Bioethics

Answer Every Defense for Abortion

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Author Alan Shlemon Published on 09/30/2010

It may seem like there are a myriad of defenses for abortion, but they fall into three categories. Here’s a simple way to visualize how to respond to them. Since there are only three kinds of defenses for abortion, there are only three kinds of responses to them.

Every defense for abortion either:

  1. Assumes the unborn is not a human being.
  2. Accepts the unborn is a human being, but denies it’s a person.
  3. Accepts the unborn is human being and a person, but argues that a woman’s bodily rights/autonomy trump the child’s rights.

The diagram below flowcharts these positions and offers a type of response to each. In other words, if you learn the three kinds of responses, then you’ll be prepared to respond to any defense for abortion. In my experience, 100% of the arguments I hear on the street fall into one of these three categories.

[Click on the image below to enlarge]

Abortion flowchart

While attending a recent bioethics class at Biola University, I was asked to explain this flowchart. The video of my explanation is below (I didn’t know I was going to present this to the class, otherwise I would have dressed more “professionally.” But don’t get me wrong, I’m all about promoting the Lakers.).

Here’s my off-the-cuff video explanation for this flowchart.