How to end an argument on abortion

We know that abortions are declining. So should pointless arguments over abortion also decline.

In one large city, the police had surrounded a man who took a little bit too much “ecstasy”—the recreational drug. Eight officers had literally surrounded the man. Did I mention the guy was holding a giant eight or nine-inch knife? The paramedics weren’t about to treat that guy until he’d been subdued.

So here’s eight cops in a circle around the man, who was undoubtedly experiencing the world in his own psychotropic technicolor movie. They all had their guns drawn, pointed at the man.

By now, you might realize the problem. When paramedic tapped the police sergeant on his shoulder, and pointed out how the officers were pointing their guns at each other, it dawned on him that his officers were captured by adrenaline. “Oh, s**t.”

In the U.S., both the pro-life movement and the pro-abortion movement have lost sight of the real problem. They are focused on surrounding their enemy and having the bigger guns in a knife fight.

Meanwhile, politicians come in and make promises they know they won’t keep, to either “defend abortion” nationwide, or to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade. Only the Supreme Court can overturn Roe, and states can regulate abortion in various ways. Companies like Disney and Netflix preen and threaten to leave pro-life states like Georgia, with no intention of doing so. It’s all a sham.

At the personal level, it’s mostly a waste of time to engage with people on the opposite end of the spectrum.

I don’t like to spend my time arguing with pro-abortion people, acting as the living flesh and blood for their straw men. I doubt they enjoy arguing with Christians who insist they are murderers and enablers for murderers. It’s not enjoyable for anyone except the most mentally disturbed trolls, with whom in real life I wouldn’t want to share a cup of coffee.

In other nations, people just don’t understand the big deal arguing about abortion in America. Abortion is prohibited in just three “developed” nations, according to the Guttmacher Institute (itself a generally pro-choice organization). Andorra, Malta and San Marino. Go ahead, look them up on an online map, because I’ll give $10 to anyone who can point to all of them on a globe without hunting.

Ireland recently made abortion legal, only to save the life of the woman. Many nations that have much more leftist economic and government policies than the U.S. have more restrictions on abortion than many U.S. states. New York’s policy is among the most pro-abortion in the entire world.

Try arguing with a New Yorker who defends their state’s law, which allows abortion right up to the point where the full-term baby’s umbilical is cut. There’s no rational reason why that baby—ready to be born—should be killed simply because the mother wills it. But the issue isn’t arguable.

Similarly, no pro-choice advocate is going to convince me that abortion is not murder. They won’t convince me that life begins at some arbitrary point after conception, when the unique DNA of the zygote is established. Viability outside the womb, ability to feel pain, and all the other arguments don’t affect my fixed point morality on life and murder. The arguments won’t convince me.

It’s gotten so that proving the “enemy” is wrong is more important than making a useful argument. It’s like those cops in a circle aiming their guns at the drugged out guy, in the middle, while also pointing them at each other.

When I’m on Twitter or other social media, I find the best way to end an argument about abortion, which usually has already devolved into name-calling and forcing girls to have babies fathered by rapists and incestuous dads, is to resort to actually being reasonable.

Trying to get someone who is firmly on the “pro-choice” side of abortion to agree to your definition of the beginning of life or the sacredness of it is mostly a pointless exercise. There’s no way to reason someone to a moral position that is achieved only through spiritual awakening.

I remember a well-worn speech given by columnist Cal Thomas that I heard him deliver at a crisis pregnancy center fundraising banquet I attended a number of years ago. Of course, the topic was saving babies from the horror of death by abortion. Thomas illustrated the problem of partisan straw men by giving his standard response to the “rape and incest” objection.

It goes like this: Fine. I’ll give you rape and incest. You give me the rest of abortions. Anyone even the least bit informed knows that rape and incest account for just 1.5 percent of abortions. Their answer is typically to expand the argument, dealing with the “coat hanger” situation—if abortions are illegal, then pregnant women in crisis will resort to other, illegal and unsafe, measures.

The argument for rape and incest is a political no-brainer, and it’s pretty impractical to pass any kind of regulation limiting abortion without those extreme exceptions. Politicians only support this kind of extreme legislation to win the votes of uninformed, but zealously religious, voters.

"There was consensus that politically if you didn't include exceptions for rape and incest, politicians wouldn't go for it, voters wouldn't like it and the Supreme Court wouldn't tolerate it. What you see now is pro-life groups saying it's no longer a political necessity and we can be opposed to all abortions and we want the GOP to be with us," Ziegler said. "Pro-choice groups see rape and incest exceptions as the canary in the coal mine when it comes to extremism. They argue ... if you're willing to abandon these exceptions, then there's no saying when you're going to stop."

Of course, I’d like to see abortion completely eliminated, but that’s not a very likely scenario when there are Plan B pills for sale at local pharmacies. The best solution to reducing abortion is to reduce the reasons women seek them. The second solution is to reduce the financial incentives for abortion providers to “sell” more abortions.

A Lexus dealer would be laughed out of business for suggesting a location in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood. This is also why you generally don’t see Planned Parenthood locations in well-off, white, suburban enclaves. Women getting abortions cite economic hardship more than other reasons.

“Neither one of us are really economically prepared. For myself, I’ve been out of work for almost two years now, I just started, you know, receiving benefits from DSS and stuff. And with my youngest child being three years old, and me...constantly applying for jobs for a while now,...if I got a job, I’m going to have to go on maternity leave. And with [the father],...let’s just say, with four children, I don’t think he needs another one.”—Mother of two, below the poverty line

Should women be permitted to seek an abortion for economic reasons? Most nations on earth would say no. But again, Plan B pills are really a form of emergency contraception, versus an abortifacient like RU-486. Women can obtain RU-486 online from a variety of sources, and enforcing laws against the drug is problematic, especially with the legal status of any ban sitting in limbo.

My offer to pro-choice friends is simple. You can have “women’s health” arguments—abortions for the health of the mother in the first 12 to 20 weeks, based on medical research regarding fetal heartbeat and the ability of babies in utero to feel pain. In exchange, abortions sought for economic reasons, sold for profit, be banned. Wouldn’t it be better to offer those mothers economic incentives, job training, and support systems, to have their babies than to sell them a story of how their lives would be so much better for doing away with their babies?

Wouldn’t it be better to let those women have their babies and give them up for adoption than to do away with the babies? When offered this kind of choice, arguments on the pro-choice side either evaporate, ending the discussion, or devolve into spittle-flecked ad-hominem attacks on Christians.

Better to unmask hate for Christians masquerading as pro-choice concern for expectant women in crisis than to continue pointless arguing. And for those who would argue that the only standard is zero abortions, better to unmask political hackery masquerading as pro-life concern for the unborn, than to continue to build straw men for the pro-choice lobby to burn.

Those who argue for absolutes are surrounding the enemy with guns drawn, ready to shoot their compatriots. The best arguments are ones that end arguments.

We know that arguing for an absolute: no murder, no crime, no drugs, no COVID-19 is a useless exercise. Like any sin, mistake, misjudgment, malice, or poor decision, abortion will happen whether we will it away or ban it. We know that abortions are declining. So should pointless arguments over abortion also decline.

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