Guest Column

3 of the worst arguments in favor of abortion

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It is no surprise that many of the arguments offered in defense of abortion are bad. Not only bad because they are in support of, or at least indifferent to, murder, but bad because they ignore well-established facts, and are almost (across the board) inconsistent in what they argue. I can’t imagine any good reason for the murder of thousands of innocent babies, however, they are offered nonetheless….

Many believe that people are pro-life because their religion or political party tells them to be. While I am unashamedly a follower of Jesus, I don’t believe that you need to be a Christian to hold pro-life values. In fact, there are many pro-life atheists. For the record, however, I think that being a Christian and being indifferent to the death of children is entirely inconsistent and I implore anyone who holds these two competing beliefs to examine whether they truly believe that anyone should have the right to choose to abort their child.

Let’s get into it then. These are three of the worst pro-choice arguments I’ve ever heard.

1. If a woman doesn’t have the resources to raise a child, she should have the option to abort the child

Another way to phrase this one is to say, If a woman who is poor gets pregnant, it might be a good thing for her to have an abortion; otherwise, the baby might grow up in awful circumstances. We’ll call this the argument from poverty. There are a few reasons why everyone, pro-choice or not, should stop saying this. First, this statement implies that poor people have no value. It claims that a mother may have the right to an abortion because it would be better for the child to not be born than to live in poverty. If it’s better for a person to be dead than poor, then why should anyone have children if they’re “poor”? We wouldn’t argue that the life of any “poor” person is of any less value than those of us that aren’t impoverished, yet this is exactly what the argument from poverty implies. If you use poverty as a reason for an abortion, then you are assuming that the life of a child living in poverty isn’t as valuable as the life of a child living affluently. Nobody says this explicitly, but it is most certainly implied.

Imagine a woman is pregnant and decides to have the child. After she gives birth she takes the baby home only to find out that she’s lost her job and doesn’t have enough to continue to pay rent. Her outlook is bleak. She has no source of income and the father of her newborn died 4 months prior. Given the argument from poverty, she should have the option to kill her newborn.  Would anyone advise her to “terminate” her newborn? Would anyone say that it’s up to her to decide whether or not it’s merciful to end her baby’s life?… Would celebrities come out in favor of her decision to kill her child? Would we, as a nation, say that it’s none of our business?… Of course not, that would be insane! While there are some insane people that truly think this way, like Planned Parenthood officials, most are not. The vast majority of the population would call it murder. The only difference between this baby and the ones that are aborted is their geographical location. One is inside the womb; one is not.

We need to rid ourselves of this type of thought. It is dangerous.

That brings us to the next terrible argument for abortion.

2. It’s the woman’s body, so it’s her choice.

I wish I could say that people don’t still say this, however, it is the mantra of the pro-choice movement. Pro-choicers say this so often, it would appear that if anyone could show the statement to be patently false, the whole movement would cease to exist. Unfortunately, even if all abortion proponents admitted that this statement was false, I don’t think it would matter. Pessimism aside, we still need to show the absurdity of this claim. We’ll call this the argument from biology.

First, without even discussing abortion, we can dismiss this claim outright. Just because it’s “her body” doesn’t mean she can do what she wants with it. In public, she has to wear clothing, because it’s illegal to be nude in public. If arrested for public indecency, I’m guessing the “It’s my body I can do what I want with it,” defense won’t work. Similarly, if caught shooting up heroin, it’d be safe to assume the “It’s my body” defense won’t work in this case either. However, for the sake of the argument, let’s allow the principle to stand (even though it obviously doesn’t and should, therefore, end this conversation).

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Even if, as we are permitting for this discussion, it is true that a person can do whatever she’d like with her own body, that “truth” doesn’t apply to the abortion conversation. At no point, from conception to birth, is the baby the same thing as the woman’s body. Science tells us that from the moment the sperm fertilizes the egg, the embryo (child) contains ALL of its genetic information including gender. This means the child has her own DNA, separate and distinct from her mother’s body. She may be related to her mother, but she is not her mother. During some abortions, the baby’s limbs — not the mother’s — are ripped from her body; the baby’s skull — not the mother’s — is crushed; and the baby feels a completely separate and distinct set of pain from the mother. (The fact that the baby feels pain when killed should be obvious and enough to settle this debate, but here we are.)

Some might argue that the “fetus” inside the womb is not “viable,” but left alone, the woman’s baby in our hypothetical scenario would also die. If she didn’t feed the baby, the baby would die. Both the baby in the womb and the baby outside the womb and my 18-month-old daughter need the care of another human being to survive. While the viability argument attempts to show that the baby could not survive outside the womb at all, that has no bearing on whether or not the baby is human and that it has the right to life. It has no bearing on the fact that if the baby were able to stay safely inside her mother’s womb, she would later be born and get to experience life out here like the rest of us. Instead, some make this absurd viability argument and cut any chance these little babies ever have of experiencing life. It doesn’t hold. Especially considering the number of premature babies that could be aborted according to the “viability argument.”

When we say things like, “It’s her body, she should be able to do what she wants with it,” we imply that a woman deciding to have an abortion is akin to a woman deciding to get a tattoo, a haircut, or even plastic surgery. However, in all of the instances where a woman (any person) is definitely free to do what she wants with her body, none of them affect the life of another human being.

Given that on its face, the argument from biology doesn’t apply to abortion, and that the baby is not (according to biology) the mother’s body, but is in the mother’s body, we should reject this argument completely.

This leads me to the last pro-abortion argument that I’d like to argue against here.

3. You’re a man, so you don’t have the right to comment on women’s issues

This argument takes the cake for not only how nonsensical it is, but also for its inconsistency and hypocrisy. We’ll call this argument the argument from gender. The fact that I am a man should have no bearing on whether or not the facts I’ve presented are true. Plenty of men, including President Obama, and many male celebrities, support abortion and are lauded for it by pro-choice organizations. They are held up as heroes and are adored by the pro-abortion crowd. However, if you’re a man that disagrees with killing children, what you have to say doesn’t matter simply because you’re a man.

This is so inconsistent; it’s hard to believe that anyone argues this way. Not only that, it is entirely hypocritical. Pro-choicers welcome and celebrate men who agree with them and use their arguments to support the pro-choice agenda but discount a pro-life argument from a man simply because he is a man. As a man, I apparently have this underlying agenda in controlling what women do with their bodies. I can tell you; honestly, I could not care less what women do with their bodies…as long as they aren’t killing children.

If it were true that because I am a man my facts are invalidated with regards to abortion, then what about the large numbers of women who are pro-life; women like Lila Rose, who is the President of Live Action….

We have to look past trite and shallow sayings and look deeper. We are responsible for the genocide of our sons and daughters. As a nation, a free nation, we allow the deaths of over 950,000 babies every year…. We have the power to combat the atrocious act of abortion by not only giving money to pro-life causes; not only by voting for pro-life laws and legislation; but also by engaging in the conversation.

Editor’s Note: This blog was originally printed at Andy Rectenwald’s blog on August 21, 2016 and is reprinted here with permission. Some portions of the blog have received minor edits.

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