Now, you may think that the view that the unborn deserve protection during pregnancy is something that you either take on faith or not. But I want to explain how you can make a case for the right to life of the unborn, just by using reason and evidence.
To defend the pro-life position, I think you need to sustain 3 arguments:
The unborn is a living being with human DNA, and is therefore human.
There is no morally-relevant difference between an unborn baby, and one already born.
None of the justifications given for terminating an unborn baby are morally adequate.
Now, the pro-abortion debater may object to point 1, perhaps by claiming that the unborn baby is either not living, or not human, or not distinct from the mother.
Defending point 1: Well, it is pretty obvious that the unborn child is not inanimate matter. It is definitely living and growing through all 9 months of pregnancy. (Click here for a video that shows what a baby looks like through all 9 months of pregnancy). Since it has human DNA, that makes it a human. And its DNA is different from either its mother or father, so it clearly not just a tissue growth of the father or the mother. More on this point at Christian Cadre, here. An unborn child cannot be the woman’s own body, because then the woman would have four arms, four legs, two heads, four eyes and two different DNA signatures. When you have two different human DNA signatures, you have two different humans.
Secondly, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the unborn that is not yet present or developed while it is still in the womb, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, it does not deserve the protection of the law.
Defending point 2: You need to show that the unborn are not different from the already-born in any meaningful way. The main differences between them are: size, level of development, environment and degree of dependence. Once these characteristics are identified, you can explain that none of these differences provide moral justification for terminating a life. For example, babies inside and outside the womb have the same value, because location does not change a human’s intrinsic value.
Additionally, the pro-abortion debater may try to identify a characteristic of the already-born that is not yet present or developed in the unborn, and then argue that because the unborn does not have that characteristic, that it does not deserve protection, (e.g. – sentience). Most of the these objections that you may encounter are refuted in this essay by Francis Beckwith. Usually these objections fall apart because they assume the thing they are trying to prove, namely, that the unborn deserves less protection than the already born.
Finally, the pro-abortion debater may conceded your points 1 and 2, and admit that the unborn is fully human. But they may then try to provide a moral justification for terminating the life of the unborn, regardless.
Defending point 3: I fully grant that it is sometimes justifiable to terminate an innocent human life, if there is a moral justification. Is there such a justification for abortion? One of the best known attempts to justify abortion is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “violinist” argument. This argument is summarized by Paul Manata, one of the experts over at Triablogue:
Briefly, this argument goes like this: Say a world-famous violinist developed a fatal kidney ailment and the Society of Music Lovers found that only you had the right blood-type to help. So, they therefore have you kidnapped and then attach you to the violinist’s circulatory system so that your kidneys can be used to extract the poison from his. To unplug yourself from the violinist would be to kill him; therefore, pro-lifers would say a person has to stay attached against her will to the violinist for 9 months. Thompson says that it would be morally virtuous to stay plugged-in. But she asks, “Do you have to?” She appeals to our intuitions and answers, “No.”
Manata then goes on to defeat Thomson’s proposal here, with a short, memorable illustration, which I highly recommend that you check out. More info on how to respond to similar arguments is here.
Do you remember Nick Sandmann? He is the pro-life high school student who was the victim of a dishonest smear campaign by leftists in the mainstream news media. He was able to win two cases against far-left extremist CNN and far-left extremist Washington Post. Other cases are still in progress. But he managed to get back on CNN cameras Tuesday night to tell his side of his story.
Daily Wire reported on his speech and on CNN’s response.
Here’s an excerpt:
My life changed forever in that one moment. The full war machine of the mainstream media revved up into attack mode. They did so without ever researching the full video of the incident; without ever investigating Mr. Philips’ motives; or without ever asking me for my side of the story. And do you know why? Because the truth wasn’t important. Advancing their anti-Christian, anti-Conservative, anti-Donald Trump narrative was all that mattered. And if advancing their narrative ruined the reputation and future of a teenager from Covington, Kentucky…so be it. That will teach him not to wear a MAGA hat!”
I learned that what was happening to me had a name. It was called being cancelled. As in annulled. As in revoked. As in made void. Cancelled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left. Many are being fired, humiliated or even threatened. Often, the media is a willing participant.”
But I wouldn’t be cancelled. I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me and won a personal victory. While much more must be done, I look forward to the day that the media returns to providing balanced, responsible and accountable news coverage. In November, I believe this country must unite around a President who calls the media out and refuses to allow them to create a narrative instead of reporting the facts.”
And CNN’s response:
Lockhart tweeted, “I’m watching tonight because it’s important. But I don’t have to watch this snot nose entitled kid from Kentucky.”
Yeah, but they’re paying that kid to wear a MAGA hat on their network. Because he whipped their asses!
His speech is pretty short – only 4.5 minutes:
That was my favorite speech of the ones I saw. Rand Paul was pretty good. Mike Pompeo was pretty good. Some people really like Melania Trump’s speech, as well.
But for me, the runner-up was this short speech by Kentucky’s black Republican attorney General Daniel.
“My values were shaped by my faith and by my parents. I worked at their small coffee shop meeting people from all walks of life, and I realized something: no matter who we are, everyone needs a cup of coffee. That lesson stuck with me because despite our differences, we all want the same things: for our children to have more opportunities than we did, to feel the dignity of work, and to believe that if you play by the rules, you can make a good life for yourself and your family,” Cameron said.
[…]“So the question is, will we chose the path that gives us the best chance to meet those universal desires? Or will we go backward to a time where people were treated like political commodities who can’t be trusted to think for themselves. I think often about my ancestors who struggled for freedom, and as I think of those giants and their broad shoulders, I also think about Joe Biden, who says, ‘If you aren’t voting for me, you ain’t black;’ who argued that Republicans would put us back in chains; who says there is no diversity of thought in the black community.” Cameron said.
“Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am black. We are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own and you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin,” Cameron said, addressing Biden. “Joe Biden is a backwards thinker in a world that is craving forward-looking leadership. There is not wisdom in his record or plan, just a trail of discredited ideas and offensive statements. Joe Biden would destroy jobs, raise our taxes, and throw away the lives of countless unborn children.”
The attorney general said that Biden is “captive to the radical left” that believes “skin color must dictate your politics.”
I love that line: “Mr. Vice President, look at me. I am black. We are not all the same, sir. I am not in chains. My mind is my own and you can’t tell me how to vote because of the color of my skin”. I would really like to live in a world where the typical low-information Democrat voter understood what black conservatives stand for.
I’m looking forward to the Wednesday night speakers. This is the time where people are learning about the differences between the parties. And I’ll be keeping an eye out to bring you the speeches that capture the essence of the Republican party. You won’t hear this in the public school classroom or from the mainstream news media.
The speech is posted at the White House web site, along with a transcript. In this post, I’ll try to mention the main topics and the Democrat reactions. Summary: Trump didn’t appeal to feelings. He cited objective facts and figures to support his achievements, and he illustrated the benefits of his policies by pointing out the stories of specific people in the audience. Best! SOTU! Ever!
Numerous Democrats appeared to not celebrate a fourth-grade black girl who received a scholarship on Tuesday night from President Donald Trump during the State of the Union Address.
[…]“The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” Trump said. “Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships.”
“The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists,” Trump continued. “One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s [Democrat] Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children.”
[…]“Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening,” Trump continued. “But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!”
“Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received,” Trump continued. “Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.”
Democrat members of the House and Senate largely refused to celebrate the Trump administration’s economic successes for minority communities and women on Tuesday night during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.
[…]From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.
[…]Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs — 5 million more than Government experts projected during the previous administration.
[…]The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.
African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.
The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.
The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.
The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.
Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.
A record number of young Americans are now employed.
Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.
In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.
Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.
Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded!
Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights.
All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona broke from her Democratic colleagues by giving a standing ovation for “opportunity zones” during President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday. While the majority of Democrats sat as Trump commended Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for his work on opportunity zones, Sinema stood and applauded her colleague.
Opportunity zones were created in tandem with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They provide tax advantages for certain investments in lower income areas.
“Jobs and investments are pouring into nine thousand previously neglected neighborhoods, thanks to opportunity zones. A plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts,” Trump said as Sinema stood to clap.
Trump’s approval rating is now at 49%, the highest it’s ever been. Higher than Obama’s was at this time in his presidency, and Obama won re-election.
I am old enough to remember when Americans voted for a pro-abortion president for two terms. He voted for infanticide twice, as a state senator in Illinois. He subsidized abortion with taxpayer money. He forced Christian organizations to cover abortions. He forced Christian doctors and nurses to perform and assist in abortions. And he appointed pro-abortion judges.
Obama would never have address pro-lifers at March for Life. But Trump is planning to do just that today! He is the first sitting present to actually join pro-lifers and take part in the events in person.
There was a good interview between two pro-lifers discussing how Trump has done on the pro-life issue.
Here is what one of them said:
Stanek answered that she admired Bush for signing the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law, but what set Trump apart was that “he is just so proactive.”
“I think saying that Trump is the most pro-life president we’ve ever had isn’t to slight other presidents like President Bush and President Reagan,” she explained. “It’s to say that he is fitting the mold that we’ve always hoped for of being verbal, vocal about it,” from calling out Hillary Clinton for believing “in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb,” to his use of blunt language like “execute the baby” to discuss infanticide.
“President Trump is going gangbusters, is hiring people in the administration who are like-minded on abortion,” Stanek said. “They set the policy…he has issued executive orders and administrative orders…just about everything we’ve ever asked him to do, he’s done.”
I found some statements of Trump’s pro-life achievements but the best one by far was from Susan B. Anthony List:
Appointed Pro-Life Judges
In April, 2017, Judge Neil Gorsuch was successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And in October, 2018, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was successfully confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, 157 of President Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed, including two Supreme Court justices, forty-three U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, and one hundred thirteen District Court judges.
Permitted States to Defund Planned Parenthood of Title X Funds
In April 2017, Congress sent a bill to President Trump’s desk that permits states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X family planning funds passed in Congress. President Trump signed the bill which reverses an Obama-era rule that disbarred states from doing so. Because this was passed using the Congressional Review Act, future Administrations cannot enact a similar rule to Obama’s.
Stopped Tax Dollars Funding Abortion Overseas
President Trump not only reinstated the Mexico City Policy, but expanded it to the new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance program. This new policy ensures that our tax dollars are protected from funding the abortion industry overseas across ALL global health spending, not just family planning dollars. The Bush-era Mexico City Policy protected roughly $500 million in spending – the new Trump policy protects over $8.8 billion overseas aid from funding abortion.
Defunded the Pro-Abortion UNFPA
The UNFPA has long been complicit in China’s oppressive population control activities, including birth limitation policies and forced abortions. President Trump’s State Department cut U.S. Taxpayer funding to the UNFPA.
Required Health Insurance Companies to Disclose if Plans Cover Abortion
The Trump Administration Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a rule requiring that insurers specify in each plan Summary of Benefits whether the plan covers abortion.
Settlements & New Rule Regarding HHS Mandate
The Departments of HHS, Treasury, and Labor issued two interim final rules, which means they took effect immediately, while allowing a comment period, that provide permanent, enforceable relief from the previous HHS mandate for both religious objectors, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, and moral objectors, such as Susan B. Anthony List. The new rule also exempts private employers and educational institutions that have sincerely held religious beliefs or moral objections against providing contraceptives or abortifacient drugs.
New Office for Conscience Protection at HHS
In May 2019, the Trump administration finalized new regulations to strengthen enforcement of federal laws protecting the conscience rights of health care workers who do not want to participate in abortion. The regulations clarify what recourse is available to victims of discrimination under the law and what penalties the HHS Office of Civil Rights may enforce for violations. Additionally, in January 2018, the Department of Health & Human Services announced the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Office for Civil Rights. This new office works to protect health care professionals who do not want to participate in abortion. In May, 2019, HHS issued a proposed rule amending Obama-era regulations, clarifying that Section 1557 shall not force a recipient of federal funding to provide or pay for an abortion. It shall also be consistent with the First Amendment and with pro-life provisions, conscience provisions and religious liberty protections in current law.
Allowed States to Defund Planned Parenthood of Medicaid Funds
The Obama administration attempted to prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood of Medicaid dollars, issuing guidance claiming this may be a violation of federal law. In January 2018, the Trump administration rescinded this guidance, allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood of Medicaid dollars as they see fit.
Cut Planned Parenthood’s Tax Funding by up to $60 Million
In February, 2019, the Trump administration finalized the Protect Life Rule to redirect Title X family planning program funds away from the abortion industry. The rule advances President Trump’s promise to stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, who will no longer receive Title X funding if they choose not to comply.
Canceled Huge Contract for Taxpayer-Funded Experimentation with Body Parts of Aborted Babies
In June, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced they would not renew a major contract with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to fund research using the body parts of aborted babies. (learn more)
My favorite was the conscience protections! I really hate the idea of being forced by secular leftists to violate my conscience.
I think it’s very important for pro-life voters of all parties to understand that Trump has taken action on pro-life concerns. He listened to pro-life leaders, and did far more than other Republican presidents who were pro-life in name only. Americans often have this annoying habit of forming their opinions based on what they feel and what they hear in the culture. But we need to be informed voters. Let’s look at the facts and decide based on actions.
The non-partisan web site Just Facts has been cited as an authority by IBM, PBS, Vanderbilt University, the Wall Street Journal, etc. In their latest study, they tested conservative and progressive voters to see which group had reality-based views of education, taxes, healthcare, national debt, pollution, government spending, Social Security, global warming, energy, hunger, and poverty.
Here is what they measured:
The findings are from a nationally representative annual survey commissioned by Just Facts, a non-profit research and educational institute. The survey was conducted by Triton Polling & Research, an academic research firm that used sound methodologies to assess U.S. residents who regularly vote.
While most polls measure public opinion, this unique one measures voters’ knowledge of major issues facing the nation—such as education, taxes, healthcare, national debt, pollution, government spending, Social Security, global warming, energy, and hunger.
I just wanted to list out a few of the questions, so that you would be able to see the topics, and know that the answers are measurable quantities. This is important because we want to know which groups of voters understand just the facts about the world we live in.
Education sample question:
On average across the United States, how much do you think public schools spend per year to educate each classroom of students? Less or more than $150,000 per classroom per year?
Correct Answer: More than $150,000. The average cost to educate a classroom of public school students is about $332,000 per year.
Correct answer given by 36% of all voters, 26% of Democrat voters, 45% of Trump voters, 46% of males, 28% of females, 25% of 18 to 34 year olds, 40% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 33% of 65+ year olds.
Taxes sample question:
On average, who would you say pays a greater portion of their income in federal taxes: The middle class or the upper 1% of income earners?
Correct Answer: The upper 1%. The Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Treasury, and the Tax Policy Center have all documented that households in the top 1% of income pay an average effective federal tax rate of about 33%, while middle-income households pay about 13%. These tax rates account for nearly all income and federal taxes.
Correct answer given by 18% of all voters, 6% of Democrat voters, 30% of Trump voters, 21% of males, 15% of females, 11% of 18 to 34 year olds, 19% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 19% of 65+ year olds.
Spending sample question:
Do you think the federal government spends more money on social programs, such as Medicare, education, and food stamps—or does the federal government spend more money on national defense, such as the Army, Navy, and missile defense?
Correct Answer: Social programs. In 2018, 62% of federal spending was for social programs, and 18% was for national defense. In 1960, the opposite was true, and 53% of federal spending was for national defense, while 21% was for social programs.
Correct answer given by 36% of all voters, 14% of Democrat voters, 59% of Trump voters, 40% of males, 33% of females, 23% of 18 to 34 year olds, 36% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 41% of 65+ year olds.
National debt sample question:
What about federal government debt? The average U.S. household owes about $122,000 in consumer debt, such as mortgages and credit cards. Thinking about all federal government debt broken down to a per household basis, do you think the average federal debt per U.S. household amounts to more or less than the average consumer debt per U.S. household?
Correct Answer: More than $122,000. Federal debt is now $23.1 trillion or about $180,000 for every household in the United States.
Correct answer given by 77% of all voters, 76% of Democrat voters, 81% of Trump voters, 75% of males, 80% of females, 84% of 18 to 34 year olds, 79% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 75% of 65+ year olds.
Global warming sample question:
Thinking about the whole planet, do you think the number and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms have generally increased since the 1980s?
Correct Answer: No. Comprehensive global data shows that the number and intensity of cyclones and hurricanes has been roughly level since the 1980s. This data was originally published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in 2011 and updated this year. Likewise, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported: “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.” Regional data that extends back for more than century shows the same.
Correct answer given by 32% of all voters, 4% of Democrat voters, 59% of Trump voters, 40% of males, 25% of females, 19% of 18 to 34 year olds, 36% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 30% of 65+ year olds.
Pollution sample question:
Thinking about the United States, in your opinion, is the air generally more polluted than it was in the 1980s?
Correct Answer: No. EPA data shows that ambient levels of all criteria air pollutants have declined significantly since the 1980s. Criteria air pollutions are those that are deemed by the administrator of the EPA to be widespread and to “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare….” Likewise, combined emissions of hazardous air pollutants have declined by about 50% since the 1990s.
Correct answer given by 56% of all voters, 44% of Democrat voters, 67% of Trump voters, 67% of males, 46% of females, 47% of 18 to 34 year olds, 63% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 49% of 65+ year olds.
Energy sample question:
Without government subsidies, which of these technologies do you think is the least expensive method for generating electricity? Wind turbines, solar panels, or natural gas power plants?
Correct Answer: Natural gas power plants. Determining the costs of electricity-generating technologies is complex, but data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that natural gas is considerably less expensive than wind, and wind is considerably less expensive than solar.
Correct answer given by 40% of all voters, 23% of Democrat voters, 57% of Trump voters, 53% of males, 29% of females, 25% of 18 to 34 year olds, 43% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 41% of 65+ year olds.
Hunger sample question:
On an average day, what portion of U.S. households with children do you believe will have at least one child who experiences hunger? Less than 1%, 1% to 10%, or more than 10%?
Correct Answer: Less than 1%. Per the latest data from the USDA, 0.14% or less than one out of every 700 U.S. households with children have any child who experiences hunger on an average day. This includes children who are hungry due to poverty, not those who skip meals because they are late for school, don’t feel like eating, or are trying to lose weight.
Correct answer given by 12% of all voters, 2% of Democrat voters, 22% of Trump voters, 15% of males, 9% of females, 3% of 18 to 34 year olds, 12% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 13% of 65+ year olds.
Social Security sample question:
Some policymakers are proposing that individuals be allowed to save and invest some of their Social Security taxes in personal accounts instead of paying these taxes to the Social Security program. In your view, do you think such proposals generally improve or harm the finances of the Social Security program?
Correct Answer: Improve. As shown by analyses conducted by the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and a bipartisan presidential commission, proposals to give Social Security an element of personal ownership generally strengthen the program’s finances. Although some tax revenues that would have gone to the program instead go to people’s personal retirement accounts, these tax revenues are more than offset by the savings of not paying these individuals full benefits.
Correct answer given by 22% of all voters, 11% of Democrat voters, 33% of Trump voters, 28% of males, 17% of females, 31% of 18 to 34 year olds, 20% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 23% of 65+ year olds.
Health care sample question:
In 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” This law uses price controls to save money in the Medicare program. Do you think these price controls will worsen Medicare patients’ access to care?
Correct Answer: Yes. As explained by Medicare’s actuaries, the price controls in the Affordable Care Act will cut Medicare prices for many medical services over the next three generations to “less than half of their level under the prior law.” The actuaries have been clear that this will likely cause “withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market” and “severe problems with beneficiary access to care.”
Correct answer given by 50% of all voters, 17% of Democrat voters, 80% of Trump voters, 53% of males, 46% of females, 38% of 18 to 34 year olds, 52% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 49% of 65+ year olds.
Poverty sample question:
Including government benefits and private charity, how much worth of goods and services do the poorest 20% of U.S. households consume on average each year? Less than $20,000, $20,000 to $40,000, or more than $40,000?
Correct Answer: According to the latest government data, the poorest 20% of U.S. households consumed an average of $57,049 of goods and services per household in 2010.
Correct answer given by 13% of all voters, 6% of Democrat voters, 20% of Trump voters, 13% of males, 14% of females, 15% of 18 to 34 year olds, 16% of 35 to 64 year olds, and 9% of 65+ year olds.