Why is abortion harmful?

Hello everyone, recently I’ve taken a more pro-life stance and have become more vocal about it. However, whenever I have a dialogue, it seems that I’m underprepared for the discussion. If you have sources or links as to why abortion is wrong either for the child or women, I would love to read it. Usually, the people I have a dialogue with are atheists so I’m not sure I can appeal to God.

In this thread, I will play opposition and try to steelman pro-choice arguments to better prepare myself.


You could start with the simple fact that abortion literally kills the innocent child. In what way is this not harmful? Firstly it violates that unborn child’s basic right to life. Secondly it is an affront to the dignity of the human person given by God to say that we can determine which lives have value, rather than God having decided all human lives have value.

Abortion is bad for the child because it is a violation of the child’s rights and dignity. It strips away the child’s entire life; that baby cannot be reincarnated to try again, that baby is unique and has a unique role in the world that now will go unfulfilled.

Abortion is bad for the mother because she herself is a victim of violence and of the deceit of society.

Abortion is bad for society because it fosters the immoral and despicable understanding that one’s value is based on how perfect or planned or wanted they are, rather than having their inherent value in God.


Obviously, it kills the child, which is generally considered harmful.


Allow me to play the opposition. Studies show that the cerebral cortex the thing needed my our consciousness forms at 22 weeks. Even if I was to say they’re human they are not persons, therefore, it’s morally permissible to kill them.

Matt Fradd has a great interview with Stephanie Gray on YouTube that might be helpful to you.

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I watched it was great. However they didn’t really debate personhood, which what I looking more into.

A person doesn’t lose personhood when they lose consciousness. People in comas are still people.


Hi @Eaglejet23, you wrote:

whenever I have a dialogue, it seems that I’m underprepared for the discussion

It would be helpful if you could let us know about some arguments you have heard in response to your position, so we could try to arm you with counter-arguments. Why do you feel unprepared? What’s getting you stumped?

Based on what you wrote, you seem interested in having a dialogue with people. Usually in a dialogue it’s not enough and it’s plainly not effective to just say “abortion is the unjust killing of a human person”. The other person will have a response to this, and so I’m curious about what sort of responses you have heard!

Edit: I see you posted an argument you heard already, so nevermind!


Okay but a person in a coma still have their depositions. You don’t lose your dispositions the moment your attention is turned from them. Zygote never had them in the first place.

The biggest stumbling block isn’t if human life begins at conception, but does personhood begin at conception.


You have an arbitrary and meaningless definition of “person”. If one’s personhood is based on anything except their being a distinct human organism, it can be played with to the point of denying the mentally handicapped and unconscious their personhood as well.


At four weeks gestation a fetus already has a beating heart.The neural tubes of the brain have already started developing. The first three months the development occurs at an astounding pace,daily really.
The disturbing fact regarding abortion it is goes against a woman’s nature.We are designed to bear life bring it into the world and love and care for our babies.Abortion is a counterintuitive action.
Regardless of ones faith beliefs this is a fact that is in every woman’s heart.


I would personally like to know where the idea comes from that a person is defined by their mental capacity. Where does this come from? What philosopher are you following? And why? Why not just base personhood on the only that that is objective and makes any sense: being an individual/distinct human being?

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How so? Don’t mentally disabled people also possess a form of consciousness.

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I don’t need to explain to you the slippery slope. You can say mentally disabled people have a “form of consciousness”, but your neighbor may say they don’t have the same form of consciousness as me, so they are not the same kind of person. If consciousness defines personhood, then there are different classes of personhood based on differing levels of consciousness. With mental capacity the defining factor, the worth of a person is suddenly based on what they can contribute, rather than what they are. To say otherwise is dishonest.

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Can you provide a source. I believe you but links to these facts would be great.

I’m not able to provide links however I assume all you would need to due is lookup stages of fetal development

I tried this argument that if we value consciousness then it implies we can lose or gain value. However what usually respond with is “acknowledging that mental states
are what make people valuable does not require any moral ranking of those mental states. What matters is that you have experiences, not what those experiences are.”

To give you a better definition mental states would be thoughts, desires, dispositions, and other facets of your mental life.

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And I would again tell you that this is arbitrary and baseless. What in science tells you this? Whose philosophy are you following? Basing personhood on something so subjective, rather than the objective fact of being a distinct human being, opens the door to many other injustices.

If a person experiences a severe trauma and becomes essentially brain dead with no more conscious thought but the brain continues to work in the life support areas (brain stem), that person does not cease to be a person. Though we may allow them to die in certain situations, we cannot kill that person because they are still a person whose identity remains intact. It is the case that they will never regain conscious function. Their state of being conscious is effectively over and done for. But yet they are still a human person, an individual human being. When people consider euthanizing these people, their question is, “what’s the use in keeping them alive?” Notice they never ask about what the person is, but what the use is in keep them.

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It seems to me to be only non-arbitrary point. It is at that moment that a distinct homo sapiens becomes present and remains empirically in being until he or she dies.

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