• Mike

The Case Against Abortion



The issue is this: Abortion is the unlawful taking of an innocent human life in the womb.


Let’s begin by clarifying the issue. The first thing we need to do is clear away everything that clouds and distorts the discussion. Let me state the pro-life position: abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being.


This distills the controversy into just one question: what is the unborn? Is the unborn a human being? If so – killing him or her – is wrong.


Here’s a syllogism to make the case against abortion:


Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings.

Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills innocent human beings.

Conclusion: Abortion is wrong.


That argument is both valid and sound because both premises are true and the conclusion necessarily follows.


Allow me to deal with 10 objections that often come against the pro-life position.


1. “It’s my body, my choice. A woman should have the right to choose.”


We must ask them this question – “Choose what?” They need to finish that sentence. It’s like saying, “I think a woman should be able to take…” Take what? Take a life? Is that what you mean? Choose what? Choose death for your child? Is that what you mean? What are you saying?


I believe women should be able to make all kinds of choices. A woman should be able to choose:

· her own healthcare provider

· her own school

· her own husband

· her own career


I’m Pro-choice! I’m pro-choice in all of those and a whole lot more.


Live in the city, live in the burbs, you choose.

Drive a car, drive a truck, you choose.

Get married, stay single, you choose.

Public School / Private School

Republican / Democrat

Walmart / Target

McDonalds / Burger King

Pepsi / Coke

Soup / Salad

You choose all of those.


I’m rigorously pro-choice in my belief that women should have the right to choose!


However, when it comes to taking the life of an innocent, distinct, living, whole human being in a woman’s womb – that is not part of her body – she doesn’t get to choose to end that life.

Contrary to popular opinion, you can’t do whatever you want with your body. I can’t do whatever I want with my body.


Back in college, I had a run-in with the law for public urination. I wasn’t hurting anybody. No one even saw me, not even the police officer. But he suspected that I did it, and he gave me a very strict warning. I didn’t say, “What do mean a warning? I can do whatever I want with my body?” No, I can’t.


You can’t use your body to shoot heroin or smoke crack. The government tells all of us (men and women) – you can’t do that! That is off-limits. We’re told all the time what we can and cannot do with our bodies.


A prostitute and the person who solicits the prostitute are both committing a crime. You say, “That’s not right! It’s a mutual agreement. They both want sex for pay. They can do that with their bodies if they so choose! No they can’t – it’s illegal.


The “It’s my body, my choice” objection falls flat on its face. It’s just not true.


You know what else isn’t true? When speaking about women’s rights, the pro-choice crowd often doesn’t include all women. They’re prejudice against a particular group of women. You know which group that is? The little women in the womb. What about them? What about their rights? People assume the unborn aren’t precious human beings.


They’re like Aunt Sally from Huckleberry Finn. Remember when Huck Finn makes up a story to explain to Aunt Sally his late arrival by boat? He says, “We blowed out a cylinder head.” Aunt Sally responds, “Good gracious! Anybody hurt?” “No ma’am.” Says Huck. “It just killed a n****r.” And Aunt Sally says, “Well, it’s lucky; cause sometimes people do get hurt.”


What just happened there? They both assumed a black person is not “one of us”. Is that not the argument when it comes to abortion? “They’re not one of us”, therefore, we can kill them.


President Obama on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, said: "Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that EVERY WOMAN should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health.”


EVERY WOMAN, Mr. President? Are you including the women in the womb?


He continues: “Because this is a country where EVERYONE deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.”


EVERYONE, Mr. President? Including the unborn?


Do they have the same opportunity to fulfill their dreams? When he says “everyone” he makes an assumption. “Everyone” in his mind doesn’t include the unborn. He doesn’t argue for it; he just assumes it. This is a logical fallacy called begging the question.


Our job as pro-life advocates is to expose that assumption and bring the focus of the debate back where it needs to be. What is the unborn?


2. “What about cases of rape and incest?”


Both rape and incest combined represent less than 1% of all abortions – nevertheless we need to respond with sensitivity. If we are dealing here with a real woman and not just a hypothetical situation, then we must love that woman. Someone who is a victim of rape or incest has been violated in one of the most personal ways possible. She’s been abused. These are horrific sins that have been committed against her.


Just like the woman who had no control over the act of rape or incest, that baby in the womb had no control over how he/she was conceived.


We must ask this question: “Why should the unborn child be killed because the father was a rapist?” Adding a murder onto a rape would only increase the level of injustice. Hardship does not justify homicide. We shouldn’t punish the child for the sins of the father.


I like what Scott Klusendorf says here. He says to the person who raises this objection: “I will grant you for the sake of discussion that we should keep abortion legal in cases of rape. Now will you join me in supporting criminalizing the vast majority of all other abortions that take place simply for the sake of convenience and comfort?”


If they respond “Yes” to this question, then you have won an ally in opposing 99% of all abortions. But if they answer “No” (which is more likely), then their argument smacks of being disingenuous. It seems they are just trying to win a point by resorting to emotional appeal on a very sensitive topic that represents a tiny fraction of the whole.


3. “What about cases where the mother’s life is at risk?”


Again, these are extremely rare, but do happen. Some will confuse the necessary treatment for an ectopic pregnancy with an abortion. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the preborn child implants in the mother’s fallopian tubes or somewhere else outside of the uterus. When a preborn child implants outside the uterus, it is a hostile environment for the baby in which it cannot survive. Sadly, removing the baby from the fallopian tube or abdominal cavity is necessary, as an ectopic pregnancy will inevitably end in a miscarriage and may threaten the mother’s life. These situations are devastating, however, they are not considered abortions. There is no medical reason why the life of the child must be directly and intentionally ended with an abortion procedure.


In other words, the consistent pro-life response would be that we are permitted to take action necessary to save the life of the mother or the child, even if that results (tragically) in the death of the other. When such action is taken, the death is an unavoidable yet unintended consequence of the life-saving action for the mother or the child. This situation, however, provides no justification whatsoever for abortion on demand.


These babies deserve to be treated with respect and compassion, and parents should be given the opportunity to honor their child's life.


4. "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I don't want to impose my view on others."


This is one of the favorite positions for politicians. I think many of them think this approach will allow them to straddle the fence and garner voting support from both sides of the isle. Upon careful inspection though, I think this is a cop-out position, frankly.


Again, let’s take the tactical approach – head nod to Greg Koukl. Ask the person, "Why do you personally oppose abortion?" Invariably they will reply, "I oppose it because I think abortion kills a human baby, but that's my own personal view." At that point, repeat their words back to them, but take the spin off it: "Let me see if I understand you. You actually believe abortion kills a human child, but you think women should be allowed to kill their children if they want to."


People who make this argument treat this issue as one of mere preference. Indicating that abortion is all about likes and dislikes. Morality is about what’s right and wrong, not what we prefer. Try this: “Don’t like murder? Don’t kill anyone.” Anyone who would say that does not understand the nature of moral reasoning. Nevertheless, many people want it both ways. They condemn abortion with words but want it to be legally available. They say things like, “I personally oppose abortion, but don’t want to impose my beliefs on others who disagree.”

The obvious question is, “Why do you personally oppose abortion? If abortion does not intentionally kill an innocent human being, why be opposed at all?”


5. “How about the hypothetical situation regarding the burning fertility clinic?”


Here’s the scenario: You’re in a burning fertility clinic. Why isn’t important. The fire alarm goes off. You run for the exit. As you run down the 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, and 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?


This argument is a favorite "gotcha" from the pro-choice side. Most people would probably say that they would save the baby. It's then that the charge, "See, you don't really believe that the embryo is really a child. Your actions have betrayed your position."


Right off the bat, the scenario is flawed. The abortion controversy is about who we are intentionally killing, not who we may or may not save. Put simply, how does it follow that because you save one human over others, the ones left behind are not fully human and we may kill them?


Let’s review the pro-life syllogism:

Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings.

Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills innocent human beings.

Conclusion: Abortion is wrong.


Suppose pro-lifers save the five-year-old instead of the embryos. How does this analogy refute the pro-life syllogism? It doesn’t. At best, it shows pro-lifers inconsistently apply their ethic, not that they are mistaken about the science of embryology or the immorality of intentionally killing an innocent human being.


Additionally, we must not neglect to take into account human intuitions. Our life experience plays a role in our split-second decision making process. We have experience holding a baby in our arms, or in this case a five-year-old. That experience will affect how we make decisions under extreme duress. More to the point, the assumption is being made that we are obligated to save the largest number of lives. That's not an ethical mandate. Given a choice between saving my son and a building full of other people, I think I would save my own kid! Would that prove that the others in the building were not human beings? Not at all.


Again, how does choosing to save one human being over another human being (or even 1,000 human beings) prove that the ones left behind aren't human?


6. “Abortion is legal.”


The fact that something is legal does not make it moral. Slavery was morally wrong even when it was legal.


7. “If abortion was illegal, women will be forced to get dangerous illegal ones.”


True, laws can’t stop all illegal behavior, but they stop a large portion of it. Laws against rape don’t stop all rape, but we still legislate to protect women.


8. “Abortion is a women’s issue. Men have no right to speak about it.”


First, this is the classic ad-hominem fallacy. It doesn’t attack the argument, instead the attack is against the person making the argument. Arguments don’t have genders. If the pro-life argument is sound, it’s sound regardless of who makes it. In short, gender is absolutely irrelevant as to whether or not the pro-life position is correct. Second, if men cannot speak on abortion then it would seem to follow that we should overturn Roe v. Wade since this court case was decided by nine male Supreme Court justices. As one author stated, in addition, if we are going to be consistent, all male lawyers who work for Planned Parenthood or the ACLU on abortion-related issues should be fired.


9. “You’re just pushing a religious agenda.”


Pro-life arguments are sometimes dismissed as “religious,” as if the pro-life advocate is trying to impose his religious beliefs on a secularized society. However, the “religion” objection is a dodge, not a refutation. As Francis Beckwith points out, arguments are either true or false, valid or invalid. Calling an argument “religious” is a category mistake like asking, “How tall is the number three?”


Pro-lifers argue that 1) it’s wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings, 2) abortion does that, therefore, 3) abortion is wrong. If critics can refute that argument with evidence, go for it. But you can't just dismiss it with a label.


Additionally, the existence of several atheistic pro-life groups demonstrate just how misguided this objection is.


10. “You shouldn’t legislate morality.”


Don’t the governing bodies above us legislate against things like murder, rape, and theft? Perhaps not every immoral action should be illegal, but shouldn’t any intentional killing of an innocent human being be prohibited by law? I would hope so.


For more visit: https://prolifetraining.com/

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