For many voters, a candidate’s position on abortion is a determining factor at the voting booth. After all, beliefs and actions regarding the right to life often indicate a candidate’s stance on other foundational rights. Whether the right to life should apply to our most vulnerable population, therefore, is a central question.
Although politicians regularly try to spin their positions on many issues, the abortion debate is particularly clouded with arguments that confuse and mislead. Therefore, it is crucial to discern not only a candidate’s beliefs but also the objective truth – and know how to defend your positions to your friends, family, and even others at your church who may hold a different position and may have an open heart.
The central pro-life argument is very simple:
With this in mind, let’s debunk two of the main arguments for abortion:
Let’s look at these one at time.
“The unborn fetus is not a human being.”
While this belief is often implied rather than explicitly stated, it provides the underlying basis for most pro-abortion arguments.
Have you noticed that the arguments used to justify killing an unborn child are never used to justify killing a toddler? Why not? Because those in favor of abortion do not consider an unborn child to be a human like a toddler.
But what is the unborn fetus if not a human being? Dr. C. Ward Kischer, former Professor Emeritus of Human Embryology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, points out that “every human embryologist, worldwide, states that the life of the new individual human being begins at fertilization (conception).”
If life begins at conception—as science demonstrates—then that life must be fully human. If not, at what point do we become human? If our humanity is not inherently tied to our existence, consider the implications:
Placing the beginning of human life at any point other than conception leaves human rights on shaky ground—for us outside the womb as well as those in the womb. It would mean that our humanity is not inherent, but conditional. Therefore, it can be lost if certain conditions are met. If our humanity can be lost, so can our inalienable rights.
Even if the unborn is regarded as a human being, however, many still argue that he or she has no right to the mother’s body. This is referenced by a second common pro-abortion argument:
“My body, my choice”
The slogan above is a major pro-abortion talking point. It attempts to cast abortion supporters as “pro-choice,” while framing supporters of life as “anti-choice.” For example, Planned Parenthood Action states:
“Our ability to control our health, our bodies, and our future is at stake.”
Pro-abortion talking points and policies often ignore the second human who is affected: the unborn baby. Therefore, we must ask, how many bodies are involved? Consider a C-section versus an appendectomy—is removing a baby from the mother equivalent to removing her appendix?
Many abortion supporters acknowledge that the unborn baby is a separate entity from the mother. Science confirms what common sense tells us, that the mother and the baby are distinct, different individuals with unique DNA. Still, they argue that she shouldn’t be forced to use her body to support her developing baby; therefore, her right to abortion remains intact. Is this a legitimate definition of rights? Doesn’t the fetus have rights? Remember, if the unborn fetus is a human being, then he or she inherently possesses human rights, including the right to life and protection from assault and battery.
If a mother has the right to harm or kill her baby in the name of bodily autonomy, it would logically follow that:
These horrific positions are where the “my body, my choice” argument ultimately leads.
In the end, always remember the basic argument: Intentionally killing an innocent human being is wrong. Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being; therefore, abortion is wrong. No claim to bodily autonomy will change a foundational truth.
Abortion in the voting booth
The abortion debate deals with questions of rights, humanity, and ethics—all of which should be primary considerations of anyone evaluating candidates or seeking public office. It is not, as some argue, simply a matter of religious preference which does not belong in public policy.
iVoterGuide is committed to helping you discover what your candidates believe about this fundamental issue. The upcoming Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court case could potentially change the future of abortion laws in this country. With that in mind, what will your 2022 primary candidates believe about the right to life, and how will that inform their actions if elected? These questions must be answered, and we are eager to help you answer them.
Note: If you are looking for other great resources on the subject, we highly recommend Randy Alcorn's book, Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments.