This is a re-post of a debate on abortion.
Here are the details:
Justin hosts a discussion between Mara Clarke of the Abortion Support Network and Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Instititute. Mara believes women should decide whether to terminate a pregnancy, but Scott says that all depends on whether we are dealing with a human life in the womb.
My snarky paraphrase of the debate (not exact):
- Speaker introductions
- Klusendorf: no justification for abortion is necessary if the unborn are not human
- Klusendorf: we need to address the issue “what is the unborn?” Are the unborn human?
- Klusendorf: SLED: size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency
- Klusendorf: None of these things affect the value of a human being
- Klusendorf: Even if we don’t KNOW whether the unborn is human
- Mara: I’m not going to debate when life begins
- Mara: Women know when life begins by feelings
- Mara: The moral decision is “whether I can take care of this child?”
- Brierley: When is an unborn being human?
- Mara: I refuse to debate that – the real question is whether women want their babies or not
- Mara: Forced pregnancy is not OK
- Brierley: Could your justification for abortion (not wanting to care for a child) work through all 9 months?
- Mara: Late term abortions are rare, so I don’t have to answer that question
- Mara: Abortion should be OK through all 9 months of pregnancy because women cannot be restricted
- Mara: Some women are poor, they need to be able to kill expensive babies at any time
- Klusendorf: although she says she won’t debate the unborn, she does take a position
- Klusendorf: she assumes the unborn is not human, because she says that insufficient funds is justification for abortion
- Klusendorf: no one argues that you can kill a two year old because they cost money, because she thinks they are human
- Klusendorf: she is begging the question by assuming the unborn are not human, but that is the issue we must resolve
- Klusendorf: I am pro-choice on many other things, e.g. women choosing their own husbands, religion, etc.
- Klusendorf: Some choices are wrong – Mara might be right, but she needs to make the case for the unborn not being human
- Brierley: What is your reason for thinking that an unborn child is different from a 2-year old?
- Mara: An unborn child is not the same as a 2-year old, in my personal opinion
- Mara: I am not a debater, so I don’t have to provide reasoning for my assertion, I just feel it
- Mara: Not everybody agrees with Scott, they don’t have to have a rational argument, they just need to feel differently
- Mara: From my experience, when a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, then she should be able to not be pregnant
- Mara: Women shouldn’t be punished with a baby that she doesn’t want, even if she chooses to have recreational sex
- Brierley: What do you think of women who think the unborn is human and do it anyway?
- Klusendorf: It’s interesting that they never kill their toddlers for those reasons
- Klusendorf: I layed out scientific and philosophical reasons for the humanity of the unborn
- Klusendorf: Her response was “but some people disagree with you”
- Klusendorf: People disagreed about whether slavery was wrong, or whether women should be able to vote
- Klusendorf: that doesn’t mean there is no right answer – the right answer depends on the arguments
- Klusendorf: if absence of agreement makes a view false, then it makes HER pro-choice view false as well
- Klusendorf: she did make an argument for the unborn child having no rights because of the location
- Klusendorf: she needs to explain to us why location matters – what about location confers value
- Mara: I’m not going to let Scott frame my debate for me!!!
- Mara: women get pregnant and they don’t want their babies! should we put them in jail!!!!
- Klusendorf: I didn’t just give my opinion, I had science and philosophy, the issue is “what is the unborn?”
- Mara: philosophical and scientific debates are unimportant, I am an expert in real women’s lives
- Klusendorf: Which women? Women in the womb or only those outside the womb?
- Mara: Only those outside the womb
- Klusendorf: Only those outside the womb?
- Mara: Women living outside the womb have a right to kill women inside the womb – women have bodily autonomy
- Klusendorf: then does a pregnant woman with nausea have a right to take a drug for it that will harm her unborn child?
- Mara: Unborn children are only valuable if they are wanted, unborn children only deserve protection if they are wanted
- Mara: There are restrictions on abortion – you can’t get an abortion through all nine months in the US
- Mara: There is a 24-week limit in the UK as well
- Klusendorf: There are no restrictions on abortion that conflict with “a woman’s health” because Supreme Court said
- Mara: where are these late term abortion clinics?
- Klusendorf: (he names two)
- Mara: that’s not enough!!! we need more! where is there one in Pennsylvania?
- Klusendorf: well, there used to be Gosnell’s clinic in Pennsylvania, and you could even get an infanticide there….
- Brierley: What about Dawkins’ view that it is moral to abort Down’s Syndrome babies?
- Klusendorf: he is ignoring the scientific case and philosophical case for the pro-life
- Klusendorf: the pro-life view is a true basis for human equality
What I wanted Scott to ask was whether sex-selection abortions were OK with her. Since her reasoning is “if it’s unwanted, it has no rights”, then that would mean sex-selection abortions are just fine. That’s what a UK abortion expert recently argued. And I also posted recently about how sex-selection abortions are not prosecuted in the UK. If you’re looking for a war on women, there it is.
3 thoughts on “Scott Klusendorf defends the pro-life view on the Unbelievable radio show”
Love this post, WK – thanks for sharing!!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
OK, but he’s a bad incrementalist, like me. He was co-author of that article with Marc Newman.