The Pro-Choice Argument


Could someone here help me better understand the Pro-Choice movement’s argument?

Like, the pro-life argument basically is that abortion is killing a human person.

The pro-choice argument I’ve been hearing was that women should have the ability to choose, blah blah blah.

Is this really all there is to the pro-choice side? Frankly it’s a really paper-thin excuse. Since so many people are pro-choice, you’d think there would be a stronger argument

It’s ridiculously easy to shoot down the “choice” argument. It’s practically saying "I’ll do whatever I want, and it’s not my fault. It’s like, I’ll walk around blindfolded with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other and it’s not my fault if other people get killed, it’s my choice to do it.

There’s also that sort of “no one’s body but my own,” which is also easy to shoot down, because it isn’t only a woman’s body that’s involved, but another person’s body too. It’s funny yet sad that these are the arguments brought on by pro-choice feminists. They say that men shouldn’t be able to bully over women, and they’re right about that; but they turn around and bully over the fetuses in their bodies.

And there’s the “no viability” argument, wherein the fetus has no viability to survive in its early stages without the mother. Again, quite easy to knock down – the kid won’t be able to survive on his own for at least another 18 or 21 years, quite probably even more, it doesn’t make it okay to kill him off while he’s a teen.

Oddly enough, I haven’t heard anything in the last decade regarding whether or not it is a human person and whatever, so I guess science is showing that we’re right about the personhood of a fetus. But, if for argument’s sake we weren’t sure if a fetus is a human or not, it still would be best to play it safe and not to abort just in case if it is a human being. It’s like, if I could drop a test bomb, it makes much more sense to make sure nobody would be hurt than to just randomly pick a spot where people may or may not live. It’s just being safe and wise.

What are the other arguments that Pro-Choicers try to push?

I’m asking this because I’m trying to formulate a good response to pro-choicers and I’d like to be prepared for whatever arguments there are. They do their research and consult with other pro-choicers to come up with arguments, and we pro-lifers should do the same if we want to win.


If only more women could see thrir children prior to having an abortion the would see this life that God has created. :slight_smile:

Wife and I are expecting our 3rd child. We had an early ultrasound at 9 weeks and it was amazing the features that could be seen. We could actually see a resemblence in facial features to our other children. At 4 months it was even more incredible!

Another argument is in the case of rape/incest. It is not the child’s fault that his father committed a crime.

Respond with this scenerio:

An 18 year old’s father was convicted of rape. Should that 18 year old be also punished for his father’s crime?
Should a 12 year old?
Should a 6 year old?
Should a 2 year old?
Should an infant?
Then why is an unborn child punished for its father’s crimes?


There is no one argument, there are as many arguments as there are pro-abortion people.

I highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments. It is excellent and covers the entire spectrum of arguments.


How true. It’s impossible to look at these and say it’s not a life yet.


I believe you are on target with most of the arguements but making Abortion illegal again brings up other issues. Before you jump down my throat though please be aware that I’m playing devil’s advocate here. I believe it’s important for us to think about all areas, these are NOT my arguements :slight_smile:

For instance, what’s the punishment if someone is caught having an abortion and is convicted? If we push that abortion is murder shouldn’t the penalities be the same as for any other murder? If not then how is abortion “murder” different from other “murders”? Is it manslaughter? Can’t be because it’s premeditated right?

Lets think of the average person who has an abortion today (statistically speaking). She is in her mid 20s and already has 2 kids. (that throws out the seeing your children first). She has an abortion not because it’s “birth control” or because she just dosen’t want / like kids. She has an abortion because she firmily believes that she can’t take care of the child. Wheither it’s mentally, physically, socially or more importantly… monitary (this is USUALLY the case) she has not hope for the child’s future.

So she has an illegal abortion and lives but is caught and charged, besides the abortion she is a caring and loving mother for her existing children and indeed felt the drive to have the abortion so that she could take care of her existing family.

So here is your ethical delima, what’s the punishment? Do we lock her away for life and put the kids in foster care away from their loving and natural mother? Knowing how foster care usually works out, I don’t see that as being a good choice?

If she isn’t punished then is it really Murder as we have been saying?

These are important questions AND valid. Recently a man, who was convicted of rape and relased a few years ago, raped and murdered a young women. He is now in prision and will probably face the death penality. When he was a young boy about age 5 his mother got pregnant with twins again (they already had 4 or 5 kids). Being destitute she went to have an illegale abortion and died a few days later from internal bleeding. His father began to drink and many other things fell apart in their family. From all accounts the person who eventually became the murder was the closest to his mother… should she have had the abortion? morally no, but her death setup a chain of events that eventually took another persons daughter from them. Yes, of course he didn’t have to choose those things and the young mans life could have gone much differently but if his mother could have had a legal abortion (this is pre 1972) there is a good chance she would have lived and his life would have been much different. (True story btw).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro life, I do not believe it’s a choice but I do find some ethical situations which are difficult.

More importatnly though I do not believe it will ever been illegal in Western Civilization. (that dosen’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying though)

Accepting that I believe we must approach things differently (at least for now). First we should never stop fighting for it to be illegal. The pro-life movement should continue to push forward legally etc… Secondly I believe we need to take some money out of that movement though and focus on increased funding to charaties who are more focused on education, options, and basic necessities for women considering an abortion. Thirdly we need to look into the possibility of orphanages again. If more women felt like they could give the child up when they couldn’t take care of it, perhaps they wouldn’t choose an abortion. Finally we need to broaden our mind in regards to our political support. Placing someone in power just for their rhetoric against abortion has to stop. Because often those individuals do more to increase aboritons with their fiscal policies.

We must take a larger look at this issue, first to figure out how we decrease abortions while it’s still legal then how we continue to fight to make it illegal. By primairly focusing on the latter recently abortions are on the rise again. :frowning: Doing both in the 90s worked very well though.



You make an interesting point with this example, but in my opinion there are too many gaps and “what ifs” to make this a realistic argument on the side of pro-choice people (and yes, I did see that you are pro-life, but I’d like to address this scenario anyway.)

Who is to say that had this man’s mother not died, he would have made a different life choice? His mother was/is an important person in his life, but her presence does not guarantee that he would not have become a murderer. Plenty of murderers have living, caring mothers. The story could have gone a hundred or a thousand different ways and my head hurts from imagining the never-ending scenarios of what-ifs.

Also, who is to say that the person who COULD have helped him, COULD have stopped the murder, COULD have saved the girl, wasn’t aborted himself after 1972 or in through illegal means before Roe V. Wade? Or maybe he was just a sociopath from birth and nothing that could have changed in his life would have impacted his end decision. His mother made her choice to be a murderer and so did he.


I was talking to a pharmacists who dispenses Plan B and her feeling was the fertilized egg has not implanted therefore there is not loss of a growing life. When I said that every human in the world started out as such, I was dismissed that there wasn’t life until that implementation was started. I think that is the same thought on birth control pills that work that way.


Hello Jesu,
I think it´s an interesting point you´re making. The pro-choice arguments are incredibly flimsly, and with a bit of intelligence and logical thinking it´s easy to refute them. However, I think the fundamental reason why they are so successful and so many people have bought into them is not related to people´s minds, but rather to their souls. Time and again I have seen apparently clever individuals argue in favour of the most abominable crimes, and when I ask myself why, the only explanation I can come up with is their sin. For example, a work collegue once justified abortion on the basis that the planet is overpopulated. I happen to know that he is terrified of compromise and has “escaped” from several relationships. His fear of long-term relationships breads a hatred of marriage, which in turn breads a hatred of childbearing. Therefore the only way to get to him is to address his personal problems and his sin, rather than confronting him with rational arguments.
Just like populist politicians whip up fervour in their electorate with irrational promises that please people´s sinful desires, abortion appeals to those who live in selfishness and materialism because it assures them that there is always a way out. That´s the true starting point, I think. The pro-choicers use their “paper-thin” arguments as a line of defense for their immoral lifestyle. In their heart of hearts they don´t really care whether what they say is true or not. That´s the sad truth. Start with sin and you´ll discover why so many people justify the unjustifiable.


For instance, what’s the punishment if someone is caught having an abortion and is convicted? If we push that abortion is murder shouldn’t the penalities be the same as for any other murder? If not then how is abortion “murder” different from other “murders”? Is it manslaughter? Can’t be because it’s premeditated right?

This is not a valid arguement. The penalty would not be for a person seeking an abortion but for the provider.

Prior to R v W I do not believe that if a woman had a back-alley abortion she was charged with murder.

The point here is that we need to change the culture so abortion is unthinkable to anyone, much like any other serious crime.


The arguments of the pro-choicers are mostly emotional:

A teen mother will lose out on her education, and lose job opportunities and social standing if she carries her child to term; therefore, we must kill the child, so that she can pretend that everything is normal, and carry on with her life as if she had never been pregnant. (Teen age boys who fornicate get to carry on with their lives as if nothing happened; why shouldn’t girls get the same opportunity?)

An adultress will be divorced by her husband if he discovers her pregnancy; therefore, she has to get rid of the child so that she can pretend that she never committed adultery. (Men who commit adultery don’t get caught, so why should women have to get caught?)

If a couple has more children than they were planning for, then it should be okay to get rid of the “extra” child, since they hadn’t intended to have another child, anyway, and if things had gone according to plan, he would never have been conceived in the first place. So, it’s okay to kill him.

This is the mindset that we are up against, and the only way to counteract it is to emphasize that the child is a human being with a God-given right to life. The inconveniences of getting caught in sin or the failure of one’s method of family planning need to be portrayed as what they are - really flimsy excuses for murder.


Oh, it eventually boils down to the quality of life vs. sanctity of life issue, because it is IMPOSSIBLE to deny that life starts at conception. The difference between 0 and 1 is infinity, so what other time is it good to say life starts? :shrug:

Actually, I’ve found that when you point out the flimsiness of the pro-choicer’s arguments (and I’m speaking from experience), and as in, ALL OF THEM, they generally resort to calling you names. Just my experience. (Apparently, I have a penis, not a uterus, so I have no say on the issue, or I’m just a sexist chauvinistic pig, or I’m retarded, or I’m not ‘giving proper respect for someone else’s education,’ or I’m being a bad Catholic by pursuing such reasoning :eek: , or I’ve written what I have to say badly, or I’m using a patronizing tone, or I’m attacking the issue from a morally superior viewpoint, or I’m white, which is true, but who cares? or I don’t need to worry cause it doesn’t affect me, even though my mother was single and definitely in one of those situations most ‘pro-choice’ people would say she should’ve gotten an abortion, and so there’d be no me, or I’m vehement, or I’m vilifiable, or oh boy… I have to stop, but there’s many many more. :cool: )

There are two main reasons I believe pro-choice is such a ‘pretty’ philosophy to follow;

It allows life to stay very convenient. MY life is much more important than the child’s, and who could be the person to tell me I can’t pursue the fun of sex without the responsibility of it?

And then, and this one is much more difficult to cope with, but the woman who has gone through with an abortion, and I fear I have found myself arguing with such women. :frowning: For, if they do admit that they were wrong, they would have to admit they murdered their child. And if they murdered, then they are reprehensible… To them, they HAVE to be right, or else they made a very very big mistake.

This is a sad issue.


I think you hit the nail on the head absolutely. This extends to all kinds of things…not just abortion. It extends to contraception, divorce…wow, just all kinds of things.


I’ll play Devil’s advocate. Please note that it is role I’m playing, like in a movie. Don’t attack me. Here goes: Though life begins at conception, until it can survice outside the womb, it is the mother’s life. There is no consiousness until rather late in fetal development, therefore it is not “aware” of itself (“I think, therefore I am”, note that this should not be confused with folks in a coma or PVS because we know that having reached full development and been born, that they did at one time have consciosness and therefore we cannot say for sure that is has deserted them in all forms). It can also not feel pain because it has no way to be aware of that pain. Would the “soul” be a part of the fetus before awareness? Devil’s advocate would say no (how could you have a soul if you didn’t “exist” yet?). It is not, then, a “person” in the true sense of the word - it really is a growing life form, despite the fact that is “looks” like a baby.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I was trying for something that was not an “emotional” argument since those can be boiled down to lesser of two evils types of things. Again, feel free to counter the arguments but don’t attack me as DA. Thanks.


Here it is in a nutshell -

Pro-choice - the choice a woman wants to murder her unborn baby who is given no choice which our Constitution guarantees.


Infants aren’t “aware” of themselves…
What about the brain-damaged?
Those in a coma?
Paralyzed people that can’t feel pain?

Weak argument. :shrug:


I agree that the pro-choice arguments are all very weak… I haven’t found one that can’t be brought down logically.

The least “emotional” pro-life argument that I’ve found is by incorporating a little science…
At the MOMENT of conception (the instant that the egg and sperm unite… even before implantation), a NEW and UNIQUE set of HUMAN DNA is formed.
This new and unique set of DNA has never existed before, and will never exist again.
Also, at every moment of growth, that “blob” is the entire source of that unique set of DNA (used against the argument that even a single skin cell could be “mistaken” as another “human being”)…

That DNA can be proven to be nothing other than HUMAN DNA. Even if there is a birth defect (ie, extra chromosome causing down syndrome)… that DNA still defines a “human being” with down syndrome… it’s not a monkey, an elephant, a tree, or anything else that can be defined by it’s DNA.
From the MOMENT of conception.


If you are going to argue that abortion is murder, then the one seeking the abortion would be every bit as guilty as the provider. It would be the same thing as hiring someone to murder a third party.


My point is that now we treat these women as victims- which they are. We admonish their choice but we are there to help them recover or to help them decidt to bring the child to term.

We sidewalk counsel and have support programs for crisis pregnancies and women who have had abortions.

Abortion always hurts 2 people.


What newborn can survive on its own? And I don’t want to be the person who decides what consiousness that a person is aware of is appropriate.


Second the recommendation. Best book ever on this topic.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit