The One Question that Matters About Abortion

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A few months ago, pro-life activists organized a 1,000-person plus rally at a Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania. This location is especially significant because just a few days prior to the rally, Bryan Simms, Pennsylvania state representative was at the same location filming and harassing pro-life women. He recorded and mocked peaceful pro-life activists and called them “old white women”. He even offered a $100 reward to anyone who would dox three teenage girls praying outside the Planned Parenthood.

In his unhinged rant, Simms claimed that these women were trying to “control a woman’s body”. This is, of course, absurd. No pro-life activist is trying to control a woman’s body. We just want the unborn baby within her body to be not murdered!

Pro-abortionists frequently use this kind of distracting, dishonest rhetoric to draw attention from the main point of the debate. In reality, the entire debate around abortion revolves around one question:

“When does human life begin?”

If the unborn are not people until they are born (or until they have a heartbeat, or meet some other developmental milestone), then why have any restrictions on abortion? A coworker once told me that she thought abortion were ok as long as a person only had one or two. That doesn’t make sense. If it really is a just a clump of cells inside a pregnant woman, and not a human life, then there should be no restrictions on abortion.

On the other hand, if life begins at conception (as most pro-life advocates believe), then there is no moral difference between killing an unborn child and killing an infant or toddler. Abortion is murder. You can throw all the fancy rhetoric and hard questions at the problem that you want, but if that unborn child is, in fact, a living person, then that child deserves the same rights and protections as any other.

When you consider this, almost every pro-abortion argument absolutely falls to pieces. Consider these common arguments for abortion:

  1. “You want to force pregnant women to be pregnant even if it’s unpleasant, inconvenient, or unwanted.” Parents are often inconvenienced by their children. Children are sometimes unpleasant. Children are sometimes even unwanted. Yet we, as a society, expect parents to care for their children. We don’t allow mothers to murder their children because they decide they don’t want them.
  2. “You want to force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s baby.” This argument is trotted out all the time, but 99.9% of pregnancies (literally) are due to consensual sex. I think everyone would feel a great deal of sympathy for a woman who is pregnant due to rape. It’s hard to imagine a more traumatizing scenario, and any woman in this situation would have my deepest sympathies. However, imagine that we are talking about a new-born infant. Would you support killing that baby because he looks like the rapist? Of course not. You wouldn’t support that even if his mother was emotionally traumatized. An unborn baby is just as much alive as one who is born. As terrible as the situation would be, the baby is innocent of wrongdoing and is a life worthy of protection.
  3. “Being pregnant violates a woman’s bodily autonomy.” The idea behind bodily autonomy is that no one has a right to use your body in any way to which you don’t consent. This seems reasonable, yet there are a few problems with this argument. First, again, 99.9% of pregnancies stem from consensual sex. You can’t have sex then claim your bodily autonomy is violated because you don’t like the consequences. Besides this, there are many times when we violate someone’s bodily autonomy. Prison would be one example. Parenthood is another. We expect parents to care for their children, even when it violates their autonomy. If we expect a mother to use her body to care for her born child, we should expect when it comes to her unborn children. Finally, the child has its own body. His autonomy is violated by being killed.

There are many more arguments for abortion, but they can all be debunked by asking, “would this argument still hold if we were talking about a born child?” 

Life begins at conception. That means unborn children are just as worthy of life and protection as those who are already born.

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