DHD: Six flawed arguments supporting abortion
I’m taking on an issue this week that I have addressed many times, but I believe it is important and needs to remain a popular topic because of the progress that is being made for the sanctity of life. Planned Parenthood is being exposed for its business practice of selling baby parts, while receiving annual federal funding of $500 million and performing the largest number of abortions compared to any other organization, at a pace of 300,000 a year.
This has caught the attention of the American public. Those who have not formed a confident opinion on abortion are starting to realize the harmful and inhumane effects, as they understand through the benefit of ultrasound and other medical and technological advancement.
However, abortion supporters are still coming out with arguments to sway public opinion or keep those who lean toward abortion in their camp. These arguments, though, are flawed, very flawed. This week’s DHD will feature six of these flimsy reasons, and I will explain how they are archaic, misinformed or unsound.
Before I begin, let me address another weak attack that could come against me. I am a man. I do not have any children. I am not of a minority race. A foolish response could be made that I am not qualified to address this issue.
As of this fall, I have been a volunteer at a local pregnancy center for nine years. I have experienced numerous cases that have dealt with difficult situations involving economic concerns, social pressures, even immigration issues. I have seen many women or couples facing a possible pregnancy, and I have shared with many clients words of encouragement and support while also praying for God to help the couples be faithful to each other, the single moms have strength and wisdom and all be good influences while caring for their children.
I’m sure there will be some who will still discredit me, but I know a multitude of women who stand with me and would make these same arguments.
1. The “Back Alley” argument
Those who favor abortion and promote abortion clinics, especially Planned Parenthood, continue to use this incredibly weak and outdated viewpoint that without such clinics, women will go to unsafe, inconspicuous locations to have an abortion because they won’t have anywhere else to turn and they don’t want to face the social shame of being pregnant.
Perhaps this argument had a stronger influence in the 1960s, but society has changed. There are an abundance of pregnancy centers throughout the country that would provide greater support and help for such women facing an unexpected pregnancy. The “Back Alley” scenario is obsolete, even in low income communities.
Pregnancy out of wedlock is more common and more accepted today. Yes, young ladies still experience the emotional aspects and possibly the rejection of the father, which is sad and unfortunate, but we are a more accepting culture for these mothers. Shelters and community centers are available. Family members and close friends are now willing to be involved to provide support. It’s not utopia, but society today is not like it was 50 years ago. So when you hear politicians make the “back alley” argument, scoff at their foolishness and be assured they are out of touch.
2. It’s the woman’s body and her choice
This argument is losing its influence as well because of the advancement of medical technology. Those ultrasound photos of unborn babies posted on refrigerators are kryptonite for the “choice” argument.
Randy Alcorn in his book Why Pro-Life? begins Chapter 9 “Do We Have The Right To Choose What We Do With Our Bodies?” with the following paragraph:
“Pro-choice advocates argue, ‘Every woman has the right to choose what she does with her own body.’ Ironically, the choice of abortion assures that at least 650,000 females in the U.S. each year don’t have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. (That number is roughly half of aborted children, the other half being males). A female killed by abortion no longer has a life, a choice, or a body to exercise control over.”
Alcorn’s response used to not hold as much clout because it used to be easier to convince society with the “choice” argument to play on sympathy for the woman, but now more and more people realize the repercussions because it means that tiny image that is shown in a black and white picture that expectant mommies show off to the world will be terminated, killed, aborted.
Using “choice” in this context is misleading too. Those who say they are “pro-choice” emphasize a selective choice. Alcorn also addresses this: “It’s absurd to defend a specific choice on the basis that it’s a choice. The high-sounding ‘right to choose’ ignores the obvious: not all choices are legitimate. In fact – and nearly as many non-Christians as Christians will agree – some choices are downright evil. Some choices are good, others are bad. Therefore, we can’t be uniformly pro-choice or anti-choice. Rather, we should be pro-good and anti-evil.”
Alcorn goes on to say how “choice is a euphemism for abortion, so arguing against abortion appears to be arguing against choice.” He also warns those against abortion to not “argue against choice – it’s a battle that can’t be won and shouldn’t be fought.”
The tide is changing, though, and more of society is becoming enlightened to the fact that those who use the “choice” argument don’t have an answer for the victim’s right to choose. And ultrasound photos reveal who the victims are.
3. Personally opposed to abortion but for “pro-choice” laws
This argument is made by politicians during election years. Here’s what Alcorn says about this perspective in Chapter 16:
“Some imagine that being personally opposed to abortion, while believing others have the right to choose it, is some kind of compromise between the pro-abortion and pro-life position. It isn’t. Pro-choice people vote the same as pro-abortion people. To the baby who dies it makes no difference whether those who refused to protect her were pro-abortion or “merely” pro-choice about abortion.”
This is a cop-out view, a flimsy stance. Those who use this argument think it’s a middle position, but as Alcorn reveals, there’s no support for the unborn.
4. Abortion prevents unwanted children
“The problem of unwantedness is a good argument for wanting children. But it’s a poor argument for killing them,” Alcorn writes in Chapter 14.
Those who support abortion would use the “unwanted” argument when dealing with children who were expected to have birth defects. I have many friends with children who have limitations and challenges. Those who think such circumstances would cause babies to be unwanted is sorely mistaken.
Unfortunately, there are those who feel they can’t afford and parent children no matter the child’s condition. This is a very sad situation, but not one to justify terminating a child’s life.
Adoption is growing in interest and participation. It has a long way to go, but churches and Christian organizations are getting involved in promoting and supporting adoption practices.
My friend James Hunt who also is a writer for Word Slingers has written many pieces about adoption. I encourage you look him up on this website.
5. Rape and incest
These last two reasons used to support abortion are the hardest to address. With the situation of pregnancy due to rape or incest, I respond with sensitivity for such victims.
To be clear, studies show that pregnancies due to rape are rare. Less than one percent of all abortions involve rape. Alcorn addresses this in Chapter 13 and writes, “Pro-choice advocates divert attention from the vast majority of abortions by focusing on rape because of its well-deserved sympathy factor. Their frequent references to it leave the false impression that pregnancy due to rape is common, rather than rare.”
Alcorn also gives an example of his friend who was raped and became pregnant. She decided to have the baby adopted, and Alcorn describes the friend went through much pain. However, the friend periodically has been in contact with the adopted family and “her overwhelming comfort is in knowing her child lives and is loved.”
Rape is horrible, and the one who commits such a heinous crime should be punished decisively. But the child conceived from rape should not face a terminal penalty. Also reports of rape victims who have abortions have proven that abortions compound the trauma, and Alcorn writes that more than 90 percent of sexual violence victims would discourage other victims from having abortions.
6. Threat of the mother’s health
This is the most common exception used by people who oppose abortion. It is also the least cause of abortion. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said in his 36 years as a pediatric surgeon, he was never aware of a situation in which a preborn child’s life had to be taken in order to save the mother’s life.
Like rape, less than one percent of abortions happen because the mother’s life was at risk. In fact, as Alcorn points out in Chapter 12, those in the medical field who have experienced such circumstances said surgeries performed to save the mother’s life were intending the procedure to be “life-saving” not “life-taking.” Such a surgery did not expect to terminate the baby and would not be considered an abortion.
Be very discerning when this argument is made. Some use this argument in such a way that accuses pro-life supporters to not care about the woman’s life. Opposition is on the manipulating argument, not against the woman. Don’t fall victim to the smoke screen.