The abortion debate certainly has a tendency to become emotional. There are many logical arguments used to argue for and against abortion, but these can be largely ignored in favor of appeals to emotion (such as trying to argue that pro-life people are trying to take away an important “choice” for women to make). Now, I’m certainly willing to talk to my own side and illustrate ways in which pro-life people make bad arguments in the hopes that they’ll make better ones (I credit my friend and pro-life mentor Josh Brahm for helping me see the value in treating both sides fairly, as well as my friend and pro-life philosopher, Steve Wagner, through my work with Justice for All).
Making a distinction between preborn life and postborn life.
The problem is that simply saying you support choice doesn’t tell us anything. Everyone supports choice. In order to realize whether or not we should support a choice in a given area we have to look at what that choice is. Simply saying that we have the choice does not automatically make the choice a moral one. So calling yourself pro-choice really begs the question because what the whole debate is about is whether or not the “choice” to abort is right or wrong. Besides that, women will always have the choice to abort, even if it becomes illegal. People have a choice right now to rape, murder, or steal, even though those choices are illegal.
These are just a few ways in which pro-choice people tend to corrupt the debate. If we’re looking for open and honest dialogue, it would help if pro-choice people would keep these things in mind. And surely, there are things pro-life people do to corrupt the debate, as well. So don’t take my focusing on pro-choice people in this article as trying to single them out, or act like our side doesn’t make mistakes. I’m just trying to help to break through much of the confusion around this issue and help to keep clarity in our conversations.