Pro-Choice activists love to say, “it’s my body, it’s my choice.”
On a surface level, this popular catchphrase seems to hold water, and people who maintain Pro-Life positions can have a hard time arguing against it, especially since many Pro-Life advocates are conservatives who enthusiastically believe in liberty and freedom of choice. We struggle to articulate why we hold a position which appears so restricting to progressives.
Before I get into some logical fallacies ingrained in the Pro-Choice argument, it’s important to note the major difference between Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. On the one hand, Pro-Choicers don’t value unborn life because they don’t believe it’s a real life yet. Their catchphrase is based on this very idea. On the other hand, Pro-Lifers believe that unborn babies are just as valuable and real as every other human walking around this planet. This is a major disagreement of foundational premises, and nearly every argument made about abortion can be traced back to it.
With this disagreement in mind, the statement “it’s my body, it’s my choice” presents an obvious Fallacy of Accident to Pro-Life advocates. This type of logical fallacy takes a general rule and applies said rule to a specific case in which some unique accident or circumstance renders the rule inappropriate. Here, the general rule is our right to choose what we do with our bodies. Women really do have a right to privacy and choice. They should be able to choose what to do with their bodies in most circumstances.
However, the specific case here is pregnancy. From a Pro-Life perspective, a mother shares her body with her baby during pregnancy, but the baby is a completely separate person from the mother. This is the unique circumstance which renders the general rule inappropriate. If the baby is a unique person themselves, then we are no longer talking about the mother’s body alone. It becomes a logical flaw to argue that the mother has a right to terminate the unique individual growing inside her.
For many, the statement “it’s my body, it’s my choice” also functions as a Red Herring Fallacy. It distracts from the real issue with a point that is topic adjacent but not completely relevant to the true issue. The real issue being the intrinsic value and unique identity of the unborn baby, and the adjacent topic being sexist privacy rights.
This catchphrase throws assumed sexist oppression in the face of its objectors. People latch onto the feminist overture of the issue rather than its real core because they’re either eager to prove their support of women or afraid to be castigated as sexist. Pro-Choice activists have scared away many opponents this way, especially those who lack strong convictions on abortion. Unfortunately, the sexist implications are all just one big distraction. The issue at stake here is not women’s privacy rights; it’s unborn children’s right to life.
So, although it may be intimidating for us Pro-Lifers to stand up to Pro-Choice arguments, don’t be discouraged, even their main catchphrase relies on logical fallacies to hold water. Their arguments can look invincible from a distance, but, in reality, they’re rife with logical flaws just waiting to be exposed.
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–By Elise Ozanich