How not to argue for abortion

One thing that has become clear in the debate about abortion in Northern Ireland (and everywhere else) is that, in lieu of a single convincing argument, abortion proponents like to carpet-bomb the conversation with multiple terrible arguments in the hope that quantity will make up for quality. This is because abortion-choicers have already decided that pro-lifers are ignorant women-hating rubes who wish to impose their religious views on everyone else, so why even try and come up with a convincing argument?

Exhibit A: This Belfast Telegraph Facebook thread on Liam Neeson’s abortion-choice advocacy. There are too many awful abortion-choice arguments here, so I’ll respond to the best of the worst.

don't like abortion, don't have one

The common “don’t like abortion, don’t have one” argument confuses objective claims with subjective claims. When a pro-lifer says abortion is wrong, they’re making an objective claim that abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenceless human being. In other words, abortion is objectively wrong for everyone, regardless of whether one likes it or not. It misses the point entirely, like saying, “Don’t like wife beating? Don’t beat your wife!”

Subjective claims cannot be deemed right or wrong as they are matters of personal taste. You cannot reasonably argue that cheese and onion crisps are objectively better than ready salted crisps. But objective claims are different. They can be evaluated as true or false based on the evidence. “Every successful abortion intentionally ends an innocent human life” is an objective claim based on evidence. If you think it’s wrong, prove it with science and facts. Anything else is intellectual laziness.

“Shut up, you silly man!” is basically what this comment is saying. Instead of defending the abortion-choice view with facts and reason, this person is trying to censor the pro-lifer by attacking their gender (but, oddly enough, not Liam Neeson’s gender). But: arguments have no gender.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a “woman’s perspective” on abortion that trumps all rational inquiries into the issue. Feminists – let alone women in general – have no single view on abortion. The ability to bear children is irrelevant. And who says men can’t physically bear children? This is 2016!  Oh, the transphobia!

bad abortion arguments

Two terrible arguments for the price of one here. Scientifically, we know “Embryos, zygotes and foetuses” are distinct, living, and whole human beings. It doesn’t matter what names we give them. Sure, they differ in appearance but not in nature. This is such an obvious truth that not even abortion providers deny it. Faye Wattleton, a former President of Planned Parenthood, said: “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing”.

Philosophically, there are only four differences between the embryo you once were and the individual you are today: size, the level of development, environment, and degree of dependence. None of these are value-giving properties. Humanness determines human value. And the unborn are human beings.

The second bad argument here is the absurd idea that in order to be against abortion, you must first care about already-born children. This is like some sort of ultimatum a movie villain might make: “If you care about the hostages, you’ll give me the gold bullion”. Or, “If you care about animal rights, why aren’t you adopting all the turkeys this Christmas?”

Maybe pro-lifers do care about already-born children, maybe they don’t (they do). But I don’t see how an alleged unwillingness to care for a child justifies the deliberate killing of one.

bad abortion arguments

The idea that personhood begins at birth (or that a “person” and a “human” are separate things) is not an argument, but an arbitrary and unqualified assertion. When pushed, the pro-choicer will probably respond by defining “person” as a self-conscious, thinking, and intelligent being. It is these qualities, say pro-choicers, that give human beings the status of “person” and therefore the right to life.

There are a couple of serious problems with this, though.

First, why is a capacity for thought, self-awareness, and intelligence value-giving in the first place? And why a particular degree of development? Why not full development? Is an adult human with an IQ of less than 40 a non-person? If not, why not? Says who? These are questions that abortion advocates never adequately address.

Second, and rather scarily, all of these qualities don’t happen until after birth, meaning newborns are also disqualified. After all, infants are not self-aware and cannot make conscious decisions until (at least) a few months after birth, so what’s wrong with infanticide? Same goes for comatose patients, dementia sufferers, and the sleeping.

It is true that “Being against abortions will not stop them,” and, “Having abortions illegal will not stop them”. So what? By that logic, should we legalise murder, domestic violence, and burglary? After all, being against those things and making them illegal doesn’t stop them. Nonsense. The core question is the status of the unborn: Are they human beings? If so, we should legally protect them like any other vulnerable group.

“I will hunt you down, I will find you, I will kill you” – said the abortionist to the unborn child.

In sharp contrast to the lazy and ill-thought out pro-choice arguments above, the pro-life position is robust. It stands up to scrutiny. Pro-lifers contend, based on philosophy and scientific facts, that no human being, regardless of how developed they are or where they’re located, should be excluded from the community of human persons. It is an inclusive view open to all, especially the weak and powerless. Pro-life means equality, in the truest sense of the word.

18 thoughts on “How not to argue for abortion

  1. cookiejezz

    Good article, B!

    The argument involving adoption and care used here essentially boils down to “Adopt this child or I’ll kill it!” Very civilised… But if this is invoked as a defence of abortion, it has to fail on a few grounds.

    Firstly that the supposed intransigence of others (and it really is merely supposed) justifies child murder. Secondly, if adoption should be offered, should it not be incumbent upon the mother to seek abortion rather than killing her child? Is any of these women really prepared to go through pregnancy?

    At the end of the day, society is satisfying itself with these specious arguments because we don’t want to face up to the real issues: that many of us are conceiving children (or doing the act that is quite likely to result in conception) with partners with whom we have no intention of spending a lifetime and forming a family, and in some cases won’t ever see again after one night.

    Why wasting one’s time on casual/temporary sexual partners and then taking the results to the abortion clinic for serious surgery is supposed to be a good idea, I cannot say. I get the idea of the temptation, but are we really so lacking in self-evaluation?

    We are truly a sinful people, in need of God’s grace and to grow into loving both each other and our children.

    Reply
    1. The Bigot Post author

      I must be doing something right if you’ve taken the time to make up an email address and leave a comment.

      Reply
  2. Pat McKay

    More power to your keyboard, sir. I love your take on ‘making it legal’. Pro-aborts may as well argue that drink-driving, for example, should not be illegal in deference to those who persist in doing it. There will always be those who defy the law of the land, but this is no excuse for making a bad thing legal.

    Happy Christmas!

    Reply
  3. Claire

    No bigotry on a page called the bigot lol. The thing is pro-choicers are not calling for everyone to live by our rules whether or not it’s right for them. That’s what choice is about – we don’t live in the 50s anymore

    Reply
    1. The Bigot Post author

      Hi Claire, thanks for your comment. Pro-lifers have no problem with choice. I believe a woman should be able to choose her own partner, job, who to vote for, education, etc. She can choose to cut all her fingers off and paint herself blue for all I care. I just don’t think she should be able to intentionally kill another human being. Nobody has the right to a corpse.

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  4. Pat McKay

    So much rubbish gets talked about ‘choice’ by the likes of you, Claire. Did anyone ever get pregnant from washing their car? Choosing to engage in intimacy should mean being prepared to accept the consequences. Why should an innocent little baby be denied the basic right to life, just because his (or her) parents won’t accept responsibility for their own conduct? That old ‘failed contraception’ excuse is NO excuse, it certainly isn’t the child’s fault. It’s really that simple.

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  5. Claire

    Well Author,
    I think if we live in a democracy everyones views should be considered. You wouldn’t mind a corpse as long as it’s a woman’s corpse like Savita or anybody else who dies of complications. That’s the inconvenient truth

    Reply
    1. The Bigot Post author

      Not inconvenient at all. A medical intervention to save the life of a woman is not the same as an elective abortion, even though the outcome might be the same. There is no point doing nothing and having two lives die. But it’s interesting how abortion-choice advocates always appeal to the difficult and rare cases (and inconclusive cases like Savita’s) to disguise their true position – abortion on demand. They should be honest and say what they really want.

      Reply
  6. Pat McKay

    I’m just waiting for the inevitable…’what about rape? – how could we be so callous as to deny an abortion to a rape victim?’

    Let me say first of all that rape is a despicable and reprehensible crime, which can never be condoned by anyone with an ounce of sanity. However, anybody who cares to research abortion statisics will find (for anywhere in the world) that those carried out on the grounds of ‘rape’ number less than 0.5%. Case studies have also shown that rape victims coped far better with the trauma when they carried the child to birth, compared to those who had a second assault (i.e. an abortion) inflicted upon their bodies.

    In every nation where ‘just a little’ abortion has been permitted ‘on limited grounds’ it has led to it being provided on demand – for any reason and none. It is often said that ‘hard cases make bad laws’ – and the 1967 Abortion Act is a classic example.

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  7. Wendy Walker

    It is very sad when you read of rabid pro deathers being called pro choice they are anything but !…They use trendy and misleading euphemisms to hide their hatred of small ,living,Human beings and their wish to obliterate these little innocents .
    Their hatred knows no boundaries to anyone who speaks up for the precious preborns….the lies are absolutely appalling and their arguments so futile and vile .
    Thanks to the brave people who go outside abortion mills to offer last minute hope and to show the true negative meaning of what abortion is and does more and more people are realising the heinous nature of what abortion does to this baby and its Mum
    Oh brave New World so callous and cold ……take a step back and think of the millions of babies aborted in the Uk and what talents they could have bought to this life instead like a candle those lives were snuffed out before they had a chance to shine ..tragic
    Lets hope Pro Life is very prolific in 2017

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  8. Pat McKay

    Here’s another old chestnut regularly trotted out by ‘feminist’ pro-abort harridans….’a man cannot get pregnant, therefore a man is not entitled to an opinion on abortion’…..

    Ok, let’s tackle this. Sorry, but we are all born of man and born of woman and so it is everybody’s business. The pro-abort lobby often accuse pro-lifers of ‘prejudice’, yet they themselves want to exclude half the population from the debate! As our friends in the U.S. would say – go figure.

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  9. Peter O'Kelly

    Like all liberals issues, the libtards make such a loud noise to give the impression that they are a majority but as the US election has shown they are a small minority. So whether it be gay marriage or transgenderism, why should the rest of us be forced to accept what they demand? A subjective but relevant argument is If these people find the idea of giving birth so repugnant, nobody’s forcing them to do it, there are may ways to avoid it.

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  10. Pat McKay

    According to the media spin-meisters, ….‘how lovely it is to see QEII now well enough to attend church at Sandringham this morning’… (Sunday 8th Jan). However, I wouldn’t like to change places with her when she finds herself in the dock before the Court of Heaven (as one day she surely will).

    For anyone who is unaware, the reigning monarch is head of the Church of England, this is how it’s been ever since Henry VIII founded it back in 1537 when he broke away from Rome. Now, on her Coronation Day in 1953, QEII vowed that she would….’uphold the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel’…. One of the laws of God (at least, the God WE worship) is …’Thou Shalt Not Kill’… (Yes/no?).

    Another point of information here in case it’s needed – an Act of Parliament has to be ‘rubber-stamped’ (i.e. given ‘Royal Assent’) by the reigning monarch in order to reach the Statute Book. But despite her Coronation vows, QEII had no hesitation in granting Royal Assent to the 1967 Abortion Act, thereby passing a death sentence on 8.7 million of her unborn ‘loyal subjects’ to date.

    I am reminded here of Luke 6:26 …’Alas for you when the world speaks highly of you’….

    Reply

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