Pro-Life Arguments

Human cells dividing

There are two types of Pro-Life arguments. The first are reasons for being … erm … well Pro-Life while the second are actually rebuttals of Pro-Abortion arguments.

You’ll notice as you read through this article that there’s a disparity between the two types of Pro-Life Arguments – there’s only one reason for being Pro-Life but many rebuttals of Pro-Abortion arguments. This is because the many reasons for being Pro-Abortion are not actually reasons but a third type of argument I like to call ‘changing the topic so no one will notice that we have nothing to say about the one being discussed.’ That’s why they need so many of them. Pro-Abortionists hope that bringing up lots of silly excuses will make people forget the logic and reasoning that form the basis of the Pro-Life argument.

The First Type of Pro-Life Arguments: Reasons for Being Pro-Life

As already mentioned, there’s only one Pro-Life argument that’s a reason for being Pro-Life and it’s so obvious that I probably don’t even need to tell you what it is.

But I’m going to anyway. Not just to annoy you but because it’s important to understand all the evidence and reasoning that form the basis of the Pro-Life argument.

The Pro-Life Argument: A Foetus Is a Life

A foetus is a life. It’s wrong to kill a life. Abortion is killing a foetus. Therefore, abortion is wrong because you’re killing a life.

This is the Pro-Life argument in a nutshell. And now we can understand the Pro-Life part of the phrase “Pro-Life argument”.

Now I know that Pro-Abortionists believe that life begins at birth but they’re wrong. Life begins when an egg is fertilised.

No, this is not a great debate between two equally compelling but opposing viewpoints where both sides can convincingly defend their positions with highly reasoned and well thought out arguments. No. What’s going on here is that one side is convinced that life begins at birth because that’s the apparently prevalent and morally superior belief whereas the other looks to the science to prove its point.

Guess which side does which.

Go on.

According to science, human life begins at fertilisation because at that time you have a “genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism”.

Now Pro-Abortionists have several rebuttals that they think invalidates the Pro-Life argument, but they are all based on what I like to call, ‘the argument from ignorance’ which basically means they’re talking out of the wrong orifice.

Let’s go through all the stages.

As we all know, and by ‘all’ I mean people paying attention in biology class, there are four criteria that science requires to establish biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction. A fertilised egg has all four criteria.

Pro-Abortionists, however, will argue that while a fertilised egg is indeed a life, it’s just another part of the mother, it’s her own life so she can do with it as she pleases. Sadly, this is not true, the foetus is a new life.

Science distinguishes one cell from another based on two criteria. It must have a different composition and a different behaviour from another cell. At fertilisation, the zygote is a new cell with a new and unique molecular composition which, while containing the components of the sperm and egg that created it, is distinct from both. It also has a different behaviour from both sperm and egg whose goal is to fuse, as the new cell works to prevent any further fusion.

Undeterred, Pro-Abortionists will then argue that while a fertilised egg is indeed a life, and a new life, it’s like other parts of the body, for example a kidney or an arm that are also made up of human cells and are therefore a life but are not a life in the same way a normal human being is. Otherwise removing your kidney or arm would be murder.

But once again this is not true as unlike your kidney or arm the fertilised egg is also an organism. Scientifically, the difference between a cell and an organism is that a cell is the basic unit of a living organism and an organism is a discrete and complete living thing. The scientific definition of organism is a complex structure of interdependent elements that acts in a coordinated manner to carry on the activities of life by separately functioning but mutually dependent organs. Fertilised eggs are therefore organisms, because unlike human cells that exhibit the activities of cellular life, but do not engage in coordinated interaction in order to sustain the life of the entity as a whole or achieve a higher level of organisation, the fertilised egg is engaged in the process of life – forming a body and directing its own development to the next stages of life including but not limited to, being born, childhood, adolescence, maturing, aging and finally, death.

Scientifically speaking there is no way out. A fertilised egg is a life and abortion would be ending that life. This is the Pro-Life argument.

The Pro-Life Argument Revisited: A Foetus Is a Human Life

I know what you’re thinking. The Pro-Life argument is that a foetus is a life. We don’t need to revisit that argument to point out it’s a human life, because no one thought you meant anything else.

To which I will reply that what you’re saying is true it’s just a matter of emphasis. When first presenting the Pro-Life argument, I wanted to focus on the fact that it was a life, but now I want to focus on the fact that … well I’ll let you work out the rest of that point for yourself.

Because despite having scientifically proved that life beings at fertilisation, the Pro-Abortionist will argue that while science is right about all the technical biological stuff and a fertilised egg is indeed a life, and a new life, and a life in the same way a normal human being is a life because it’s an organism not just a human cell, the problem is that’s not what’s important. No, what’s important is whether a foetus has ‘personhood’, and it doesn’t so it’s okay to kill it.

Yes of course arguing that personhood is what’s important and that it only begins at birth is super convenient as well as difficult because there’s a lot of debate as to its definition, but there is something to what they’re saying.

But only because they’ve missed the point by focusing on the life part of the Pro-Life argument while ignoring the human part.

You see, putting the above problems with the personhood argument aside, its essential point that a foetus is not a human being in the same way a fully developed human being is a … well human being, is valid.

Human beings have special qualities that make them superior to animals. Without getting too involved or god forbid bringing religion into a debate about what those special qualities are, let’s suggest something suitably reasonable for our purposes and sufficiently vague not to matter anywhere else, that we can all agree on. The superiority of human beings comes from something to do with their intellectual capacity, consciousness and sense of personal identity. No, you can’t point at Leftists to disprove my point because it’s not that they don’t have the intellectual abilities of a human being, they do, it’s that they choose not to use them because they think it makes them morally superior.

One cannot deny therefore, that there’s a difference between a fertilised egg that is indeed, as has been scientifically proven, a human life and a human being that has attained the above-mentioned special qualities.

This being the case, while it may be wrong to kill a human being, the same may not necessarily hold true for a mere human life. It’s not as if the fact that something is a life automatically means it’s wrong to kill it. After all, we kill cockroaches because they disgust us, spiders because they scare us, mice because it’s not healthy to have them running around all over the place and cows because they taste nice when you take their meat, rub it all over with a good lug of oil, season it with sea salt and black pepper and cook for six minutes for a medium-rare steak. So one could argue that there’s no reason you can’t kill a human life.

And if we look at this is terms of the special quality that human beings possess, one could argue that if it’s okay to kill an animal it’s certainly okay to kill a foetus. After all the special qualities that human beings have exist in most animals to some degree, just not at the level it does in human beings – that’s why it’s terrible to commit murder but not so bad to go fishing – but in a foetus or fertilised egg these special qualities exist in an even lower degree if they even exist at all.

However, as mentioned above, this misses the point, because there’s also something special about mere human life, that despite it lacking any level of the special qualities of a human being that even some animals have, elevates it in importance over any other animal. I’m of course talking about the fact that human life will become that special-qualitied human being. No one is denying that there’s a difference between a human life and a human being, but the point is that one will develop into the other. What makes a human life special is the fact that it will become something even more special.

This is more than saying that a human life is a potential human being because potential may or may not be actualised. A foetus is more than potential because it’s developing right now and is something that if you let it do its thing will, within a relatively short period of time, meet whatever criteria you want for whatever you think it’s lacking right now for it to be considered a human being.

The truth is that everybody agrees with this already. It’s as simple as the fact that nobody thinks it’s perfectly okay to kill a newborn just because it lacks the intelligence of a dog whereas everybody thinks it’s wrong to kill a newborn because of what it will grow up to be.

One last point on this. Preventing a human life from developing into a human being may not be as bad as killing an actual human being, but you’ve got to be a first class scumbag to think it’s perfectly reasonable to stop a process that will culminate in a human being enjoying 80 or so years of life, just because it’s not one right now.

On the other hand, preventing a human life from developing into a human being may be as bad as killing a human being. After all the reason why murder is wrong is not because you’re causing pain or damage otherwise murder would be fine if you carried it out painlessly and damagelessly. No, the issue normal people have with murder is that you’ve stopped the murdered person from living the rest of their life. This means that the essential crime of murder is the prevention of life, which occurs regardless of whether the murdered is a fully developed human being or a mere human life.

So the Pro-Life argument that a fertilised egg is a human life, is less about it being a life and more about the fact that it’s a human life – which means something that has a special value now because of what it will become – and that it’s not morally acceptable to prevent an entity that’s developing into a human being from doing so.

To argue that a foetus doesn’t have personhood and can therefore be killed, means you’ve misunderstood the Pro-Life argument. Because being Pro-Life means being pro anything that will develop into a human being.

The Second Type of Pro-Life Arguments: Rebuttals of Pro-Abortion Arguments

As already mentioned, the second type of Pro-Life arguments are actually rebuttals of what Pro-Abortionists think are great arguments for being Pro-Abortion. Also, as already mentioned, there are a lot of rebuttals because there are a lot of Pro-Abortion arguments, as Pro-Abortionists are trying to use quantity to overwhelm quality.

But we can sort Pro-Abortion arguments into the following four categories: more arguments that a foetus is not a life, accusations of sexism and general meanness towards women, negative ramifications of making abortion illegal, and proving that Pro-Lifers are hypocrites. And then present the Pro-Life arguments that refute them.

Rebutting Arguments That a Foetus Is Not a Life

  1. The Foetus Is Not Viable Outside the Uterus

The argument goes something like this. At a certain stage a foetus becomes viable, meaning that it can survive outside the uterus. This is used by some as an arbitrary measure of when to worry about potential human life and possibly ban abortion, but of course it means that beforehand we’re not concerned about this and killing the foetus would be perfectly okay.

Now obviously, the Pro-Life argument has already dealt with this point. Science shows that human life starts at fertilisation and preventing it from developing into a human being by killing it is not a highly admirable thing to do.

But I don’t understand how this argument even starts. Why should the inability of a foetus to survive in an environment different to the one it is able to survive in mean that you can kill it? It’s viable inside the uterus, you can already start worrying about potential human life. We don’t argue that there’s no need to worry about the potential human life of a one-day old baby just because it can’t survive inside the uterus.

  1. The Foetus Is a Parasite

This Pro-Abortion argument suggests that no being has the right to be a parasite and live off someone else, so the mother has the right to get rid of it.

The Pro-Life argument in response is that it’s true you can kill a non-human life that’s living off a human being but not a human life that’s living off a human being. Even if the human parasite is wrong for being there, it’s right to life is more important than your right not to be the host to a parasite.

And it’s not wrong for being there, as the parasite only exists because you willingly (in most cases) created it. Even if you used contraception and want to argue that means you didn’t willingly create it, at the end of the day you consented to engage in an act that carries the risk of pregnancy which means you consented to that possible outcome. You can’t participate in a dangerous activity knowing that you could hurt yourself and argue that because you didn’t want to hurt yourself that you’re not responsible if you do. That’s absurd.

If you willingly create something that needs to live off you, you can’t argue that you can kill it because it’s doing something you knew it would when you created it!

The truth is that even Pro-Abortionists don’t believe the, ‘you have the right to kill a human life that’s living off you’ argument. Children live off their parents for at least 18 years and no one’s ever suggested that parents have the right to kill or even not to look after their children properly because of that. In fact, everyone believes exactly the opposite. Because the parents are the ones who created this child, they are the ones who are responsible for looking after it until it’s capable of looking after itself.

And I know that the technical definition of parasite is an organism that lives off another organism’s body and that’s not the case with children who are born who are only living off their parents time, money, effort and energy, but as anyone with children will tell you, the effects of nine months of pregnancy on a woman’s body are nothing compared to the effects on the body that occur as a result of looking after that child forever.

Rebutting Arguments of Sexism

  1. Making Abortion Illegal Would Take Away Women’s Rights

This argument is made in many forms. Pro-Choice, bodily autonomy, or you’re taking away women’s rights. The point they are making in all three forms are essentially the same. The foetus is inside a woman and unless she has complete control over what goes on inside her own body, you’re taking away her rights.

The Pro-Life argument in response is that the far more important right to life of the foetus always trumps (who?) the far less important right of a person to do what they want with their own body. Yes, her rights are being taken away, but this occurs in all cases where the rights of two people, conflict. We don’t often resolve conflicting rights cases with, “Of course your freedom of movement allows you to destroy anyone or anything in your way”.

This is so obvious that Pro-Abortionists have had to resort to rewording the issue for it to have any impact. Because when you think about it in terms of rights it’s easy to see that the more important right should win, but if you think about it in terms of the fact that making abortion illegal would mean more laws governing what women can do with their bodies than men, then it becomes a matter of inequality – the ultimate debating trump (again!) card because all you have to do to win in a debate is to point to some inequality and people lose their ability to see anything else, including the fact that inequality doesn’t justify preventing the development of a human being.

Additionally, this is a childish argument. Yes, making abortion illegal would mean there would be laws that govern what women can do with their body but not men. So what. We’re only talking about one restriction that would create one difference between men and women, being made for a very good reason. It’s not as if they wouldn’t have every other right that men have. It’s not as if making abortion illegal would mean that men would now rule over women and be able to tell them exactly what to do in every aspect of their lives. They would still retain the vast majority of their rights, bodily autonomy and freedom to choose, they just wouldn’t be able to kill babies. I agree that ideally there should be equality, but if there’s a very good reason for it then inequality is acceptable. On the other hand, giving women the ability to decide whether or not to kill their own children because otherwise there would be the smallest of gender imbalances, is embarrassingly small minded.

  1. Men Who Are Anti-Abortion Hate Women and Want to Control Them

No, we just don’t want them to kill babies. Once again, it’s a matter of conflicting rights where, as usual, the more important right wins, though its application unfortunately but necessarily creates a minimum amount of gender inequality. This rebuttal is the same as the previous one, but I have separated the two because once again I don’t really understand how this Pro-Abortion argument even starts.

Firstly, if there is any reasoning behind this accusation – and yes that’s a big if, we all know what Leftists are like – it’s probably something along the lines of, ‘if you don’t want women to have complete control over their own bodies then you want to control them and therefore you hate them’. But if the one instance of wanting to stop women from doing something proves that we hate them and want to control them, then surely all the other instances where we don’t want to stop women from doing something proves that we don’t hate them and don’t want to control them.

Secondly, even if it’s true that men who are anti-abortion do hate women and do want to control them, that doesn’t change anything about the morality of abortion. It’s wrong regardless of whether men hate and want to control women or not. There’s never any causal link between one person’s motivation for declaring something morally wrong and whether it’s actually morally wrong. It’s not a winning argument to claim, ‘my spouse wants to control me that’s why they think my having an affair is wrong’.

Rebutting Negative Ramification Arguments

  1. Making Abortion Illegal Would Destroy Women’s Lives

Not as badly as you’re destroying the lives of the babies you’re killing. In other words, it’s the Pro-Life argument in action once again: the child’s right to life is more important than almost any impact (barring death or genuinely severe medical issues) a child will have on the mother. Besides, any impact a foetus causes is temporary. Nine months of pregnancy then you can give your child up for adoption. On the other hand, the impact of abortion for the aborted is permanent.

And yes, I do appreciate the enormous impact of pregnancy, birth and looking after children, but impact is not a factor in whether having an abortion is right or not. Just like it’s not a factor at any time of the child rearing process. You can’t have a child, realise it will affect your career and then kill it because of its impact. In fact, since you willingly (again in most cases) created something that you knew would cause such an impact in the first place, you can’t now argue that the impact should be a reason for being able to kill it.

  1. Making Abortion Illegal Will Result in Women Dying of Unsafe Abortions

It will also result in more women not having an abortion in the first place and in less children being killed.

And if you demand that I choose between saving innocent unborn foetuses and those trying to kill them, then I will obviously choose the former, but I’d also point out the mysteriously missing third option of not having an abortion which would mean that no one has to die.

By the way, this is probably the worst of all Pro-Abortion arguments. They’re actually trying to convince us that we must allow mothers the option to kill their unborn children because if we don’t, they will ignore the law and have abortions anyway only this time in an unsafe way where the mother is likely to die too.

This is completely absurd. It’s essentially arguing that we shouldn’t create a law to try and protect an innocent victim from being killed because those who would break the law and kill them anyway would have an increased likelihood of getting hurt too. Instead there should be no law protecting unborn children from being killed so that those who want to kill them can do so safely. Somebody has lost their mind!

  1. How Is It Fair Not to Let Victims of Rape Have an Abortion?

I have mentioned some Pro-Life arguments that are based on the fact the mother was a willing participant in an act she knew could result in a child.

It’s true that in a case of rape those arguments would not apply.

However, it’s also true that in a case of rape you still have a developing human life inside the womb and the basic Pro-Life argument still stands. The right to life of the foetus is more important than a rape victim’s right to be free of the consequences of the horrible crime committed against her.

Yes, it’s not fair. But the answer to unfairness is not even more unfairness by preventing a human life from developing.

Rebutting Arguments That Pro-Lifers Are Hypocrites

  1. If You Really Thought a Foetus Was a Human Being How Comes …

… you don’t have a funeral when a woman has a miscarriage? … you don’t think a woman who is having a period and flushing her system of a fertilised egg is a serial killer? you’re not angry with IVF clinics that dispose of fertilised eggs?

Yes, people say these things and actually think their points are so powerful that they have destroyed all Pro-Life arguments.

But the problem with using hypocrisy to rebut Pro-Life arguments is that it doesn’t disprove the argument itself, it merely argues that people are being inconsistent. Well so what? All their inconsistency will prove is that they either don’t really believe a fertilised egg is a human life or that they haven’t thought about their beliefs enough – I mean not everyone spends their evenings in deep meditation, analysing each of their beliefs and working out their ramifications for every possible application. People’s inconsistency doesn’t prove the science wrong. Surely it’s the weakest of all arguments to say, “You don’t really believe that a fertilised egg is a human life therefore the science is wrong when it says it is.”

As for the hypocrisy itself, it only exists in the minds of those who don’t actually understand the Pro-Life argument.

The Pro-Life argument is that a fertilised egg is a human life that will develop into a human being. Nowhere does it argue that human life is the same as a human being. It just says if you interfere to prevent it from becoming a human being, you’re a poor excuse of one yourself.

But that doesn’t mean feelings towards a developing human life should be the same as towards a human being. Nor does it make it absurd that the less developed a human life is, the less sad you will be if it fails to become a human being. There is a difference between your feelings towards a developing human life at its various stages of development failing to become a human being and someone actively preventing that development.

As for the example of IVF clinics that dispose of fertilised eggs, since there’s no chance of them developing into a human being in their present environment they’re not the same as fertilised eggs that because they are in the right environment will, without interference, develop into a human being. Failing to actively do something to ensure a fertilised egg gets into a position to develop further is not morally unacceptable. Preventing a fertilised egg inside the uterus that will naturally develop into a human being from doing so, is.

  1. You Don’t Care About the Child After Birth

Yes, we do.

No, you don’t. These children will have a lot of needs after birth and for the rest of their lives and you don’t care about that.

Are you suddenly changing the subject from murder to financial condition?



Those who are Pro-Life do still care about a child after it’s born. Just like they think it’s wrong to kill a child before it’s born, they think it’s wrong to kill a child after it’s born too. It’s a miracle!

And I’m not so sure that those who are Pro-Life don’t care about the financial needs of the post born. Let me know when you find a significant number of people who are Pro-Life who are also against the welfare state? And no, a person who doesn’t agree with free everything for everyone who wants, is not against financial assistance.

This is the stupidest Pro-Abortion argument of all. (I know that I said that about an earlier argument, but I’ve changed my mind. This one’s stupider. Maybe. Either way it’s a close call.) Are Pro-Abortionists seriously arguing that unless you’re willing to look after this baby for the rest of its life and make sure it wants for nothing, you can’t say it’s wrong to kill it? I mean obviously they are, but can’t they see how stupid it is? Obviously not. Nevertheless, the principle of this argument is absurd. You can only declare something morally wrong if you’re prepared to make a huge financial contribution too. That’s right, you can only tell me I’m not allowed to kill my fifteen-year-old if you’re prepared to pay for their college education.

It’s levels of stupidity such as this that make me reconsider my position on abortion.

Pro-Life Arguments Can Be Used by Men Too

I’ve changed my mind. Again. The stupidest Pro-Abortion argument is actually the one that claims that men are not allowed an opinion on abortion because it only affects women.

Apart from being an obvious attempt to sidestep the necessity of having to respond to Pro-Life arguments with something that makes sense, by simply denying some people the right to speak about abortion in the first place, and apart from being an attempt to scare people into thinking that the whole thing’s really about men wanting to make rules for women (“you’re only getting involved in something that’s none of your business because you want to control me”), and apart from being able to argue the exact opposite, that being affected by abortion is the reason why women can’t have an opinion on the matter as it would be clouded by their bias, it simply doesn’t make sense.

Because the ability to look at something and make a moral judgement on it, is based upon objective logic and reasoning, not some random aspect of the issue like whether or not it affects you. Now it’s clear why Leftists make this argument and not Pro-Life arguments.

Besides I’m not convinced that men are not affected by abortion too. After all, some of the foetuses that have and will be killed by abortion would have gone on to become men. Surely as an affected party they have the right to an opinion on the matter.

What, you don’t know what they’ll say. I’m sure you can work it out. After all, you’re an ex-foetus yourself.

Sam Taylor

I'm Sam Taylor. I don't really like pointing out stupidity when I see it, but I'm going to. It's my way of reaching out to those who can actually think.

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