Logical Fallacies of Pro-Choicers
Updated: May 5
Below I will respond to many of the catch-phrases of pro-choicers and explain why they commit logical fallacies (error in reasoning). Also, I will provide commentary on justice, the church and the state as it relates to the issue of taking an innocent life: abortion.
1. "You can't decide if abortion should be legal if you aren't a woman."
That is a genetic fallacy- discounting a position because of the origin. The gender of someone opposing abortion has nothing to do with whether or not a position is right or wrong. Morality is objective and grounded in an unchanging standard outside of humanity: God. To object to objective morality is to already assume an objective standard of "you ought to tell the truth about how morals work." You can't escape it! True and good morality is discovered, not created because we live in God's world and his nature and character is the standard for morality as described in His Word (see Psalm 119). Also, those that claim that their social location (i.e. "only woman can determine if abortion is right") gives them the moral authority to determine if something is right or wrong are appealing to a self-refuting subjectivist standard. This standpoint epistemology focused on social location giving one moral authority and special insight completely collapses when you try to apply it logically and consistently cause arguments for morality don't have a gender. Also, it ultimately results in glorified post-modernism and subjectivism merely based on social location; a completely confusing and self-refuting position.
2. "You can't control women's bodies."
This is the straw man fallacy because it is refusing to deal with the actual argument and misrepresenting the actual argument: "It's wrong and murder to intentional take the life of an innocent human being. Abortion intentionally take the life of an innocents little human, therefore, it's wrong." This is about equal protection under the law for ANOTHER HUMAN BODY besides the mother's. Anything less is unjust.
3. "You can't legislate morality. Christians should stay out of politics. Government shouldn't be involved with morality, just making laws."
This is also a fallacy because it's red herring because it's STILL avoiding the issue that abortion intentionally kills a human and we know that life begins at conception. Also, all laws legislate morality, the question is WHOSE morality will you legislate? There is no neutrality with laws and Christians that have bought into the neutrality view are assuming a view of 'natural law' that thinks people will merely arrive at a 'neutral and just law' without any biases and presuppositions regarding human dignity, the purpose of life, marriage, sex, moral ought's, etc. without any worldview assumptions at all. This is naïve. Christianity flourished in the west when it was most consistent with upholding Bible ethics, not subjectivism, standpoint epistemology, critical theory and postmodernism. Even people from different worldviews recognize that the Biblical Worldview has led to the flourishing of many nations (see "The Book that made your world" by Vishal Mangalwadi).
Laws that encourage abortion legislate morality and promote another religious viewpoint: the religion of paganism and death.
It's incredibly sad to me how so many Christians have become promoters for the laws and standards of pagan religions all of the sudden and are arguing against God's law being good and just for society in the name of "not hurting our witness." It's pragmatism in practice crippling the church from being bold. They inconsistently argue that God's law is good for them, but it's not good and just for society. (i.e. murder is wrong and should be treated as a crime). This mentality would have only prolonged slavery in America. Also, you ARE hurting your witness when you argue against the abolition of the murder of little humans just like the (so-called Christian) slave owners that hurt their witness by defending possessing other image bearers of God.
Also the "law of the land" is a tutor and it helps shapes the conscience of any nation. You are always presupposing an ultimate standard and whatever your ultimate standard is based on is your God or god. Separation of the state and the church is about the state staying in their lane in their "responsibility under God." Romans 13 mentions have government is supposed to be a minister under God and to punish evil. Jesus is the ultimate king and all nations and their rulers are accountable to him. Yet Government is wrong if it starts to reward evil and punish the good and innocent and the church rightly should call the state to repent when it does that.
The late theologian, pastor and philosopher R.C. Sproul has some great insight on this topic in his booklet on the Church and the State:
"It is the function of government to enact laws, and those laws are designed to promote justice. God never gives the state the right to do wrong. The state does not exercise its authority autonomously, as a law unto itself, but is subject to the ultimate government of God Himself. For this reason, the state is held accountable by God for the promotion of justice. The spirit of what Paul says is: "You should not live in fear of the civil magistrate, because if you are doing what is right, you will receive praise from them. You only need to fear government if you are a transgressor. If you are engaging in wickedness, then you have something to fear from government." (Sproul, what is the Relationship Between Church and State?)
Laws are unjust if they are against God's Word. Abolitionists understood this and that's why so many Christians worked to abolish slavery. Yet, again, with the type of arguments I hear from progressive Christians today (i.e. "separation of church and state! Don't criminalize abortion!"), they wouldn't have worked to abolish slavery cause they don't want to "impose their morality" via the state laws. We know that reasoning is ridiculous. Slavery was wrong and so is abortion today.
God has given the Church "sphere sovereignty" to teach the Bible, make disciples, administer church discipline, and the state has the sphere sovereignty to wield the sword against evil and uphold justice. Different responsibilities under God. When the state fails to uphold it's responsibility under God (remember, there is no neutrality even in government), it is the duty of the church to call the state to repent of its wickedness.
Further clarifying on this topic, Sproul, in the same booklet, said this:
"The need for a clear division of labor between the church and the state was a principle that emerged out of the protestant Reformation. The church was called to pray for the state and to be supportive of the state. The state was called to guarantee the liberty of the church and protect the church from those that would seek to destroy it. There was to be no favoritism to any particular denomination or group of believers. This is the root of the principle of separation of church and state...."
"The church is called to be a critic of the state when the state fails to obey its mandate under God. For example, in the controversy over abortion, when the church is critical of the state with respect to the idea of abortion, people are angered and say, "The church is trying to impose its agenda on the state." However, the primary reason that government exists is to protect, maintain, and support human life. When the church complains about the abortion laws in America, the church is not asking the state to be the church. The church is asking the state to be the state. It is simply asking the state to do its God-ordained job." (ibid.)
So, yes, everyone knows it's a real human in there, yet so many and resorting to logical fallacies and fine sounding rhetoric to avoid the true issue and work towards truly establish justice with equal protection for all humans under the law.
This is the truth we all have to face:
Abortion kills an innocent human. As author and apologists Greg Koukl says, "if the unborn is a human person, then no justification for abortion will ever be adequate."
The size, level of development, location, degree of dependency, and its environment do not change the truth that it is a real human with value, dignity and worth (click here for more on this argument unpacked).
Does this mean that I'm advocating a "top-down" approach for Christians to change culture? No. Once again, that's the common straw man that even other Christians keep on repeating and calling everything and everyone Christian Nationalism, even if someone is merely promoting good laws that promote more justice and the flourishing of society. We need a nation filled with people born again and that have a love for God's law (see Ps. 119) where more and more people are working "from the ground up" to promote Godly laws...and consequently more people would vote and support Godly laws cause they want that. Certainly, when there is an opportunity to promote just laws (giving others their due according to the Law of God) we should support them and that doesn't automatically we are "Christian nationalist" (the popular straw man)....it just means that we love justice and equal treatment to all humans as defined in God's Word.
4. "Well, this is just the Handmaid's Tale if you force women to have their babies."
This is a straw man. Every abolitionist and pro life person I know is against human trafficking and wouldn't support women being forced to sleep with someone just to make babies. This is another claim that is "avoiding the issue" that regardless of the circumstance of how a human was conceived, they deserve equal protection under the law. Also, calling it about "choice" is a logical fallacy of "equivocation" on what is actually happening.
5. "if you don't also support_____then you can't be pro-life."
This is a red herring fallacy cause it's distracting people from the main syllogism of (1) it's wrong to intentionally kill humans (2) abortion intentionally kills humans (3) therefore abortion is wrong.
This is moving the goal post away from the basic argument against abortion; thus, it STILL fails to deal with the main argument. Many times it ends up being an equivocation fallacy as well cause they try to redefine what pro life means. Also, it tends to also involve some ridiculous straw man like "well you probably don't support taking care of women and children after they are born either." It's largely not true that pro life people don't care for people after they are born (i.e. adoption, tons of hospitals and pregnancy centers) and even if people weren't taking care of people after they are born, it still wouldn't justify murdering someone before birth. Additionally the pro-choice talking point that says "well you cant be pro life unless you are for all of these other issues after birth" is such a distraction. No one can do, serve or support all they are claiming we should do after birth....and even if they could, it still is a red herring cause it does not respond at all to the original syllogism/argument. Furthermore, many times the pro choice programs they demand you support are not actually good for people and society (i.e. some socialist program that sounds good but diminish human dignity and discourage work).
Also, that type of pro choice argument is the same type of reasoning that leads to the false analogy fallacy of comparing supporting abolishing abortion to our nation acting like the villains in handmaids tale. It's one of the most bizarre straw man and false analogy fallacies that I have seen become very popular recently. I think that's mainly because it has a visual and emotional appeal to make this analogy. Thus, it ends up becoming a "transfer propaganda" tactic to try and control the narrative. The transfer propaganda tactic is also a logical fallacy. They try to get people to transfer their anger about the injustice in a fake story towards fighting for an alleged right to kill your child (while equivocating on the word "choice"). The fact that liberals keep repeating all of these horrible arguments over and over is another indicator to me that "when your reasoning is weak, pound fist harder, yell louder and repeat over and over until people believe you are on the right side of history...oh and make sure you demonize Christians as being on the wrong side of history so they will be manipulated to cave or will be punished later for disagreeing with you."
6. "Vasectomy's prevents abortion"
This is also a red herring fallacy and ridiculous statement that doesn't respond to the syllogism. Once again this tells me that they need to be teaching logic and reasoning in skills in schools (I suggest Introductory & Intermediate Logic by Canon Press and the Fallacy Detective). It's a red herring cause it's changing the focus of the syllogism that argues that abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being and that's why it's wrong. This is similar to arguing "if you don't like slavery, then don't own a slave" in the 1800's. The statement is wicked and so is saying "if you don't want an abortion, don't have one" or "well if you don't get your girlfriend or wife pregnant cause you had a vasectomy then YOU won't have to worry about getting an abortion. Maybe we should just mandate certain men to get a vasectomies."
Huh? This is horrible reasoning and I can't believe how many college students and high schoolers I see making this argument.
Once again, it's a red herring as it doesn't actually deal with the argument. It's like me saying:
"Charlie shouldn't have been murdered and justice must be given out against the one that committed the crime"
and you respond with...
"Well, if his parents didn't have him and more men had vasectomies, then it wouldn't have happened or less murders would happen....so stop complaining about whether Charlie should have been murdered or not."
Ok, (1) that would be a a ridiculous response and
(2) It does nothing to answer the demand for justice to merely talk about if he wouldn't have been born.
Also, the "vasectomy argument" is equivocating on who is ACTUALLY controlling whom and demanding a law that does actually control men's bodies with the false assumption that abortion controls women's bodes. They think they are being clever and applying the pro-life argument against us, but really it's completely incoherent. Aborting ANOTHER HUMAN is not controlling women's bodies...it's a separate body.
Bad reasoning hurts people. Literally. Spiritual darkness makes peoples' reasoning skills darkened. Read Romans 1 to see that explained more.
7. "A bad situation makes abortion ok. If we make someone's situation better, then they wouldn't have an abortion. Address the cause of it and then abortion will go away."
The problem is this is a red herring to the argument that it's wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. Changing circumstances doesn't change the injustice of the fact of abortion. Also, that claim assumes a faulty view of human nature that 'if the environment was just good enough, then people wouldn't have abortions.' If we 'take the roof' off this claim, we realize that line of reasoning doesn't work to stop other crimes. For example, what if we said, "People are murdering people in Chicago, but let's not make murder illegal, let's just deal with the problem of fatherlessness." Huh? Why not criminalize murder AND actually deal with the crime of murder and criminalize it! Also, the human heart is not by nature "good." According to Scripture the heart is desperately sick and evil (Jeremiah 17:9) and will commit crimes even when they have a great environment. See notavictim.org for more examples on that.
8. "We shouldn't make abortion illegal. It's imposing morality. We aren't supposed to tell people how to live, but just share the gospel."
This is a transfer fallacy. It's merely appealing to people's feelings against controlling people and trying to transfer it to those seeking to apply the law equally to ALL human beings. Also, by what standard are you appealing to in order to make that statement? Since it's wrong to intentionally kill a human, no matter their size, location, degree of dependency or environment, then abortion is a wicked injustice. Laws should uphold justice and give out equal protection under the law. If not, it is evil discrimination just like slavery in America was. Also, see my comments above on the role of the magistrate/state above in their sphere under God in #3.
9. "What if there was a lab with burning embryos along with a two year old. Who would you save?"
This is another red herring that refuses to deal with the syllogism. Also, it's trying to set up a dilemma to force their opponent to say "oh, well I guess you are right...they aren't exactly the same....thus abortion (intentional killing of a human) must be a legitimate option." However, a moral dilemma presupposes a moral standard where tough decisions have to be made. However, even if someone did chose to save the two year old, in the words of Greg Koukl, "no one would say she didn’t really believe in the full humanity of those other five children." Also, this is a false analogy fallacy cause with abortion it's the "intentional taking of an innocent" life; whereas with the lab example it is on "who do we save?" (which, again, at least to some degree the question presupposes that there are valuable lives in there for it to be a dilemma at all). Read Koukl's article here for more or read these slides on more problems with pro choice arguments and the lab example.
What if you gave into the bad reasoning already?
To any women that has aborted their baby, there is forgiveness and healing found only in Jesus! Please consider listening to this podcast episode by Pastor John Piper (below) if you have already had an abortion and God helped you to see what it truly was. He points to the hope, forgiveness and healing found in the gospel of Christ alone.
If you are in the middle of considering an abortion, please keep your baby, don't murder this precious gift. You can also consider putting up your child for adoption. I know an army of people that would be overjoyed to help any mom take care of their baby or adopt as well!
Please consider this option if you or someone you know is considering an abortion. As you said, “Babies are always a blessing regardless of the situation.” I agree and encourage you to fully embrace that viewpoint.
To read more of my writings on abortion, click here.