Abortion advocates love clouding the real issue.
We don’t have to let them.
The answer to the question, What is the unborn?, trumps all other considerations in the abortion debate. Objections to the pro-life view based on choice, on bodily rights, and on back-alley abortions miss the point entirely as the dialogue below illustrates.
Abortion advocate: Abortion is a private choice between a woman and her doctor.
Pro-lifer: Do we allow parents to abuse their children if done in private?
Abortion advocate: Of course not. Those children are human beings.
Pro-lifer: Then the issue isn’t privacy. It’s, What is the unborn?
Abortion advocate: But many poor women cannot afford to raise another child.
Pro-lifer: When human beings get expensive, may we kill them?
Abortion advocate: Well, no, but aborting a fetus is not the same as killing a person.
Pro-lifer: So once again, the issue is, What is the unborn? Is the fetus the same as a person?
Abortion advocate: But you’re being too simplistic. This is a very complex issue involving women who must make agonizing decisions.
Pro-lifer: The decision may be psychologically complex for the mother, but morally it is not complex at all. When blacks are mistreated in a certain society, do we spin a tale about complex, agonizing decisions for the whites in power or do we condemn the evil of racism?
Abortion advocate: Aborting a fetus that is not a person is one thing, discriminating against black persons is quite another.
Pro-lifer: So we’re agreed, if abortion kills a defenseless human being, then the issue wouldn’t be complex at all. The question is, What is the unborn?
Abortion advocate: Enough with your abstract philosophy. Let’s talk about real life. Do you think a woman should be forced to bring an unwanted child into the world?
Pro-lifer: The homeless are unwanted, may we kill them?
Abortion advocate: But it’s not the same.
Pro-lifer: That’s the issue, isn’t it? Are they the same? If the unborn are human like the homeless, then we can’t kill them to get them out of the way. We’re back to my first question, What is the unborn?
Abortion advocate: But you still shouldn’t force your morality on women.
Pro-lifer: You don’t really believe what you just said. You’d feel comfortable forcing your morality on a mother who was physically abusing her two-year-old, wouldn’t you?
Abortion advocate: But the two cases are not the same.
Pro-lifer: Oh? Why is that?
Abortion advocate: Because you’re assuming the unborn are humans, like toddlers.
Pro-lifer: And you’re assuming they’re not. So the issue is quite simple, isn’t it? It’s not about forcing morality, it’s not about privacy, it’s not about economic hardship, it’s not about unwantedness; it’s just one question: What is the unborn?
This article is an excerpt from Scott Klusendorf’s “Pro-life 101” and is reprinted here with permission. Scott is President of Life Training Institute and the author of “The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture.” Scott has taught pro-life apologetics at the graduate level at Biola University and Trinity Law School, and lectured at over 80 colleges and universities including Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and the U.S. Air Force Academy — to name a few. Scott’s debate opponents have included Nadine Strossen (former President of the ACLU), attorney Edward Tabash (of the Council for Secular Humanism), attorney Kathryn Kolbert (who argued for abortion rights at the Supreme Court), and Katherine Kneer (President of Planned Parenthood California). At the practical level, Scott helps pregnancy centers raise money to assist women facing unplanned pregnancies. The money raised helps women with shelter, baby clothes, parenting classes, and medical care. Scott is a graduate of UCLA and holds a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He and his wife Stephanie have been married since 1985 and they have 4 children.
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