Logical fallacies, also known as non-sequiturs, abound in our postmodernist culture. If you are involved with pro-life ministry, you will hear the same clichés endlessly repeated by pro-abortion advocates. They all fall under the broad categories of three logical fallacies. The following are answers to the seven most common objections to the pro-life message. Dan Becker and Georgia Right to Life has come up with a great resource in the form of a brochure countering pro-abortion logic. This is a great resource for pro-life advocates to download, print out and memorize.
from Dan Becker, Georgia Right to Life
Fallacy #1: Moral Relativism
“If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.”
This argument employs the moral relativism fallacy, which twists a moral belief into a personal preference. The moral relativist says it is wrong for anyone to force their moral absolutes on others. They take our moral statement, abortion is wrong and make it into just our personal preference. There are two flaws with this argument. First, the moral relativist is himself trying to impose his views on us; and secondly, civilized society is structured around basic moral beliefs, one of which is that killing innocent human beings is wrong. We are not saying we don‘t like abortion, we are saying it is wrong.
“Personally, I’m against abortion, but I don’t think I should impose my views on others so I think it should be legal.”
If you believe this, let me ask you a question. Why do you oppose abortion? If your answer is that you oppose abortion because it kills a human baby, are you really sure that you believe that baby killing should be legal? Do you oppose slavery, kidnapping, and genocide? Would you say that you oppose them, but that they should be legal? We hope not! Abortion is in the same category. Abortion ends the life of an innocent human person, and it should be illegal – not a choice to be made at the personal discretion of individuals.
Fallacy #2: Ad Hominem
“Men should not have anything to say about abortion. It’s a woman’s issue.”
“You don’t care that unwanted children will be abused. We believe every child should be a wanted child.”
“It is hypocritical for pro-lifers to be against abortion unless they are willing to adopt all the unwanted babies that would be born.”
These are examples of rhetorical personal attacks against the pro-life advocate designed to sidetrack the discussion from the central question, Does abortion kill an innocent human person? The pro-abortion advocate claims they are against child abuse. But since when is it logical to kill a person in order to prevent the possibility that they might someday be abused?
Fallacy #3: Begging The Question
“Making abortion illegal forces women into dangerous back-alley abortions.”
This logical fallacy begs the question by presupposing that the unborn baby is not a human person. Before a woman goes to a back-alley, she first needs to determine if she is committing murder by aborting her baby. Their argument also assumes that abortion is the only option for women in a crisis pregnancy. She could choose parenting or adoption for her baby. Contrary to popular belief, it is now well known that the number of deaths due to back alley abortions was greatly exaggerated during the period prior to Roe v. Wade.
“A woman has the right to choose to do whatever she wants with her own body.”
The statement begs the question by assuming there is only one body involved in an abortion – the mother’s. But what about the baby‘s body? The unborn baby‘s body – although connected to and sustained by the mother – is at the same time unique, with its own brain and central nervous system. The baby‘s gender and blood type may be different than the mother, and he or she has a unique DNA fingerprint. Historically, civilized societies have rejected the idea that men and women can do whatever they want with their own bodies, especially if their actions will harm them or another person.
“Women shouldn’t have to carry a child conceived through rape.”
Rape is a terrible crime and its victims deserve our deepest sympathy. But, would it be right to abort a child conceived in rape simply because the child may remind the mother of the painful event? Does the mother, as a victim of a violent crime, have the right to victimize an innocent person – the child in her womb? It is wrong to kill a baby based on the circumstances of the baby‘s conception.