After Georgia passed a wonderful new law outlawing abortion after six weeks, the Left went into an expected meltdown. A guest on CNN was so delirious from anger that she shouted, “When a woman gets pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her. It is part of her body, and this is about a woman having full agency and control of her body and making decisions about her body and what is part of her body with medical professionals.”
This is, of course, an extravagantly stupid argument. We know that an unborn human is a human because it has human DNA and it was created when two humans engaged in the reproductive act. Two humans can only create more humans. No humans have ever had sex and ended up with a watermelon or a spotted owl. Humans beget humans.
As for the baby being “part of the mother’s body,” this, again, is idiocy on steroids. My left arm is part of my body. I know it is part of my body because it is not its own body. My arm doesn’t have arms. It doesn’t have legs, either, or a brain, or a bladder. It is attached to other parts of my body that contain those elements. My left arm will always be my left arm. You could chop it off (please don’t) and leave me armless and the severed arm will just decay. It will not become its own thing. My left arm will never be a big toe, or a tortoise, or a Fed Ex truck, or the Queen of England. It will only be what it is. The unborn child, on the other hand, has its own body parts, its own identity, its own DNA. It is an entirely separate entity. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a part of your body ever magically transforms into a separate person with its own internal organs and Social Security number, that probably means it isn’t a part of your body and never was.
The “unborn children aren’t human” argument is, as we’ve established, enormously dumb, but it’s only one among a cavalcade of dumb arguments trotted out by abortion apologists. They have a whole arsenal, and they’ve been unloading it in response to the news out of Georgia. I thought it could be worthwhile to go through and rank the dumbest arguments of them all and explain why they are so dumb. We’ve already covered what is perhaps the mac daddy of dumbess, but these give it a run for its money:
7. You can’t be against abortion unless you’re willing to adopt the unwanted babies.
A great many pro-lifers do indeed adopt “unwanted” babies, but none of us can adopt all of them and some of us can’t adopt any. The fact that we are people of limited resources does not prove that we are hypocrites. And even if it did, that in itself wouldn’t prove that our position is flawed. This argument fails even if it succeeds in establishing what it endeavors to establish, which it doesn’t.
If we can only oppose the murder of those we are able and willing to personally care for and subsidize, that would mean we cannot oppose the murder of almost anyone in the world. There are seven billion people on Earth. I can only feed and clothe a vanishingly small percentage of them. Does that mean I should remain silent about genocides and school shootings? I try to give to the homeless when I can, but I’m not opening my door and inviting any of them to come sleep in my guest room. Neither are you. Yet we would both oppose the systematic execution of the homeless. Does that make us hypocrites? Does it mean that our anti-murdering the homeless position is somehow faulty? Of course not.
6. No uterus, no opinion.
Leftists can’t make this argument anymore due to their conviction that the possession of a uterus has nothing at all to do with a person’s gender. It’s probably for the best, anyway. Abortion is a moral and legal issue. We use our brains to sort through those, not our reproductive organs. “No brain, no opinion” should be the motto. But I’m afraid that might rule out a large portion of the pro-abortion side.
5. A woman cannot be forced to reproduce.
I actually agree with this statement. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. A woman does not “reproduce” when she gives birth in the hospital. Reproduction occurs at conception. Every woman who has ever gotten an abortion has gotten it after reproduction already occurred. The question isn’t: “Should women be required to reproduce?” Rather, the question is: “Should a woman be allowed to purposefully kill that which has already been produced?”
4. Pro-lifers want to control women’s bodies.
The body directly in dispute is not the woman’s. It’s true that the woman uses her body to sustain the child’s body, but that’s just as much the case after birth as it is before. I use my body now to care for my children. I use my body to feed them, clothe them, provide for them, house them, discipline them. Everything I do for my kids, I do with my body. I am incapable of doing anything without the integral involvement of my body. I am my body, after all. What’s more, the law requires me to use my body to do those things. I am not allowed to claim bodily autonomy and cease all parental activities. My body and I would go to jail if I decided that I was no longer going to use my body to do anything for my children. Does that mean that the laws against neglect and endangerment “control my body”? Only in a very weird and indirect sense. At any rate, the point of the laws certainly isn’t to control me — the point is to protect children.
3) Pro-lifers are only pro-birth. They don’t care about children after they’re born.
Again, irrelevant even if true. But it isn’t. Our whole point is that there is no difference between a baby inside the womb and a baby outside of it. We cherish them both. If we didn’t care about babies outside of the womb, then we wouldn’t be constantly insisting that a child inside the womb is just like a child outside the womb. Follow the logic: a child inside the womb is like a child outside the womb therefore the child inside the womb should be treated with value and dignity. This line of reasoning clearly indicates that we think children outside of the womb have value and dignity.
Also, pro-lifers are exceedingly charitable. We give to people in need all the time. You have no data whatsoever to dispute this point, so this argument is not only irrelevant and stupid but fabricated out of thin air.
2) The pro-life movement is just a bunch of men bossing women around.
Once again we have an argument that could be completely accurate and it would still do nothing to discredit our case. Either the pro-life position is wrong or it’s right. If it’s right, it would still be right if men were the only ones arguing for it. But men are not the only ones. Far from it. The pro-life movement is run predominately by women and in large part comprised of women. It’s mostly women working at pregnancy centers. It’s mostly women at the March For Life. It’s mostly women praying outside of abortion clinics. Besides, men pass pro-abortion laws, too. Men decided Roe v Wade. Why don’t pro-aborts ever complain about that?
1) Women have the right to choose.
“The right to choose” is a concept without meaning or content. Your right to make a choice depends entirely on the nature of the choice. Physically, you can choose to do pretty much anything you want within the laws of physics. Legally, there are hundreds upon hundreds of things that you cannot choose. You cannot choose arson or rape or theft or tax evasion or burglary or vandalism. You cannot choose murder, either, unless your victim has committed the crime of being conceived in the wrong womb.
When someone insists that women “have the right to choose,” they mean it in an exceedingly limited sense. They mean, specifically, that a woman has the right to choose to end the life of her child before the child emerges from the birth canal. But if such a choice is defensible and ethical, it’s not defensible and ethical just because it’s a choice. The question with abortion is not whether a woman can choose but whether an unborn human has a moral claim to existence and personhood. If he does not, then a woman can choose abortion. If he does, then the choice of abortion belongs to the same category as the choice of murder or child molestation.
You’ll notice that gun rights advocates never insist that they have “the right to shoot.” They have the right to bear arms but their right to discharge those arms depends quite significantly on why the arms are being discharged, and in what context, and at what target. Choices are like that. Your right to choose is contingent, not absolute. So to defend a choice on the basis that it is a choice is very stupid. All of these arguments are very stupid. But the pro-abortion side doesn’t have any other sort of argument at its disposal.