My experience has led me to the conclusion that abortion advocates and defenders are some of the most intellectually dishonest debaters of issues.  Some of the arguments they make span the spectrum from vile (See: Hookworms, Mosquitoes, and Embryos), to wholly uninformed (See: Get A Life, Part 1), to downright asinine (See: When Pigs Fly), and everything in between.  Sometimes efforts are made to garner concessions from abortion opposers in an effort — in my opinion — to expose what they consider to be an inconsistency in the pro-life position.  I also think that to whatever degree, concessions are sought in order to quiet their own conscience (See: Who Are You To Say?).  If they can get someone who morally opposes abortion to find at least one justification, then the conscience quiets, even if barely.  But this is merely a transgression.

Of the concessions vied for, there are usually two that most frequently come up.  The first is to save the life of the mother.  When the life of the mother is put into jeopardy because of a pregnancy related complication, pro-lifers will admit this is a justifiable reason to have an abortion.  For if the pregnancy is carried to term, both the mother and the baby will die.  This is the only ground I am willing to give abortion defenders and the difference is purpose.  Elective abortion’s purpose is to take the life of the child.  It serves no other function than to make a pregnant woman no longer pregnant.  Conversely, an abortion performed for the life of the mother, the abortion’s purpose is to save the life of the mother, with the death of the child as a consequence.

The second attempt at concurrence is in cases of rape and incest.  This is where I find them intellectual dishonesty for two reasons.  According to the Guttmacher Institute — an ardent pro-choice institute — the number of abortions performed as a result of rape or incest accounts for less than 2% (Page 4) of all abortions.  Less than 2%, but with the frequency this defense is introduced you’d think it were significantly higher.  I have yet to have an abortion defender who offers rape and incest as a justification for abortion be willing to ban all abortions performed for other reasons.  I say, “OK, fine.  Let’s ban all abortions save for life of the mother and rape and incest.  Would you support that?” “No, it’s a woman’s right…” is the reply.  This is an empty offer in most cases.

Now even though I have heard this angle for defending an elective abortion in the case of rape my thoughts here hadn’t occurred to me before.  “Women shouldn’t be forced to carry a baby to term when they’ve been raped because the baby will be a daily reminder of the rape”.  Well, that the child will be a daily reminder of the rape is probably true**.  However, this doesn’t solve the “problem” of daily reminders (nor does it address the fact that it is wrong to kill a child because their parent is a criminal).  All an abortion does is end the resulting pregnancy, it doesn’t end the emotional and psychological trauma that will persist because of being raped (not to mention the increased risk of mental health problems for women who have had abortions).

The women I know who have had an abortion regret it deeply and have not forgotten it.  You can see their demeanor visibly change when the topic comes up, and this is nearly two decades after the fact.  My point is that there are persistent social reminders of abortion, whether it is in the news, woven into the plot of a television show, or just being discussed or debated — it is not going away.

So now we have a woman who will never forget she has been raped and who has had an abortion associated with rape.  She will be reminded of her rape every time she sees a pregnant woman, every time she hears about a rape (in the news, on a show, etc.), every time the topic of abortion comes up.  I don’t know anyone who has been raped, but I don’t think it is an event that is forgotten or easily suppressed.  Having an abortion because pregnancy has resulted from a rape or incest does not erase the memory of the experience — which is supposed to be the point.  If anything, it adds another trigger to relive the traumatic event.  Defending abortion in the cases of rape and incest is a vacuous and unloving offering.


** There are many women who do not choose abortion having been impregnated by their attacker and harbor no ill will toward their child.


  1. “expose what they consider to be an inconsistency in the pro-life position”
    Well I’ll give you this. The pro-life position is consistent. Pro-life, no matter what, even if it harms the child (can’t be cared for), the mother (handicapped by financial hardship), society (lots of uneducated, financially-destitute mothers with poverty-stricken children), and is essentially impossible to implement (pregnancy are lost all the time). But it’s consistent in itself.

    “The women I know who have had an abortion regret it deeply and have not forgotten it.”
    That’s because you know Christian mothers told every day that abortion is a terrible tragedy. I’m vegan, but all those meat-eaters out there might make the analogy that anybody who ever at a Big Mac would remember for their whole life and feel terrible about it if they were told every day that they were terrible people for eating a Big Mac.

    Of course this comes down to two real defenses for a woman’s right to abortion: “None of your G.D. business” and “Don’t like abortions? Don’t have one.”

    These two arguments could be applied to murder as well, except for the very obvious difference. Murder applies to killing people and people have to be born. I’d like to pick a less arbitrary event than birth, but conception is worse.

    • Your entire first paragraph is irrelevant to whether abortion is moral since every one of those could be used to justify killing infants and the elderly.

      But just to clear up a misconception, I don’t know any Christian women who have had an abortion. I mean, I’m sure I know one, but not to my knowledge.

  2. Terrance H. says:

    Pro-life, no matter what, even if it harms the child (can’t be cared for), the mother (handicapped by financial hardship), society (lots of uneducated, financially-destitute mothers with poverty-stricken children), and is essentially impossible to implement (pregnancy are lost all the time). But it’s consistent in itself.

    I think this falls under John’s “downright asinine” category. But that’s being a bit too nice.

    If you’re suggesting that abortion is permissible because otherwise unwanted children would be born and neglected, you’ve already assumed two things: 1). the child will NOT be adopted to a loving family; and 2). the quality of that child’s life. The second is, honestly, the most important. You are in NO position to place value on another human life and in NO position to attempt to judge the quality of another human life. So, completely useless comment on your part.

    If you’re suggesting abortion is O.K. because otherwise the mother would suffer financially, you have effectively accepted that people should NOT be held to account for their behavior. That people should take NO responsibility whatsoever for their own actions. You see, the sole biological purpose (do not confuse purpose with benefit) of sex is reproduction. It is not an unfortunate consequence of the action, but the natural result of the action. So, those of us in a reality-based community realize that when we have sex we are engaging in an act that brings about, quite naturally, little people, otherwise known as babies. If people are not financially able to have children, then they should have considered that before engaging in act that’s SOLE BIOLOGICAL PURPOSE is reproduction. It’s also worth mentioning that there are a myriad of programs available to aide pregnant women with food, clothing, housing, et cetera…And again you’ve failed to consider the possibility of adoption which would release the biological parents of any financial burden whatsoever. So, completely useless comment on your part – again. A twofer!

    If you’re suggesting abortion is O.K. because society would suffer with uneducated buffoons meandering about, I would only say that right now, talking to you, I know what such a society must be going through. *tear* Anyway, you’re assuming that all poor people are destined to be idiots, and if you’re saying that it’s O.K. to kill to prevent poverty and ignorance, then you should support the selective slaughter of most everyone earning less than $10,000 a year, since they are poor and likely uneducated. So, completely useless comment on your part – again! You’re on a roll, busta!

    if you’re suggesting abortion is O.K. because miscarriages occur, you’re a complete dunce, even more so than what I thought. Cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and brain aneurysms occur, too. So, is it O.K. to murder? No! So, completely useless comment on your part – again. WOW!

    Now you’ll likely respond with some useless mantra about being born, etc, etc, etc – ad nauseam. I simply suggest that such a legal concept is illogical and brutal. If one must be born to have legal protection, then following that to its logical conclusion, an abortion performed a mere five-minutes before birth is legally permissible. Seriously, how brutal can you anti-life clowns get? You have, basically, just accepted that infanticide is morally and legally permissible. Sickening.

    Such a view also grants protections based on S.L.E.D. (Size,Level of development, Environment, Degree of dependency). Consider:

    Size – Do we grant or withhold rights based on size – ever? Is a tall man more of a person than a short man? No.

    Level of Development – Is a teenager more of a person than a two-year-old because he is more developed? Is an adult more of a person than a teenager because HE is more developed? No.

    Environment – Is it truly logical to base personhood on a distance of a mere eight-inches (the length of the birth-canal)? No. Is it logical to base personhood on your environment? No.

    Degree of Dependency – Is someone who is dependent on a medication to continue living less of a person than someone who requires no medication? No. Is someone on a life-support machine less of a person than someone who is not? No.

    I would also add – to ruin the acronym – an A for Appearance. Since when is someone not a person because they look different? In the early stages of our development as human beings, we look similar to many other species. Only our DNA is a defining characteristic. Since when is Appearance a logical way to define personhood? Never.

    For months I have read your comments on this blog and their inherent imbecility just amazes me. You approach John with this smug, pedantic, pompous attitude, but never offer anything meaningful or legitimate. Unborn children die every single day and we’re never given a reasonable explanation as to why. it’s always stupidity. It’s maddening.

  3. At the end of the day, anger and arrogance are the only emotions that remotely “blur” what a person sees when an abortion is performed – but then again blurry vision doesn’t change what’s happening, it only changes what one is able to see…even if it’s to the detriment of another.

  4. Terrance H. says:

    I was angry when I wrote that response and it shows. It’s poorly worded, verbose, and insolent. But I grow tired of pro-choice arrogance and the constant fallacy of involving religion in a debate that previously included none. I have never once read a pro-life post by John peppered with his Christian beliefs, yet somehow it came up in the first pro-choice response.

    The silly and terrible pro-choice arguments displayed here have been used to snuff out the lives of 50 million unborn people since 1973. I would think that so much death warrants at least some intellectual honesty.

  5. Marshall Art says:

    I would call that “righteous anger” due to the subject matter. There really is no “pro-choice” argument that is based on logic, compassion or, for that matter, fact. As another blogger likes to ask, choice to do what exactly?

  6. You are welcome to your opinion, but in the case of a rape, the woman should be permitted to decide whether she wants an abortion. She has suffered both physically and emotionally, and if she believes that abortion will help her to recover from her ordeal, that is a choice that only she should be allowed to make.

    • Kyle, thanks for carrying this over. Should the mother be able to make that choice when the child is 2 years old? If not why not, since its her emotions that seem to make it OK.

      • Of course not. She has the right to make a decision while she is pregnant. After the baby is born, she is not able to take its life, but she can opt for adoption if she wishes.

  7. I don’t get it, if her emotional well being is the reason why she should be allowed to kill her pre-born child, why not post-birth? That seems inconsistent, especially since the only difference between the two babies is their age and location.

  8. Because like anything, there is a line that cannot be crossed, and that line is at birth. She has an entire nine months to decide whether to terminate, she also has that time to decide whether to adopt. Once the baby is born, it becomes a legal person, and is protected by law. Because the attachment is severed, it is no longer a part of her, and therefore she no longer has the right to decide what happens to it. If you believe that she should be allowed to kill the baby after birth, then can we say the same about every parent who simply gets sick of being a mother? Is it okay to do what Andrea Yates did?

    • Of course Yates was evil. But your position seems to be that the mother’s desire trumps the child’s life.

      To carry over the question from twitter, you seem to have conflicting standards, perhaps you can clear it up for me. A child whose been born can still be attached to the mother, you say at birth it “becomes” a person. Can you kill a born baby who has not been separated from her mother (still attached via umbilical cord)?

  9. I don’t profess to have the answers to everything, and that is a question I have asked myself many times. If a law says that a fetus isn’t a person until it has taken a breath, then that law means it would be legal to kill it after birth, provided it hasn’t taken a breath. Is that moral? No, it isn’t. Either it takes a breath or it is born, either one of those should be more than enough to establish personhood and take away the woman’s right to choose.

  10. I am not an American and refer to my own laws. There are 50 states in the US and every one of them has different laws regarding personhood and also the legality of abortion. I would imagine that the most liberal states have the most liberal laws, though, so that’s a start.

  11. I am not assuming at all. I am going by my own laws here in my own country.

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