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Devaluing Any Dependent Life
Over at The Federalist, Cara Valle has a few tips for fighting to prevent abortion. Valle begins by pointing out the relative ineffectiveness of sharing memes exposing the holes in pro-abortion arguments on social media.
Valle continues to provide advice, but we'll look at the third method she suggests, which is to move beyond outdated arguments:
"With 3D imaging and other advances in science and embryology, there is no longer much point in arguing about whether an unborn baby 'counts' as a human life. Pro-abortion leftists increasingly acknowledge that it does. The increasing approval of euthanasia in our culture should clue us in to the fact that leftists don’t deny that someone is human — they just don’t care. Or they claim to care, but subscribe to a made-up algorithm that deems some humans less entitled to the privileges of, say, not being killed and dismembered, than others.
"Updating our rhetoric requires listening. Abortion advocates are, for the most part, no longer arguing the inanimate 'clump of cells' idea. So what are they arguing? We have to ask, listen, and respond thoughtfully.
"To me, it seems that most pro-abortion rhetoric is about some rights taking precedence over others — a woman’s right to privacy taking precedence over an infant’s right to live. Pro-life conservatives need to put pressure on this ranking system and ask, 'Who takes precedence over whom? Why?' Dissecting and exposing the cruel logic of this system stands a chance of being much more persuasive than continuing to shout slogans (however true they may be) like 'It’s a child, not a choice.'"
She is absolutely right that the common argument of pro-abortion activists rests firmly on the "rights of the mother" and not on the personhood or life of the unborn child.
Let's look further at this comment in the middle of the above:
"The increasing approval of euthanasia in our culture should clue us in to the fact that leftists don’t deny that someone is human — they just don’t care."
Another way to say this: In the culture of death, lives are not intrinsically valuable. The connection between euthanasia and abortion is not so difficult to see: If we devalue life in the womb, we run a serious risk of devaluing any life that is not self-sufficient. This includes the elderly, the infirm, and the impoverished.
And this is exactly why arguing for the humanity of the unborn child, though important and true, is not terribly effective. You don't need to argue that the elderly, infirm, and impoverished are people, and yet folks try to force doctors to end their lives.
So as you consider your arguments for defending the unborn, consider your audience. Personhood arguments matter, but only insofar as the pro-abortion activist argues that the child is only a "clump of cells" and "is not really a baby yet." At all other times, focus on questions and arguments related to bodily rights.
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