Pro-choice Argument #1: But the fetus isn’t even a life. It’s a clump of cells. It doesn’t matter.
3 reasons why a fetus is a human being
Straight from the embryology textbook:
A zygote [fertilized egg] is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.
Even more proof that life begins at fertilization
What is the unborn?
Pro-Choice Argument #2: Okay, it’s a human, but it’s not a person.
The shockingly bloody history of legal personhood
A criterion for personhood that depends on certain functions of human activity implies that individuals who perform the chosen function more excellently should have higher human value. Individuals suffering from severe Alzheimer’s disease or under general anesthesia, who may not be self-aware or able to create future expectations, could no longer be considered persons. We know, however, that the human under general anesthesia retains his personal identity despite his temporary lack of self-awareness, so his personhood must cohere in his underlying nature. Legally speaking, "persons" are guaranteed the fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to life. Historically, abuses of personhood have led to the genocide of groups deemed “non-persons” by more powerful political or social groups. For example, up until the 14th Amendment, African-American slaves were legally considered three-fifths of a person. Native Americans were exploited because they were treated as less than full persons. The racial distinctions used to label these groups as “non-persons” were conveniently invented to justify the violation of human rights.
Justifications for abortion are inherently ableist
What makes human valuable?
Pro-Choice Argument #3: But it’s basically just a parasite!
Why the embryo or fetus is not a parasite
Pro-Choice Argument #4: You’re just against abortion because you’re (religious, Republican, conservative, etc.), but I’m not (religious, Republican, conservative, etc.).
Life Matters Journal
Feminists for Life
Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians
Democrats for Life
New Wave Feminists
Why should non-Christians care about abortion?
Pro-Choice Argument #5: But if you make abortion illegal, women will die! Haven’t you heard of back alley abortions?
The truth about back alley abortions
More about the coat hanger myth
Refuting the back alley myth
Pro-Choice Argument #6: But what about cases of rape or incest?
Rape and incest victims reject abortion
Hard cases, exceptional choices
An honest look at the rape and incest exceptions
A pro-life answer to the rape question
Answering the rape exception
Inside the world of anti-abortion activists who were conceived in rape or incest
Pro-Choice Argument #7: What if the woman is going to die?
Obviously, We're not asking that any woman be forced to die for the sake of her child.
"Life of the mother" exceptions (which is what they're frequently referred to as) bring up a good ethical question, though: what is the difference between a woman whose child accidentally dies and a woman who intentionally has her child killed? I think most pro-life advocates would agree that in situations where a mother's life is put at risk by a pregnancy, all efforts should be made to try to save both lives.
Thankfully, with our current medical technology, both lives are capable of being saved the majority of the time. However, there are still rare cases (like ectopic pregnancies) where the only way to save the mother's life is to remove the child from the fallopian tube. In those cases, the child accidentally dies, but is not intentionally killed.
Is abortion ever necessary to save the life of the mother?
What about the health of the mother?
Pro-Choice Argument #8: What if the child is going to have a short life anyways?
Hard cases: Jeannie Wallace French
Hard cases: Tracy Haugen
Hard cases: Diane Simoni
Hard cases: Angelica Talavera
Pro-Choice Argument #9: Abortion is needed to prevent overpopulation.
Simply stated: no. It’s not.
Pro-Choice Argument #10: Women don’t regret their abortions!
Silent No More awareness campaign
Testimonies from post-abortive women
Abortion workers regret their experience in the industry
Pro-Choice Argument #11: Well, if you’re against abortion, why aren’t you against [insert other human rights injustice]?
We are against all forms of aggressive violence. That includes, but is not limited to: unjust war, abortion, euthanasia, slavery, torture, rape, embryonic stem cell research, human trafficking, abuse, sexism, racism, police brutality, suicide, etc.
Check out organizations like Life Matters Journal and Consistent Life to find out more about this consistent approach to human rights issues.
That being said, not every pro-life organization is against all of the above. Dismissing their arguments against abortion because they happen to not be against some other form of injustice is an ad hominem fallacy.
Why ad hominem fallacies derail conversations
Pro-Choice Argument #12: If you’re gonna be against abortion, you better be doing [insert some charitable action].
This is similar to the previous argument. Dismissing someone’s argument because you feel that they aren’t “doing enough” is another ad hominem fallacy.
That being said, pro-life organizations do a whole lot to support those in need:
Catholic Charities USA (which is obviously against abortion) is #13 on the Forbes list of the 50 largest US charities.
Pregnant on Campus supports pregnant or parenting students and provides them with resources.
Abortion Recovery helps men and women who have been affected by abortion.
Project Rachel also helps post-abortive women.
Option Line provides free counseling for pregnant women.
Pregnancy resource centers provide free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, STI screening, parenting classes, and material assistance.
Pro-life organizations also assist in the adoption process.
And finally, the most popular pro-choice argument:My body, my choice!
Why “It’s my body, I can do what I want!” won’t do
De Facto Guardian and Abortion
Why pregnancy is not comparable to forced organ donation
Again, you can’t compare pregnancy and forced organ donation
Dismantling the “bodily rights” argument without using the responsibility argument
The False Strength of the ‘Bodily Autonomy’ Argument for Abortion