Answering 30 Pro-Choice Arguments
1. Abortion is a private decision between a woman and her physician.
Abortion deeply affects many others besides the woman and her doctor, the most obvious of which is the unborn child whose life is taken. Every abortion also takes a child from both the father as well as the mother.
2. My body, my choice
This phrase would make sense if it could be spoken by the unborn child. Abortion does not kill the mother’s body. It kills the baby’s body. The mother is not the baby. The baby is not the mother. The baby is not even part of the mother’s body. It is a completely separate human life with its own unique DNA.
3. Abortion is a “reproductive right”.
Abortion is not about reproduction. The purpose of an abortion is to end a reproduction that has already taken place. The right to not be killed supersedes the right to not be pregnant.
4. Abortion is an empowering choice for the modern woman.
Many studies show that women report depression, anxiety, guilt and other negative consequences after having an abortion. Even for a woman who reports feeling relief after an abortion, it is impossible to say she will never struggle with the decision throughout the rest of her life.
5. A woman shouldn’t be “forced” to have the baby. The baby shouldn’t be born into a situation where it is unwanted.
The mother already “has” the baby living and growing inside her. Outside of cases of rape, the pregnancy was not forced. The only thing being forced is that the baby not be killed. If she does not wish to raise it, there are many wonderful options for adoption.
6. I’m personally opposed to abortion but I support a woman’s right to choose.
It is inconsistent and intellectually dishonest to be theoretically against killing unborn children while at the same time supporting laws that allow unborn children to be killed. This would be akin to someone refusing to abuse their own child for moral reasons, but supporting the right for others to abuse their children.
Exceptions for the Mother
7. What about rape/incest?
Even though rape is frequently cited as a necessary exception, it actually accounts for less than 1% of all abortions. Rape and incest are horrible crimes, and any perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But this does not mean the baby deserves to die. Too often an abortion will only cause more pain for a woman who has already been victimized. Instead she can help her own healing process by giving the baby the gift of life, and making an adoption plan if she does not want to be a mother.
8. What about “medically necessary” abortions? Or exceptions for life of the mother?
Requiring an abortion to save the mother’s life is virtually nonexistent. Only a clinic with a vested interest in abortion would make this case, and it would be prudent to seek a second opinion. In rare cases in which a mother’s life may truly be in danger, an abortion actually puts her at higher risk, as the procedure can take 24-72 hours to perform. Time is of the essence in a life-threatening emergency. The safest solution would typically be to perform an immediate C-section, which usually takes less than an hour, and deliver the baby. But there is no need to kill it.
Ectopic pregnancies are another frequently cited reason for abortion. A baby will not survive an ectopic pregnancy, and without intervention the mother will also likely die. The removal of this doomed pregnancy then is not an elective abortion, but rather a lifesaving procedure for the mother.
9. The mother is too young/too old.
A very young or very old mother can be a difficult situation, but if she does not want the baby or is unable to care for it, she can make an adoption plan and choose to place her child with a loving family. The mother can go the rest of her life knowing she gave the baby a chance for life, instead of a life of regret for choosing an abortion.
10. Abortion is a “medical procedure”, or “health care”.
Medicine is the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Pregnancy is not a disease that needs to be cured. The goal of medicine or health care is to preserve and improve life. Abortion is the opposite of medicine. It is a violent, barbaric procedure which ends a human life.
11. It’s not human. It’s just a clump of cells.
There is no minimum size to be considered human. There is no moment in fetal development in which a non-human suddenly transitions into a human. A new human life is started at the moment of conception with a DNA combination unique in all of history, never to be repeated. The blueprint for every characteristic the baby will exhibit is present from the very beginning. Limbs, eyes and blood vessels start to form in the first few weeks. A heartbeat can be detected by 5 weeks. Embryo, fetus, newborn and toddler are all just various stages of a human life.
12. I’m opposed to late term abortions, but in the first trimester it’s not a big deal.
Regardless of size, every abortion ends a human life. The morality of ending a human life does not depend on the stage or size of that life.
13. My baby will have birth defects or physical challenges.
People with birth defects or physical challenges overwhelmingly report having loving, meaningful lives. A major 2011 study showed that 99% of parents of down syndrome children love them, and 97% are proud of them. If a person with disabilities is not worth living, what terrible message does this send to those with disabilities who are already born? This eugenic type of justification is a small step away from aborting babies based on gender or other physical characteristics deemed unworthy.
14. Natural miscarriages happen all the time. Abortions are basically the same thing.
Although miscarriages are relatively common, this is not a reason to intentionally take a life. By this logic it would be acceptable to kill a grown person because people die every day anyway.
15. Viability—the baby can’t survive on its own yet, so it’s ok to abort.
Just like the baby in the womb, a newborn is also not viable left on its own. A human baby is more helpless at birth than virtually any other species on earth. It requires food and warmth, which most often comes directly from the mother. But this dependence does not mean the mother should have the right to kill it. The unborn baby also should not be condemned to die simply because it depends on the mother while in the womb.
16. It can’t feel pain/it’s not sentient yet.
The value of human life is not determined by full cognitive awareness or ability to feel pain. By this logic someone under anesthesia or in a coma could be killed. It could be argued that the person in these cases will come out of anesthesia or wake up from the coma, and therefore should not be killed. But the same logic is also true for an unborn child. They will feel pain and become sentient at some point in the near future.
17. A medical abortion is a quick and easy way to have an abortion.
Women frequently experience severe pain, cramps, nausea and prolonged bleeding for up to several days after taking the RU486 pill combination. This is followed by the horror of passing her deceased unborn child at home, often into the toilet or a tub. There is no protocol given for how to dispose of these human remains at home.
18. Abortions help provide stem cells for valuable lifesaving research.
Stem cell research has great potential, but this is not a justification for abortion. Aside from the fallacy of intentionally ending a life in order to research how to possibly help other lives, abortions are not the most reliable source of useful stem cells. The time frame for collecting useful cells from a fetus is usually past by the time a woman discovers she is pregnant. On the other hand, after a normal delivery the placenta provides a plentiful source of useful stem cells without the need to kill. Placental donations for this purpose are becoming more common.
19. Abortion is legal.
Legal does not mean moral. Slavery, segregation and gender discrimination have all been legal throughout history. The very legality of abortion itself is confusing and inconsistent. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act recognizes an embryo or fetus in utero as a legal victim if they are injured or killed during the commission of a crime. The law defines "child in utero" as "a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development."
Therefore in many states the value of the human life in the womb is determined solely by the opinion of the mother. If she wants her baby and someone harms it, it is a crime. If she doesn’t want it, she can have it legally killed with no recourse. This double standard is inconsistent with the ideal that every human life has intrinsic value, and should not depend on the judgment of another.
20. A woman’s right should not be taken away by a “bunch of men”.
The gender of legislators has no bearing on the morality of the laws they make. Roe vs. Wade was decided by a “bunch of men”.
21. We can’t overturn Roe v. Wade. We need to honor judicial precedence.
22. No uterus, no opinion/ Keep your laws out of my uterus.
A uterus is required to become pregnant. It is not a moral compass. A man is involved in every pregnancy, and excluding all men from this important discussion is sexist. Nor would it make sense to exclude women who have had a hysterectomy.
23. The goal is to make abortion rare.
Although there has been a slight decrease in the overall number of abortions performed per year, this does not make it rare. Abortion is the leading cause of death in America. Over 60 million abortions have been performed since 1973 in the United States--roughly 3,000 every single day.
24. We can’t return to unsafe back alley abortions. Many women will die.
This argument rests on the false premise that women have no choice but to abort—an interesting condemnation from those who call themselves “pro-choice”. Putting this fallacy aside, the idea of thousands of women dying due to unsafe abortions prior to Roe vs. Wade is a falsehood. In 1972, the year prior to the decision, 36 women in America died due to illegal abortions, while 24 died during legal abortions. The overall mortality rate of both groups is greatly reduced today mainly due to the widespread use of antibiotics.
Isolated studies can be found showing a decrease in the number of abortions following the practice being made legal in specific locales, but more broad and comprehensive studies show the opposite—abortions numbers decrease as restrictions are increased.
25. The pro-life movement is a war on women.
The pro-choice movement is the true war on women. Roughly 30 million female babies have been aborted in America since 1973, and over 100 million girls have been aborted worldwide by sex-selective abortions—not just in China and India but also in America. These are millions of girls who never got the chance to grow up and become proud productive women in our society.
In addition, abortion supporters demean women by suggesting they are incapable, too young, too old, too poor, too weak or otherwise unfit to be a mother. On the other hand, pro-life supporters believe women are strong, brave, capable and ready to be the mother of their precious child, or to make a life-saving choice of adoption.
26. Restrictions on abortion unfairly target minority communities.
It is abortion itself that targets minority communities. One of the many horrible things uttered by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was her goal to user her organization to “exterminate the negro population”. Planned Parenthood today is tragically succeeding in that goal. Black children are aborted at three times the rate of white children, and Hispanic children at one and a half times the rate. In 2018 more members of the black community were killed by abortion than by all other causes combined.
27. Overpopulation—there are too many people in the world today.
The world population has increased nearly 700% since 1900. Yet by virtually any measure-- life expectancy, poverty, crime, literacy, health, wealth, happiness, convenience, etc. we are dramatically better off now than at any time in world history. If we are to face problems with overpopulation someday, the answer is to continue to improve technology and our way of living—not to kill.
28. Restricting abortion leads to more homelessness, poverty, abuse, neglect, etc.
Unborn children should not be condemned to die simply because the world is not perfect. It is not an all or nothing proposition. Whatever difficulties a child may face in their future, none could be worse than being intentionally killed by their own mother, robbing them of a chance to experience life and learn and grow by overcoming challenges.
29. Provide sex education or free contraception instead of outlawing abortion
Education and contraception certainly play a role in decreasing unwanted pregnancies, though their effectiveness can be debated. Whether this is taught in the home, in public schools, or the confusing and dangerous ideas taught by Planned Parenthood, none of this justifies taking an innocent life.
30. Conservatives say banning guns won’t stop mass shootings, but they think banning abortions will stop all abortions.
The gun debate is completely separate from the abortion debate. However, a gun is designed to fire a bullet. Whether that act is a murder, self-defense, or recreational target practice, is up to the user.
On the other hand, abortion by definition is the very act of taking a human life. Nobody believes that making abortion illegal would stop all abortions, but it would certainly have an impact in decreasing abortion overall. Things that are dangerous or wrong should always be outlawed, even if some people may still break that law.