It may seem like there are a myriad of defenses for abortion, but they fall into three categories. Here’s a simple way to visualize how to respond to them. Since there are only three kinds of defenses for abortion, there are only three kinds of responses to them.
Every defense for abortion either:
- Assumes the unborn is not a human being.
- Accepts the unborn is a human being, but denies it’s a person.
- Accepts the unborn is human being and a person, but argues that a woman’s bodily rights/autonomy trump the child’s rights.
The diagram below flowcharts these positions and offers a type of response to each. In other words, if you learn the three kinds of responses, then you’ll be prepared to respond to any defense for abortion. In my experience, 100% of the arguments I hear on the street fall into one of these three categories.
Click on the image below to enlarge.
While attending a recent bioethics class at Biola University, I was asked to explain this flowchart. The video of my explanation is below (I didn’t know I was going to present this to the class, otherwise I would have dressed more “professionally.” But don’t get me wrong, I’m all about promoting the Lakers.).
Here’s my off-the-cuff video explanation for this flowchart.
You may already be familiar with these three kinds of responses, but if not, learning them is quite feasible (Trot Out the Toddler, the scientific case that the unborn is human, the S.L.E.D. test, Taking the Roof Off, and responding to the violinist and bodily rights arguments have been explained by Stand to Reason (through Making Abortion Unthinkable) and many others). It’s just a matter of thinking through the flowchart when you’re in a conversation with an abortion-choice advocate, recognizing the position they’re taking, and then responding accordingly. Knowing this, you can respond to every defense they offer for abortion.