Debunking: 10 Claims about the End of Roe

  • Danielle Hatch
  • 06/07/2022


Ever since May 2nd of this year, when Politico published the leaked Supreme Court majority opinion draft indicating the Court’s intention to overturn Roe v Wade, anxious pro-abortion catchphrases have flooded our feeds and our streets. Whether through intentional fear-mongering or sincere concern, these emotionally driven claims have taken a major part in the ongoing—and intensifying—abortion debate.

We asked our Instagram followers which pro-abortion arguments they’re currently hearing the most, and here are their top responses—accompanied by our own tips for effectively countering these arguments.

Claim #1: “Overturning Roe v Wade means abortion will be banned in all cases.”

This claim is false for two reasons.

First, overturning Roe doesn’t ban abortion; it simply gives the issue back to the states [1]. Some states have very extreme abortion policies already in place, such as New York’s law that allows abortion at any point in the pregnancy for essentially any reason that could affect the mental health of the mother [2]. Other states, like Utah, have essential life-saving policies that will protect our most vulnerable children once Roe v Wade is overturned.

The second problem with this claim is the implication that abortion bans will prohibit abortion in all cases. Most pro-life laws actually do include exceptions. The exceptions under Utah’s trigger law include rape, incest, risk of death or serious irreversible impairment to the mother, and lethal defects or severe brain abnormality for the child. [3]

Claim #2: “Banning legal abortions will increase dangerous illegal abortions.”

The idea that banning legal abortions will just force women to have unsafe back-alley abortions is founded on lies. As stated by Pro-Life Utah’s Ryan Phillips, “the idea of thousands of women dying due to unsafe abortions prior to Roe vs. Wade is simply not supported by the actual data. In 1972, the year prior to the decision, 36 women in America died due to illegal abortions, while 24 died during legal abortions.” [4] Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of the National Abortion Rights Action League, later converted to the pro-life cause and admitted, “when we spoke of [deaths due to illegal abortion], it was always 5,000 to 10,000 per year. I confess I knew the figures were totally false.” [5]

Additionally, the logic behind this argument doesn’t hold for other laws. No one would say, “banning theft will just increase dangerous illegal robberies,” or “people are still going to commit homicide, so why make it illegal?” If something is wrong, it should not be allowed. Since abortion is the intentional killing of a preborn baby, it is wrong and should not be allowed. 

Claim #3: “A fetus isn’t alive.”

As defined scientifically, life begins at conception. A unique set of DNA is created; gender is present; all inherent physical features are determined.

Within 22 days, a heart is beating and blood is flowing in the tiny body, often of a different blood type than the mother. By 6 weeks, the baby starts to move and brain activity can be recorded; hiccups can start around 7 weeks; and by 10 weeks, the baby can suck his or her thumb, sigh, and stretch out in the womb. [6] Experts generally agree that the baby can feel pain around 20 weeks, but some research shows that the ability may begin as early as 12 weeks. [7] Soon the baby can open his or her eyes and see light through the womb, as well as hear and recognize the mother’s voice.

The word “fetus” is a term for a stage of human development, just like “infant,” “toddler,” “teen,” “adult,” or “elder,” and from modern medical advances, it’s clear that the preborn are very much alive.

Claim #4: “Abortion restrictions place unfair weight on women while men aren’t held responsible.”

Because of basic biological differences between men and women, it is true that women bear most of the weight of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. It’s also true that, in many situations, single or unsupported women find themselves carrying the financial burden of pregnancy and birth, not to mention the monetary and emotional  costs of raising children alone.

These situations are so difficult, but aborting innocent children is not the solution. These women need love and support, and that’s exactly what we at Pro-life Utah are here to provide

A major reason irresponsible men often get off easy is the so-called “sexual freedom” that pro-abortion advocates so often champion. There used to be an effective legal system that held men accountable for their sexual activity; it was called marriage. Over the past several decades, it has become clear that the disintegration of the family unit is the opposite of liberating for women. Some argue that abortion is the solution, but in reality it only deepens the core problem by giving men an out.

If a woman won’t give in to pressure from her partner to abort their child, the man can easily fall back on “your body, your choice” and thereby frame the situation as “your child” and “your problem.” 

There are some ways to ensure paternal responsibility, however—at least financially. Legislation like Utah’s 2021 Shared Medical Cost law requires biological fathers to pay 50% of pregnancy-related costs, which relieves a large portion of the financial stress placed on single mothers. As marriage rates continue to decline, it would be wise for lawmakers of all states to consider such policies.

Claim #5: “Banning abortion is about controlling women’s bodies.”

Did you know most of us here at Pro-Life Utah are women? Not surprisingly, we don’t actually want to control women’s bodies—on the contrary, we want to support and empower women! Banning abortion is really about protecting babies’ bodies, and we’re confident we can do both.

Claim #6: “Banning abortion takes away women’s rights.”

No one has a right to take away another innocent person’s rights—especially the right to life. Without the right to life, no other rights can exist; therefore, it must come before all other so-called rights.

Additionally, abortion was only declared a “right” by the seven men who ruled on Roe v Wade in the first place. The United States Constitution was founded on “inalienable” or “God-given” rights, including the right to life. It is natural that this would cause conflict in a society that generally no longer believes in God, since without God, rights must be assumed by popularity. The “right” to an abortion is a prime example of this.

Claim #7: “You can’t be ‘pro-life’ unless you support xy&z.” 

There are many causes out there that we can choose to be involved in, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be involved in all of them. It’s okay—and good!—to prioritize saving the lives of innocent babies from abortion. You are pro-life. 

Every side of every issue has pros and cons, and different people’s life experiences lead them to value those aspects differently. Maybe you disagree with someone on the best way to decrease poverty, provide healthcare, or ensure safe cities and safe schools, but just because the way you prioritize such issues or the way you come up with solutions is different from what someone else thinks it should be, it does not make you any less “pro-life.”

Claim #8: “You shouldn’t ‘force pregnancy’ or ‘force birth’ in a country that offers so little in sex ed and insurance coverage.”

Most Americans have seen news coverage of abortion activists protesting in white bonnets and red capes, the iconic “Handmaid’s Tale” costume. In doing so, they hope to parallel the horrific dystopian society that views women as property and forces them to bear children for the state with pro-life legistlation.

The idea of “forcing” a pregnancy should bother everyone, since that would literally be synonymous with rape. There’s a huge difference, though, between forcing a woman to get pregnant and then give birth and prohibiting her from killing a child she already has.

Since it’s a biological fact that a new, unique, human life begins at conception, there is really very little in common between the “Handsmaid’s Tale” version of coercion and the pro-life movement. 

Claim #9: “Men shouldn’t make laws about women’s bodies.”

Also known as the “no uterus, no opinion” argument, the idea that men don’t get pregnant and, therefore, shouldn’t have a say in the abortion debate has been growing in popularity in recent years.

The problem with this reasoning is that abortion is a human rights issue. When a human right is being violated, as in the case of the thousands of innocent children who are being killed each day through abortion, every member of the society has not only a right but a responsibility to oppose it. 

Claim #10: "If Roe v Wade is overturned, pro-lifers will be able to force their religion on others."

As discussed in Claim #3, scientific advances have made it abundantly clear; preborn babies are alive. This isn’t a religious opinion; it’s a biological fact. While individual standards of ethical behavior may differ, it’s a universal tenet of any moral code that intentionally killing an innocent human being is wrong, and this is reflected in our law.

So, really, religion isn’t even a factor. Science proves that the preborn are living, and the law demands that all living human beings are protected. Thus, preborn children must be protected.

Conclusion

We live in an imperfect world and imperfect society, and we have monumental issues to overcome. But no problem can be ethically solved by killing an innocent human being.

Whatever the argument, whatever the claim, just remember that life is a human right. So be brave in defending it.


For more help answering tough abortion-related questions, follow us on Instagram or Facebook. Consider sharing our content to help debunk the common misconceptions that are out there!

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Sources:

1. https://www.liveaction.org/news/nine-ways-pro-lifers-prepare-end-roe-v-wade/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnNyUBhCZARIsAI9AYlE5iQedfOekvj5AAiGFtvG6EhtCmu-YbqJFT7JY5a3SDIQnMJ-8uEwaAkdHEALw_wcB

2. https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/2019/liz-krueger/faqs-about-reproductive-health-act

3. https://le.utah.gov/~2020/bills/static/sb0174.html

4. https://www.prolifeutah.org/news/article.cfm?id=625

5. https://prolifereplies.liveaction.org/back-alley/

6. https://babyolivia.liveaction.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnNyUBhCZARIsAI9AYlG66euZ-PISAriDcjUWz6gcMMBHwHIE7NMtQkhRAWrVCSOqtAWHcu4aAqDhEALw_wcB

7. https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/study-shows-preborn-babies-feel-pain-as-early-as-12-weeks-gestation/

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