I’ve written arguments against abortion before, but I’ve come up with/read about some other ones and I wanted to bring them up as I think they raise some unique issues.
One argument I read recently (over here, though I can’t seem to locate the exact post) is that abortion seems to be very anti-men. Those concerned for the rights of individuals should, in order to be consistent, care about both women’s rights and men’s rights. The reason abortion is anti-male is because men don’t have the choice over whether the woman gets an abortion or not. Now, obviously, there are many cases where men (unfortunately) push their significant others for abortion, but what I’m pointing out is that if an adult woman wants to have an abortion, the man can’t stop her if she just goes in and does so. But here’s the punch line: if the woman decides to have the baby, and the man didn’t ever want him/her, he still has to pay child support. So the man can’t decide to have the baby, but if the woman does and he didn’t want him/her, he still has to pay the child support. I’m clearly not saying that men should not want babies, but this is an extreme double standard.
Another issue to raise is the fact that abortion is completely devastating certain minority communities, African Americans in particular (see here for a very interesting site, but if you doubt the validity of this claim, just google it and you’ll find plenty of statistics).
Abortion destroys objective human value. One great point that was brought to light in my eyes a while back (see other post) is the question of how is it that coming through the birth canal suddenly changes this fetus/nonhuman tissue/tumor/whatever term one wants to use to hide the “personhood” of the baby into a baby? What makes the “thing” a baby outside the mother, but not a baby inside the mother, at the exact same stage of pregnancy? How is it different to kill a baby inside the mother (abortion) or kill it outside (murder)? Just being inside a woman doesn’t somehow make the fetus/etc. part of the woman, particularly if it can survive outside of the woman. Though–and here is a very important and chilling point–if one wants to argue that direct dependence on the woman for survival is the difference, then children are not “persons” either until they are capable of taking care of themselves all on their own. A newborn baby, for example WOULD NOT SURVIVE without parental (or other) care. Does this mean the baby too is not a “person”? What definition of personhood is being used, and how does it avoid the points I raised in my other post that I have linked a few times?
Part of my reflections on abortion have lead me to try to see it through the eyes of a pro-choicer. Some of this has come through simply reading from blogs of pro-choice individuals. One thing that is surprising to me is how angry a lot of pro-choice people tend to be. They seem to think that pro-life people are specifically targeting women and trying to “keep them down” in some way. Is it really that hard to acknowledge that there is another side of the debate that might have legitimate reasons for being pro-life? Well, I at least am going to try to acknowledge that pro-choice individuals genuinely raise some good concerns. One of these is a concern for the rights of women. There is no reason to fault someone for wanting to be sure that men and women have equal rights (though interestingly, as above, it seems that men are sometimes pushed aside in this). Pro-choice people show a wonderful concern for women who are struggling with hard decisions, a concern that I think we pro-lifers need to acknowledge and adopt in our own testimony for our side of the debate.
Pro-lifers are not part of some agenda to “keep women down” this is completely ridiculous, and it is in fact a great example of the use of a “straw man” fallacy in argument. I wish that logic was incorporated more into this debate, because all too often I see people on both sides just shouting each other down or using all kinds of fallacious statements. Something this important to both sides, however, seems to alienate logic. I pray that one day this will not be the case. If any real headway is to be made, both sides need to sit down and discuss the issues in a logical way, while allowing for the other side to have some truth.