I think it would be useful to look at the philosophical basis for defending the right to life of unborn babies from the branch of philosophy called metaphysics. Metaphysics isn’t actually as abstract as it sounds. Essentially it’s just the thinking of being, of existence. Everyone is really capable of metaphysics; whenever we consider the existence of things, how things exist, whenever we know some thing and consider what is – we’re doing metaphysics. It’s actually impossible for any thinking person not to do metaphysics. If we never considered things with being, we would never consider anything. My point is: anybody can do metaphysics, this isn’t just something for intellectual high brows with PhD’s.
Let us begin with the facts that nobody disputes, the basic data that is not controversial, that is accepted by both sides of the debate, and which forms the basis for any further discussion.
This argument is based on the idea that most pro-life leaders are men, and that pregnancy and abortion doesn’t affect men. Both of these claims are categorically untrue, and can be defeated very easily.
1. Women are AT LEAST as pro-life as men
In 2011, the last time Gallup did a study on abortion views, an equal percentage of men and women polled said that they believed abortion was “morally wrong”. 51% of both genders agreed on this. Furthermore, 5% more women than men felt that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. Nearly a quarter of all women polled would be in favor of making abortion illegal in all cases.
The 77% statistic is based on the fact that there are more MEN elected to public office than women. This is true for both Democrats and Republicans. If you were going to make a percentage for “leaders” that are pro-abortion, it would be pretty close to the same thing.
2. Many top pro-life Organizations are run by women
If you look at the leaders of the major pro-life organizations, many of them are women. Some examples include women such as Abby Johnson, Live Action’s own Lila Rose, Charmaine Yoest who is President of Americans United for Life, Carol Tobias who is President of National Right to Life, Marjorie Dannenfelser who is President of SBA List, Concerned Women for America, and Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oh and not that I’m in the same league as these amazing women, but last time I checked I was a woman.
To mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade, some pro-abortion activists took to the streets to celebrate. One sign that caught my eye depicted a bent coat hanger with the words “Never Again” underneath. This sign was obviously in reference to the oft argued idea that if abortion was ever made illegal, thousands of women would die from unsafe abortions. Here is the response to this argument:
1) Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortion doctor and one of the founders of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, said that these statistics were made up.
“In NARAL, we generally emphasized the frame of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always 5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew that the figures were totally false and I suppose that others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible.”
This is more than likely going to be shouted at you by a pro-abortion activists at some point, so I feel it’s good to have an answer to this that can stop them in their tracks. My favorite response is this:
“What if Abraham Lincoln had told the North – ‘Don’t like Slavery? Don’t own slaves.’?”
Slavery was the defining issue of the day during that time period, and there were many citizens in America who truly believed that an African American was not a person, but a belonging, a piece of property to be disposed of as their owners saw fit. The Supreme Court of the United States had even ruled in the Dred Scott case that they were property and not citizens. The Supreme Court chose to uphold slavery, and claimed Constitutional authority in their decision.
Do you see the parallels? Many pro-abortion activists do not, but it is worth it to at least ATTEMPT to enlighten them to this idea. But this debate is not just for the pro-abortion activists, it’s for each of you too. As pro-abortion activists all around the country celebrate a court case that has directly led to the loss of over 64 MILLION innocent lives over the past 39 years, you and I have a mission: to end the slaughter of our generation.
Do not be discouraged, do not give up. Whatever it is you can do, DO IT. Much like the Dred Scott ruling was overturned by the refusal of brave men and women in our country to merely turn a blind eye to the injustice going on all around them- the unconstitutional Roe v Wade can be overturned one day as well. But we must not give up on this fight. We must follow the example of Lincoln, and continue to fight for the rights of our fellow man.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Abraham Lincoln, in The Gettysburg Address
The Family Research Council is once again hosting the ProLifeCon. This event is “the premier gathering of online pro-life activists.” On January 23, you can tune in and hear the webcast to learn how to make a bigger online footprint and save more lives. You’ll hear tips on how to use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to advance the pro-life cause. Register here for the webcast.
FRC has put together an impressive lineup of speakers, including Lila Rose. Each will make a unique contribution to the ProLifeCon, based on their own personal history and work in the pro-life movement. Tune in on January 23 to hear fresh ideas, to be reminded of why we’re engaged in this historic fight, to gain keys for victory, and to engage together with likeminded people. Sometimes we forget that there are thousands of people out there just like us, fighting to save the same babies, experiencing the same hardships, and persevering anyway! This is an event you don’t want to miss.
The speakers will include:
Ryan Bomberger, Chief Creative Officer of The Radiance Foundation The motto of The Radiance Foundation is “Illuminate. Educate. Motivate.” Ryan has brought new light and education to the public concerning abortion through his foundation’s billboards, research, and more. The foundation describes itself as “an educational life-affirming organization that tackles social issues in the context of God-given Purpose.”
U.S. Representative Chris SmithChris Smith has recognized that fighting for human rights issues includes working to end human trafficking and anti-semitism, speaking up for refugees, and putting an end to abortion. He has put his money where his mouth is during his 31 year career in Congress and been a faithful ally to the pro-life movement.
Gerard Nadal, Blogger, Coming HomeGerard Nadal is a medical doctor and an avid pro-lifer who writes his own blog and contributes articles to LifeNews.com.
U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler Vicky Hartzler, just elected in 2010, brings a needed female face to the pro-life issue in Congress. Her background includes speaking out on conservative issues in her home state of Missouri.
Lila Rose, President of Live Action Beginning at the age of 15, Lila Rose has consistently exposed corruption and illegal activity in Planned Parenthood. She is an international icon of hope and action to young pro-lifers everywhere.
Collin Raye, Country Music Artist and Spokesman for the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network Collin Raye’s pro-life views are incredibly heartfelt, as he has experienced the near death of his wife after she gave birth to their son Jacob. You can read his personal story and hear him performing a touching song here.
Jill Stanek, Blogger and Pro-Life Speaker Jill Stanek drew nationwide attention to the atrocities of partial-birth abortion as a nurse. Now, she continues to draw the attention of America to the pro-life cause through her own riveting blog.
Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of AmericaKristan Hawkins has been active in a wide-range of pro-life activities since her teen years, including volunteering at a Pregnancy Resource Center, starting a high school pro-life group, and becoming the first Executive Director of SFLA. Under Kristan’s leadership, SFLA has increased the number of college pro-life groups in the U.S. from 181 to 500.
Michael Clancy, Photographer of “Hand of Hope” photo Michael Clancy’s photo of Samuel Armas’ hand grasping a doctor’s hand from his mother’s womb has done more to illustrate the humanity of the unborn child than perhaps any other photo. Michael explains the incredible story behind the photo here.
Julie and Samuel Armas, Pictured in the 1999 “Hand of Hope” photo Julie Armas chose life for her son, Samuel, in 1999. Even though he was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, she chose to help him instead of killing her son. Both Julie and Samuel stand as strong testaments to the beauty of a parent’s love and the worth of every child’s life.
Jeanne Monahan, Director, Center for Human Dignity, Family Research Council Jeanne Monahan is a skilled, educated pro-life advocate. She “researches, writes and speaks on the culture of life, with a focus on the sanctity of human personhood from conception until natural death. Prior to FRC, Jeanne worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary.”
You can sign-up for this life-changing webcast here!!
Alexander Tsiaras has made a career of using advances in visualization technology to offer vivid tours of the human body. His books have taken readers inside the human heart, the kidneys and vascular system, and also human reproduction. Back in 2002, Tsiaras published From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds, a book that offers a “visual diary of fetal development.” Now, nearly a decade later, he brings that visual diary to video at a conference affiliated with TED.
What’s more amazing is how he describes what he’s learned from doing these complex visualizations. Twice he talks about the “divinity” of the process of human development, and about how, even as a mathematician, the extraordinary complexity of human development is many orders of magnitude more than he can comprehend. The video is amazing and is certainly worth sharing with friends and on Facebook/Twitter:
We’ve all been there, in conversation with an abortion supporter, showing them as best we can the obvious reality that life begins at the beginning, when it becomes shockingly clear that the facts make no difference. While pro-choice rhetoric has happily softened from ‘abortion-on-demand-no-regrets!’ to ‘abortion as a morally significant event‘, it doesn’t seem to be morally significant in any particular direction. Simply put, many are able to ignore the striking fact of the unborn child. Ultrasound images bounce off their eyes. Embryology textbooks – it seems – evade their grasps. They grow faint and distant at any confrontation over where life begins. Are we to give up on these individuals?
When was the last time you watched a 30 minute video on YouTube? For me, I can’t even remember. So when I hit “play” on this video I thought I would give it a few minutes and move on. I didn’t. I watched it until the end in one sitting.
Now, it’s not perfect, but it reveals some things stunningly well: first, that many people’s views on the question of abortion are not deeply set. They’ve simply never been presented with a different way of seeing things, led by someone who can use logic, history and empathy to persuade. In the moral vacuum which dominates so much of American culture, evil flourishes. Inject even a small amount of the truth and, well, you’ll see.
The video makes another critical point — though it doesn’t explicitly mention it: abortion, the presence of evil in the world, the history of genocide, morality, ethics, history, the afterlife, faith, all of these things are related. Too often we focus on abortion without realizing that people’s acceptance of abortion is wrapped up with other, even deeper, issues.
I recently engaged someone in a dialogue on abortion that turned into the most bizarre abortion debate I’ve ever been a part of. For the sake of her privacy, I’m going to call her Holly. I’ve slightly edited her quotes for spelling, grammar and clarity.
I’m going to share some excerpts from our exchange with you for two reasons.
First, some of the ways I responded may be useful for you in most abortion dialogues. (For example, shifting the burden of proof.)
Secondly, reading the counters I offered to this particularly unusual argument will be helpful to you in case you are ever confronted with it.
Here’s what this article is NOT for: making fun of her. Yes, her argument for abortion rights was one I had never heard before, and will be laughable to many pro-lifers, but remember that Holly is a person who’s actually spending time thinking through these issues. This is more than I can say about a lot of apathetic college students who don’t care about ANY issue that doesn’t directly affect them.
Hello, my name is Shiloh Kauk, and I am excited to be interning with Live Action this summer. The truth about the lives of the unborn which are in jeopardy has compelled me to learn as much as possible about this issue and equip myself to address those who condone legal abortion. This week, Students from all across California, and some from across the country have gathered for the 2ndannual Live Action Leadership Summit for this very reason. Close to 35 students have been handpicked and specially invited to further develop their existing leadership skills. Having been divided into 5 dynamic teams, they will be engaging in competition throughout this week as each member hones their pro-life beliefs. You, our reader, will have the chance to participate in many of these contests by casting your votes for your favorite projects.
Kicking off on Tuesday night, we began our training in addressing the media with poise and accuracy, and the unprecedented effects such coverage can have. Each student will be individually challenged to answer difficult questions from the pro-abortion standpoint, as the staff practice role playing and pose questions to students in the “hot seat.” In the following days, this dedicated group of students will absorb both overarching facts, and integral details about the pro-life issue, as experienced leaders teach sessions on everything from the history of abortion and exposing the abortion industry to successful sidewalk counseling and answering pro-abortion queries. These teaching sessions will lay the foundation for every project and activism opportunity that the teams will be participating in.
Each team will be responsible for filming a video, producing a meaningful image, and writing a concise blog post introducing and praising influential leaders of the past who furthered positive societal change. For instance, Harriet Tubman, who led her enslaved people to freedom during the civil war; Mother Teresa, who extended her life to the rejects of society, the poor, needy, and desperate; William Wilberforce, who overcame defeat after defeat in the British parliament, persevering toward his goal of ending the British slave trade. Each team will be engaging in research as they prepare a sketch of their chosen heroes. We are excited to see what the teams will create in exposition of these heroes.
Back in the dim, long-dead days of my youth when I was pro-choice, those dark ages of the early and mid 2000s, I fancied myself especially clever whenever I advanced the following “argument.”
“How come so many so-called ‘pro-lifers’ support the death penalty? That’s completely illogical and hypocritical.”
This is a favorite pro-choice rejoinder, so it’s a good idea as a pro-lifer to know how to make short work of it.
First of all, this tactic – to accuse pro-lifers of being hypocrites if they support the death penalty – is not an argument at all. It’s just an attempt to discredit the pro-life movement by “proving” that we are illogical woman-haters and not so much concerned with preserving life as stripping “reproductive rights” from people.
It’s important to know how to combat this tactic even if you happen to be, as I am, against the death penalty. No matter your feelings on capital punishment, it is simply ridiculous to compare it morally to abortion.
It’s instructive here to look at what the Catholic Church believes concerning abortion and capital punishment. It’s not necessary to be Catholic to understand this argument, just as it is not necessary to be Catholic or even Christian to be pro-life. Catholics are more likely to believe in what they call a “consistent life ethic,” in other words, the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Some call this the “seamless garment.”
The idea behind this is that only God has the right to take life from a person, and as long as a human being can be kept from committing further harm against society – for example, by locking them up in prison – we should keep them alive so that God may do with the person’s life whatever He intends.
Others oppose the death penalty because they believe it’s ineffective or that it gives the government too much power over its people.
Then again, there are those, Christian and non-Christian, who are a bit more Old Testament when it comes to punishment. Eye for an eye, and all that. Many of these people happen to oppose abortion.
Whatever your position, don’t allow pro-aborts to tell you that being pro-capital punishment and pro-life is an oxymoron. It isn’t.
Executing, via legal means, a person who has been convicted in a court of law of a reprehensible crime is not even in the same ballpark as a woman paying a doctor to kill her unborn baby in the womb for any reason she chooses.
The pre-born infant has committed no crime. She has had no legal representation. She does not have the voice to plead her case. She simply, through no fault of her own, exists, an entire and complete human being from the moment of her conception. She is blameless.
By contrast, the vast majority of people who are executed by the state are guilty. And even in those rare cases where the accused was wrongly convicted, at least he had a chance: to live, to make other choices, to run, to escape, to defend himself.
The pre-born infant is trapped. She can’t beg for a commutation of sentence and hope for life without parole. She can’t appeal. She can’t ask for a new lawyer. If her mother decides she must die, she will die. It is the ultimate in “might makes right” thinking, the kind of thinking most pro-aborts condemn when it comes to issues such as war, women’s rights, humanitarian causes, institutional racism, and the criminal justice system. Why then do they overlook it by giving a woman carte blanche power of life and death over another human being, for any reason she chooses?
In order to execute a criminal offender, an astoundingly complex legal process takes place. Motions are filed, witnesses called, juries instructed, great quantities of money spent, mountains of paperwork amassed. The defendant is allowed, if he so chooses, to speak in his own defense. Appeal is automatic. Great care is taken, great time is spent, making sure his rights are protected, and in almost every case, they are, and it is an unquestionably guilty man who goes to his death.
The pre-born infant is at the mercy of one woman’s whim. That woman, her mother, whether from selfishness, guilt, coercion, fear, or even the law – as in the case of China’s one child policy – makes a decision to kill her, pays some money, and it’s done. Often the only advocates for that child are the people outside the clinic, offering information, counseling and prayer, to any who will take it. There is no requirement that she listen to them. In fact, burly men in orange vests will often escort her past them, as though she were in danger from them, when it is in fact the child inside her that is in danger.
The pre-born infant receives no escort. She is completely alone when she is dismembered, sucked from the womb, and disposed of as waste.
The executed offender, at least, may have his family present. He may be buried in the manner befitting his beliefs. He may be mourned.
The pre-born infant is mourned, if she is mourned at all, by a few pro-life strangers. Her mother’s only grief often takes the form of depression and psychological trauma she does not even connect to the death of her child, which she quite possibly thought of as a clump of cells.
The pre-born infant is remembered only as a nameless, faceless victim, one of millions, in the prayers and thoughts of people around the world who daily petition God and man for an end to the evil of abortion.
In short, it’s quite inaccurate, and even irresponsible, to compare abortion to capital punishment, even if you happen to oppose both, as I do.
This issue gets brought up a lot by pro-aborts. But the good news is, the counter-argument can be summed up pretty easily. For example, if ever I’m asked why I’m not speaking out against the death penalty instead of abortion, I tell them very simply: “Criminals have lawyers. Fetuses have me.”