Monday, February 8, 2016

A Pro-Life Argument That Bugs Me...

Before we get started, I just want to say that I'm very pro-life. Those of you who have been following my family's journey can probably vouch for that. 

This rant is more about how one of the typically heard pro-life arguments bugs the heck out of me, and while I know those using it are coming from a good place, I think it really hurts our credibility.

It goes something like this:

"What if the person who was going to cure cancer was one of those who have been aborted?"

The purpose of this question is to make pro-choicers stop and think that maybe their stance has led to the killing of a person who was going to be really important, someone who may have had the capacity to change the world. 

But, because we have allowed abortion, we'll never know that person, never reap the benefits of their great achievements. 

This argument is like nails on a chalkboard to me. 

The essence of the pro-life argument is that each and every person has dignity and has worth. Each and every person has value, no matter what achievements or accomplishments they attain in their life. 

It doesn't matter if someone grows up to become a person who struggles with drug addiction and can't maintain a job, it doesn't matter if someone grows up to become President or even the Pope, it doesn't matter if someone is only able to live outside the womb for nothing more than a matter of minutes. 

We all have an equal value and dignity given to us by God. 

If we really want to drive home the pro-life message, it probably isn't a great idea to encourage people to change their minds because someone really important and valuable in a utilitarian sense might be lost, instead we should encourage them to change their minds because every person deserves a chance at life no matter what.

What do you think?


  1. I agree with you. That one's long grated on me, and you've helped me realize why.

    Sadly, in today's culture, the most powerful pro-choice argument is: no (or even restricted) abortions, less sex. Maybe sex is finally being so grotesquely oversold that I'm wrong, but I think there's a way to go yet.

  2. It might be a good "in" with some people, but if you leave it at that, it's just as damaging. It gives a skewed definition of value. Sure, the person who cures cancer has value, but so does the cancer patient who inspired that person to work on a cure.

    The "they could have cured cancer" line reinforces this idea that a person's value comes from production and impact on society. Does that then mean my autistic brother has less worth than me? Or that I have less worth than someone who is more productive than I? No, it doesn't, but I rarely hear value come up in conversation without it meaning "how do I benefit from this/you?"