Pro Life Apologetics
Room For Nuance?
There are many topics that cannot be distilled to right or wrong due to nuance. However, there are issues that are wrong regardless of how much nuance or context is applied. Abortion falls under the latter category. Rape, incest, physical birth defects, life ambitions, change of mind, wrong gender are all nuances used in an attempt to justify abortion.
None of these nuances or contextualizations change the fact that abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human. In this post, I will attempt to unpack the Pro Choice arguments and provide a defense of Pro Life values. Although I do have Biblical based convictions regarding this issue, I will not be invoking my faith convictions to defend the Pro Life stance. This is not because I believe those convictions are less relevant, quite the contrary, as I believe all moral arguments are derivatives from Scripture. However, I know that using faith arguments against someone who does not share my faith is futile. Therefore, I will attempt to use logical reasoning primarily.
NOTE: If you do not have time to read this article, please scroll down and watch the short video of Dr. Levatino’s testimony under “RESOURCES” at the bottom of this post.
Every year, hundreds of thousands (possibly millions, due to lack of reporting) of babies are clinically murdered in the US. This not only plagues the US, but much of the world. Data varies wildly due to reporting requirements outlined by the CDC. 
Justification for these murders is rooted in the same
progressive regressive tactics that were used to justify slavery, racism, Nazi concentration camps, Soviet Gulags, and countless other violations of the basic human right to life and liberty.
These tactics incorporate the dehumanization of groups to make the unjust treatment of these groups more palatable to the public.
Slavery prospers based on the idea that slaves are property, not people, and therefore do not deserve freedom. Racism is rooted in the idea that all men are not created equal because of the color of their skin. The abortion industry relies on the belief that a personhood is transient and based on a person’s stage of development. I suppose it could be called stagism.
Make no mistake, the worldview that someone’s inherent value can be based on their stage of development is no different than basing that value on skin color or ancestry. All of these are outside the person’s control, the former is dependent on time, while the latter are dependent on genealogy.
Human development is a continuum and it is terrifying to think that our inherent value is dependent on where we may fall along that continuum.
Primum non nocere (Do No Harm)
Abortion practitioners are paid serial killers. While, this may seem like a hyperbolic statement akin to screaming “Nazi”, it is technically correct. Abortion practitioners can actually be more accurately defined as serial hitmen (and hitwomen #woke) than doctors. Especially when you consider the excerpt from the Hippocratic Oath that instructs medical professionals to do no harm. I cannot think of a procedure more harmful than killing an innocent human baby out of convenience.
Let us not allow the title “Doctor”, nor a profession’s legal acceptability be our sole arbiters when evaluating the morality of a profession. At the risk of you rolling your eyes or claiming that I have somehow “already lost the argument” by invoking the term, many Nazi “Doctors” conducted “legal” experiments and procedures on patients without their consent.
Nazis would probably appreciate the sentiment that simply mentioning Nazism or the Holocaust indicates that an opposition has “lost the argument.”
If a nation legalized the killing of millions of its citizens, few would argue against comparing that country’s crimes to those perpetrated by the Nazis. While I agree that Nazi name calling and Holocaust wolf crying are outlandish for acts that pale in comparison, comparing them to the intentional killings of millions of innocent humans is very reasonable. Yes, the government is not telling people they must abort their children (at least in the U.S), but the government has legalized and provides funding for those killings.
Clarifying the Debate
I recently watched a lecture from Dr. Scott Klusendorf held at The Clarkson Academy called The Ethics of Abortion. The following are some of my notes from that lecture series as well as some additional opinions of my own.
In order to protest abortion, it is important we define it:
Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent unborn, partially born, or recently born human.
Not wrong based on anecdotes
The abortion debate is not about stories for or against it. It is not about women regretting their decision. Abortion is not wrong because the women who had an abortion regretted it. Abortion is wrong because it is the intentional killing of an innocent human. Theft and murder are also wrong regardless of how the criminal or murderer feels about their actions.
Not wrong solely based on religion
Arguments are either true or they are false. Stating that the Pro Life argument is wrong because it is religious is a miscategorizational error.
This is like asking: How loud is the number 7?
One could just as easily make the same erroneous argument about murder or theft. Murder and theft are not wrong based on religion. They are wrong based on a statement of Truth.
A common regressive tactic is to create more palatable terms for otherwise unacceptable practices. Many abortion activists prefer to be called “Pro Choice” because it sounds nicer than Pro Abortion or Pro Aborts. When I speak with abortion advocates, they sometimes claim that they are just using the same tactics as Pro Lifers.
However, there is no hidden meaning in the term Pro Life. Pro Choice, on the other hand, must be qualified and begs the question: “Choice to do what?” I mean, I am generally in favor of one’s right to choose. I think you should be able to choose who you date, who you marry, what car your drive, where you work, what gun you carry, where you go to school, where you workout, etc.
However, I DO NOT think you should be able to choose to shoot an innocent person on the street, run an innocent person over with your car, or choose to burn your innocent neighbors house down (We can’t even do these things to people who are guilty of heinous crimes). I also don’t believe you should have the choice to kill an innocent unborn, partially born, or recently born human.
Isn’t it ironic how many on the Left, who accuse American Veterans as being “baby killers”, are actually advocates for the killing of babies. While this is somewhat of a generalization, as I know not everyone on the Left is Pro Abortion or calls veterans baby killers, but there are many who did and do.
Post Birth Abortion
If you are wondering why I keep using the term “recently born”, see my references below after you finish reading this post. Babies who survive a failed abortion are left to die a slow death . Furthermore, there are some Pro Aborts, like Peter Singer, who believe that a human does not have the right to life if they do not understand the concept of tomorrow and are not self-aware. But yeah, claiming the abortion issue is a slippery slope is probably just conservative fear mongering, right?
“I’m not a fan of abortion”
The above statement, or others like it, is another common response I hear from people who prefer to stay neutral. It is my belief that those who say this know somewhere deep inside that killing an innocent human baby is wrong, but they prefer not to take a stand against the abortion industrial complex.
This would be akin to stating, “I’m not a fan of mass genocide”, “I’m not a fan of war crimes”, or “I’m not a fan of murder”. While these statements are factually true, there is an implicit notion that the person making them is not taking a stance.
Health of the Mother
Rape and Incest
Rape is a heinous crime and rapists should be punished severely; however, killing the conceived child is not justice any more than killing the mother would be.
A common question I get from Pro Aborts on this topic is what I would do if my wife or daughter became pregnant after being raped. This tactic seeks to illicit an emotional response in hopes that my belief system will buckle. My response to this question is two-fold:
- I would be deeply saddened by that scenario and after a long period of extreme frustration and anger, hopefully I would pray and seek God’s grace, wisdom, and guidance.
- Even IF I would would want for the child to be aborted, this doesn’t change the truth of the claim that abortion is immoral. The fact that someone may commit an immoral act does not mean that they can no longer say the act is immoral.
Abortion is wrong whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or not. The belief that a person’s value is dependent upon the context of their conception requires two things:
- Belief that a person who was conceived via rape holds less inherent value than a person who was conceived via consent.
- Belief that the diminished value due to rape is transient. They then must draw an arbitrary line somewhere along the continuum of human development where the person’s value magically changes. Otherwise, that person’s lesser value remains with them throughout their life.
Either way, the same argument is being made: some people are worth less than others based on nothing they did and nothing they can control. The same logical foundation for racism and sexism.
Exception or the Rule?
According to the Guttmacher institute, 1% of women obtain an abortion due to rape and less that 0.5% because of incest . The most common reason was “having a baby would dramatically change my life.” Ya don’t say…
Now, one could make the claim that these numbers may be higher due to women not wanting to report the true reason why they are having an abortion out of shame. I would argue this is probably more true with regards to incest, as rape would enable a woman to identify as a victim and likely make it easier for her to justify an abortion.
Nevertheless, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to argue these numbers are significantly inaccurate. So why then do so many abortion advocates point to rape and incest as justifications for abortion? Because they know that those who are on the fence will yield due to these contexts appearing more reasonable.
The next time a Pro Abort invokes rape or incest as justifiable reasons for abortion, just agree (even if you don’t) for the sake of argument that arbortion under these rare circumstances should be allowed. Then ask if the other 98% of instances should be banned. They will likely back pedal and try to also justify the other 98% of instances. Maybe not…but probably.
Pro Life Syllogism
In order to make the claim that abortion is not wrong or immoral, you must disprove the following syllogism:
Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
Therefore, abortion is wrong.
Line of Delineation
Logically, the only reliable and consistent line of delineation for determining when someone becomes a human is at the moment of conception. All other thresholds fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.
A heartbeat is not the singular defining quality of a human because there are people who have had their heart stop and/or have artificial hearts. It would be absurdly offensive to claim people in these unfortunate circumstances are “not human”.
Furthermore, the birth canal and vagina are not magical portals, through which a lump of cells (oddly identical to a human) magically transform into a baby with feeling, emotions, and right. Anyone who believes this must also come to the logical conclusion that a 9 month old baby is ok to kill. Also, if this were true, anyone born via C-Section would not have human rights.
The sense of pain is another fallacious qualifier for determining whether someone is a person. There are people who literally cannot feel physical pain. Does that mean that these people are not humans? Of course not.
Each of these qualifiers, and many others, are singular dimensions within the multitude of dimensions that define personhood.
Claiming that babies with mental or physical defects seems to be another popular justification for murdering them. Let us ignore the frightening eugenic rhetoric this sentiment carries and address it logically. If you believe this, do you also believe that born children or adults with mental or physical defects have less of a right to live? If you do not believe this to be the case, then defects are just a red herring. You are using some other line of delineation (such as the birth canal) for determining when it is or is not ok to murder an innocent child.
This logical argument can be applied to the pain and heartbeat argument as well. If you do not believe it is ok to kill a born child or adult who does not feel pain or does not have a heart, then you are using another line of delineation for determining when it is ok to kill an innocent human.
Life Begins Before Conception?
I have heard some suggest that human life may begin before conception. This is both biologically false and intellectually lazy. Biologically false because a human life is defined by particular genetic material in whole form. It’s intellectually lazy because it’s a weak attempt to blur the lines of when human life begins, in an effort to make post conception abortion more palatable.
Let’s Be Consistent
Once again, the ONLY logically consistent and reliable line of delineation between human/person and not human/person is conception. Before conception, you have only a sperm cell and an egg. After conception, both the sperm cell and the egg sacrifice their current state to become the initial developmental point along the human developmental continuum.
Corpse Rights > Fetal Rights ???
This is another consideration that I think is important. Do we consider a dead person to be a human/person, or do we claim that once someone dies, their body just becomes a lump of dead cells? Why is it that so many feel it is ok to play fast and loose when determining the innate human value of a conceived human in the womb, but these same people would probably recoil at the idea of disrespecting a human corpse? I would argue that killing a human one day after conception is infinitely more immoral than desecrating a human corpse.
Responses to Pro Abortion Arguments
How much do you give???
I sometimes hear this argument leveled against Pro Lifers as though monetary support is somehow a membership fee for one’s beliefs. As someone who does donate to Pro Life organizations, I do believe it is important to support Pro Life organizations that provide help to mothers while lobbying for Pro Life legislation. HOWEVER, it is absurd to argue donating is a requirement to be Pro Life.
A socratic counter response to this question is to ask: “how much do you think I should give in order to be Pro Life.” Ask for a specific dollar value and wait patiently for their response. After they provide you a dollar amount, proceed to ask if they provide that exact amount to any causes they support like battered women relief, homelessness, hunger, suicide awareness, etc.
Unless you are speaking with Bill Gates or another very wealthy philanthropist, they probably do not put their money where their mouth is. Even if they do, it still does not change the fact that support for a movement does not necessitate monetary investment.
“My body, My Choice”
“No one knows when life begins”
“Women will die from illegal abortions”
“A fetus is not a person”
“Abortion in cases of rape”
“Babies with disabilities are better off aborted”
“I’m personally Pro Life, but…”
“Abortion is a constitutional right”
I still believe that logical Pro Life arguments are important for Pro Lifers to articulate. However, there are times when these discussions can be too much about theory and philosophy while ignoring the raw evidence of what is actually occurring. This occurs when we use sterile and ambiguous terms like “abortion”, “procedure”, “choice”, “termination”, etc.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Arguments
Most are familiar with the picture above. For those who are not, these shoes are the property of eradicated prisoners at Auschwitz. Notice the phrase I decided to use, “property of eradicated prisoners.” That phrase is devoid of any real meaning without context. “Eradicated” could mean any number of things: banned, removed, relocated, etc. And the term “prisoner” invokes a sort of sense that maybe they deserved what they got.
This photo and other more graphic photos like it manifest an immediate visceral reaction in most people, or at least should. Now, as citizens of 2020, we have the luxury to look back on history from our enlightened frame of reference. Most of us are appalled that anything like this could have been perpetrated. I wonder how citizens decades from now will judge us.
Photographs like this are powerful tools for changing hearts and minds. When presented with photographic evidence of abhorrent crimes against humanity, many people find it difficult to rationalize it away.
This isn’t always the case, however. There are some, who fail to see the injustice when presented with a photograph of a beaten slave, exterminated jew, or an aborted child. This is because they have dehumanized these victims and do not view them as worthy of life or liberty.
Once again, the morality of a crime need not depend on someone’s emotional response to that crime. However, pictures are a powerful tool for opening people’s eyes to the reality of a crisis. I do not usually like sensational pictures without context, but all the context in the world does not justify pictures of babies who had been burned alive with saline or torn apart limb by limb.
Photographs of aborted children are not enjoyable to look at, and they shouldn’t be. But ask yourself this question, why is it that you don’t want to view these images? Is is because you don’t want to be disgusted or because you would rather remain ignorant? I’m certain there were many good intentioned Germans and Soviet Era Russians who wouldn’t want to see photographic evidence of victims. Ignorance is always easier. This is the precise motivation behind abortion advocates not wanting mothers to see ultrasounds of their babies.
Call to Action
My hope is that this post has been educational and helpful for you. I hope that you will consider and pray about how you can support the Pro Life movement while encouraging others to do the same. I have included some Resources below, links to some Pro Life organizations, and ways you can help in the Take Action section. If you want more information on the importance of supporting the Pro Life movement, please check out this post.
- First, they came for the unborn…
- The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture by Klusendorf
Support the Pro Life Movement
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