Friday, May 15, 2009

DIY: How To Defend Pro-Choice Beliefs

How to Defend Pro-Choice Beliefs

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

When a woman becomes pregnant, sometimes, for some reason or another, she wants to abort the pregnancy. This action has become a "hot topic" for discussion over the past few years, with almost everyone choosing one side or another on the abortion issue. There is the Pro Life side, which argues abortion is wrong, and the Pro Choice side, which argues that, while abortion isn't a wonderful thing, it isn't wrong. Here is how to defend your choice if you choose to agree with the Pro Choice side of the abortion issue.


  1. Explain that even if abortion was illegal, it would be impossible to enforce such laws. The procedure used in performing abortions is identical to the procedure used to investigate bad pap smears. This is how abortions were covered up in the past.
  2. Explain that abortion laws, such as the one mentioned in Roe vs. Wade, were not about the moral implications of abortion. They were about safety.
    • Modern Medicine and Sanitation practices are relatively new medical concepts. Doctors were literally using medical instruments to remove infected tissue and then using the same equipment to perform abortions. Women were dying more frequently from physician performed abortions than from self-induced abortions. The law overturned in Roe vs. Wade did not outlaw abortions, only doctors performing them. The Supreme Court ruled that the reasoning behind the law was no longer valid (The law was written before sanitary practices were instituted.)

  3. Try and find a middle ground with the other person. If they say abortion is wrong in all cases, try and find a case in which they agree it would not be wrong. Cases of rape, incest, and cases in which a birth of the child would kill the mother are often good middle grounds.
    • Try and stretch the middle ground. If they agree that cases of, say, rape, would be fine for an abortion, ask if it would be okay if the woman received an abortion if the fetus was not going to live after birth, and she knew. Generally, just try and find more ways in which they agree abortion should be allowed.
    • Continue to push different cases. The person with whom you are debating should realize, after they've agreed to a few scenarios in which abortion would be allowed, that maybe abortion isn't as horrible - after all, it deals with legal, emotional, and physically traumatizing events. If they don't realize this, mention it, but only after they've agreed on a few cases in which abortion should be allowed. If they think war can justify murder of adults as the lesser of two evils then why not abortion?

  4. Mention the mother's well-being. Ask if they believe the birth of an unwanted child to a young, promising woman would hinder her life. They will agree that it will; it is obvious. They might mention, at this point, that if the woman didn't want to have a child, she shouldn't have had sex. Mention cases of rape, leave it at that.
    • Ask about cases in which the mother could be seriously harmed by the birth of the child, or even killed. This is also something good to mention when you are trying to find a middle ground with whomever you are discussing abortion with - even the most die-hard Pro Life supporter normally will agree that abortion should be allowed in cases in which the mother will be killed by giving birth.

  5. Emphasize the magnitude of damage to children of being born to unwanting parents.
    • If they mention giving up the child for adoption, simply counter with the fact that orphanariums worldwide are overflowing with too many children, and it would very possibly be even more damaging to the child to be left in an orphanarium for eighteen years, which happens to a very large portion of children given up for adoption.
    • Dropping a mention of the homeless rate is also a good idea for defending abortion. There are too many people in the world to force parents to have children when they are nowhere near ready, or when there is only a mother.

  6. Ask them to consider the following question: if we cannot decide at what point life actually begins, can we decide at what point life ends? If they cannot answer, talk about brain death, and how doctors pronounce a patient dead when the brain stops sending pulse signals to the body. Ask them if they know when the brain actually begins to send signals. The answer is eight weeks into pregnancy. Use this argument to show that since life ends when the brain stops, shouldn't life begin when the brain starts?
  7. If they insist that life begins at fertilisation, point out that up to two weeks after fertilisation, that clump of cells could split up into identical twins. Where did the second life come from?
  8. If they insist that life begins at fertilisation, ask what they think about cloning? Assuming that human cloning takes place - probably a matter of time - no fertilisation takes place at all, the new person has the exact same genetic information as the "donor", yet they are clearly distinct individuals.
  9. Remind the person that pro-choice people are not "pro-abortion" - they understand the gravity of the decision and none of them think abortion is all sunshine and puppies. But they also realize that legal or not, there have always been unwanted pregnancies and a demand for abortion, and when abortion is not legal it does not stop happening, it just becomes a lot more dangerous and even deadly. Being pro-choice means wanting to keep abortion safe, legal and rare.
    • Ask them to consider societies where abortion was illegal such as Communist Romania and watch the film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The same rate of women attempted to have an abortion, but maternal mortality rates and child abandonment rates soared.


  • Make sure your arguments can be supported by logic and/or scientific evidence.
  • Be polite. Just because you disagree with the other person's opinion on abortion, don't interrupt and shout at them. Calmly explain your point, and allow them to do the same.


  • If you mention religion too much, be prepared as this may turn in to a never-ending argument.
  • Understand that this is a very touchy issue for most people, and that it can break friendships, and cause grudges. Stay away from "hot button" issues such as abortion if you feel it may cause a fight or create a rift between two people.
  • Don't expect to change anyone's mind in five minutes. If you feel very strongly about this, then they probably feel just as strongly about their own opinions. Allow them time to think about it, and never push too hard. Pushing will only cause the other person to feel antagonized, and you will get nowhere.
  • Pro-lifers use extremely graphic images usually of late term abortions which are a tiny proportion of all abortions.

Sources and Citations

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