When defending the pro-life position, those who disagree often misconstrue our arguments, painting us as anti-woman and anti-choice. When engaging in such a polarized discussion it is important to be thoroughly educated on the issues involved in order to most effectively answer the argument at hand.
I have compiled a list of five of the most common ‘pro-choice’ arguments and how to refute them so you can get out there and save the baby humans
Argument #1: My body, my choice
You do have control over your own body. You are fully in control of whether you get a tattoo, piercing, or have sex. However, when it comes to abortion, it is not your body in question. Your body will not be ripped apart limb by limb. Your skull and spine will not be crushed. Your life is not the one ended during an abortion.
The second fertilization occurs, there is another life growing and developing inside of the mother. The preborn child, while located inside the mother’s womb, is still a separate entity. If you were to properly follow the logic of this argument, since it is the baby’s body being affected here and not yours, your preborn child should alone be able to choose whether he or she is aborted — not you.
Bodily autonomy is the right of every human “to self-determination over their own body.” Many pro-abortion advocates claim refusing a woman the ability to have an abortion is forcing her to give birth, violating her bodily autonomy. This argument fails to recognize the preborn child’s bodily autonomy. The baby is not able to consent to its own murder.
The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution says no state shall, “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Bodily autonomy does not permit the killing of one human being solely because it is located inside of another. Although we all have a right to autonomy over our own bodies, bodily autonomy ends where another’s body begins.
Argument #2: It’s just a clump of cells
Upon fertilization, the baby’s DNA is separate from its mother. The baby has a separate heart beat from the mother at just three weeks. At just six weeks the cerebral cortex is formed. At seven weeks the baby is hiccuping and kicking. At ten weeks the baby has distinct fingerprints. The baby is awake when the mother is asleep. The baby can have a separate sex and blood type from the mother. There is no checkpoint during the pregnancy in which the “clump of cells” magically becomes a human. In some jurisdictions, when a pregnant woman is killed it counts as a double homicide; the law thus recognizing the preborn child is in fact a distinct and separate life. The preborn child is no more a mere “clump of cells” than you or I.
Argument #3: Rape and/or incest
Though cases of rape and incest are commonly tossed around to make pro-life advocates concede abortion is necessary in extreme circumstances, it is important to note less than 1% of abortions are performed due to rape or incest. When discussing abortion, it is not intellectually honest to focus on the minority of cases in order to make your opponent accept the overwhelming majority of abortions which are done for convenience, usually due to financial hardship or an inability or unwillingness to assume responsibility for a child.
Incest can lead to a variety of genetic defects due to the limited gene pool. However, it is possible for a child born of incest to be completely normal, free of genetic mutations. It is important to remember incest may be consensual. In such a case abortion may seem like an easy way to escape public humiliation or, as in any abortion case, responsibility for the child procreated.
Rape is an undeniably horrific crime. Victims of rape suffer mass amounts of both physical and emotional trauma, often suffering permanent mental hardship. Many argue we should have compassion on women who are victims of rape and not force them to carry a baby which will only remind her of the trauma she endured. But a baby’s being unintended or undesired still does not justify its termination. One heinous act does not excuse a second. Why should the child die for the sins of the father? The child is as much an innocent victim of the father’s evil act as the mother is.
Argument #4: Before viability the ‘fetus’ cannot live independent of its mother
Granting the right to life according to the ability to live independently is to argue on a slippery slope which could give way at any moment. After all, newborn infants are dependent on their parents for survival; do we have a right to kill them? Somebody who is comatose is dependent on various tubes and machines to sustain his or her life; do we have a right to kill him or her? An infant is more dependent than a teenager, yet we consider both to have an equal right to life. We cannot define the value of someone’s life by their ability or dependence. The preborn child’s inability to live independently does not strip the child of their right to life.
Argument #5: It’s legal, so it’s okay!
Legality does not equal morality. History has seen innumerable immoral laws. The fact slavery was once legal does not mean it was just or moral. It is impossible to argue legality equals morality when honor killing and genital mutilation are not only practiced but are perfectly legal in many countries around the world. Martin Luther King, Jr., said it perfectly, “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.”
Many of the pro-abortion arguments may appear reasonable at first but are easily debunked when you have the correct information at your fingertips.
It is vital pro-lifers arm themselves with sufficient information when discussing the right to life.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.