Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Six Rebuttals to Six Common Pro-Abortion Arguments

    These are common objections to the pro-life position. Here are my rebuttals.


    1. “Few people are ‘pro-abortion’. But we recognize that abortion is a necessary evil. There are just not enough resources to go around, to cover the burden of millions of new sickly or unwanted babies. Aborting them in the womb is more human that letting them live and watching them struggle with hardship and survival. It’s just to simplistic to say, let em all live. Maybe there will come a day when abortion is no longer necessary, but in the meantime, we must keep it safe, legal, and rare.”

    Response: Many people were not "pro-slavery" either. They said, "We are not “pro-slavery” but we recognize that slavery is a necessary evil. There are just not enough resources to go around to cover the burden of millions of new free blacks. Keeping them enslaved is more humane than freeing them and watching them struggle with hardship and survival. It's just too simplistic to say, let em all go. Maybe there will come a day when slavery is no longer necessary, but in the meantime, society must work to keep it safe, legal, and rare

    1. In 1973 the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in Roe vs Wade. End of discussion.

    Response: In 1857, the Supreme Court declared slavery legal in the Dred Scott decision. End of discussion.

    1. Look, if you believe abortion is immoral, don’t do it. But don’t tell me not to.

    Response: Look, if you believe child molesting is immoral, don’t do it. But don’t tell me not to.

    1. Science will tell us what we need to know about abortion.

    Response: Science can tell you that a fetus is viable, but not that a fetus is valuable. Science can tell you the size of the fetus, but not the worth of the fetus. Science can’t tell us what we need to know about abortion (if it’s right or wrong and whether the unborn child is worthy of legal protection). Christians are not pro-life because they don’t care about science. Rather, the very nature of science prevents it from settling the abortion issue.

    1. “Abortion is humane if it relieves suffering and rescues the child from an unwanted life.”

    Response: Infanticide is humane if it relieves suffering and rescues the child from an unwanted life (Peter Singer, an atheist and Bioethicist at Princeton has argued this for years; what ethical or rational difference, he says, can a few centimeters in the birth canal actually make?)

    1. “People should not base their abortion policy preferences on their worldview or religion. Keep that stuff at home.”
    Response: Abortion is about ethics and abortion policy is about public ethics. Ethics are based upon worldviews or religions, unless they are arbitrarily decided (flipping a coin, for instance). Abortion is contentious because it involves a conflict of worldviews. To say that Christians should keep their worldview at home is neither democratic nor respectful of the free exercise clause. In our democracy, if the Christian may not decide abortion policy preferences based upon his worldview (man made in God’s image has intrinsic value and worth), then the non-Christian may not decide abortion views based upon his/her worldview either. But that reduces all policy preferences to pure arbitrary choice. That is, if everyone somehow divorced their opinions from their worldview (which is not logically possible), then all policy must be decided from a purely arbitrary process. If so, then abortion is just as likely to be “right” as it is “wrong” and so are laws protecting women’s rights and children’s rights for that matter. We’ll just flip for everything to make sure our worldviews are not involved.


    swordbearer said...

    A TIMELY post. Thanks.

    Covenanter said...

    Thanks. Worked on this this morning as I deal with some pro-abortion peers at work.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Good post.

    The one I hear most often:

    Outlawing abortion would just make it happen in the back-allies.

    Response: That's where is belongs, and we will prosecute it there too, just like any other back alley murder.

    swordbearer said...

    PL, Beautiful Response.

    jazzycat said...

    When it comes to the issue of abortion and human rights. We (pro-life) should not let anyone who is pro-abortion enter any debate on human rights without directly pointing out that they come to the debate with unclean hands and, therefore, do so without any moral authority.

    How can such people say, "I am pro-choice and am outraged that Sarah Palin hunts wolves." without us pointing out the outrage of partial birth abortion?