Author Tim Barnett
Published on 11/28/2022

Four Reasons Why Pregnancy Isn’t Analogous to a Car Accident

Mr. B gives four reasons why the analogy between pregnancy and a car accident does not work.


Original video: All right. I have an analogy for y’all. Let’s go. So, say you’re driving, and you run a red light or you miss a stop sign. You cause an accident. Due to that accident, a life is at stake. That person that you hit requires a kidney transplant, and you are a match. Should you be legally required to give them your kidney? Think about it. Now, parallel situation. Two people have sex, and an accident occurs: pregnancy. Because of that accident, a life is at risk. I have many videos describing the medical definition of life and how life doesn’t exist until week 24. We’re taking away that entire argument right now to even show you, when we consider it a life, where the medical ethics laws side. So, due to the accident, a life is at stake. The use of an organ is required in order to save, develop, grow, sustain—whatever you want to classify it as—that life that’s at stake. So, how is it different when a kidney is required to save a life or a uterus is required to grow a life?

Tim: This is one of the more compelling arguments for abortion. It was also well articulated. This is an argument from analogy. For an argument from analogy to work, the parallels must be, well, parallel in morally relevant ways. If they aren’t, then the analogy fails and the argument falls apart.

Here are four morally relevant ways the car accident scenario and pregnancy are not parallel.

First, there’s a morally relevant difference between a car accident and pregnancy. Driving a car is not naturally ordered towards the condition of having someone connected to you to live, but sex is. If you need more details, ask your parents.

Second, the car accident scenario involves the unnatural use of body parts, whereas pregnancy involves the natural use of body parts. The kidney inside your body is designed to be used for your body. It doesn’t naturally belong in someone else’s body. However, a woman’s uterus is the natural organ to gestate another human being. That’s literally its job.

Third, the analogy equates a relationship between strangers with the relationship between mother and child. Do we really believe a mother has no more responsibility for the welfare of her child than she has towards a total stranger?

Finally, there’s a morally relevant difference between refusing to help and intentionally killing. In the car accident scenario, there are three options: help, not help, or kill. But in the case of pregnancy, there are just two options: help or kill. Abortion isn’t merely choosing not to help. It’s choosing to directly kill through poison or dismemberment. While in the car accident scenario, you are not obligated to help—although it might be nice—in the case of pregnancy, you are obligated not to kill.