We should all be people who value good argumentation and sound reasoning. In our postmodern world feelings have become the ultimate justification for an argument, and thus it has become increasingly difficult to have reasonable conversations over simple things let alone real and serious matters. Every now and then I like to present some of the most common arguments from an opposing view and show why they are not valid. I am grateful for all the people in my life who disagree with me yet are willing to entertain a healthy discussion. More than anything I hope this encourages you to think through your arguments to make sure they are not simply based upon mischaracterizations or media talking points, but on sound reason and logic. Before I ever write on this subject I want to remind my christian friends that people who have had abortions are not the enemy, many of them are victims of an ugly world and hopelessness. I want to also remind those who have had abortions, this is not an attack against you this is addressing the ideas that make such an action possible.
Pro Choice argument #1
“It's my body my choice”
To refute this we merely have to go back to anatomy class. The body of a pregnant female contains the body of another living, unique, and human individual. This person has a heart beat and it's own unique DNA that differs from the mother. So no, it's not just your body. Let us also remember that just because a person has a body does not mean it is healthy to do with it whatever you want. I have worked with many kids who cut themselves (often known as “cutters”) in order to deal with some painful situations or emotions. If I was to use the liberal, “it's their body, their choice” argument then I should just let them be. But we can at least recognize that someone needs real help if they feel their only option is to badly wound themselves, how much more help they must need if they feel their only choice is to kill the baby inside them. Two bodies exist within one person during pregnancy.
Pro-Choice argument #2
“It's just a clump of cells.”
So am I... the only difference between the clump of cells of a baby in-utero and the clump of cells that I am, is time. From the moment the egg is fertilized it begins the process of rapidly creating more and more cells containing their own unique DNA. Somewhere between 4-5 weeks when a woman first finds out she might be pregnant, the bay has already developed a functioning beating heart. I think this argument has to do with the confusion between developed and undeveloped humans. Simply because a person is not as developed as another does not make it less human. A 12 year old is not as developed as a 30 year old, we recognize this process and it would be wrong to stop the natural developing of any human outside the woman, then it follows that it is wrong to stop the development of a child in the womb. This argument is a key way of dehumanizing what is a human person. I wrote another article on that and it can be found here.
Pro-Choice argument #3
“your against women's health”
I am actually so concerned with women's health that I think it even applies to women who are not yet born. Why does the liberals fight for women's rights start only once the child has been born? A child has it's gender before then, has a heart and mind before then, so should they not matter as well? The argument over women's health basically an attempt at changing the subject, because we are not against birth control or breast exams or anything like that, we just don't think you should kill babies. Crazy right? This argument is an attempt to paint those who oppose abortion as angry old religious white men just trying to suppress people. I don't care how many women's health services a place offers if they also perform the killing of children, I highly suggest such places should be shut down. A popular sign by the vocal pro choice side reads, “keep your laws out of my vagina” I would like to make a sign that says, “stop sticking scalpels into the back of children brains and we will gladly go away”
Saline injections which is the second most common type of abortion, inserts chemicals into the sac that burns the child's body from the outside. Essentially burning the child to death while also poising it's lungs. This process can take over an hour to kill the child. This procedure can be done at 16 weeks which means the child has fully functioning nerve endings and can feel pain. The most common form of abortion is to just use a high powered vacuum that tears the kid apart a little at a time. I don't mean to be gross or shocking with this, just wanted people to be aware of what exactly it is they are fighting for. Keep your laws out of my vagina, sounds much cooler than “I want to be allowed to slowly burn my unborn baby”
Pro- Choice argument #4
“but there are so many unadopted kids, you should care for them as well”
I don't really understand this at all. I know Christians who have started orphanages. I know lots of Christians who highly value adopting children and don't just make that claim but actually act upon it. My wife and I are both waiting for the time to come when we can adopt. I have a friend who has adopted 6 kids already. In fact when it comes to taking care of widows and orphans James (the brother of Jesus) says this, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress...”
So as a Christian this is something I am commanded to do and I do gladly. But they way this line is argued, it as though they are saying until all the kids alive are healthy and in good homes, it's okay to kill some of them. What a strange thought. There are problems now, it's expensive to adopt, kids age out of foster care, lots of moral injustices. But that is only wrong if these humans have value, and if they do have value, then all kids have value. Even kids in the womb. Yes, some christians denounce abortion and do nothing about it on their end. But that does not mean that we should still allow abortion. Each person will act upon their strongest convictions, but they do not have to discount all other convictions simply because they are not fully acted upon. Think of the current refugee crisis that I know most liberals support, as do I. Can you imagine if I made the argument you can only allow refugees in if all liberals take one into their home?
Pro-Choice argument #5
“What about rape, incest of the death of the mother”
This world is full of terrible things, none of which are the child's fault. Don't kill a kid because of the mistakes of someone else. Two wrongs don't make a right, most of us were taught that at a very early age. The only one I waver on is, what if it would kill the mother? It's very rare these day and it's often a result of something other than the child that causes the death. My wife would give everything she has to protect Titus our two year old boy and Cohen our soon to be born little boy. My son is only two but I would give my life to protect him. I asked my wife about this yesterday, and without hesitation she told me she would give her life to allow Cohen to live. That's just what a parent does. We lay down our lives for our children. But let us not think for a second that such a conversation is an easy one. What a terrible thought to entertain even for a moment. This is the one area where I find myself pro-choice, my wife is the only one who can decide to lay her life down for her child or not, and either way I am there for support.
The reality of abortion is far sadder and uglier than a fun liberal protest lead us to believe. It's not about women's rights, it's not about the government and oppressive old white men, it's about life and death. Sometimes a healthy mother walks into a Planned Parenthood clinic with a healthy Child and only one of them leaves their alive. In my ministry I am very tough on men and fathers. Too many men escape the responsibilities of fatherhood and the consequences of their actions. There are many areas that need change, and the gospel is truly the answer. From Jesus we learn that a woman is not an object but created in the image of God. We learn that sex was meant for marriage, two people committed to each other for life. From God we learn that all life has value regardless of race, gender, age or creed. God is the greatest example of a father who laid down his life for us. The gospel is the answer. If an argument would not work to kill a baby a few weeks outside of the womb, then it should not work to kill a baby inside the womb.
Caleb is lead pastor at Logos Church and enjoys writing about pop culture, Star Wars, Jesus and what effective ministry might look like in Tulsa.