Abortion has made its way back to the forefront of the public conversation with the news of Roe v. Wade’s impending demise. Popular wisdom suggests that the focus on abortion will help the Democrats because it will have the effect of galvanizing their base.
Also, it is claimed, the public is largely pro-abortion. The problem with this latter claim is that it is certainly not true. Most polling data may show that a majority of Americans oppose overturning Roe, but those same polls also show that a majority of Americans favor restrictions on abortion.
Considering that Roe prevents such restrictions, it’s clear that the public is not largely pro-abortion. It is, rather, largely confused. Democrats prefer to keep it that way. Which means that focusing on abortion is not a political win for their party. They would much rather relegate the issue to the background. The more people think about it, and the more that the Democrats are forced to say about it, the worse it is for the pro-abortion side. All of their arguments collapse upon closer inspection. The best thing for them is that we do not inspect or think about the arguments at all.
To demonstrate this point, I thought it might be worthwhile to go through and respond to the ten most common pro-abortion arguments. All of these arguments have been repeated ad nauseam over the past few days. And all of them are so flimsy and weak that they can be debunked with only a few sentences. Like so:
“A woman has the right to choose.”
Answer: No, nobody has a universal “right to choose.” We all agree that some choices must be prohibited. The question is not if women should be able to choose generally, but if they should be able to choose to intentionally destroy innocent human life. If you say that they do have that right, then you have to defend that choice on its merits. You can’t defend the choice based simply on the fact that it is one.
“Pro-lifers want to control women’s bodies.”
Answer: the body in dispute is not the mother’s. The question, again, is whether the body of the human in her womb can be intentionally destroyed. The child’s body is the one at issue here, and we as pro-lifers are the ones trying to defend it. Besides, the people making this argument don’t even know what a woman is, or what her body is, so that’s a problem as well. But more on that later.
“Pro-lifers are only pro-birth. They don’t care about babies after they’re born.”
Answer: you have no data or evidence to support this claim. Besides, our position is that babies in the womb have moral worth equal to babies outside. Of course we believe babies outside have worth. That’s the whole basis of our argument. Our assertion that babies in the womb have worth is based on our contention that babies and all people outside have worth. Our argument hinges on the comparison between humans inside and outside the womb, and our contention is that there is no inherent difference in these groups aside from their physical location.
“The “fetus” is just a clump of cells.”
Answer: We are all clumps of cells. Some of us are far clumpier than the average infant. None of that is relevant. What’s relevant is whether the “fetus” is a distinct and separate human entity, which he is. He is distinct and separate because he has his own DNA and his own developing body. He is a human being because that DNA is human, and because he was conceived by two humans.
“The “fetus” is not a person but a potential person.”
Answer: No. He is, again, a distinct human entity. If this is not the definition of a person, then none of us are persons. Also, even if he is a “potential person,” it does not automatically follow that we should destroy him. Do you believe that all non-persons can be killed? What if I decapitated a bald eagle? How would you feel about that? You see, you’re wrong that the unborn child isn’t a person — by definition he is — but even if you were right, you’d still be wrong. That’s how wrong you are. A living creature’s status as “potential person” does not automatically justify destroying him. We all agree that there are all manners of non-person lifeforms that we shouldn’t kill. Now you have to prove not only that the unborn child isn’t a person — which you can’t — but also that, if he isn’t a person, it is morally permissible to destroy him. Which you also can’t.
“Women have reproductive rights.”
Answer: This one I agree with. Nobody should ever force a woman to reproduce. But birth is not reproduction. Conception is reproduction. By the time the abortion is procured, reproduction has already occurred.
“What about rape and incest?”
Answer: That’s not an argument. It’s a hypothetical. Rape and incest only account for one percent of all abortions. These are hard and rare cases. They might mitigate the individual moral culpability of a woman who chooses abortion but they do not change the fact that the unborn child is a distinct human entity, i.e. a human being, i.e. a person, and therefore worthy of the same protections the rest of us receive. We cannot kill the child for the sins of the father. If you want to execute someone for rape, execute the rapist, not the baby.
“Women cannot be forced to remain pregnant. They have bodily autonomy.”
Answer: No, they don’t have absolute autonomy, and yes they should be forced to remain pregnant if the other option is to kill the child. If this sounds harsh to you, then consider the fact that we already force parents to do all kinds of things for their born children. We force them to feed their children, clothe their children, and care for their children every second of the day. We impose responsibilities on parents that we do not impose on anyone else. I am required to do things for my child that I do not have to do for any other human on Earth. If parents do not want to fulfill this obligation, they must find someone who will. They cannot simply leave their child on the side of the road, nor can they drown their kid in the bathtub. Murder and neglect are not acceptable parenting strategies for babies outside the womb, and they should’t be for babies inside the womb either.
“Fetuses aren’t conscious.”
Answer: First of all, how do you know? We know basically nothing about the nature of consciousness. We can’t even agree on what consciousness is, much less where it comes from or how it works. Besides, let’s say they aren’t conscious, how does that justify murder — especially when we know their state of unconsciousness is temporary? Should it be legal to kill sleeping people? What about a person who is in a coma but expected to recover within a few months? And if consciousness is the measure, then shouldn’t the right to life be granted in degrees according to the level of consciousness? Not everyone is equal in consciousness. A 25 year old has greater consciousness, greater self-awareness, than a 1 year old. What about old people with dementia? They’re conscious to some degree, but it’s fading. What about people who make small talk in elevators? They appear to have no self-awareness at all? How far does this go? What is the limiting principle here? There isn’t one.
“Pro-lifers are just a bunch of men trying to boss women around.”
Answer: Not true. The pro-life movement is and has always been led primarily by women. Also, irrelevant. Also, a double edged sword. Roe v. Wade was decided by men. Should we overturn it on that basis? I’m guessing you’d say no. Finally, what is this “women” word you use? What does that mean? Can you define it? I didn’t think so.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.