In order to justify abortion, many Pro-Choice activists use faulty logic based on the premise that an unborn baby is not a person yet. Pro-Life advocates like myself find this position both morally abhorrent and logically incoherent, yet we have little hope of convincing Pro-Choice activists when they remain utterly convinced that an unborn baby is not a real baby. Instead, we must arm ourselves with a strong, logical understanding of the issue, so that we do not fall prey to their faulty arguments.
For instance, Pro-Choice activists have fooled even themselves with an egregious Equivocation Fallacy. When an argument uses an Equivocation Fallacy, it deliberately misleads opponents by using a word which sounds like it means one thing but actually means something entirely different. Abortion activists are notorious for only ever referring to unborn babies as fetuses, never children.
The word “fetus” tends to sound very technical and detached, almost inhuman, and that’s exactly the point. They distance people from an emotional connection to the baby by using a scientific term which describes a stage of human development. The word “fetus” was never meant to describe something non-human. “Fetus” is simply a descriptive category like “infant,” “adolescent,” or “geriatric.” It is deliberately misleading to use the word “fetus” but mean an impersonal clump of cells rather than a growing human child.
In the rare circumstance when an abortionist accepts the personhood of a fetus yet argues that their quality of life would be so poor that they’d be better off not living at all, they commit a fallacy of Moral Equivalence. Moral equivalences basically argue that minor misdeeds and major atrocities have the same moral value. In other words, the struggles a person with Down Syndrome would have to live through would be just as terrible as, if not worse than, terminating the person during pregnancy.
While people born with mental and physical complications certainly have many problems to cope with, these complications do not lessen their intrinsic value as human beings. Therefore, aborting these babies remains a terrible atrocity while the struggles they will suffer in life are only difficult circumstances. They do not bear the same moral equivalence, and this argument is a fallacious logical appeal.
Along with these Moral Equivalences, Pro-Choice activists also tend to slide down a Slippery Slope of assumptions when they point out an unborn baby’s projected life struggles. They like to argue that babies with Down Syndrome would lead such poor lives that they would be better off never being born. Even if the unborn baby has no detectable health complications, some abortionists still argue that it’s better for unwanted babies to never be born because they would not experience the love, care or opportunities that they deserve.
These are some steep assumptions to make. Having a condition like Down Syndrome or being born into an underprivileged family do not necessarily lead to terrible, burdensome life experiences. Moreover, an unfortunate health condition or circumstance do not justify the termination of human life. Pro-Life activists argue that the value of human life is far too essential to be overruled by simple human struggle.
Although pointing out all these logical fallacies may not persuade any staunch Pro-Choice activists, I hope this logical analysis fortifies my fellow Pro-Life advocates. We cannot waiver in our defense of the unborn, and many fallacious abortion arguments can seem convincing from afar. In reality, many logical flaws punch holes in these appeals. Pro-Life advocates can rest assured that their position stands on solid, logical ground.
This article belongs to a three-part series.
-By Elise Ozanich