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Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments

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ISBN-10: 1576737519

ISBN-13: 9781576737514

Edition: 1992

Authors: Randy Alcorn

List price: $19.99
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As politicians, citizens, and families continue the raging national debate on whether it's proper to end human life in the womb, resources like Randy Alcorn's Prolife Answers to Prochoice Arguments have proven invaluable. With over 75,000 copies in print, this revised and updated guide offers timely information and inspiration from a "sanctity of life" perspective. Real answers to real questions appear in logical and concise form. The final chapter- "Fifty Ways to Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers"- is worth the price of this book alone!
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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/10/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

RUSSELL D. MOOREis dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the author ofThe Kingdom of Christand is a senior editor of the journalTouchstone.He and his wife, Maria, have four children.

Introduction to the Revised Edition
Why This Book Is Necessary
Because the stakes are so high in the abortion debate
Because there is so much tension and uncertainty about abortion
Because no single issue divides Americans as sharply as the issue of abortion
Because the educational system does not present both sides of the abortion issue
Because the media are biased against the prolife position
Because it is a comprehensive, documented, and accurate presentation of the prolife position
Because it is an organized, logical, and easily referenced resource offering answers to every major prochoice argument
Arguments Concerning Life, Humanity, and Personhood
"It is uncertain when human life begins; that's a religious question that cannot be answered by science."
If there is uncertainty about when human life begins, the benefit of the doubt should go to preserving life
Medical textbooks and scientific reference works consistently agree that human life begins at conception
Some of the world's most prominent scientists and physicians testified to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception
Many other prominent scientists and physicians have likewise affirmed with certainty that human life begins at conception
The possibility of human cloning does nothing to discredit the fact that all humans conceived in the conventional manner began their lives at conception
"The fetus is just a part of the pregnant woman's body, like her tonsils or appendix. You can't seriously believe a frozen embryo is an actual person."
A body part is defined by the common genetic code it shares with the rest of its body; the unborn's genetic code differs from his mother's
The child may die and the mother live, or the mother may die and the child live, proving they are two separate individuals
The unborn child takes an active role in his own development, controlling the course of the pregnancy and the time of birth
Being inside something is not the same as being part of something
Human beings should not be discriminated against because of their place of residence
There is substantial scientific reason to believe that frozen embryos are persons and should be granted the same rights as older, larger, and less vulnerable persons
"The unborn is an embryo or a fetus--just a simple blob of tissue, a product of conception--not a baby. Abortion is terminating a pregnancy, not killing a child."
Like toddler and adolescent, the terms embryo and fetus do not refer to nonhumans, but to humans at particular stages of development
Semantics affect perceptions, but they do not change realities; a baby is a baby no matter what we call her
From the moment of conception, the unborn is not simple, but very complex
Prior to the earliest abortions, the unborn already has every body part she will ever have
Every abortion stops a beating heart and terminates measurable brain waves
Even in the earliest surgical abortions, the unborn child is clearly human in appearance
Even before the unborn is obviously human in appearance, she is what she is--a human being
No matter how much better it sounds, "terminating a pregnancy" is still terminating a life
"The fetus may be alive, but so are eggs and sperm. The fetus is a potential human being, not an actual one; it's like a blueprint, not a house; an acorn, not an oak tree."
The ovum and sperm are each a product of another's body; unlike the conceptus, neither is an independent entity
The physical remains after an abortion indicate the end not of a potential life, but of an actual life
Something nonhuman does not become human by getting older and bigger; whatever is human must be human from the beginning
Comparing preborns and adults to acorns and oaks is dehumanizing and misleading
Even if the analogy were valid, scientifically speaking an acorn is simply a little oak tree, just as an embryo is a little person
"The unborn isn't a person, with meaningful life. It's only inches in size and can't even think; it's less advanced than an animal, and anyway, who says people have a greater right to live than animals?"
Personhood is properly defined by membership in the human species, not by stage of development within that species
Personhood is not a matter of size, skill, or degree of intelligence
The unborn's status should be determined on an objective basis, not on subjective or self-serving definitions of personhood
It is a scientific fact that there are thought processes at work in unborn babies
If the unborn's value can be compared to that of an animal, there is no reason not to also compare the value of born people to animals
Even if someone believes that people are no better than animals, why would they abhor the killing of young animals, while advocating the killing of young children?
It is dangerous when people in power are free to determine whether other, less powerful lives are meaningful
Arguments against the personhood of the unborn are shrouded in rationalization and denial
"A fetus isn't a person until implantation...or until quickening or viability or when it first breathes"
Implantation is a gauge of personhood only if location, nutrition, and interfacing with others make us human
Quickening is a gauge of personhood only if someone's reality or value depends upon being noticed by ariother
Viability is an arbitrary concept. Why not associate personhood with heartbeat, brain waves, or something else?
The point of viability changes because it depends on technology, not the unborn herself. Eventually babies may be viable from the point of conception
In a broad sense, many born people are not viable because they are incapable of surviving without depending on others
A child's "breathing," her intake of oxygen, begins long before birth
Someone's helplessness or dependency should motivate us to protect her, not to destroy her
"Obviously life begins at birth. That's why we celebrate birthdays, not conception days, and why we don't have funerals following miscarriages"
Our recognition of birthdays is cultural, not scientific
Some people do have funerals after a miscarriage
Funerals are an expression of our subjective attachment to those who have died, not a measurement of their true worth
There is nothing about birth that makes a baby essentially different than he was before birth
"No one can really know that human life begins before birth"
Children know that human life begins before birth
Pregnant women know that human life begins before birth
Doctors know that human life begins before birth
Abortionists know that human life begins before birth
Prochoice feminists know that human life begins before birth
Society knows that human life begins before birth
The media know that human life begins before birth
Prochoice advocates know that human life begins before birth
If we can't know that human life begins before birth, how can we know whether it begins at birth or later?
Arguments Concerning Rights and Fairness
"Even if the unborn are human beings, they have fewer rights than the woman. No one should be expected to donate her body as a life-support system for someone else"
Once we grant that the unborn are human beings, it should settle the question of their right to live
The right to live doesn't increase with age and size; otherwise toddlers and adolescents have less right to live than adults
The comparison between a baby's rights and a mother's rights is unequal. What is at stake in abortion is the mother's lifestyle, as opposed to the baby's life
It is reasonable for society to expect an adult to live temporarily with an inconvenience if the only alternative is killing a child
"Every person has the right to choose. It would be unfair to restrict a woman's choice by prohibiting abortion"
Any civilized society restricts the individual's freedom to choose whenever that choice would harm an innocent person
"Freedom to choose" is too vague for meaningful discussion; we must always ask, "Freedom to choose what?"
People who are prochoice about abortion are often not prochoice about other issues with less at stake
The one-time choice of abortion robs someone else of a lifetime of choices and prevents him from ever exercising his rights
Everyone is prochoice when it comes to the choices prior to pregnancy and after birth
Nearly all violations of human rights have been defended on the grounds of the right to choose
"Every woman should have control over her own body. Reproductive freedom is a basic right"
Abortion assures that 650,000 females each year do not have control over their bodies
Not all things done with a person's body are right, nor should they all be legally protected
Prolifers consistently affirm true reproductive rights
Even prochoicers must acknowledge that the "right to control one's body" argument has no validity if the unborn is a human being
Too often "the right to control my life" becomes the right to hurt and oppress others for my own advantage
Control over the body can be exercised to prevent pregnancy in the first place
It is demeaning to a woman's body and self-esteem to regard pregnancy as an unnatural, negative, and "out of control" condition
"Abortion is a decision between a woman and her doctor. It's no one else's business. Everyone has a constitutional right to privacy"
The Constitution does not contain a right to privacy
Privacy is never an absolute right, but is always governed by other rights
The encouragement or assistance of a doctor does not change the nature, consequences, or morality of abortion
The father of the child is also responsible for the child and should have a part in this decision
The father will often face serious grief and guilt as a result of abortion. Since his life will be significantly affected, shouldn't he have something to say about it?
"It's unfair for an unmarried woman to have to face the embarrassment of pregnancy or the pain of giving up a child for adoption"
Pregnancy is not a sin. Society should not condemn and pressure an unmarried mother into abortion, but should help and support her
The poor choice of premarital sex is never compensated for by the far worse choice of killing an innocent human being
One person's unfair or embarrassing circumstances do not justify violating the rights of another person
Adoption is a fine alternative that avoids the burden of child raising, while saving a life and making a family happy; it is tragic that adoption is so infrequently chosen as an alternative to abortion
The reason that adoption may be painful is the same reason that abortion is wrong--a human life is involved
"Abortion rights are fundamental for the advancement of women. They are essential to having equal rights with men"
Early feminists were prolife, not prochoice
Some active feminists still vigorously oppose abortion
Women's rights are not inherently linked to the right to abortion
The basic premises of the abortion-rights movement are demeaning to women
Many of the assumptions that connect women's welfare with abortion, the pill, and free sex have proven faulty
Some of the abortion-rights strategies assume female incompetence and subject women to ignorance and exploitation
Abortion has become the most effective means of sexism ever devised, ridding the world of multitudes of unwanted females
"The circumstances of many women leave them no choice but to have an abortion"
Saying they have no choice is not being prochoice, but proabortion
Those who are truly prochoice must present a woman with a number of possible choices instead of just selling the choice of abortion
"Abortion or misery" is a false portrayal of the options; it keeps women from pursuing--and society from providing--positive alternatives
"I'm personally against abortion, but I'm still prochoice. It's a legal alternative and we don't have the right to keep it from anyone. Everyone's free to believe what they want, but we shouldn't try to impose it on others"
To be prochoice about abortion is to be proabortion
The only good reason for being personally against abortion is a reason that demands we be against other people choosing to have abortions
What is legal is not always right
How can we tell people that they are perfectly free to believe abortion is the killing of children but that they are not free to act as if what they believe is really true?
Arguments Concerning Social Issues
"'Every child a wanted child.' It's unfair to children to bring them into a world where they're not wanted."
Every child is wanted by someone; there is no such thing as an unwanted child
There is a difference between an unwanted pregnancy and an unwanted child
"Unwanted" describes not a condition of the child, but an attitude of adults
The problem of unwantedness is a good argument for wanting children, but a poor argument for eliminating them
What is most unfair to unwanted children is to kill them
"Having more unwanted children results in more child abuse."
Most abused children were wanted by their parents
Child abuse has not decreased since abortion was legalized, but has dramatically increased
If children are viewed as expendable before birth, they will be viewed as expendable after birth
It is illogical to argue that a child is protected from abuse through abortion since abortion is child abuse
"Restricting abortion would be unfair to the poor and minorities, who need it most."
It is not unfair for some people to have less opportunity than others to kill the innocent
The rich and white, not the poor and minorities, are most committed to unrestricted abortion
Prochoice advocates want the poor and minorities to have abortions, but oppose requirements that abortion risks and alternatives be explained to them
Planned Parenthood's abortion advocacy was rooted in the eugenics movement and its bias against the mentally and physically handicapped and minorities
"Abortion helps solve the problem of overpopulation and raises the quality of life."
The current birthrate in America is less than what is needed to maintain our population level
The dramatic decline in our birthrate will have a disturbing economic effect on America
Overpopulation is frequently blamed for problems with other causes
If there is a population problem that threatens our standard of living, the solution is not to kill off part of the population
Sterilization and abortion as cures to overpopulation could eventually lead to mandatory sterilization and abortion
The "quality of life" concept is breeding a sense of human expendability that has far-reaching social implications
"Even if abortion were made illegal, there would still be many abortions."
That harmful acts against the innocent will take place regardless of the law is a poor argument for having no law
The law can guide and educate people to choose better alternatives
Laws concerning abortion have significantly influenced whether women choose to have abortions
"The antiabortion beliefs of the minority shouldn't be imposed on the majority."
Major polls clearly indicate that the majority, not the minority, believes that there should be greater restrictions on abortion
Many people's apparent agreement with abortion law stems from their ignorance of what the law really is
Beliefs that abortion should be restricted are embraced by a majority in each major political party
In 1973 the Supreme Court imposed a minority morality on the nation, ignoring the votes of citizens and the decisions of state legislatures
"The antiabortion position is a religious belief that threatens the vital separation of church and state."
Many nonreligious people believe that abortion kills children and that it is wrong
Morality must not be rejected just because it is supported by religion
America was founded on a moral base dependent upon principles of the Bible and the Christian religion
Laws related to church and state were intended to assure freedom for religion, not freedom from religion
Religion's waning influence on our society directly accounts for the moral deterioration threatening our future
Arguments Concerning Health and Safety
"If abortion is made illegal, tens of thousands of women will again die from back-alley and clothes-hanger abortions."
For decades prior to its legalization, 90 percent of abortions were done by physicians in their offices, not in back alleys
It is not true that tens of thousands of women were dying from illegal abortions before abortion was legalized
The history of abortion in Poland invalidates claims that making abortion illegal would bring harm to women
Women still die from legal abortions in America
If abortion became illegal, abortions would be done with medical equipment, not clothes hangers
We must not legalize procedures that kill the innocent just to make the killing process less hazardous
The central horror of illegal abortion remains the central horror of legal abortion
"Abortion is a safe medical procedure--safer than full-term pregnancy and childbirth."
Abortion is not safer than full-term pregnancy and childbirth
Though the chances of a woman's safe abortion are now greater, the number of suffering women is also greater because of the huge increase in abortions
Even if abortion were safer for the mother than childbirth, it would still remain fatal for the innocent child
Abortion can produce many serious medical problems
Abortion significantly raises the rate of breast cancer
The statistics on abortion complications and risks are often understated due to the inadequate means of gathering data
The true risks of abortion are rarely explained to women by those who perform abortions
"Abortion is an easy and painless procedure."
The various abortion procedures are often both difficult and painful for women
Abortion is often difficult and painful for fathers, grandparents, and siblings of the aborted child
Abortion is often difficult and painful for clinic workers
Abortion is difficult and painful for the unborn child
Even if abortion were made easy or painless for everyone, it wouldn't change the bottom-line problem that abortion kills children
"Abortion relieves women of stress and responsibility, and thereby enhances their psychological well-being."
Research demonstrates abortion's adverse psychological effects on women
The many postabortion therapy and support groups testify to the reality of abortion's potentially harmful psychological effects
The suicide rate is significantly higher among women who have had abortions than among those who haven't
Postabortion syndrome is a diagnosable psychological affliction
Many professional studies document the reality of abortion's adverse psychological consequences on a large number of women
Abortion can produce both short- and longer-term psychological damage, especially a sense of personal guilt
Most women have not been warned about and are completely unprepared for the psychological consequences of abortion
"Abortion providers are respected medical professionals working in the woman's best interests."
Abortion clinics do not have to maintain the high standards of health, safety, and professionalism required of hospitals
Many clinics are in the abortion industry because of the vast amounts of money involved
Clinic workers commonly prey on fear, pain, and confusion to manipulate women into getting abortions
Clinic workers regularly mislead or deceive women about the nature and development of their babies
Abortionists engage in acts so offensive to the public that most media outlets refuse to describe them even in the abortionist's own words
Abortionists, feminists, the president of the United States, many congressmen, and the Supreme Court have defended partial-birth abortion, one of the most chilling medical atrocities in human history
Abortion clinics often exploit the feminist connection, making it appear that their motive is to stand up for women
Doctors doing abortions violate the fundamental oaths of the medical profession
Arguments Concerning the Hard Cases
"What about a woman whose life is threatened by pregnancy or childbirth?"
It is an extremely rare case when abortion is required to save the mother's life
When two lives are threatened and only one can be saved, doctors must always save that life
Abortion for the mother's life and abortion for the mother's health are usually not the same issue
Abortion to save the mother's life was legal before convenience abortion was legalized and would continue to be if abortion were made illegal again
"What about a woman whose unborn baby is diagnosed as deformed or handicapped?"
The doctor's diagnosis is sometimes wrong
The child's deformity is often minor
Medical tests for deformity may cause as many problems as they detect
Handicapped children are often happy, always precious, and usually delighted to be alive
Handicapped children are not social liabilities, and bright and "normal" people are not always social assets
Using dehumanizing language may change our thinking, but not the child's nature or value
Our society is hypocritical in its attitude toward handicapped children
The adverse psychological effects of abortion are significantly more traumatic for those who abort because of deformity
The arguments for killing a handicapped unborn child are valid only if they also apply to killing born people who are handicapped
Abortions due to probable handicaps rob the world of unique human beings who would significantly contribute to society
Abortions due to imperfections have no logical stopping place; they will lead to designer babies, commercial products to be bred and marketed, leaving other people to be regarded as inferior and disposable
"What about a woman who is pregnant due to rape or incest?"
Pregnancy due to rape is extremely rare, and with proper treatment can be prevented
Rape is never the fault of the child; the guilty party, not an innocent party, should be punished
The violence of abortion parallels the violence of rape
Abortion does not bring healing to a rape victim
A child is a child regardless of the circumstances of his conception
What about already-born people who are "products of rape"?
All that is true of children conceived in rape is true of those conceived in incest
Final Thoughts on the Hard Cases
No adverse circumstance for one human being changes the nature and worth of another human being
Laws must not be built on exceptional cases
Arguments Against the Character of Prolifers
"Antiabortionists are so cruel that they insist on showing hideous pictures of dead babies."
What is hideous is not the pictures themselves, but the reality they depict
Pictures challenge our denial of the horrors of abortion. If something is too horrible to look at, perhaps it is too horrible to condone
Nothing could be more relevant to the discussion of something than that which shows what it really is
It is the prochoice position, not the prolife position, that is cruel
"Prolifers don't care about women, and they don't care about babies once they're born. They have no right to speak against abortion unless they are willing to care for these children."
Prolifers are actively involved in caring for women in crisis pregnancies and difficult child-raising situations
Prolifers are actively involved in caring for unwanted children and the other "disposable people" in society
It is abortion providers who do not provide support for women choosing anything other than abortion
"The antiabortionists are a bunch of men telling women what to do."
There is no substantial difference between men and women's views of abortion
Some polls suggest that more women than men oppose abortion
The great majority of prolife workers are women
If men are disqualified from the abortion issue, they should be disqualified on both sides
Men are entitled to take a position on abortion
There are many more women in prolife organizations than there are in proabortion organizations
Of women who have had abortions, far more are prolife activists than prochoice activists
"Antiabortionists talk about the sanctity of human life, yet they favor capital punishment."
Not all prolifers favor capital punishment
Capital punishment is rooted in a respect for innocent human life
There is a vast difference between punishing a convicted murderer and killing an innocent child
"Antiabortion fanatics break the law, are violent, and bomb abortion clinics."
Media coverage of prolife civil disobedience often bears little resemblance to what actually happens
Prolife civil disobedience should not be condemned without understanding the reasons behind it
Peaceful civil disobedience is consistent with the belief that the unborn are human beings
Prolife protests have been remarkably nonviolent, and even when there has been violence, it has often been committed by clinic employees and escorts
Abortion clinic bombing and violence are rare, and are neither done nor endorsed by prolife organizations
"The antiabortionists distort the facts and resort to emotionalism to deceive the public."
The facts themselves make abortion an emotional issue
It is not the prolife position, but the prochoice position that relies on emotionalism more than truth and logic
The prolife position is based on documented facts and empirical evidence, which many prochoice advocates ignore or distort
The prochoice movement consistently caricatures and misrepresents prolifers and their agenda
The prochoice movement, from its beginnings, has lied to and exploited women, including the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade and the "Doe" of Doe v. Bolton
"Antiabortion groups hide behind a profamily facade, while groups such as Planned Parenthood are truly profamily because they assist in family planning."
The prochoice movement's imposition of "family planning" on teenagers has substantially contributed to the actual cause of teen pregnancy
Through its opposition to parental notification and consent, Planned Parenthood consistently undermines the value and authority of the family
Planned Parenthood makes huge financial profits from persuading people to get abortions
Planned Parenthood has been directly involved in the scandals of trafficking baby body parts
As demonstrated in the case of Becky Bell, the prochoice movement is willing to distort and exploit family tragedies to promote its agenda
Planned Parenthood, the prochoice movement, and the media ignore family tragedies that do not support the prochoice agenda
Summary Argument
"The last two decades of abortion rights have helped make our society a better place to live."
Abortion has left terrible holes in our society
Abortion has made us a nation of schizophrenics concerning our children
Abortion is a modern holocaust which is breeding unparalleled violence and to which we are accomplices
Abortion is taking us in a direction from which we might never return
Abortion has ushered in the brave new world of human pesticides
Abortion has led us into complete moral subjectivism in which we are prone to justify as ethical whatever it is we want to do
Final Appeals
An Appeal to Men to Stand up for Women and Care for and Defend Their Children
An Appeal to Women Considering Abortion
An Appeal to the Abortion and Family Planning Clinics
An Appeal to the Media
An Appeal to Physicians
An Appeal to Representatives and Legislators
An Appeal to Those Undecided on Abortion
An Appeal to Prochoice Christians
An Appeal to Conservative Christians
An Appeal to Pastors and Church Leaders
An Appeal to Churches to Extend Both Truth and Grace
An Appeal to Prolife Churches Afraid of Being Distracted from the "Main Thing"
An Appeal to Active Prolifers
A Concluding Appeal from William Wilberforce
Finding Forgiveness after an Abortion
Abortion in the Bible and Church History
Biblical Passages Relevant to Life Issues
Chemical Abortions in Light of History and Scripture
Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?
Fifty Ways to Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers
A Sanctity of Life Message
A Church's Position Statement on Abortion
A Bible Study Lesson for Group Discussion
Communicating the Prolife Message
Prolife Resources
About the Author
Subject Index