Defending the Unborn with Confidence: Every Pro-Abortion Argument Refuted

Learning the abortion advocate’s main arguments and how to refute them is essential for a productive conversation and will give you the confidence to defend the unborn.

Abortion advocates have two main lines of argumentation:

A. Denying the baby’s humanity to negate its moral worth.

B. Appealing to other justifications, having acknowledged the humanity of the baby.

I recommend obtaining their opinion on ‘line A argumentation’ first because it forces them to choose between denying science and admitting the humanity of the babies whose murders they would endorse. At conception, a new, distinct human life comes into being. This is as solid a fact as there is in science so never give ground on this point.

The advocate is likely to then switch gears and move to ‘line B argumentation’, giving justifications for killing what they have now admitted are humans. Let’s refute these briefly.

Human-ish
“It’s a clump of cells”… “It’s a foetus, not a baby”… “It might look human but it isn’t.”

In continuation from ‘Line A argumentation’, the abortion supporter uses dehumanising language in a last ditch effort to undermine the humanity of the baby.

Restate the scientific fact of the baby’s humanity. Explain that adults are also ‘clumps of cells’ and the foetus is just Latin for offspring. Murderers always dehumanise their victims to justify their evil, e.g. the Nazis described Jews as rats and vermin.

Development
“It doesn’t have a heartbeat”… “It lacks brain function”… “It isn’t sentient.”

Explain that some humans outside the womb also lack a heartbeat or consciousness. Ask if we should be allowed to kill people in comas or people with ventricular assist devices (they have no heartbeat).

Dependence
“It can’t survive without its mother’s body.”

That the unborn baby cannot survive independently is irrelevant since babies outside the womb cannot survive independently either. Indeed, toddlers, some people with disabilities, many elderly people, and many suffering from illness rely on others for survival. Ask if we should be able to kill people simply because they are vulnerable.

Viability
“The baby could not be saved by medicine at this point if it were born.”

This seems like a more sophisticated version of the dependence argument but it’s still arbitrary. It asserts that since removing the baby from the womb would certainly kill it (there is no possibility that it could be saved), we should be able to kill it. This must be the definition of arguing in a circle. You might as well say, “since the baby cannot survive without its limbs, we should be able to dismember it in the womb.”

Further, the quality of medicine varies geographically. In one country, babies can be saved at 22 weeks. In another, babies can be saved only after 25 weeks. Does the quality of medicine really determine a human being’s moral worth?

‘Mercy’ Killing
“The baby will grow up poor”… “It will be disabled and unhappy.”

Proverbs 12:10: […]The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

We all know which regime it was that murdered disabled people and called it mercy. Ask the advocate why we should kill babies who are imperfect or who may lead hard lives. Plenty of people are imperfect and lead hard lives outside the womb. Can we kill them?

Fringe Cases
“What about rape and incest?”… “What if the mother’s life is in danger?”

Even if one could justify abortion in these cases, it would do nothing to justify it for the whole. Abortion in such cases accounts for less than 1% of all abortions, so ask the advocate if we should limit abortion access to cases of rape, incest, and where the mother’s life is in danger. They will obviously say no and you will have exposed their bad-faith argument.

Refute rape and incest exemptions further by asking them why they think babies should be killed for the crimes of rapists / incestuous persons. As for saving the mother’s life, ask for an example of one case of this where the purposeful killing of the baby was required to save the mother’s life. I know of none. Real treatment should aim to save both lives.

Bodily Autonomy
“The mother’s life is more important and she has the right to decide if she wants to be pregnant or not.”

This is, at bottom, the only genuine belief that typical abortion advocates hold. They simply want the freedom to kill unborn babies for convenience. They make the case for the mother’s autonomy whilst denying the baby’s autonomy in the same breath. Point out this self-defeating argument.

Summarise their position: they endorse the killing of beings which they admit are human and which can only be killed simply because they haven’t been born yet. Show them how trivial it is for them to say that killing even a full-term baby is justified whilst maintaining that killing a newly born baby is wrong.

Final Advice for Productive Conversations

Abortion advocates typically switch between these arguments as they crumble. For example, if they take the bodily autonomy approach, they may retreat from saying that full-term babies can be killed and search for a cut-off. Ask them what the cut-off should be and show them why their proposed cut-off logically fails. Remember these arguments and how to undermine them and you should have greater success in showing abortion advocates how fallacious their cause is.

Approach conversations with love and respect but stand firm on the truth. Some of the people you oppose may hate you but we should refrain from their ways. Hatred drives their baby-killing philosophy but ours is a cause of love for babies, mothers, and humanity as a whole. Let our conversations reflect that. The truth is on our side.

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