read more »
Tom – thanks for the email and the thoughts. Couple of things: 1. Please cite the studies that have those statistics. 2. The underlying question beneath your question is something like this: why make abortion illegal if it is going to happen anyway and potentially cause further harm to the… Read more »
A continuation of my comment above. ^ It is a fact, that abortion has been decreasing in numbers ever since 1980 and is now at an all time low in America. It confuses me why it is getting so much media attention right now. We now have a president who… Read more »
1 million pre-born children die by abortion in America alone. It is the leading cause of death in our country by almost 2x. It should get far more media attention that it does right now.
None of this matters. Legal abortion is the law of the land for over 40 years. Conservatives like to say liberals won’t let things go…. GET OVER IT. ITS THE LAW.
Dred Scott was law also – should we have kept that around because it was settled?
Hi, I’m personally pro-choice, but I have to say you made some brilliant points. However, there is one point I disagree with. I don’t believe the government makes laws to enforce morals. The government makes laws to keep order. Cheating is highly frowned upon by almost all people in western… Read more »
Hi there Richard – I get your point, though consider this. To “keep order” is subjective. In some Muslim countries, keeping order involves disallowing women to drive, vote, and allowing for continued gender abuses. Thus keeping order is itself governed by some sort of moral code. I’m not claiming that… Read more »
Forty years ago I chose to give birth to a child at a young age rather than have an abortion. I had no support from my family or his father and soon found I could not raise him. I made the decision to give that child up for adoption, but… Read more »
I have conducted my own research on abortion based off of some scientific studies. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded that, “existing data suggests that cortical processing and therefore fetal perception of pain cannot occur before 24 weeks of gestation”. Additionally, an article by LiveScience discusses the truth… Read more »
Hi ProChoice – I’m not arguing against your scientific facts. I am saying that preborn humans should not be valued on the criteria you articulated. You are arguing that pre-born children should be devalued based on their level of development. That is not an ethically or morally sound belief. We… Read more »
The two conjoined twins are not pregnant with each other. They can’t choose to terminate their pregnancy. Can a snowbound parent choose to kill their born child (or withhold food) because their right to bodily autonomy is greater than the child’s right to life (and their right to have their… Read more »
My mother (back in the 60s and 70’s) often said ” I should have aborted you when I had the chance” and other belittling commentary I was her only child. She and my dad loved each other very much. To her a child was an inconvenience to her. Interestingly the… Read more »
Jayne – I appreciate your comments but I find it very odd that you are pro-abortion. Surely you are glad you are here? Killing an innocent human being is not a matter of minding your own business. I assume that if you knew about a friend who was abusing her… Read more »
You make some interesting points, although I have to disagree with your stance. I’d be intrigued to see your sources for certain points, especially the one suggesting that the majority of abortions are a result of carelessness/not using contraception.
Olivia – why do you disagree with my stance?
Many people have asked to see your sources regarding your claims on carelessness as a cause of abortion, on facts that zygotes are apart of the human race, and you have not given any in response to the questions you have received…. without sources how does anything you are saying… Read more »
Please cite where you have seen “many people” asking to see sources. And please cite where there is something specifically that needs to be sourced. The blogs and articles typically link out to various sources that defend the salient points. Look at any 9th grade biology book for your question… Read more »
“Life’s Value” give me a break. Do you take milk away from calfs? Do you eat the flesh of animals? Do you stomp on a spider? Do you eat plants? Everytime you pick a flower, you are preventing the flower from reproducing. Many Humans think that because a life form… Read more »
Hi Soluma – your arguments are very common in the pro-abortion community but they are flawed. 1. Humans are the highest form of life on the planet. We are not equal to plants or animals, as we possess qualities, beauty, and wonders that no other life form has. 2. I… Read more »
I follow what your saying, and I appreciate your linear logic. It is an individualistic approach to morality. I suppose my views on pro-choice have been more collective humanism in nature. Supporting life on earth is finite. Eventually, when humans hit a carrying capacity, births would not end, but certain… Read more »
Hi Morgan – I’m not sure I agree that one approach is individualistic and another collective. If you are saying that the needs of the many outweigh the need of the few, you are espousing the same logic that justified every mass genocide in history. When one party has the… Read more »
I would like to give my view on those who have been raped. I understand this is a very traumatic thing to go through, and pregnancy even when chosen can be very difficult and life changing. I propose that those who have been raped may be able to opt for… Read more »
I don’t even have to read this whole thing to debunk you like you’re tying to say you can do to pro choice.. 1- you’re a man so you can’t have a full say on the entire situation as you are only a bystander to the two beings involved with… Read more »
Hi Alisha – 1. Arguments don’t have genders. My being a man does not make abortion right or wrong – it is morally wrong in and of itself. 2. I’m pro-choice about a thousand different things. However,”My body my choice” consciously avoids the fact that abortion doesn’t impact one body… Read more »
actually you are incorrect, we certainly have control over what happens inside our bodies. It is against the law to force someone to share their organs with anybody else born or unborn. If you cannot attach yourself and suck my blood, neither does the fetus have that right. Woman retain… Read more »
Gladys – organs and human beings are two entirely different things as you well know. Your example is flawed. It may be illegal for someone to attach themselves to you and suck your blood – but you do not have the right to kill them for doing so. The law… Read more »
Very nice philosophy. Of course you never tackle the larger, more important, question of “when is an ovum no longer an egg.” You should have defined this clearly at the beginning of your post.
I have defined that in numerous other articles, Mike.
Your arguments all seem proper and valid at first (to people who are too lazy to think), and yet the idea of forcing a person to bear a fetus against her will is still… off. How much pain and suffering for a person (both physical and emotional) would amount to… Read more »
Cheshire – I’m not sure I understand your point. We are valuable because we are human. Are you arguing we are or are not valuable because of our humanity? You seem to devalue one class of humans over another in your opening statement, but then you agree abortion is wrong.… Read more »
Okay, I agree with all of this. Thank you.
I once had someone who worked at Planned Parenthood ask me how many Black children I had adopted. I answered that it made no difference, abortion is killing an unborn child. Another woman praying at Planned Parenthood rightfully answered that she had adopted 3 Black children and is a grandmother… Read more »
I AM a pro choicer…… at 26 weeks pregnant no less. I have had an “herbal abortion” at 19 y/o where I used a Chinese herb for three consecutive days at 6 weeks pregnant. On the fourth day I bled heavily all the contents of pregnancy completely out. I do… Read more »
Gicela – you did not address any of the substantive points in the article. The history of abortion or various abortion methods do not address the morality of abortion.
Hello, I just read your article, and I’d be lying if I said you didn’t make some good points, but it has left me with some questions. 1. What would your cause do to prevent illegal abortions? 2. When made illegal, how would the money of illegal abortions be kept… Read more »
Ryan – LOL, thanks for not lying and glad I at least provoked some further questions. 1. We rescue babies from abortion by specifically serving the abortion-determined woman. Whether abortion is legal or not, we are committed to the child, the mother, and the family. We want legalized abortion ended… Read more »
I know a guy that is pro-abortion on the grounds that the gov’t has no right to control a women’s reproductive rights. And that making abortion illegal will force women back to the back room “hot-coat hanger” tactics. So keep abortion legal on the grands of making it clinically safe.
That’s a very common pro-abortion argument. The primary role of government, however, is to protect and secure inalienable rights for its citizens, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The key to the pro-life apologetic is forcing abortion advocates to define what the pre-born actually is. If… Read more »
How do we convince friends or family that abortion is wrong? How do we end the murder in the womb if we can’t even end it outside of it? I’m just looking or answers.
Violet – there is no logical argument for abortion, though that doesn’t mean you’ll convince friends and relatives. Abortion advocates can only make emotional pushes for their agenda. If, however, someone is willing to listen to science, ethics, and philosophy, you’ll at least have common ground. I would start here:… Read more »
Thanks for the advice!
In the case of rape, the government should pay for a women to go a lovely place, receive the best pre-natal care, all of the lost wages for 9 months, all the hospital bills, all of the mental health bills, guarantee her job back, and arrange for the adoption of… Read more »
Mr. Brian fisher, please allow me to ask you a direct question. What have YOU done to help young women from getting into a situation where they have to make this life changing decision? Have you done anything to help prevent pregnancies?
Both my husband, who is an anesthesiolgist and me, a nurse practitioner, have yet to hear of a situation where the mother’s life was in jeopardy where delivery (whether vaginal or via Caesarian) of the fetus was not the “cure”. Therefor, I find that reason for abortion difficult to accept.
*I* my bad.
One presumes then that because you specify “unprotected sex” during the article and that people had to have this sex in order to conceive, that if they are wearing a condom that this is no longer murder? Therefore if contraceptives that were not abortion were more freely available to the… Read more »
Jarred – actually more contraceptives can lead to more abortions, or at least not the reduction of them. See http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/17/studies-birth-control-contraception-dont-cut-abortions/ or https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/tell-me-that-good-one-again-about-how-contraception-decreases-abortions. No, the only guaranteed way to reduce abortions is to reduce unplanned pregnancy, and the most effective way to do that is to reserve sex for the marriage… Read more »
what do you say to someone who says “is society wiling to pay/support a baby till the age of 18?
Cindy – I get that question fairly often. It hits on a few areas, including the role of government in society. If we were to agree that the U.S. should be a nanny state like much of Europe, the discussion would most likely head into government obligations relating to taking… Read more »
I’m curious about low income and teenaged women that have unintended pregnancies. What if she sees abortion as her only option? She might want to give the child up for adoption, but many women don’t have the luxury of financial support for the baby and the disruption in her education.… Read more »
Amanda – the question beneath your question is this: what about low income and teenaged women with toddlers? What if she sees infanticide as her only option? AKA, should we give the right to kill a human being if circumstances are difficult? And if we shouldn’t give the right to… Read more »
No women wants to have an abortion. It’s the toughest and heartbreaking decision a women would have to make. But shouldn’t we be working together to prevent the pregnancies in the first place so women wont have to be put in the position of having an abortion. An ounce of… Read more »
Laura: 1. There are tens of thousands of parents waiting to adopt children. That system needs reforming in order to bring the costs down so that more people can adopt, but there is no shortage of willing parents. 2. Yes we should better the lives of born children. However, we… Read more »
when does a fetus become a person—at fertilization, at birth, or somewhere in between? Here, modern science offers no clarity. If anything, the past century of scientific advances have only made the answer more complicated. Fertilization can happen hours or even days after insemination. But even fertilization isn’t a clean… Read more »
Laura- thanks for the comments. Personhood is an arbitrary term created and applied to human beings to discriminate against them. The issue is not whether or not someone is a person – the issue is whether or not they are human. To your point, personhood has become subjective and cloudy.… Read more »
I understand your point that all life is beautiful and should be honored and respected but I just don’t see why your convictions out weigh or over rule mine or any women’s. A women how already has 3 or 4 children – Children she can’t provided for what is she… Read more »
You’r right in that many things that were horrible and pointless were considered legal at one time and many are. For example Religion is still legal and thats a basket of crazy unprovable fiction, yet because its still legal people insist on following their faith. Now i have your attention,… Read more »
Mumbo jumbo, Michael. You are repeating pro-abortion talking points that don’t hold water. 1. I don’t understand your point about religion being legal and unprovable. 2. Nonsense. We are not completely autonomous. You don’t have the right to do whatever you want with your body. You are restricted in hundreds… Read more »
I was very interested to read your article. I noticed that it largely ignores the problems children face after birth. I was hoping you could address this. I personally have met only 2 people who are pro-life, but I have known dozens that are pro-fetus. Let me clarify: pro-life is… Read more »
Julia – thanks – I did address your comments in a previous post. Just to summarize, to claim that someone is pro-fetus and not pro-life because they may or may not provide extended care to families is incorrect. It is common sense that the pro-life movement focus on the pre-born… Read more »
Hi Brian – thanks for your response, though I am disappointed. These arguments can be seen to portray pro-lifers as cold, callous, and decidedly not pro-life. I don’t meant to insult (myself, as a pro-lifer), but I feel the need to put in bluntly: we must show care and compassion… Read more »
I would like to add one more point that I think pro-life arguments lack. I used to be on the fence about abortion and I remained undecided for some years. I now fully side pro-life, but I have to point out that even during those years of undecidedness I fully… Read more »
I agree with you, Brayden. A just society should always take the most conservative approach to human life, especially when that society claims to acknowledge we have inalienable rights like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I suspect you don’t see Pascal’s Wager that much in the pro-life effort… Read more »
I wonder if you can help me with some information? I moved to the US, and I see a lot of pro life media, but it is mainly focused on the short term stage of being a fetus, rather than the Years and f actual life. I’m interested in Being… Read more »
Hi Lynne – Great questions. The pro-life position is not a soapbox, nor is it forcing opinions on society. The pro-life ethic is grounded in fact; that pre-born children are equally valuable to born children. If someone was an advocate for child abuse, would you be ok sharing your views… Read more »
Hi Lynne – I just posted a response that was very similar to what you talked about. You are right that pro-life in the US is largely focused on pregnancy. Most American pro-lifers do not take adequate action post-birth, and organizations like Human Coalition rarely ensure full monetary and physical… Read more »
Julia/Lynne – great questions and discussion thread. There is lots to explore in what you’ve said, but let me make just two points: 1. I disagree that pro-lifers are only concerned about the baby. We care very much about the entire family. At the same time, it makes common sense… Read more »
I am Pro-choice. Which by the way is not anti Pro Life. What I am is a realist. If my child(12-14) was raped by a stranger or someone she trusted…I would NOT force her to be pregnant for 9 months unless she CHOSE to go through with the pregnancy. How… Read more »
Hi Ruth – Thanks for your comments. 1. Your position is common though flawed. You are advocating that is ok to kill a human being if that human being reminds us of a tragic or painful event. If a mother conceived in rape, has the child, and now has a… Read more »
Instead of forcing birth to “save” innocent lives…why not focus on the young lives that do exist today, living in poverty, homeless, in an orphanage, etc. You seem to value all human lives so much, but what happens to the babies after they’re born? What about war refugees? What happens… Read more »
Anonymous – there are numerous excellent organizations and ministries that focus on the areas you mentioned. Our focus is on the millions of babies being slaughtered and their mothers. Our focus is right where it needs to be and we are making a profound difference. Just because there are some… Read more »