Long-Debunked Anti-Choice Arguments: A Comprehensive List
This is a growing list. If you ever want me to add an argument here, just say so! Here is a shorter version of it by solo1y.
Last edit: 9/29/2011
- Fetal Pain:
Fetuses cannot feel pain before 24 weeks, at which point elective abortion is usually illegal and almost never happens in the first place.
There are some studies that may suggest that fetal pain exists. These are bad studies. This one, for example, is by one KJS Anand, who I can find practically no qualifications for. His medical qualification is only an MBBS, a Bachelor’s Degree in medicine. His Oxford degree is in philosophy. And it mentions here that he lived on the Harvard campus, but never got a degree of any kind there. He also has a PhD in pediatrics, but that’s children’s medicine; children usually don’t have to worry about abortion. He has an impressive resume, sure, but he’s certainly not qualified to write such a gigantic study on fetal pain. Besides, the study showing that fetuses don’t feel pain before 24 weeks is newer.
- Abortion is Unsafe:
It’s actually one of the safest procedures in existence, and it’s actually safer than pregnancy, carrying to term, and delivery.
- Planned Parenthood is Primarily an Abortion Provider:
I can’t believe we still have to go over this, but abortion is only 3% of what Planned Parenthood provides. “90%” was a total lie spread by US Senator Jon Kyl, who later confessed that it was “not intended to be a factual statement.” Moreover, they provide so much contraception (well over 30% of their services) that they actually prevent more abortions than they perform to the tune of 800,000 fewer abortions per year.
- Our taxes (US) are spent on abortions:
For the moment, we have the Hyde Amendment preventing exactly that, though it really should be repealed as it is a discriminatory law. Besides, so what if you disagree with abortion as a taxpayer? My taxes have paid for multiple wars I never wanted to happen since I was born; now it’s your turn. That, and I pay my taxes without much for moral complaints now because I’m an adult who likes fire departments and traffic lights.
- Only women get pregnant:
False. Meet trans-men. Anti-choice legislation affects anyone with a uterus, which is not restricted only to cisgendered women.
- Abortion kills babies:
No, it kills a fetus and a potential person (more in the next point). When you might actually call it a “baby,” elective abortion is usually illegal. (Specifically, that’s past twenty-one weeks in most countries.) When abortions do happen at this stage (only 1.5% of abortions do), virtually all of them happen because the life of the mother is in danger, and no mother going through this actually wants it to happen.
- A fetus is a person:
No, it is a potential person. This post explains it better than I can: “Webster’s Dictionary lists a person as ‘being an individual or existing as an indivisible whole; existing as a distinct entity.’ Anti-abortionists claim that each new fertilized zygote is already a new person because its DNA is uniquely different than anyone else’s. In other words, if you’re human, you must be a person.
The defining mark between something that is human and someone who is a person is ‘consciousness.’ It is the self-aware quality of consciousness that makes us uniquely different from others. This self-awareness, this sentient consciousness is also what separates us from every other animal life form on the planet. We think about ourselves. We use language to describe ourselves. We are aware of ourselves as a part of the greater whole.
The problem is that consciousness normally doesn’t occur until months, even years, after a baby is born. This creates a moral dilemma for the defender of abortion rights. Indeed, they inherently know what makes a human into a person, but they are also aware such individual personhood doesn’t occur until well after birth. To use personhood as an argument for abortion rights, therefore, also leads to the argument that it should be okay to kill a 3-month-old baby since it hasn’t obtained consciousness either.”
- Most women regret abortion:
False. “The most common feeling experienced after an abortion is that of relief and confidence in the decision. Few women may experience feelings of grief and guilt, and these feelings usually pass within days to weeks in most cases and do not lead to mental health problems.” (Source) Also, 80% of women who terminate do not regret their decision. (Source)
- On a similar note, “Post-Abortion Syndrome”:
Neither the American Psychological Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognize this as a real phenomenon, and in fact reject its existence. As stated above, most women do not regret abortion, and in fact are usually satisfied with their decision. PAS is a fictitious concept invented to scare women. That’s all it is.
- “Pro-choicers are murderers/baby-killers/oppressors/anti-life/pro-abortion/the most evil people on Earth!”:
I think you need to look into the definition of libel, my friends.
- “Emergency contraception (Morning After Pills) is the same as abortion!”
Nope, it keeps you from becoming pregnant in the first place by pausing ovulation to inhibit fertilization. This is basic science. Did we all graduate high school here? Contraception prevents abortion; wouldn’t contraception and “pro-lifers” make natural allies?
- Emergency contraception is unhealthy!
Wrong again. This is slightly harder science right now, I know, but here you can read an accurate list of all of the observed side effects of EC/MAPs, none of which are lethal or long-term.
- Birth control is the same as abortion!
Wrong again. Similar to EC, they keep you from getting pregnant. Here, however, they perpetually keep the ovum from beginning its ovulatory cycle and are generally taken every day or on some regular basis.
- The only purpose of sex is procreation:
In most animals, this is true. But not for humans. Our psychology is more advanced than that, and sex can do far more for us than just procreation. It’s a method of bonding in humans, too.
The extension of this argument is inevitably that if someone doesn’t want children, they shouldn’t have sex. Besides being a homophobic argument, let’s for example take heterosexual, bisexual, or pansexual people (all attracted in some way to the opposite sex) who never want children. Do you really expect all of these people to never have sex? To die virgins? This is a completely fallacious and erroneous expectation.
I could make a litany of all the problems with the adoption system. It’s admirable at heart, but the system has serious racism and ageism problems. Not to mention ableism problems. That too.
Moreover, adoption isn’t an alternative to pregnancy. It’s an alternative to parenthood. Abortion ends the gestation process. When a person (trans-man or cisgendered woman) becomes pregnant, they are more likely to be murdered, and murder accounts for 20% of deaths of all pregnant people.
Furthermore, I’ve brought this up before, but let’s say that, like me personally (sanityscraps.tumblr), your mother drilled into you that if you ever got pregnant as a teen, she would throw you out of the house to fend for yourself. I’m not the only one who had this threat. Thankfully for me, that never happened, but not all people are so lucky. Would you really, then, tell a fourteen year old child, a fourteen year old me, even, that life on the streets with no resources was better than simply terminating the pregnancy?
Oh, and putting your child up for adoption is more emotionally traumatic than having an abortion.
So it really is not that simple. Stop pretending you understand the lives of everyone, because you absolutely do not. Sometimes the pregnancy is the problem too, not just the developing child itself.
- “I’m pro-life because God is.”
Let’s keep religion out of this. This is a debate about a medical procedure, not what some invisible man thinks. But there are some very convincing arguments showing that Yahweh is not pro-life, using quotes from the Bible. He advocates rape, child abuse, and murder, and is in fact impressed by it.
- “Look at all these pictures of aborted fetuses! Abortion is disgusting!”
Almost all surgery is bloody. (Warning: these links are graphic.) Gallbladder surgery! Open heart surgery! Lung surgery! These aren’t very visually appealing either. And yet, they all save lives, as does abortion. Should all of these procedures be illegal just because they don’t look pretty?
Besides, a lot of the “fetus” pictures you post aren’t even fetuses at all. Many of the photos anti-choicers use are of fully-grown, smiling infants. But even with the bloody pictures you claim as aborted fetuses, some are, but some are not. For instance, I doubt this is actually an aborted fetus (graphic). It looks more like an infant, perhaps premature, killed in a war zone. The anti-choice site it’s on claims it’s from an abortion at seven months—at which point elective abortion, again, simply does not happen. Only 1.5% of all abortions take place after four months at all, and at this point, it’s virtually always because the mother’s life is directly threatened. So even if that last image were an aborted fetus, it would not have been one done on the mother’s whim.
- Partial-Birth Abortion:
Is a total myth. Yes, it exists, but it is NOT a birth, and this name is a misnomer. It only LOOKS like a birth. “It is an abortion that looks like a birth, not a birth interrupted by an abortion.” These are only performed past 20 weeks. Again, as I’ve cited multiple times above, only 1.5% of all abortions happen past 21 weeks, and when they do, they’re exclusively because the health of the mother is in danger from the pregnancy itself.
- Abortion clinic escorts are paid!:
I can’t actually verify this either way. The best primary source I can find indicate that some are paid, and some are not. It’s hard to say for everyone, but at the very least, most escorts are unpaid volunteers. However, many people from anti-choice CPCs are paid to harass women to go into their fake clinics, which emotionally terrorize the poor women who accidentally end up there.
And last, but not least…
- Abortion is immoral!
No it’s not.