Responses to 6 Common Pro-Choice Arguments – Part 1

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

The central question in the abortion debate is the following: “What is the unborn?” If the unborn are human, then every pro-choice argument collapses. It’s that simple. To see how this works, we are going to look at 6 common pro-choice arguments and see how to respond to them.

Our guide will be Mike Adams, who wrote a book called Letters to a Young Progressive. Adams addresses the abortion issue in Letter 8 of his book. Let’s see what he has to say.

Argument 1: “It’s my body, my choice.”

This argument is extremely easy to dismantle because the unborn baby has its own distinct genetic code, which is generating growth from conception. Not only is there unique DNA, but also in 100 percent of abortions the baby already has a detectable heartbeat. Doctors will not even perform abortions until six or seven weeks into the pregnancy—in order to protect the health of the mother. The doctor wants to be able to account for and remove all of the baby’s body parts because if some small portion of the baby remains in the mother’s body, it could cause a deadly infection. The irony is lost on most of these so-called health-care professionals.

So the woman who says “my body, my choice” is in the absurd position of arguing that she has two noses, four legs, two brains, and two skeletal systems. This kind of absurdity requires no further elaboration. It is nothing more than feminist foot-stomping to assert the “my body, my choice” argument, a kind of “mine, mine” argument that is unbecoming from anyone over the age of two.

Argument 2: “Back-alley abortions will increase if abortion is illegal.”

This argument, like the first, simply assumes that the unborn are not persons. If they were persons, then the abortion choice advocate would be in the awkward position of arguing that someone has a right to commit murder in a safe and sterile environment. This hardly survives the straight-face test.

But if for some reason your opponent can’t see its absurdity, tell him the following: “I’m planning to rob the Wells Fargo Bank across the street but there is ice all over the sidewalk. I’m afraid I might slip and fall during my escape. Could you call them and tell them to salt the sidewalk before I commit the robbery? And hurry up. I need the cash!”

Proponents of this argument often quote appalling statistics—that when abortion was illegal 10,000 women per year died using coat-hangers on themselves in back alleys. But those numbers are both false and irrelevant. Within a few years after abortion was made a constitutional right, the number of abortions skyrocketed. Over a million more babies were being killed per year within just a few years after Roe v. Wade. The fact that they were killed in a sterile, well-lit environment did not make them any less dead.

In the next post, we will look at responses to arguments 3 and 4  offered by abortion proponents.

23 thoughts on “Responses to 6 Common Pro-Choice Arguments – Part 1”

  1. “This argument is extremely easy to dismantle because the unborn baby has its own distinct genetic code”

    Why does this dismantle the notion that it’s the woman’s body and the woman’s choice? One can concede personhood to the foetus and still make this claim. If another person needed a life-saving operation that required you to give one of your own organs, no-one can legally compel you to donate, regardless of the fact that the other person has a distinct genetic code. It would be your body and your choice. If everyone in the country gave blood, or filled in organ-donation cards, it would save lives too, but we don’t compel people to do either.

  2. Bill, I don’t think you are understanding what women are saying when they argue it’s their body. They are not trying to say the baby is a part of their body. The are saying that in this country, it is our decision whether or not others use our body, even when they are people. As Andrew pointed out, we don’t force people to donate parts of their body to save lives. And so it should be, they argue in the case of a woman who is carrying a child. I think, based on what you have stated with the first argument, you don’t properly understand what idea they are communicating. I hope my explanation helped clarify this miscommunication.

  3. The point is that the fetus is not part of a woman’s body at all. There is an entirely separate human being that is growing inside of the woman, but it is not in any scientific sense part of her body.

    What I think is so tragic is that “enlightened” skeptics and atheists care so little for the weakest human beings.

    Let’s get real. Abortion rights are all about the desire for human adults to have sex without consequences. Period. End of story. Any other arguments for abortion are pure rationalization.

  4. Yes. What you need to understand, yet I think do not, is that everyone on both sides understands this. It is a separate person that is using this woman’s body. It’s not a part of the woman. But the womb is part of the woman, just as a kidney is and the womb does belong to the woman 100%. Everyone understands the point that you’re trying to make by saying the fetus isn’t part of the woman’s body. This just isn’t where the disagreement is.The child is separate, human status aside. But even granting the human label, the womb is a part of the woman’s body. That’s where that argument comes from and that’s what it’s saying.

    It’s not that we don’t care. That’s like saying Bill, because you have both your kidneys and some little kid has kidney disease you just don’t care at all about that kid. The truth is, I’m sure, you are very much and you feel sorry for that child who is on dialysis at the age of two. But your kidneys are your body, and if you’re in the waiting room, the doctor isn’t allowed to steal one for some child. End of story.

    I’d love to get real Bill, because I think you’re way wrong on this subject. Abortions have nothing to do with “avoiding consequences” is what’s real. Contraceptives are what that’s for; condoms, birth control, emergency contraception. In addition to stopping babies, some of them stop STIs, which to you may still be another way to “avoid consequences.”

    But then, the same argument could be made for anything. You only wash your hands to avoid the consequence of touching potentially diseased things throughout the day. That’s got nothing to do with whether or not it’s moral.

    Other arguments are rationalization? All of them!? I find that hard to believe. You’re not for exceptions in the case of rape, or where the life of the mother is in danger? Or when the fetus isn’t viable anyways? Those are just rationalizations to you? I’m very sorry to hear that Bill.

  5. But the argument doesn’t deny personhood to the fetus, as I pointed out above, and it doesn’t claim the fetus isn’t a separate human being.

  6. I don’t see how accusations of the other side ‘just rationalising’ is helpful – the ‘pro choice’ side can say the other is just trying to control women’s bodies, period, end of. At any rate, having an abortion is not ‘no consequences’, it’s not some ‘easy option’.

  7. Sean,
    The woman’s actions caused the baby to be conceived inside her!!!! All of your analogies about kidneys and donating organs to save another person completely miss the point.

    And the organ donation analogy fails on another point. The woman who aborts is not simply not donating an organ. She is hiring a doctor to kill the baby inside of her. That is completely and utterly different, morally, than not donating a kidney.

    The great vast majority of abortions occur because the woman is using it for birth control. That is just a fact. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Cases of rape or saving the mother’s life are rare and account for well less than 10% of abortions.

    So here is your position stated bluntly and honestly: “If a woman who knows that babies are conceived when she has sex, has sex with a man, and a baby is conceived, she has every right to have that baby killed.”

    So the woman’s right to sex without consequences trumps the right of the baby to live. That is your position.

  8. Bill, you said “ANY other arguments for abortion are pure rationalization” (my emphasis added), which presumably includes babies conceived from rape. Now you say “the woman’s right to sex without consequences trumps the right of the baby to live”.

    What part of a woman getting raped involves her ‘right to sex’?

    You also say: “The woman’s actions caused the baby to be conceived inside her!”

    What part of a rape is down to ‘the woman’s actions’?

  9. My position is that, at least initally, the ‘baby’ isn’t a person. It has no rights. And while the analogies you pointed out may be wrong, I’ll note your general argument was no consequences. For that, I think the washing your hands analogy stands up quite well. You wash your hands to avoid consequences. You cannot argue that any action you take to mitigate consequences of a previous action is inherently wrong. Tell that to people undergoing chemo who take meds to make the pain tolerable. They need to accept the consequence that they chose to undergo chemo, and not accept any drugs to mitigate side affects of the chemo. That would just be wrong. I understand that here you may not be with me because of the fact that this circumstance unlike hand wasing, involves killing a person.

    We are of different perspectives on whether or not this is a human being killed. This is something where we have a huge difference. But I do not see that you have any secular arguments to suggest that these aborted cells are people.

    Do you agree that if a what a woman had inside of her were a tumor, we wouldn’t be having this conversation? Or bacterium that are not “her body”? I think you’d agree that you’d not be arguing for their rights. Where you differ from the secular at base is this idea of persons that all the arguments you’ve presented so far, at least how I’m reading them, presume at bottom. No secular individual will concede that point Bill, not without a secular argument that is both valid and sound. If you think you have a good one feel free to point me in that direction.

  10. Obviously a woman who is raped is in a different situation than a woman who chooses to have sex. My point is that cases of abortion because of rape are a tiny minority of all cases (less than 1% according to research i’ve seen). Therefore, the rape situation is definitely not the primary or even secondary argument behind abortion.

    I still believe that in cases of rape, it would be best if the mother carried the baby to term, but that argument is coming in another blog post.

  11. The human embryo, scientifically speaking, is fully human at conception. I don’t know how I could provide a more secular argument than that.

    You are inventing this new category called “person” in order to escape the force of the science, which is not in dispute. When, exactly, does the human embryo become a “person”? And please also make an argument for why anyone should accept this unscientific criteria.

    What really makes me scratch my head is that you claim to let empirical science guide you and your worldview, but the science is crystal clear on this issue. What I expect to see from you is a philosophical argument about human anthropology to support your “personhood” position. This should be interesting.

  12. Andrew made an excellent point that I know you saw earlier, and while I agree on the one had it is good to discuss whether or not the fetus is a person and if so when, I don’t think we have to go there to resolve this disagreement. There is an argument that requires much less shifting of fundamental belief. The thing is, even if you agreed that there were no secular reason, you still as a Christian believe the fetus is a person, and thus we’ve gotten nowhere with this discussion.

    To that, while I do still hold the position that conception is not when it becomes a person, I think a more productive line try first would be to further clarify where you see difficulties with the ‘it’s her body’ argument. I think, correct me if I am wrong, but you see not donating an organ as a passive thing, and is thus, while not morally unassailable or perfect, an action that is permissible. You see the abortion under a different light specifically because rather than being a not doing something to save someone, it is a doing something to kill someone. Is that correct?

  13. No, I think Bill sees the difference that the woman had sex and is therefore responsible for the fetus in a way she’s not responsible for the person who needs the organs.

  14. First, the woman is responsible for the fetus because she had sex which she knew could cause the fetus to come into existence inside her body.

    Second, organ donation is generally seen as supererogatory, meaning it is an action that is morally good, although not (strictly) required. Killing an innocent human being without proper justification is universally regarded as immoral. Therefore, the two simply cannot be compared.

    In order to compare the two, you would have to argue that not killing an innocent human being is morally good, but not strictly required. That argument, it seems to me, is a non-starter. Nobody would go along with it.

  15. I agree. I had the same realization myself. I think this argument is necessarily (save the very occasional exception, when other circumstances take precedence) between whether or not the growing child is to be considered a person.

  16. Where is the argument here? A woman should have a baby if she had/has sex? Can we hand it off to the father if we do not want it or if we do not have the capacity (Financial or otherwise) to raise a (handicapped) child. Can we argue for universal healthcare and a higher minimum wage then? We let people make choices and carry the consequences. Abortion has consequence to a woman in whatever way it was concieved. She will not forget that moment in her life. Men in my opinion should have no right to talk about having or not having babies. Their understanding is limited In this area, just like we as women can never understand the sexual drive of a man and his relationship to his penis. I am confident that God will judge each person as they present themselves. Do we have the right to judge? Moses came off the mountain angry but God judged and opened the ground. We as people choose how to live our lifes. Lot lived in Sodom but left when God judged the citizen of the town. Adam and Eve had a choice. Let us have a choice and not make it a criminal act on top of it that will lead to more bad choices. I rather answer to my Maker then to a man that does not understand my circumstances. I do believe however that we should educate about abortion and provide contraception to does that will and want to have sex regardless what age they are. Just like we reduced smokers in the US we can reduce abortion. That is where the fight should be. Not if or if not we as women can have a choice.

  17. Hi Bill. She already stated clearly that that is NOT her position. She said: “Abortion has consequence to a woman”, therefore she doesn’t accept that this is about ‘sex without consequences’.

    ETA: By the way, this photo of me is about 14 years old and fairly obnoxious, but no matter how many times I change my Facebook pic, whenever I ‘log in’ to toughquestionsanswered with my Facebook account, it still uses this ancient pic. For the record, I’m 38 and bald now.

  18. Thank you Ryan, that is correct. I am for choice and to own your consequences. However, I want to add that we always forget it takes 2 to make a baby. Since men can not get pregnant and we are the vessel for the process of pregnency we should have the right of choice. Yes, and the consequences of whatever action we take. Education is the key, and having options available like healthcare, and financial, help for single parents, and compassion for women and not ostracizing and persecution by law.

  19. How can you possibly compare the consequence of dying with the consequence of going through an outpatient medical procedure?

    Really, do you believe that the baby dying is in any way comparable to the inconvenience or regret that many women might feel after an abortion?

    The reason most women feel deep regret after an abortion is because they know it was wrong! Normal people feel badly after they’ve done something wrong, so this is not surprising.

    With regard to women being the vessel for pregnancy, so what? Men die, on average, a lot younger than women. So should men have some special rights that women don’t have because of this?

    Is it fair to the baby who is aborted that a woman had sex with a man and then decided they didn’t like the natural results of that sex? Why aren’t you more concerned about the innocent child?

    Why do you think that adults should have the legal right to have sex and not have to worry about having a baby, when this is what normally occurs after having sex?

    I’m glad my mother didn’t think the way you do, and you should should be glad your mother didn’t think that way either, or you might not be here right now.

  20. Bill your argument from avoiding natural consequences applies equally to STIs. If one wants to use protection in order to avoid contracting some disease, I think they should have that ability. Obviously the situations differ in that you only reject to one of these as immoral, but the morality of the issue has nothing to do with your argument about avoiding the consequences is somehow the morally wrong action to take, something that seems silly to me.

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