Gosnell Guilty!

by Roger Resler

Things don’t seem to be going well for the pro-abortion lobby in the U.S. in recent weeks. Following on the heels of Planned Parenthood of Florida’s pro-infanticide slip of the tongue in March and Live Action’s undercover exposé of late-term abortionist, Le Roy Carhart last week, the conviction today of late-term abortionist, Kermit Gosnell is the latest in what may be a lasting trend. To those of us who consider the evil of induced abortion on an almost daily basis, Gosnell’s conviction is a no-brainer. It’s nearly impossible to believe that anyone could legitimately fail to grasp that what Gosnell does on a routine basis – simply stated: killing babies – is immoral; beyond any reasonable doubt illegal and should be condemned by even the most pro-abortion of pro-abortionists.

It would have been a sorry state of affairs had this blatant killer been acquitted. That he was not at least bodes well for the future. In the past, convictions such as this one have been appealed and overturned by a judge. Other similar convictions have stood, but typically on the basis of maternal death. In 2007, the aforementioned Le Roy Carhart – of recent Live Action fame – was convicted of performing illegal “partial-birth abortions” and the conviction was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court. The difference with the Gosnell case is that the conviction is based exclusively on the value of the baby. The implication is that a “person” comes to exist at birth which makes birth the moral dividing line between legal abortion and illegal infanticide.

While the birth-line may make legal interpretations more convenient (at least to a certain extent), from a rational and scientific standpoint, human life has clearly begun long before birth – as any expectant mother beyond quickening knows.

While we can definitely celebrate the trend toward fetal-value-based legal convictions as a positive development, the next logical step will be to point out the irrationality of protecting human beings only after they manage to escape the confines of the womb intact and breathing.

 

 

We knew it was bad, but…

by Roger Resler

I’ve been writing and producing media content on the subject of abortion for decades. I’ve debated “hard-core” pro-abortionists in online discussions who were either born without a conscience or have numbed what they were born with into irrelevancy. I think I’ve seen and heard it all. And then along comes another Live Action undercover video. It’s not easy to watch, but everyone – whether you’re pro-life, pro-choice or have no opinion on abortion – everyone needs to watch this video: click here to watch.

How does one describe what Lila’s organization repeatedly captures on video? Stomach turning comes to mind, yet seems inadequate. The only analog I can think of would be a slave-trader who treats the human beings under his charge as commodities while still recognizing their humanness. Used to be – back in the good ‘ole days – that pro-abortionists knew they couldn’t gain public approval for abortion while simultaneously acknowledging the humanity of the unborn. It was merely a “fetus” they reassured us, not a baby.

As late as 2001 pro-choice cheerleader Marian Faux  adamantly insisted that while “The fetus may be like a baby in some respects,” it is “emphatically not a baby.” (Faux, pg. 149). In 1991, during a live Phil Donahue taping in Wichita, Kansas, when asked about the fate of babies who survive abortion (see for example the story of Melissa Ohden), Faye Wattleton, then president of Planned Parenthood answered: “I do not accept that a fetus is a baby. It is a fetus.” Apparently Wattleton missed the point of the question which was concerned with babies who survive abortions. But for Wattleton and Faux, and the host of other pro-choice proponents they speak for, abortion is morally acceptable because a fetus is “emphatically not a baby.”

Yet here, in the latest Live Action undercover video, we have an abortionist (how much more pro-choice does it get?) brazenly acknowledging that he’s killing babies on a routine basis and does so as casually as roasting meat in a crock-pot. Has the world gone completely insane?

What is it going to take to get Americans upset about abortion? If the only way to change things were to mobilize an army and fight a civil war, I could see how that might present a difficult challenge. But the fact of the matter is, all we really need to do is vote pro-life en masse. The problem is it’s going to take a lot of us getting so upset that we remember these videos every time we go to the ballot box.

Another sorry testament about this – beyond, of course, the fact that Dr. Carhart and other abortionists routinely kill unborn babies – is that if this and other Live Action videos had instead exposed evil gun lobbyists casually talking about the effectiveness of semi-automatics on school children or oil barons yucking it up on their private jets en route to a New York country club you can bet they would be receiving multiple plays on every major media outlet across the country with bold headlines demanding action and guest appearances on late-night talk shows. As it is, it’s up to us, Live Action, a few good bloggers and Fox News to pique the conscience of a nation.

The video closes with the definition of “inhuman” as follows:

Adjective
  1. Lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.
  2. Not human in nature or character

After giving the matter some additional thought, I may have a phrase that captures the essence of what Live Action has captured on video: civilized barbarity.

A person’s a person, even if Dr. Seuss threatens to sue

by Roger Resler

The recurring maxim expressed by “Horton” the elephant in Dr. Seuss’s classic story Horton Hears a Who, goes like this: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” So certain is this truth to Horton, that he takes it as being self-evident. His actions throughout the story are admirably consistent with this assertion and the moral implications that accompany it.

While enjoying a bath in a river, Horton’s large ears pick up on a tiny voice emanating from a speck of dust as it flutters by. While Horton never sees the person producing the voice – since that person is too tiny to be seen by an elephant – he, nevertheless, realizes that there must be a person there since he can clearly hear the voice coming from the speck of dust. In fact, there is apparently an entire city – if not a planet – consisting of many “Who’s” living on that speck of dust.

Trouble enters the story when Horton’s animal friends reject the foolish notion that there could be any kind of life, much less a person, living on a speck of dust. They accordingly ridicule Horton for believing in such nonsense. Eventually, in an effort to relieve Horton of his delusions, it is decided that the dust speck should be boiled in oil. Knowing that this would mean a sudden and violent destruction of Who civilization (resisting the desire for a Roger Daltrey joke here), Horton does everything in his power to save the dust speck from such a terrible fate; because, “after all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

In the end, the Who’s concerted effort at noise-making generates enough decibels to register in the ears of Horton’s skeptical friends. Once they realize they had been wrong in their criticism, their mood changes dramatically and, once again, in accordance with the truth that “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” they cease their attempt to destroy the dust speck (which they now realize would be immoral) and everyone lives happily ever after – that is until pro-life advocates wanted to express the same truth to a skeptical world.

The irony is that the creator of Horton, the Who’s and Whoville itself, the late Theodore Geisel, apparently preferred to identify with the skeptics rather than those advancing the same truth his hero expresses when it comes to the controversy surrounding the morality of abortion. My introduction to this bizarre turn of events came a few days ago from someone who commented on the trailer for my book Compelling Interest. In both the book and the trailer, we quote this phrase of Dr. Seuss (or more precisely Horton) because we agree with it.

While commenting on the trailer, smitelystacey, asks if we are aware that Dr. Seuss, “never intended his quote to be used in this manner” and that, “he threatened to sue an anti-abortion group for using his quote [on their letterhead] before he died, and his widow has also spoken out against people hijacking his work to support their own agendas.”

Seriously?

I’m sorry but this is one of those things that just takes the cake. No, in fact, I was not aware of Dr. Seuss’s antipathy toward the pro-life agenda, nor would I ever have imagined such a thing. Admittedly, I’ve seen some strange things in my near half-century on this earth, but the irony of Dr. Seuss threatening to sue a pro-life group for using the phrase “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” when they agree with the premise, is certainly unexpected. Upon further investigation I learned that Dr. Seuss was apparently quite liberal and – it would appear – was either pro-choice on abortion or at least opposed to the pro-life agenda.

Of course threatening to sue and actually being able to sue are two different things. I’m reasonably confident that Dr. Seuss had no exclusive copyright on the phrase “A person’s a person, no matter how small” nor – more importantly – on the moral truth behind the phrase. Even if that had been the case, it’s still quite legal for anyone to quote the phrase provided they properly attribute it to Dr. Seuss. Even skeptics who don’t believe that “a person’s a person no matter how small” are free to quote the phrase. But the idea that Geisel would threaten to sue a pro-life group for using the phrase, and that his widow has “spoken out against people hijacking his work to support their own agendas” is jaw dropping in light of the moral implications behind Horton’s sudden awareness of the existence of microscopic human life.

If pro-life people wanted to misuse the quote or twist it to mean something different from the truth expressed by Horton, I could understand the Geisel’s righteous indignation. As it is, pro-lifers use the quote precisely because they agree with it! It would be like the police department threatening to sue security guards for suggesting their job also exists “To protect and to serve.”

There is abundantly more objective evidence supporting the fact that human life exists long before it can be registered by adult sensory perception than there is for the existence of barely audible Who’s living on a speck of dust. If the Geisel’s don’t/didn’t believe that human fetuses or embryos are persons, they are free to disbelieve, but such skepticism is perfectly analogous to the villains in the Horton story who also don’t believe human life could exist at a microscopic level. The truth expressed in the phrase: “A person’s a person no matter how small” remains valid in both cases. The irony is beyond palpable.

smitelystacey closes her remarks (I’m assuming a female gender here, my apologies if I’m mistaken) by suggesting that we should: “Keep your personal opinions away from women’s bodies, and don’t steal a dead man’s work in order to gain support for your erroneous life views,” – as though the assertion that: “A person’s a person, no matter how small” only represents my (erroneous!) “personal opinion” and only infringes on “women’s bodies” when it’s expressed by me and other pro-life proponents rather than by Horton the elephant in a children’s book. Apparently Horton knew how to use the phrase in a non-erroneous manner.

After the dust settles (pun intended, feel free to roll eyes) pro-lifers, like Horton, will continue to operate under the self-evident truth that a person’s a person, no matter how small and will consistently recognize the moral implications of that truth to human life at any stage of development regardless of Theodore Geisel’s political views or pre-mortem threats of imminent lawsuits.

Am I living on Mars?

by Roger Resler

The callousness of the “tolerant” pro-choice left never ceases to mystify me – at least until the shock wears off and I force myself to see things from their shallow, “politically correct” point of view. Case in point: actor Mehcad Brooks’ tawdry video “celebrating” his and Jane Roe’s 40th Anniversary. (It must have been an arranged marriage given that he wasn’t even alive in 1973). Produced through the auspices of the Center For Reproductive Rights, the video is so revolting – when one considers the subject matter – that I refuse to dignify it with a link. You can readily find it online. By now you’ve probably seen at least snippets on TV anyway.

The silky, smirking Brooks chortles: “Oh, hey baby. Did you think I forgot?” as he sniffs a rose and puts his cognac down while sexy jazz plays and a fireplace burns in the background. “All these years,” he smugly expounds, “so many people said we’d never make it. They’ve been trying to tear us apart. Take you away. Put limits on you. On me. On us.”

As is common for typically question-begging pro-choice logic, Brooks and Roe’s allegorical relationship only manages to keep itself out of the realms of sheer barbarity when viewed from the narrow perspective of “reproductive rights.” But there is a more subtle truth hidden behind the apparent irony of a man starring in a video that is intended to celebrate “women’s rights.” Townhall’s Katie Pavlich observes with respect to pro-choice proponents, “it’s not that they don’t want men involved, they simply want men to regurgitate talking points and celebrate abortion when it’s convenient.” Pavlich also notes that: “It’s no wonder men in our culture today don’t respect women as they should, because they aren’t required to.”

While Pavlich’s points are certainly valid, the truth is that the adoption of abortion as a natural staple of “women’s reproductive rights” is actually driven by male interests and has been from the beginning.

The seeming paradox of the male “reproductive freedom” advocate makes sense when understood within the misogynistic context of escaping the moral consequences of one’s actions at the expense of female biology. Readily available abortion relieves men of moral obligation and child-support responsibilities. It is precisely the avoidance of this moral obligation that MSNBC’s “The Cycle” co-host, Toure, extolled on Friday, suggesting that the availability of abortion saved his life because he wasn’t ready to be a dad. Think about that for a moment. Toure explains that he was “in a committed relationship with a woman” that he paradoxically “knew was just not the one.” According to Toure, “She also knew it probably wasn’t going to work out. And then she got pregnant” as though Toure himself was a sideline observer in the phenomenon. “I knew that pregnant woman and I were not going to be able to form a lasting family.” Years later, Toure explains, he met another woman, married her and “after we decided to get pregnant, I went to her doctor’s appointments – our doctor’s appointments, with joy.”

Surprisingly, though, Toure’s “lifelong commitment to abortion rights was… jostled” by witnessing their “boy grow inside her”  and noticing “how human they are” during the second trimester as “we watched him move around on 3-D sonograms.” Despite this challenge to his pro-choice commitment, Toure remained pro-choice because he “cannot imagine arguing against a woman’s right to control her body and thus her life.”

Ironic, isn’t it, that Toure identifies his “lifelong commitment to abortion rights” with “a woman’s right to control her body and thus her life” and yet he’s specifically grateful that abortion was available to save his life. Consider the male-centricity in Toure’s assertion that: “I thank God and country that when I fell into a bad situation, abortion was there to save me and keep me on a path toward building a strong family I have now. And I pray that safety net stays in place.”

Aside from the fact that abortion was there to save him, one wonders how exactly Toure “fell into a bad situation” in the first place. Even when hammered, a typical male needs a minimum level of functioning cognition in order to “fall into” the act that leads to pregnancy.

Given the male interest in avoiding long-term obligations that stem from one’s inability to keep from stumbling into “bad situations” coupled with the fact that men don’t have to undergo abortion procedures, it’s no great surprise that men have been strong supporters of “women’s reproductive rights” since before, during and after Roe v. Wade. As I point out in Compelling Interest (Chapter 5) several of the key arguments Sarah Weddington used while arguing Roe originated with men. In particular: Roy Lucas and Cyril Means, Jr. That these arguments turned out to be largely fallacious illustrates that the establishment of a moral basis for abortion on demand, secured by rational logic, was not as important as the benefit men would receive from the creation of “women’s reproductive rights.” Given that backdrop, Brooks and Toure have a lot to celebrate.

40 Years and Roe’s not looking any better

by Roger Resler

I discovered the writings of Francis Beckwith while doing research on the update and revision of my audio-book turned print edition, Compelling Interest. His name kept popping up in the reference section and footnotes of the materials I was reading.  Unfortunately, I did not actually get a copy of his book, or see any of his writings (other than what was quoted in other materials) until after my updated manuscript was finished. Once I began reading his materials on abortion, I was amazed at how similar our conclusions are regarding the abortion debate. Certainly some similarities are to be expected, given that we are both pro-life and both writing on the topic of abortion, but I was amazed at just how similar our thinking is. For example, on page 114 of his book Defending Life, he quotes Harry Blackmun’s fallacious argument from pity in his dissenting opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) wherein Justice Blackmun attempts to illicit sympathy for the “millions of women” who have “ordered their lives around the right to reproductive choice…” but (it was believed at the time) apparently stood on the precipice of losing that right.  By this point in the book, Beckwith has already shown how such a line of reasoning is fallacious because it says nothing about whether the “right to reproductive choice” should be a right in the first place, but instead, attempts to suggest that the right should be retained since millions of women have come to structure their lives around it.

I have a habit of making notes in the margins of books I’m reading in case I want to quote something in the future. When I read Dr. Beckwith’s quotation of Harry Blackmun, I noted that “This could be parodied to Dred Scott.” I continued reading and on the next page Dr. Beckwith presents a parody of Blackmun’s logic by substituting his defense of Roe with a similar defense of Dred Scott. After several additional instances like this I reached the conclusion that Francis Beckwith and I must be twins who were separated at birth.

Given all this, it is no great surprise that I would heartily agree with his latest blog posts at The Catholic Thing website. I responded to part two of his posts. The following is a re-post of that response.

Francis Beckwith wrote:

 “What is key to understanding the third is that Blackmun concedes a symmetrical relationship between the right to abortion and the degree to which the fetus is not a person.”

“Degree” being the operative word. In theory, being a “person” or not being a person emerged as the pivotal moral factor in the abortion question during Roe v. Wade oral arguments, with even Sarah Weddington conceding that if the state could establish that a fetus is a “person” under the protection of the 14th Amendment, then she “would have a very difficult case.” (Pro-choice) Justice Stewart suggested that such a finding would render Weddington’s case “almost impossible” and Justice Blackmun wrote that Weddington’s case “collapses” with the establishment of fetal personhood. Thus, the metaphysical concept of “personhood” became the critical element that living humans are supposed to fully possess before their lives can be protected by the Constitution. This is a clear case of stacking the deck in favor of the pro-choice agenda.

It is precisely the ambiguous nature of the concept of “personhood” that was exploited by pro-choice proponents in order to facilitate the larger pro-choice notion that the decision (as to whether or not abortion is morally permissible) should be left up to each individual woman.

Ironically, with specific regard to the law, Justice Blackmun never conclusively suggested that the unborn are not persons, but rather that, according to the law, they had allegedly never been regarded as “persons in the whole sense.” The implication being that even if they were in some sense “partial persons” they were still not “whole” persons. This, of course, logically raises the question of how much “personhood” is required before one’s pre-existing life can be protected by the law; a question that can only be answered subjectively since personhood cannot be measured.

The debate over fetal personhood was therefore an ad hoc response specifically designed to facilitate the desire for abortion on request; a desire that had grown out of a larger desire to avoid moral responsibility to one’s own offspring. We would not be debating fetal “personhood” 40 years after Roe v. Wade, had there not previously existed a desire for legalized abortion on request

Continuing with my response to Amplify

by Roger Resler

Picking up where I left off in my responses to Amplify Your Voice brings us to this:

4. Women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy. Odds are that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Does this mean that 33% of all women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation? Considering how many people are killed during childbirth (see #2), should we allow this further risk to endured on top of what has already been done?

Many would argue that these women could endure the pregnancy, spending nearly a year of her life simply re-living the rape and its effects over and over again, to give up a baby at the end of it for adoption. However, we all are aware of the fact that there are millions of unwanted children awaiting adoption as we speak who remain unclaimed; in fact, UNICEF estimates that there are 210 million orphans in the world right now. If they have no one willing to be their parent or guardian, why would another baby have a better chance?

My theory is that people who spend so much time, energy, and money on anti-abortion campaigns should instead spend it on the precious children they say need saving so much—the ones who are alive and parentless. Imagine if all the funds spent on all those billboards and flyers and campaigns were instead either spent adopting or donating to places that are overrun with orphaned children… perhaps some actual credibility would be given to these people who claim to love children so much.

Also, there is the fact of the matter of the more than one million homeless youth in America alone. The number one factor for a child being homeless is physical or sexual abuse at home. Perhaps these “child-lovers” should step in and care for these already-born children as well.

By this point the pro-abortion proponent has moved to the time-tested, sure-fire argument. As I point out in my book, Compelling Interest, the question of rape and incest have gotten more mileage for the pro-choice cause than any other argument. Thus “the rape card” will be played in just about any abortion discussion that lasts very long or is going badly for the pro-choice proponent. (The former often leads to the latter).

Given the productivity of this argument, it will require a fairly lengthy response.

The reason the argument is so productive for the pro-choice cause is simple. In both cases a crime has been committed against a woman who did not willingly participate in the act that caused the unborn child to exist. This is indeed a very important moral consideration. This is what prompts this particular pro-abortion proponent to suggest that: “Women who are raped or victims of incest should not be forced to carry out a pregnancy.”

This certainly sounds reasonable to many Americans. And there are even some pro-life proponents who are willing to give in to pro-choice logic when it comes to rape and incest precisely because an injustice has occurred and the pregnant woman is a victim. It seems almost heartless to then ask her to carry for nine months an unborn child she had no intention of creating; go through the often difficult act of child-birth, and then either raise the child or give her up for adoption.

While the question of rape and incest is, in my opinion, the best argument pro-choice proponents have been able to exploit in order to promote their larger agenda, the logic is still flawed. In the case above, there are several clear fallacies.

Pheo152 (who wrote the Amplify article I am responding to) suggests that: “Odds are that 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime. Does this mean that 33% of all women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation? Considering how many people are killed during childbirth (see #2), should we allow this further risk to endured [sic] on top of what has already been done?”

Pheo does not cite where she (I’m assuming Pheo is a “she”) got the figure that “1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual violence in her lifetime,” but on the face of it, the figure seems amazingly high. Either that, or “sexual violence” is defined extremely broadly. I question the number, but whether the number is accurate or not, certainly there are some women who will be victims of sexual violence in their lifetimes, and, whether it’s 1 in 3  or 1 in 300,000, each case is certainly a tragedy.

Pheo’s next statistic, however, simply does not logically follow.   She asks whether: “33% of all women should be forced to carry out a pregnancy from this violation?” This is clearly a not-so-veiled attempt to grossly manipulate numbers, when there really is no need for such egregious manipulation. Even if Pheo’s first statistic were accurate (and I seriously question its accuracy) it does not follow that “1 in 3 women” or “33% of all women” (!) will get pregnant as a result of “sexual violence.” In fact even in true cases of rape and incest pregnancy more often does not result. In other words, rape and incest are, thankfully, fairly rare to begin with, but even in those rare cases, pregnancy is much rarer still. Even the very pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute acknowledges that abortions due to rape and incest are extremely rare, less than 2%. Low as they are, Guttmacher’s numbers, however, appear to be misleading, as another source has taken an average of all abortions performed in the U.S. from 1980 to 2007 and found that rape and incest cases combined accounted for only .09% of the actual abortions performed during that nearly 3-decades-long time frame. I’m not a math genius, but that’s a minuscule number compared to total abortions; far lower than even Guttmacher’s numbers suggest.

So it is abundantly clear that pro-abortion proponents very often want the rape and incest numbers to be much higher than they actually are. This is why we see the outrageous figure of “1 in 3” and “33%” being cited above followed by the remarkable implication that 33% of unwanted pregnancies occur due to rape or incest. The figures are obviously grossly inaccurate. Think about that for a moment. As I mentioned, there should be no need to so seriously exaggerate on what would appear to be a “winning” argument for the pro-choice cause. So then why are the numbers often seriously exaggerated? Perhaps the argument is not as solid as it might seem.

Regardless of the actual numbers, women do occasionally get pregnant as a result of rape and/or incest. On that we can agree and we can also agree that such cases are tragic indeed. No woman should be raped. Period.

But it does not follow from that that she is then morally entitled to kill the unborn child she carries because the child’s father committed a crime. While the mother certainly is not responsible for the pregnancy, neither is the child. The pregnancy was indeed forced on the woman, but it was not forced by the child. It was forced by a criminal who disregarded laws against rape and incest. So why must the child be killed because of the sins of her father? This is not an acceptable reason to kill children once they are born. We would never allow a mother to kill her born children because they were conceived in rape. Why then are so many willing to make an exception to that basic intuition before the birth of the child? The answer is that the pro-choice community assumes the point they are trying to prove in order to justify abortion in cases of rape. This fallacy is called begging the question.

Only by assuming what they are trying to prove (that an unborn fetus is not the moral equivalent of a born child) can it make rational sense to allow abortion in cases of rape or incest.

To illustrate this fallacy, let’s adapt Pheo’s own argument and apply it to born children. In that case, it would go something like this: Many would argue that mothers of born children should endure the rest of their lives simply re-living the rape and its effects over and over again, and they also argue that giving them up for adoption is better than killing them. However, we all are aware of the fact that there are millions of unwanted children awaiting adoption as we speak who remain unclaimed; in fact, UNICEF estimates that there are 210 million orphans in the world right now. If they have no one willing to be their parent or guardian, why shouldn’t  mothers of unwanted children born from rape cases be allowed to kill them?

By constructing the argument in such terms – which no one would rationally accept – we see that either there must be a radically significant moral difference between a born child and an unborn child, or this pro-abortion argument is simply barbaric. In other words, Pheo is assuming what she’s trying to prove – that there is, supposedly, a radical moral difference between killing a born child and killing an unborn child. But she offers nothing in support of this very critical assumption throughout her entire article.

Beyond this fatal fallacy, Pheo commits several others. She cites no specific references so one can legitimately question the “210 million” figure UNICEF is allegedly “estimating.” But even giving Pheo the benefit of the doubt here, it does not follow that because there are a good number of orphans in the world that killing unborn children in the United States is therefore morally acceptable. There are unquestionably a lot of problems in the world. But just because there are problems in the world, it does not follow that Americans should have the freedom to kill their unborn children. Once again, Pheo is assuming the moral difference she wants to be true without offering any support for its truthfulness. Nevertheless, her

“theory is that people who spend so much time, energy, and money on anti-abortion campaigns should instead spend it on the precious children they say need saving so much—the ones who are alive and parentless. Imagine if all the funds spent on all those billboards and flyers and campaigns were instead either spent adopting or donating to places that are overrun with orphaned children… perhaps some actual credibility would be given to these people who claim to love children so much.”

Here we see another fallacy: the ad hominem fallacy, which is an (at best) irrelevant attack on the character of the one making an argument you disagree with.  The above is a clear example of such fallacious reasoning. Pheo is attempting to make the case that pro-life proponents are hypocrites because they “claim to love children so much” but, according to Pheo, spend too much “time, energy, and money on anti-abortion campaigns” and “should instead spend it on the precious children they say need saving so much—the ones who are alive and parentless.” Pheo also thinks that pro-lifers would have more credibility if they stopped running advertisements and “instead either spent [that money] adopting or donating to places that are overrun with orphaned children.”

It seems that Pheo may not be aware that many pro-life organizations and people do indeed operate and support crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. Even Planned Parenthood acknowledges that, while simultaneously committing another ad hominem fallacy by claiming these are “fake clinics run by people who are anti-abortion.” That is just silly. Crisis pregnancy centers are quite real “centers” that are designed to help women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. Planned Parenthood simply doesn’t like it when groups attempt to discourage abortion because it robs them of potential revenue.

Pheo is also apparently unaware of people like Connie Youngkin who founded an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. The list could go on and on, but the point is irrelevant because even if Pheo were correct in her baseless implication that all pro-life people are selfish and inconsistent, such a truth would do nothing to demonstrate that the arguments they make are wrong. This is why “attacking the man” instead of the argument is fallacious. In this case, it’s doubly so, because pro-life people are indeed quite often the ones who care for both the born and unborn in need.

Another very important consideration that is nearly always overlooked is the fact that while abortion proponents claim that an abortion is the perfect “cure” for the predicament of unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, the reality is that there is no guarantee that abortion can “solve” the problem. In fact, chances are good that it will simply compound the problem. Abortion can’t reverse the hands of time and erase the violation. All it can do is kill the child. The woman will have the memory of the rape in either case, but when she adds an abortion, she now has two painful memories. In the first, she was the victim. In the second, she is responsible.

Pheo concludes with this:

“Also, there is the fact of the matter of the more than one million homeless youth in America alone. The number one factor for a child being homeless is physical or sexual abuse at home. Perhaps these “child-lovers” should step in and care for these already-born children as well.”

This argument is so patently fallacious it should be self-evident. How would Pheo suggest that pro-life people go about stepping in and caring for these already born children? By showing up on abuser’s doorsteps and demanding custody of the children? Beyond that, is Pheo suggesting that pro-lifers are somehow responsible for child abuse? Her point is unclear, but the implication is that abortion should solve the problem of child abuse since with the abortion option, there should be no reason for parents to bring unwanted children into the world, hence no more child abuse.

While Pheo doesn’t make this case explicitly, other pro-choice proponents have. But this is obviously refuted by the simple fact that Roe v. Wade did not stop child abuse.

The fact is that pro-lifers are not responsible for the problem of child abuse. Why, then, does Pheo imply that they need to “step in and care for these already-born children as well” even if she were to offer a viable way for them to do so? Why are pro-life proponents any more responsible for caring for already-born children than are pro-choice people? Does Pheo “step in and care for these already-born children as well”? And if so, does she do so legally? And even if she does, how is any of that morally relevant to her central thesis that unborn children are so morally inferior to born children that their mothers ought to have the legal right to kill them?

Amplify #5: Gender-bias fallacy

Halfway through my responses to Amplify Your Voice,
10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy we find this:

5. Most people who are against abortion will never even become pregnant. If a law would never, in any circumstance, apply to a man, a man creating that law is preposterous. It is akin to men creating laws that ban women from voting, owning property, or showing skin in public—only much more deadly.

As should be obvious by now, the top 10 Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy on the Amplify Your Voice website lack rational force. Argument number 5 is perhaps the weakest.

Many of the people who make laws against murder, for example, never commit murder, yet no one protests that it is wrong for non-murderers to write laws against murder. Similarly, we can recognize that it is wrong to commit murder, whether the one doing the judging has the capability of committing the crime or not.

Not only that, this argument implies that only men make anti-abortion laws, which is simply not true. Beyond this, if every woman in the U.S. was pro-abortion, then these types of gender-based arguments might at least have some traction. As it is, there are at least as many pro-life women in the U.S. as there are pro-choice women. In fact,  recent polls indicate a pro-life majority in the U.S. even among women! This means the claim that: “Most people who are against abortion will never even become pregnant” is simply false. The pro-life passion of women like Mother Teresa or Lila Rose, or Carol Everett or Helen Alvare and millions of others clearly demonstrate that these pro-choice, gender-based arguments simply do not correspond with the real world.

Finally, even if statistics actually were in support of the assertion this “reason to be pro-choice” would still be fallacious. It is an example of argumentum ad populum, or the appeal to majority fallacy which says if many people believe it, it must be true. Just because a majority agrees, doesn’t mean the majority is correct. The majority used to believe the earth is flat. Today, not so much. A majority of people in southern states used to think it was morally permissible to own black persons as slaves. That did not make slavery morally acceptable.

So, once again, we see that yet another of the top reasons to be pro-choice listed on a pro-choice website is fallacious. The way this is shaping up, what are the chances that the remainder will also prove to be fallacious? Stay tuned, to find out!