An Introduction to Pro-Life Apologetics

By James Carnegie

If one thing is evident in the abortion debate, it is the difference in argument of those in favour of abortion and those who oppose it. You can see this by listening to speakers or reading literature from either side. While pro-lifers often refer to their opponents as ‘pro-aborts’ the pro-choicers often use the term ‘anti-choice.’  In seeing how names are used in this debate one thing becomes clear: those opposed to abortion and those who support it are arguing two separate issues.

The argument of Brock Students For Life, along with all other pro-life advocates, is based upon demonstrating the inherent dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. Our opponents, however, build their argument upon the idea of choice. For this reason, rather than arguing why the unborn are not human, the pro-choice side tends to argue why the woman has a right to control her body.

In my experience, the abortion advocates I have encountered have avoided the question of the humanity of the unborn by turning to the worst-case-scenarios. By resting upon the cases of rape, incest, and the endangerment of the mother’s life the pro-choicer turns the argument back to ‘choice,’ thus appealing to the “mushy middle,” those who do not have a strong belief in either direction.

What the pro-life advocate must do is keep the conversation focused on the topic of ‘life’ as opposed to ‘choice.’ When the opponent argues that abortion should be legal because of the cases listed above we must explain why in both the case of the rape of a minor and the inconvenience of another child to a married couple the fetus is, in fact, a human being and, therefore, aborting him or her is murderous.

Without disrespect to those I have debated in the past, I have noticed a tendency to deny the reality of factual evidence. Usually this is justified by the argument that “there is nothing wrong with aborting a clump of cells.” Otherwise the facts I’ve presented are glossed over and  ‘choice’  is again trumpeted.

In my opinion, this is further proof that it is essential that we, as pro-life advocates, have the tools and skills necessary to defend our position. We must be able to explain to persons of any opinion that the unborn are human, that it is not a matter of choice but a matter of life and death.

In future posts I will dive further into pro-life arguments and the how to defend our position when challenged (apologetics = “to speak in defense”). If anyone has a particular pro-choice argument to which they would like a pro-life response please leave it in the comment section and I will include it in my next post. Until next time, keep fighting the good fight!

Getting the Discussion Started

I’ve been thinking of a topic for a blog post since Margaret kindly came up with this concept for our club. It has been difficult for me, to say the least. To be perfectly honest, I do not have much experience in expressing my pro-life view with words. I have always known that abortion is wrong, but I haven’t given much thought to why, exactly. Certainly it isn’t a bi-product of partisan politics, since I was pro-life long before having any conservative political views (in fact, I was a self-described communist/anarchist during most of my teenage years). I suppose what really made up my mind was the fact that in Canada we do not have any laws regulating when exactly a fetus becomes ‘viable’ and therefore a human being. It is a troubling thought that a full-term, 9-month old fetus can have its head impaled and be ripped out of the womb by a doctor who, presumably, feels absolutely no moral reprehension regarding this greusome ending of its life. Such is the case in Canada where such late-term abortion legal. I have not read any polls on the subject (much as I have faith in Canada’s professional pollsters, I doubt many would take on such a job), but I’m positive that the majority of Canadians would find this sort of late-term barbarism appalling. I’m also positive that any such poll would reveal that the vast majority assume that cases of full-term abortion are illegal in Canada, as they should be. Therein lies the key for the pro-life movement as I see it in this nation. Once we get people thinking about the utter wrongness of full-term abortions, the next logical question is when exactly a fetus should be considered a viable human being. Of course putting an exact figure on that, as they do in most Western countries, would then raise the question of what that means for the fetus only one day short of the cutoff date. Is the 22-week 6-day fetus no less a person than the 23-week fetus? And what about the 22-week 5-day fetus? And so on. If only a person looks at the situation with such logic, the only fair position to take would then be to side with life in all cases, as we in BSFL do. This, my first humble post among such intellectual giants as Matt, James (and James), Andrew, Stephanie, and Margaret, will hopefully not be my last. The important thing is getting the discussion started. Right-minded Canadians will do the rest of our jobs for us.