Bad Pro-Choice Arguments

by Neil Shenvi

Abortion is a very controversial subject in our country and rightly so. Opponents of abortion charge that it is the murder of an unborn child. Those who support abortion claim that it is a basic human right. With 50 million legal abortions  performed in the U.S. in the last half century, with 60% of all African American pregnancies in New York City ending in abortion, with 80-90% of all babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome being aborted, and with as many as 100 million female babies ‘missing’ worldwide due to the practice of sex-selection abortions, the stakes are unimaginably high. If opponents of abortion are wrong, then they are attempting to strip women of their rights. If abortion advocates are wrong, then they are complicit in a moral atrocity to which every genocide in human history pales in comparison. The purpose of this essay is not primarily to argue against abortion, although I do fall strongly into the pro-life camp. The purpose of this essay is to examine several popular arguments in favor of abortion and show that they are seriously flawed.

If you are a proponent of abortion, I hope that you will consider these objections and will stop using these arguments. And if your support of abortion rights is wholly predicated on arguments like these, I hope that you will reconsider your stance on abortion altogether. I know that everyone in your circle of friends or your political community may be pro-choice. I know that support for abortion may seem like the only progressive, enlightened view. I know that you may think that only religious fanatics and misogynists oppose abortion. But I beg you to think through the following objections rationally. If you have never seriously interacted with pro-life arguments, I recommend starting with this debate between pro-life activist Scott Klusendorf and former ACLU president Nadine Strossen.

So what are some of the most popular pro-choice arguments and slogans that are deeply flawed? Here are a few…

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Bad Pro-Choice Arguments | Neil Shenvi