All too often, I come across people on Facebook (Christians and non-Christians alike) ranting about how women’s reproductive rights are being trampled upon by the government and why they feel their “right” to abortion is something that must not be taken away. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance about abortion or a fear of standing up to someone with opposing views, but I rarely see pro-lifers engage in a facts-based conversation with those who support access to abortion. Perhaps those who are pro-life don’t know how to defend what they believe. But with over a million innocent lives being slaughtered each year, it’s something we should be talking about. Please read on and feel free to copy and paste into a comment the next time you come across a pro-choice post 🙂
The primary question that must be answered before even diving into the abortion debate is “What is the unborn?” Is the unborn a human being or merely a clump of cells?
Let me begin by posing another question: how do we declare a person as dead? If a person’s heart is no longer beating, they will be declared dead. Shouldn’t the opposite be true? If a heart is beating, doesn’t that mean a person is alive? A baby’s heartbeat can be detected as early as 28 days after conception, and some sources will go as early as 21 days. That means that after only 3 to 4 weeks, a heart is already developed and pumping blood, yet it is legal to abort a baby who is 24 weeks old.
Now to address some common objections to the pro-life position that people like to throw out. These answers will by no means be exhaustive, but hopefully they will be a good launching point.
“It’s my body; it’s my choice.”
An unborn baby is not just another part of a woman’s body. Women do not have two heartbeats, nor four hands.
Something I learned from the brilliant Scott Klusendorf is the “SLED” argument. In other words, the only factors that distinguish an unborn child from a two-year-old or a ninety-two-year-old are Size, Level of development, Environment, and Degree of dependency.
Size: Size does not equal value. Unborn babies are smaller than a toddler, but this does not determine their value. A two-year-old is also smaller than a fully-grown adult. An adult is not more valuable than a toddler, just as a tall man is not more valuable than a short one.
Level of development: We can all agree that unborn babies/fetuses are less developed than babies who have been born. But when I was a baby, I was less developed than I am now. Klusendorf writes, “Six-week-old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.” Just because an unborn baby is not yet developed enough to be self-aware does not mean we have the right to slaughter it.
Environment: Klusendorf writes, “…how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human?” My value doesn’t increase when I change location, so why does whether or not a baby is inside or outside the womb determine whether a person is given the right to life?
Degree of dependency: Klusendorf writes, “If viability makes us human, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.”
“What about a woman who was raped? She should not be forced to carry the child to term.”
It does not matter how the child was conceived. Being raped is a horrible, tragic thing, but why punish the baby for the rapist’s actions? As Socrates once said, “It is better to suffer through evil than to commit it.”
“A woman might not be able to afford to raise a child, or to raise another one.”
If financial stability is the reason for getting an abortion, then it would be most logical to kill the oldest child. They’re probably more expensive since they eat more food, are closer to going to college, and their clothes cost more. Somehow, people are comfortable with killing an unborn baby for those reasons, but not a child that is already born. Go back to the SLED argument I mentioned earlier.
“What if the woman finds out that her child will have a disability and will live a difficult life because of it?”
Again, would you kill a toddler with a disability? Certainly not! Children with disabilities are blessings, and they bring so much joy to the world. Additionally, there are many cases where doctors make mistakes all when determining whether or not a child will be born with a disability such as Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy, and the child turns out to be completely healthy. None of these are valid reasons for killing a baby.
We can’t shrug our shoulders when it comes to abortion. Babies have a right to life from the moment they are conceived, and it’s our duty to protect that right. We must be a voice for the voiceless. Learn the facts, and learn how to educate others on what is going on. This is not a “War on Women” as Planned Parenthood would like the public to believe, it’s a war on injustice.
Check out some of my favorite pro-life organizations, websites, and articles: