The one question that will stop critics in their tracks
Focus on this question to bring clarity to the abortion debate.
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 Hello friends. Welcome to the Case for Life podcast, where we aim to help you defend your pro life views persuasively in the marketplace of ideas. Special thanks to Life Training Institute, the sponsor of this program and the group that is doing the most to make it happen. Hope you’ll visit them on social media as well as our sites as well.

Today I want to talk about what’s going on in the post Roe world, or the post Dobbs world, whatever way you want to look at it. And what has occurred to me is we have reached an interesting point in the American political scene where arguments, by and large, are being ditched in favor of just the personal attacks.

We, we hear all the time about the politics of personal destruction, and, uh, that is a good way to frame it. But one of the things that happens to pro life advocates is, they get in discussions with people about abortion, and right away, the topic leaves completely the main issue in debate. The main issue confronting us in the culture when it comes to abortion is this, and it would be the same for doctor assisted suicide.

What does it mean to be human and do the unborn and do those with terminal illnesses count as one of us? Now let’s focus just for today on the issue of abortion That’s the crux of this debate and what tends to happen Of course as we’ve talked about many times on this podcast is people don’t want to talk about They want to talk about all the side issues.

And what I want to do today is give you the one question that will refocus everything when you’re talking to people. Now, this one question is not a knockout punch. We’re not trying to Have a gotcha moment here. We’re just trying to get the discussion focused back on what really matters. That is the status of the unborn.

Are they or are they not members of the human family? That’s the question and everything else is a distraction. So in the post role world, here’s the top four you’re hearing right now. Number one, pro lifers don’t care about kids after they’re born. Number two, they won’t adopt kids after they’re born.

Number three, they won’t support tax increases for social programs that would help the poor and cut down on abortion. Fourth, they don’t understand that. Pregnancy is a burden to the mother and they have no compassion for the challenges She has facing an unplanned pregnancy. So those tend to be the top four we’re seeing right now And there’s a question you can ask when people throw these things in your face That will expose the utter distraction each of these objections is.

And the question you want to learn to ask, and I don’t want you to be snarky about it, but I do want you to ask it, is this. How does what you just said justify intentionally In other words, as soon as you frame these arguments for abortion, they’re not even arguments, they’re just assertions. As soon as you frame them explicitly as a justification for intentionally killing a human being, it just robs them of their immediate force.

So let’s say, for example, you’re talking to someone in between classes at school. You’re talking Or around the water cooler at work. I don’t know. Maybe even a neighbor out on a walk. And they say to you, you know, pro lifers just don’t care. They don’t care about kids once they’re born. They’re only fetus lovers.

That’s all they are. The question is, That we typically, or the answer we typically give to that objection is a good one. We point out that our alleged unwillingness to adopt a child doesn’t mean you can intentionally kill him. And I think that’s a good answer, but I think there’s a clearer, more to the point, way we can frame that question and it goes like this when they say to you pro lifers just don’t care Very graciously, but firmly say this how does my alleged unwillingness to care for a child after he is born justify intentionally killing him before That’s the way we want to frame this.

Or if they bring up the fact you don’t care about kids who need adoption. You care about kids in the womb but you won’t adopt unwanted kids who are already here. Now set aside for the moment that objection assumes the unborn aren’t human, because we believe as pro lifers those kids already are here.

The only question is, how are we going to treat them? But let’s ignore that for a moment. Here’s the question I would put. Again, not trying to be snarky. I just want clarity in the conversation. How does my alleged unwillingness to adopt a child justify an abortionist killing him? I mean, the homeless are unwanted.

Can we kill them? You see the problem here. Uh, same thing would happen if you’re hit with this idea that you don’t care about the unborn because you won’t embrace social programs aimed at helping the poor. In other words, you’re a stingy conservative. You oppose tax cuts. You want the rich to get rich, the poor to get poor.

You’re just an awful person. Well, suppose you are. Suppose you’re stingy. How does your stinginess justify intentionally killing an innocent human being? In other words, let’s say we had somebody that was very stingy with their money. Would that justify snuffing out of the kids that live at the orphanage?

No, it would not. So, these are questions you need to ask. How does my unwillingness to do what you demand, justify you or anyone else intentionally killing an innocent human being. And the same can be said about objections that go like this. Well, you pro lifers have no concern for the burden an unwanted pregnancy puts on a mother.

Okay. Now, I don’t believe that. I think we’ve demonstrated over and over again that we do care for these mothers. In fact, we have pregnancy centers that care for these mothers and their kids, both before birth and after. Conservatives are known, in fact, even the New York Times has admitted this, Conservatives are known, particularly religious conservatives, for giving way more to charity than liberals do, okay?

So the idea that we’re not doing our part is bogus, but ignore that for a moment. Let’s say you’re confronted with this idea that you just hate women because you’re insensitive to the challenges they face when they’re pregnant. All right, suppose we are insensitive. Again, how does that justify intentionally?

killing an innocent human being. And this is the question I want you to keep coming back to again and again with every objection they throw at you. How does your objection justify intentionally killing an innocent human being? Now, I happen to believe the pro life argument can be refuted. It’s possible, I don’t think it will be, but it is at least in principle possible that we’re wrong if our opponents can show That the unborn are not human beings, and every time I ask them to do that, they dodge.

They don’t do it. They come up with other objections and distractions, and they, they claim that, Oh, you’re just trying to force your religious views on me. You’re just trying to show how bad you hate women. You’re the worst person in the world. Again, if I’m the worst person in the world, how does that justify intentionally killing An innocent human being.

And that is the question I want you to put into your memory slot and keep coming back to. How does your objection that you just stated justify intentionally killing an innocent human being? You know, it’d be one thing if our critics said, look it, we’ve got embryology to show that embryos and fetuses are not human beings.

There’s some other species. Alright, that would at least be dealing honestly with the question. Now, I don’t think they have that evidence, obviously, and we’ve dealt with that on this program before. But that would be a straightforward way to go forward. Rather, what’s happening is people want to change the subject and talk about you.

Again, a theme we’ve dealt with a lot here because that tends to be the culture we find ourselves in right now. But please remember, Always ask the question, how does your particular objection justify intentionally killing an innocent human being? Even if the um, even if the objection is true, it wouldn’t justify intentionally killing another human being.

And once you frame all these objections as a reason for intentionally killing killing an innocent human being, you show how vacuous they really are. Now, again, don’t expect your critic to slap himself on the knee and say, okay, you’ve defeated my whole case. No, they’ll continue to make excuses. Trust me.

I’ve seen this time and time again on the comment threads and other places, but at least you will have brought clarity to what the real issue is. And if your critic does not want to engage the question of how does this justify intentionally killing an innocent human being, if nothing else, you can leave the conversation knowing that they’re just being intellectually dishonest, and you can move on to people who want to be more credible in their objections.

Also, I think there’s value in what my colleague Greg Koukl points out, putting a pebble in their shoe. Even if they protest and bring up other objections, at least you’ve left them with something to think about. But again, the question we always want to come back to is the status of the unborn. And when you frame these objections specifically, As an alleged justification for intentionally killing an innocent human being, you show how most of these objections miss the point entirely.

Keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on that question. How does your objection justify intentionally killing an innocent human being? Make that the focus of your exchanges and you’ll bring clarity to the discussion.