As I stated previously, the abortion debate comes down to one question, what is the unborn. However, many times when I’ve gotten into conversations on this issue, people try to sidetrack me using quick hitting objections. Has anyone else had this problem? Before I go into the scientific evidence I would like to take on a series of objections. I call answering these “clearing the brush” so the listener will more apt to listen to the truth concerning the status of the unborn.
The following information was taken from a document I received from Scott Klusendorf. He runs a pro-life organization called Life Training Institute. I highly recommend his book, The Case for Life. His answers to popular objections are short, concise and well thought out. Anyone reading this that is pro-abortion may find his or her objection clearly answered.
- “I personally oppose abortion, but I think it should remain legal.” My reply (thanks to Greg Koukl for this): “Why do you personally oppose abortion?” Answer (the only one they can give): “I personally oppose abortion because it kills a baby.” My reply: “let me repeat back what you just said. You personally oppose abortion because you think it kills a baby, but you think it should be legal to kill babies?” (Let the question sink in.) If the unborn are human, like infants and toddlers, why not protect them in law?
- “You shouldn’t legislate morality!” Reply: Why not? Morality is the only thing you can legitimately legislate. Otherwise, you are suggesting that lawmakers take away peoples’ freedoms based on the whims (preferences) of lawmakers. Imagine a lawmaker saying, “We’re going to pass a law demanding that you like chocolate ice cream over vanilla.” If the unborn are human, like other children, we should legislate to protect them.
- “The law cannot stop all abortions.” Reply: Laws against rape do not stop all cases of rape, but no one that I know suggests legalizing the practice. The fact is that laws against rape, like laws against abortion, drastically reduce illegal (and immoral) behavior. Would anyone that you know suggest that legalizing rape would not increase its occurrence? Prior to Roe v. Wade (1973), at best there were 210,000 illegal abortions per year. (More conservative estimates suggest a mean of 89,000 per year.) Within 7 years of legalization, totals jumped to over 1.5 million annually. True, no law can stop ALL illegal behavior, but that’s not the point. The issue is not, How many people are breaking the law?, but, are the unborn human? If so, we should legally protect them the way we would any other group that is unjustly harmed. Perhaps what this objection has in mind is that there would be widespread resistance to outlawing abortion. That should not be a factor in deciding law. Imagine saying to a minority group suffering discrimination (say, for example, blacks), “We will protect you as long as it meets with popular approval and is not too difficult to do so.” This would be an outrage, and rightly so. Persons deserve protection under the law because justice demands it, not because (or only if) it is easy.
 Hadley Arkes develops this theme in First Things: An Inquiry into the Principles of Morals and Justice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986) p. 27.
 For a study on estimates prior to legalization, see Thomas Hilgers, et al, “An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and Its Implications for Public Policy,” in New Perspectives on Human Abortion, ed. Thomas Hilgers (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1981) p. 78.
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