Responses to 6 Common Pro-Choice Arguments – Part 2

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

In part 2, we pick up at argument 3. Again, our guide through these responses to common pro-abortion arguments will be Mike Adams, who authored Letters to a Young Progressive. Adams addresses the abortion issue in Letter 8 of his book.

Argument 3: “It is wrong to force a woman to bring an unwanted baby into the world.”

Put simply, there is no such thing as an “unwanted baby.” If a baby is unwanted by its mother, there is always, and I mean always, someone else who would want to adopt the baby. It is very difficult to adopt a baby in this country because so many children are unnecessarily aborted.

But there is something even more sick and twisted about the “unwanted baby” excuse—it insinuates that abortion prevents child abuse. But abortion is child abuse—the most severe kind, where the baby ends up dead. Please review argument #1 before reading further.

The very idea that we would murder children to prevent child abuse, which usually takes the form of simple battery, elevates intellectual laziness to an art. It is the intellectual equivalent of promoting arson in order to prevent burglary. It is true that burglary rates will decrease when we have burned down everyone’s houses, but by now you get the point.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that abortion has not been an effective means of stopping child abuse (even if we exclude abortion from the definition of child abuse). In 1973, there were 167,000 reported instances of child abuse. By 1982, reported instances of child abuse had risen to 929,000. That is an increase of over 500 percent in less than a decade.

Argument 4: “It is wrong for a woman to be forced to bring a handicapped baby into the world.”

It is frequently suggested that abortion is morally permissible when doctors discover, prior to birth, that a baby suffers from certain physical handicaps such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.

My response usually goes something like this: “I agree that there are far too many handicapped people in the world. Every summer I take busloads of people who are wheelchair-bound on a trip to the Grand Canyon. We enjoy the view for a few minutes before I roll them off the edge of the Canyon. They are usually dead long before they hit the bottom. That is a good thing for them and for society as a whole. It is better to be dead than to be handicapped. Whether they realize it or not, their lives are not worth living.”

This scenario provokes a strong reaction—as it should. Something about it makes advocates of aborting the handicapped look grossly insensitive. This is usually when they argue that they are not killing a handicapped person but rather preventing a handicapped person from ever being born. Please review argument #1. The last time I spoke on this topic at Summit Ministries, a handsome, intelligent, and athletic 6’2” African American student approached me and told me, “I was misdiagnosed with cerebral palsy before I was born. The doctors were wrong. I am so glad my mother had me. Thank you for your speech.”

In part 3, we will finish up with responses to the last 2 arguments offered by abortion proponents.

  • Pingback: Responses to 6 Common Pro-Choice Arguments – Part 1 | Tough Questions Answered()

  • sean

    Bill, I think there are a few key differences that exist between already alive people and not yet people fetuses that make these situations very different. As a secular people, we do not believe personhood is decided by what dna you have, nor the status of your supposed soul. It is determined by the mind. A person without a mind isn’t a person at all. When you are brain dead, you cease to be a person. The idea that beating a person without a brain is an abuse on that person is absurd. What person? There is no person there. Dead people have not person-hood, and no rights. The blastocysts do not have person-hood. They are a cluster of unthinking and unfeeling cells. You cannot commit child abuse against them any more than you can commit child abuse on a thimble of viruses. This also dispenses with the analogy given of shoving already alive and cognitively functioning people off a cliff. That’s simply not the same at bottom.

    Your arguments against the idea of a person being born are, I think, highly analogous to the following argument I will construct.

    If I had a society where we all had as much sex as possible, that would allow for the maximum chance to make children. Thus, anything less than that is preventing children from becoming born. You Bill, are pushing people off the grand canyon, errors in the twenty-first chromosome and not alike. You’re just a horrible person for ending these potential lives. How could you not just stay at home and have sex as much as possible? It’s vial!

    All of these arguments are entirely contingent on a preconceived notion that unborn children are exactly the same as developed people, which I, and doctors and scientists around the world, see absolutely no evidence for. You seem to think secular people believe there’s some magic once it leaves the womb it’s not killable but any time before that is fair game! That’s simply wrong. We recognize that a lump of 100 cells is not a person, and that, at a certain point in pregnancy it is a person, but no one is arguing abortions should be had right up until labor starts. We are talking about a woman’s right to remove fewer cells from her body than there are in a tumor of any detectable size. Both have no real thinking ability, and are using the resources of the woman’s body. She has the rght to be rid of them both.

    Finally, I’d like to say that this person is not looking to present a case based solely on the evidence, which is disheartening. There are so many false analogies made for emotional appeals it saddens me, especially when he described that man as intelligent. On what grounds did he make such a determination? From what’s written about 25 words were said. If he thinks that is enough information to determine how smart a person is, I don’t even know what to say. That’s just so wrong. I think he probably doesn’t think that. He’s most probably just of the coincided viewpoint that people who speak ‘proper English’ and agree with his view must be really smart! I would ironically and facetiously submit that any person who has that belief is not possibly intelligent.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Well Sean, the intelligence or otherwise of the student is kind of irrelevant, isn’t it? The point is that he didn’t have cerebral palsy! And for all you know the two men could have had a long chat – enough for the author to determine the student was very smart. But again, it’s irrelevant either way.

    My view on part 2 is that the pro-choice arguments he deals with are unreasonable if you think life begins at conception and reasonable if you don’t. I guess this is a problem with the arguments themselves, not with Mike Adams.

    That’s why I think pro-choice advocates need to put forward arguments that don’t deny personhood if they want to convince fundamentalist Christians who believe in life from conception. Any other argument will just sound like a defence of murder.

  • sean

    That is a fair point. I do, as you do, believe we have both at our disposal. I see your point, and I’ll from now on switch over to offering arguments more based on the idea that a person’s body in our world is theirs.

  • That is exactly right, Andrew. As Adams keeps pointing out, if the embryo is human at conception, then every other defense of abortion is simply a defense of killing an innocent human being. That is why the question of what the embryo/fetus is remains the central question in this debate.