Feminist presents sophisticated arguments for abortion to elite scholars in rigorous academic debate

Abortion rights activist takes on pro-life doctors in formal academic debate
Abortion rights activist takes on pro-life doctors in formal academic debate

I love to watch formal academic debates, with timed speeches, where scholars with published work get to interact with one another. Even if my side loses, I learn something, because I learn what I can and cannot press in a discussion with the other side. Debates between scholars helps me to tolerate listening quietly to people I disagree with. All good things.

But not everyone agrees with me about this. Some people just prefer to present their views to those who are easily manipulated and uncritical, so that they will change their minds because of stories and feelings, instead of reason and evidence.

Here’s a story about it from Life News:

Have you seen the video going around about kids meeting someone who is post-abortive? The video does not talk about the psychological consequences of having an abortion, or talk about how to help women and families who are post-abortive heal from their abortion. No, it normalizes abortion so that 10 and 11-year-olds grow up to think taking an innocent human life is okay–and that no one ever regrets their abortion.

And the actual video:

I noticed that Nathan Apodaca wrote a reasonable response to the content of the video, over at Human Defense initiative.

He writes:

The most common theme in the entire video is the host’s avoidance of the real issue: Can we kill the preborn? What is the preborn?

[…]The problem with the video is the spokeswoman for “Shout Your Abortion,” along with several of the teenagers in the piece, constantly do what philosopher Francis Beckwith aptly calls “Begging the question”; that is, they assume what they should be trying to prove.

Consider the first few conversations. We (the audience) are told indirectly that sometimes mistakes happen, that people can’t afford a child, and other issues influence the decision to get an abortion.

Poverty is obviously a problem, along with people who think they will not be able to afford a child, but a question never gets asked: why stop with abortion to alleviate these problems? Why not allow parents to kill their newborns and toddlers as well to alleviate any problems that may arise? The answer is most assuredly a firm “No, that’s different.”

Ah, but that is the question! Why are the preborn so different we may kill them if we so please? This never seems to occur to anyone in the video, but it does raise a further question which deserves an answer: if the preborn are also human, just like babies and toddlers, should we really be killing them, or should we protect them, just like toddlers and newborns?

OK, this is important.

In the debate over atheism, I always advise you to disregard everything that anyone says until we get the atheist to come to terms with the evidence for the origin of the universe and the fine-tuning – mainstream science. The same thing is the case with the abortion debate. I don’t want to hear any sob-stories about poor people, and so on, until I get a scientific answer to the question “what is the unborn?” Let’s decide what’s true based on what mainstream science tells us.

And guess what? Just like the atheism debate, mainstream science is completely on our side. The same rigorous experimental science that establishes the beginning of the universe, and the fine-tuning of the universe for life, also establishes that a new living human being is created at the moment of conception, with a different DNA signature than either the mother or the father. It’s a new human being! And this is the scientific view – the same view you see in textbooks on human development. (Lots of citations in that PDF, you should download it and share it – it came from the lady that Trump just appointed to the National Science Board)

But it’s not just science textbooks that agree that abortion takes the life of an unborn child, even pro-abortion scholars concede that, as Nathan explains:

Something else Amelia and her interviewees miss is the many times supporters of abortion have called abortion for what it is: the intentional killing of an innocent human being.

There are three separate links to citations by abortion defenders in that citation.

Another important point is that abortion defenders always point to something that unborn children can’t do, and use that as the basis for excluding them. But the truth is that their criteria excludes a lot of other people:

[…][O]ne of the teenagers makes the off-the-cuff remark that “Like your arm is incapable of complex thought, a baby in the womb isn’t, either.”

No one bothers to defend this view though, and it is just asserted as if it settles the debate. The problem is, so what? Why does complex thought grant us a protection against being intentionally killed, instead of being protected because we are human in the first place? He never expands on this concept.

And how much complex thought is necessary in order to be protected from being killed? We never get an explanation. Some people, like the sleeping, the mentally ill, and someone in a medically induced coma may happen to not be capable at a given point in time to exercise complex thought; but it seems ludicrous to think they can be justifiably excluded from the community of human beings with a right to not be killed.

I have a whole post about the different criteria that pro-abortion people use to exclude the unborn from the right to life, and in every case, they end up excluding other people who even they would admit have the right to life.

The argument that seems to be the most convincing to the children is the “pro-lifers are stinky poopyheads” argument, also known as the ad hominem fallacy in formal logic.

Nathan responds:

This claim is a flat out lie, and is painfully obvious to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention. Pro-lifers regularly step up to help those in need. In north San Diego county alone, there are more pro-life resource centers for women (and men) in need than abortion clinics. In my own hometown, Escondido, two pro-life pregnancy resource centers provide healthcare to those who need it. There are even pro-lifers opening up housing and adoption referrals for women who choose to keep their babies, but are homeless and in need of a place to stay. “Shout Your Abortion”, the organization the host represents, does none of this, and doesn’t help women who decide not to have an abortion find support.

[…]This isn’t all. Consider the following: groups and affiliates like the Obria Group, CareNet, LifeLine, Heartbeat International, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) connect people in need to thousands of care centers; many of whom operate with no tax dollars or government subsidies whatsoever.

Slave owners used similar “arguments” against abolitionists who didn’t like them owning slaves: calling them names, to make other people not want to oppose slavery. Well, I guess if your audience is a bunch of children, then this might be persuasive to them.

9 thoughts on “Feminist presents sophisticated arguments for abortion to elite scholars in rigorous academic debate”

  1. I too like an even handed debate. Ideas can be challenged intellectually and respectfully. The issue starts when one side is demonized and told to shut up! Did you hear that a radical feminist was allowed in a school to try to use kids as an echo chamber for her pro-abortion beliefs? One, that topic shouldn’t have been addressed by the school at all, and two, they wouldn’t have let a pro-life speaker… Children come last for the left, while a voting base comes first…
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/who-is-a-conservative/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or the trans people going into schools to read lgbt stories to kids. Or for-profit abortion providers going into schools to teach everyone that recreational sex is normal, condoms are reliable. No conflict of interest there! Lol.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I went directly to the abortion video and noticed that the comment section was disabled. Shocker. And there’s another video in the series where young kids talk to a gynecologist. Heaven help us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one of the saddest and most intellectually dishonest videos I’ve ever seen. As an adopted kid… this makes me sick to my stomach the way they want to liken this life and death issue into nothing more than “opposes! I made a silly decision!” What a perverse and sad group.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Removing human rights from another group is an effective means to demonize a view.

    I find it funny how when the elite mistreated natives to keep them from getting jobs in the past in society, or the me Africans were sold by other African slave traders to American elite to get cheap labour. Lower class people are supposed to feel a guilt trip for it.

    And both of those are a past attempt to to make a subclass of exploitable humans. But if you point out not calling an unborn child human or admitting it humanity is only a modern attempt to dehumanize them and this too is not supported by a majority of people.

    It is just a loud controlling group with only their own interest at heart

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read your blog before watching the video. Some thoughts came to mind:
    If abortion weren’t wrong, why is she putting so much effort into trying to justify it?
    The arguments used exemplify the shifting, if not sinking, sand of self-centred moral relativism – do what suits you.
    Right from the beginning (as in Genesis), humankind has tried to justify its wrong choices and actions, and still does.
    That she is doing this with children, is appalling. I have asked children in Gr. 7 how they would feel if someone thought they should have been killed before birth. They are not happy about it.
    What happened to instilling sound moral standards and real lifeskills in children, like how to respect oneself, and for boys to cherish and protect girls, by keeping sex for marriage, how to choose a marriage partner, how to build a loving stable marriage and family, etc.? (I’ve been told that that is moralistic and old-fashioned, that I’m a Neanderthal, etc.).
    As you state, she skirts around the reality of abortion, i.e what it really is, as well as making completely erroneous statements. She may state her opinion, but opinions are not necessarily true. Newspapers use opinion columns to influence public opinion. I’ve noticed this when contentious legislation, e.g. for abortion, same-sex “marriage”, etc., is being considered.

    Like

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