Not all pro-choice arguments were created equal. Some are much worse than others. Perhaps the worst is the claim that most pro-lifers aren’t consistently pro-life but are “only anti-abortion.” The assertion impersonates an argument when the pro-choice advocate starts to throw in various causes one must support in order to be “truly pro-life.” Here is an example taken from a recent email exchange I had with a friend:
“I get tired of pro-lifers who are really only anti-abortion. If they were truly pro-life, they would adopt minority babies, donate to cancer research, and drop their opposition to national health care. Their concern for children seems to stop at the point of birth.”
That argument is flawed because it diverts attention from the central issue in the abortion debate, which is whether the unborn child is one of us and, hence, deserving of basic human rights.
Obviously, whether or not pro-lifers are morally consistent has no bearing on the central issue in the abortion debate. If I and other pro-lifers were to do everything pro-choicers want us to do, would they then concede that the unborn are suddenly transformed into human beings deserving of life? And what if one or more members of the pro-life movement were then to relapse into some form of “inconsistency” (according to the subjective judgment of one or more pro-choicers)? Would they then argue that the unborn are no longer human beings possessing equal rights?
If it means anything, being inconsistent means we are human. It doesn’t mean the unborn lose their humanity. So my friend’s position is absurd from a logical standpoint. But it is also misleading from a factual standpoint - and I mean that in two ways.
First, every pro-choicer has to answer the following question: If the pro-life movement is merely anti-abortion why are there two Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) for every abortion clinic in America?
These CPCs help women who are facing pregnancy. They donate clothes, help with medical expenses, and do everything they can to help women make the right choice – because they really believe the choice isn’t morally neutral.
Churches who are not supporting these centers should be ashamed of themselves. But the pro-life movement needn’t be ashamed. The movement is focused on helping women make good decisions in the present, rather that imposing guilt over past decisions. That hasn’t always been the case. But our movement continues to move in a compassionate and helpful direction.
Second, pro-choicers have the burden of answering this question: Where is the empirical evidence showing that your policies really save lives?
For example, big government has been making health care more expensive and therefore less accessible for decades. Obama Care is no exception to the rule. Surely, there is nothing pro-life about driving up health care costs. Put simply, feeling good about yourself for supporting programs that you hope will save lives doesn’t make you pro life. Pro-choicers have the burden of supplying the evidence showing that their causes are really saving lives.
Of course, pro-choicers don’t want to get into a numbers battle with pro-lifers. The numbers reveal several years in which the abortion industry killed around 1.5 million babies while 1.5 million couples stood in line waiting to adopt. Their “safe, legal, and rare” mendacity is underscored by the fact that the abortion industry has made billions snatching babies from the hands of willing adoptive parents.
The audacity of pro-choicers who demand that pro-lifers conform to their vision of “moral consistency” can be further amplified by applying their arguments to other issues in our nation’s history. For example, imagine the arguments of pro-choicers being applied to the 19th Century debate over slavery. (It’s easy to do because the same party that supports abortion is the same one that supported slavery). Here is what such a conversation might sound like:
Democrat: Would you support a national job-training program implemented by the federal government and supported by a national sales tax?
Abolitionist: I’m not sure I would support that.
Democrat: Well, then you really aren’t pro voluntary servitude. You’re only anti-slavery.
Ultimately, “you’re inconsistent” it not an argument at all. It’s just a political weapon wielded by those who pretend that they might consider joining your cause if you would only support their programs or take care of their children. It is also a personal attack meant to make the pro-choicer look morally superior.
In the end, smug moral superiority is hardly consistent with the claim that the unborn aren’t one of us.