Beating Pro-Abortion Arguments
Most “pro-choice” arguments are infantile and easily refuted with scientific evidence. For example, the “fetus is nothing but a clump of cells” argument is effectively negated by the counterpoint that from the moment of conception, that so-called “clump of cells” has unique DNA not exactly like any other living organism on the planet (barring identical siblings, of course) and thus has autonomy. The debate then inevitably shifts to the “exceptions” argument for the product of rape or incest, an extremely small minority of total abortions per year. However, adoption exists as a viable alternative to abortion in those cases. Or, the pro-abortion crowd might compare the fetus to a tumor, but tumors don’t have unique DNA and can never exist outside the body as a completely separate and sentient entity.
No, the very best pro-abortion arguments are the ones where the point of contention that the child is a separate, living organism is conceded, and the issue only becomes a question of whether a mother can be legally forced to give birth to her child. The “violinist” argument is a thought exercise in which the pro-life advocate is asked to consider the following scenario: imagine you wake up one morning to find yourself in a hospital, tethered by machines to a total stranger. The doctors come in and explain that the stranger is a world-famous violinist, and the society of music lovers decided to save his life by kidnapping you and attaching him to you because your body has been determined to be the only one in the world capable of sustaining him for the next nine months. The point is to say the violinist is a human person with the same dignity and equal right to life as you, but he doesn’t have the right to use your body without your consent.
Staunch pro-life advocate Stephanie Gray Connors faced a variation of the violinist argument during her debate with philosophy professor Andrew Sneddon in which he said, “I’m going to agree for the sake of argument that the embryo is a human person with the same right to life as all of us. But abortion is justified in the following manner -- imagine this analogy. You are a parent. You have a born child, and you love your child. Your child suddenly gets sick with kidney disease and is going to die unless your child gets a kidney transplant. Imagine that you’re the only person in the world with the right body type so as to be able to donate one of your kidneys and in doing so, save your child’s life. Now, would it be nice of you as a parent to give one of your kidneys to your child? Yes, it would. Would it save your child’s life? Yes. Would it kill you? No, you have two kidneys. But should the law force a parent to give their kidney to their child? No. Just as a parent should not have a legal obligation to give their born child their kidney, the mother has no legal obligation to give her pre-born child her uterus.”
The argument is clear, succinct, and beautifully framed. In her interview with Matt Fradd, the host of Pints with Aquinas, Stephanie admitted that she was momentarily stumped by this variation on the violinist’s argument and desperately began to pray for divine intervention while pretending to take furious notes. She claimed the Holy Spirit spoke to her and said, “Stephanie, I made the uterus for a different purpose,” which didn’t seem to be particularly helpful until her turn came to stand up and speak.
Then Stephanie stood up and said, “Professor Sneddon makes a very compelling remark, a very strong argument until we ask ourselves a question: what is the nature and purpose of the kidney versus what is the nature and purpose of the uterus? Because when we ask and answer that question, we come to see why a parent should not be legally obligated to give one, but actually should be legally obligated to give the other. The kidney exists in my body, for my body. The uterus exists in my body every single month getting ready for someone else’s body. Every single month my uterine lining is thickening in great expectation for the implantation of the next generation. Therefore, you could say the uterus is unique from all the other body parts in that it exists more for my offspring than for me, and they can therefore claim a right to that in a way the preborn or born couldn’t claim a right to I-get-your-kidney, I get this, I get that.”
Checkmate, abortion advocates. According to reports, Dr. Sneddon was up all night, trying to think of a response. There’s been no word since about whether he’s made any progress to date.
The unborn child is a human being with rights equal to any born person. Stephanie stresses the importance of noting the difference between providing for basic and ordinary needs versus extraordinary needs. If the parent of a born child can be criminally charged with neglect for failing to provide food and shelter to their offspring, the mother of an unborn child should be prosecuted for failing to provide her uterus during the gestation phase of life.
Having a violinist attached to your body for nine months qualifies as extraordinary needs, as is giving up an organ in your body only intended to ever be used by your body to another person, even your own child. It is an act of generosity that cannot be compelled by law. Conversely, a mother’s womb exists inside of her body for only one purpose, and that is to provide a safe habitat for her offspring to develop until she gives birth. It isn’t a clump of cells, a tumor, or a world-class violinist acting like a parasite for nine months.
It’s a child and that child is a human being with an equal right to life, which makes abortion legalized murder. It’s no wonder the topic upsets so many people.
John Leonard is a freelance writer and author of six published books, including Always a Next One, his collection of short stories about animal rescue. His seventh book, The God Conclusion, is scheduled for release this summer. He may be contacted via his website at southernprose.com.
Image: Elvert Barnes