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Abortion, Apologetics, Feminism, Talks

How to Present the Pro-life Case and Respond to Objections

In November 2014 I gave a talk at the Clarkson Academy intended to achieve four things, explain the pro-life position, explain bad pro-choice arguments, present the case against moral relativism, and a method for responding to objections.

There will be a number of other talks from the conference added to the Youtube channel over the next few weeks so be sure to subscribe.

I would love to know what you thought of my talk and more than happy to receive comments and questions. I’m also happy to email people my notes if they would like them, be sure to check out the LTI website.


About @Nicodemus

I'm a Holmesian Christian, a former atheist, university lecturer and a husband of one wife.


11 thoughts on “How to Present the Pro-life Case and Respond to Objections

  1. I think this is really awesome! However, as a woman, I have some things to add… so much that I’m inspired to write a blog post about it. Really good arguments, especially the defence against the over population argument at the end. Well done!


    Posted by Ufuoma E-Ashogbon | March 19, 2015, 10:45 pm
  2. Wow good stuff!


    Posted by SLIMJIM | March 20, 2015, 6:25 am
  3. Very nice presentation.

    In my microcosm, I have dealt with a two different objections to the pro-life position, I thought I would just let you know because you might be interested. I also have two additional approaches.

    First is a legal objection. The State should not have the authority to criminalize behaviors that harm ones own body such as overeating, alcoholism, self-mutilation, etc. The fetus is a integral part of the woman’s body, therefore they should not criminalize harming the fetus unless it could survive without the mother.

    The second objection is consequentialist. The author of Freakonomics has shown that abortion has a crime-lowering effect which suggests that there is something about being unwanted that leads to criminality. This is a consequentialist argument, that we should permit elective abortions as a way to decrease criminality which benefits society as a whole. The problem I have with this objection is that there are other ways society and the State can try to prevent this problem, whether it truly arises from unwanted children or some other factor. We need to determine what the deeper factor is and how to abrogate it without resorting to “end justifies the mean” consequentialism.

    Now two additional approaches. . .

    There is a forgotten element in this cultural debate — the role of the physician. Another question the State needs to consider is whether physicians ought to have the right to provide abortions. For example, consider this problem. In the US, OB-GYN doctors have the highest malpractice insurance payments of the profession, because of the liability of harming the fetus. This includes gestational ages BEFORE 21 weeks! So, the question becomes should physicians, many of whom have taken the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” be permitted by the State to provide abortions in the first trimester when they could easily find themselves in a malpractice lawsuit for harming fetuses during this very same gestational period? In other words, women may have bodily rights granted by the State, but should the State grant the right for physician assistance to do what would be illegal in any other situation except for the mother’s choice? By answering “yes” the State elevates the mother’s will to a tyrannical place — to be able to arbitrate what is lawful. Her supreme will determines whether the doctor can help her kill the fetus or whether the doctor is liable for any harm to the fetus. Is there not something unsettling and unreasonable about this kind of power? Is this not doublethink on the part of the State?

    Lastly, for anyone uncertain about whether the fetus is the moral equivalent of any other human, they should consider what they are risking. This is an argument from the risk factor. Suppose you were hunting in a forest and you came across a cardboard box. It would be immoral to use the cardboard box for target practice without checking its contents since there is a chance that something valuable is inside, perhaps even a human. If we have an epistemological issue, like we are unable to “check” if a fetus is valuable or “truly human”, or unable to find a legal principle, we should err on the side that they are indeed valuable. We should err on pro-life and criminalizing abortion providing by physicians.


    Posted by anaivethinker | April 3, 2015, 9:43 pm


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