[Originally published as part of Logical Fallacies of Pro-Choicers]
Below I will respond to many of the catchphrases of pro-choicers and explain why they commit logical fallacies (error in reasoning). Also, I will provide commentary on justice, the church, and the state as it relates to the issue of taking an innocent life: abortion.
“You can’t decide if abortion should be legal if you aren’t a woman.”
This is a genetic fallacy — discounting a position because of its origin. The gender of someone opposing abortion has nothing to do with whether or not a position is right or wrong. Morality is objective and grounded in an unchanging standard outside of humanity: God. To deny objective morality, one must assume an objective standard of “you ought to tell the truth about how morals work.” You can’t escape it!
True and good morality is discovered not created because we live in God’s world and his nature and character are the standard for morality as described in his Word (see Psalm 119). Also, those who claim that their social location (e.g., that only women can determine if abortion is right) gives them the moral authority to determine if something is right or wrong must appeal to a self-refuting subjectivist standard. This standpoint epistemology where one’s social location gives moral authority and special insight completely collapses when you try to apply it logically and consistently because arguments for morality don’t have a gender.
Such a claim ultimately results in glorified post-modernism and subjectivism merely based on social location, which is a completely confusing and self-refuting position.
“You can’t control women’s bodies.”
This is the straw man fallacy because it refuses to deal with the actual argument and misrepresents the actual pro-life argument:
It’s wrong and murder to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. Abortion intentionally take the life of an innocent human, therefore, it’s wrong.
This is about equal protection under the law for a separate human’s body, rather than the mother’s. Anything less is unjust.
“You can’t legislate morality. Christians should stay out of politics. Government shouldn’t be involved with morality, just making laws.”
This is a red herring fallacy because it’s avoiding the issue that abortion intentionally kills a living human being.
Also, all laws legislate morality, the question is whose morality will you legislate? There is no neutrality with laws, and Christians that have bought into the neutrality view are assuming a view of ‘natural law’ that thinks people will merely arrive at a ‘neutral and just law’ without any biases and presuppositions regarding human dignity, the purpose of life, marriage, sex, of moral oughts, and so on without any worldview assumptions at all. This is naïve.
The West flourished when it most consistently upheld biblical ethics, rather than subjectivism, standpoint epistemology, critical theory, and postmodernism. Even people from different worldviews recognize that the biblical worldview has led to the flourishing of many nations (see “The Book That Made Your World” by Vishal Mangalwadi).
Laws that encourage abortion legislate morality and promote another religious viewpoint: the religion of paganism and death.
It’s incredibly sad to me how so many Christians have become promoters for the laws and standards of pagan religions and are arguing against God’s law being good and just for society in the name of “not hurting our witness.” It’s pragmatism crippling the church’s bold witness. They inconsistently argue that God’s law is good for them, but it’s not good and just for society. It hurts our witness to argue against the abolition of the murder of little humans just like it hurt the slave owners’ witness to argue against the abolition of other image bearers of God.
The law of the land always functions as a tutor to shape the conscience of the nation. Any lawmaker must presuppose a standard based on their functional God or god. The modern notion of separation of church and state cannot exist. Romans 13 spells out how government is supposed to be a minister under God to punish evil and praise good. Jesus is the ultimate King, and all nations and their rulers are accountable to him. Government is wrong if it starts to reward evil and punish the good and innocent and the church rightly should call the state to repent when it does that.
The late theologian, pastor, and philosopher R.C. Sproul has some great insight on this topic in his booklet on the Church and the State:
It is the function of government to enact laws, and those laws are designed to promote justice. God never gives the state the right to do wrong. The state does not exercise its authority autonomously, as a law unto itself, but is subject to the ultimate government of God Himself. For this reason, the state is held accountable by God for the promotion of justice. The spirit of what Paul says is: “You should not live in fear of the civil magistrate, because if you are doing what is right, you will receive praise from them. You only need to fear government if you are a transgressor. If you are engaging in wickedness, then you have something to fear from government.
Laws are unjust if they are against God’s Word. Abolitionists understood this, and that’s why so many Christians worked to abolish slavery. Yet, again, with the type of arguments I hear from progressive Christians today (e.g., “Separation of church and state! Don’t criminalize abortion!”), they wouldn’t have worked to abolish slavery because they don’t want to “impose their morality” via the state laws. We know that reasoning is ridiculous. Slavery was wrong and so is abortion today.
God has given the church “sphere sovereignty” to teach the Bible, make disciples, and administer church discipline, while the state has the sphere sovereignty to wield the sword against evil and uphold justice. They bear different responsibilities under God. When the state fails to uphold its responsibility under God (remember, there is no neutrality even in government), it is the duty of the church to call the state to repent of its wickedness.
So, yes, everyone knows there’s a real human in there, yet so many resort to logical fallacies and rhetoric to avoid the real issue and work towards establishing true justice with equal protection for all humans under the law.
This is the truth we all have to face: Abortion kills an innocent human. As author and apologist Greg Koukl says, “If the unborn is a human person, then no justification for abortion will ever be adequate.”
The size, level of development, location, degree of dependency, and environment do not change the truth that it is a real human with value, dignity, and worth (click here for more on this argument unpacked).
Does this mean that I’m advocating a “top-down” approach for Christians to change culture? No. Once again, that’s a common straw man that even some Christians repeat, while calling everything Christian Nationalism, even if someone is merely promoting good laws that promote more justice and the flourishing of society.
We need a nation filled with people born again and who have a love for God’s law (see Ps. 119) where more and more people are working “from the ground up” to promote Godly laws. If this happens, more people would vote and support godly laws. Certainly, when there is an opportunity to promote just laws (giving others their due according to the Law of God) we should support them and that doesn’t automatically we are “Christian nationalists,” it just means that we love justice and equal treatment to all humans as defined in God’s Word.
“It is just like the Handmaid’s Tale to force women to have their babies.”
This is another straw man. Every abolitionist and pro-life person I know is against human trafficking and wouldn’t support women being forced to sleep with someone just to make babies. This is another claim that avoiding the issue that all humans deserve equal protection under the law, regardless of the circumstance of how they were conceived. Claiming the issue is about “choice” is the logical fallacy of equivocation.