“You’re Pro-Birth, Not Pro-Life” Is Just a Terrible Argument

For some reason, abortion apologists think this is a powerful argument. It's not. In fact, it should humiliate them.

I know that abortion apologists have come to believe it is their strongest counterpoint to say, “You are pro-birth, not pro-life,” but it is not. At all.

The bizarre statement is utterly false, of course, given the overwhelming numbers of Christian and pro-life adoption agencies, care centers, churches, missions, and foster homes that nurture hurting and abandoned children. But to demonstrate how morally repugnant of an argument this is for the left, suppose for a second that it was a true statement.

Suppose that every pro-life American arguing to end abortion cared nothing about what happened to the baby the second she began breathing on her own. Is the left suggesting that such a fact would somehow justify ripping her limbs off of her tiny frame while in the womb, and sucking her brains from her head?

If the solution to unwantedness inside the womb is execution, what about unwanted orphans outside the womb?

If the solution to children about to be born into poverty is murder, what about those children already living in poverty?

If the solution to sick children inside the womb is extermination, what about the ones on the outside living in children’s hospitals?

Every argument for abortion is an argument for infanticide or homicide, and the left’s current strategy of pointing out the importance of caring for humans without their umbilical cords attached only leaves their lack of concern for those with them attached all the more glaring.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a wonderful thing to encourage pro-life people to be conscious of the difficulty of single parenthood, the dangers of poverty, and how so many of those lives spared from the abortionists’ instruments of slaughter are still at risk.

It’s a terrible thing, however, to use those realities as justification for keeping the dismemberment of inconvenient babies legal. Yet that somehow persists as one of the legal abortion crowd’s favorite talking points. Social Justice priest James Martin, a favorite on the political left, popularized a version of this philosophy with a tweet months ago that continues to be recirculated online:

> “What does it mean to be pro-life if you defend the life of a child in the womb, but not the life of a child on the border?”

This isn’t good thinking. With all due respect to Martin, it’s apparent that this was a transparent attempt to appear "fair and balanced," earning likes, retweets, and currying favor amongst those embracing the spirit of the age. After all, Martin would be decidedly unable to point to a single pro-life person in America who was calling for children of illegal immigrants to be dismembered and have their heads ripped off. But by his lack of discretion, Martin managed to lend misplaced credibility to a morally stunted false equivalency.

I once asked a caller to my old radio program who was intent on making the point that until I adopted a child, I shouldn’t say abortion is wrong:

> “I’ve got three little children at home. Suppose I told you right now that unless you agreed to adopt all three, I would go home and kill them. What would you say?”

He stammered for a few seconds, eventually saying that he would try to find a way to do that. I complimented him for his heart and then asked him,

> “Suppose you would have reasonably said, for whatever reason, that you just couldn’t take on the care of my children. Would that mean that I would have been justified in killing them? Or do you think that it should still be illegal for me to do that?”

He got my point, but claimed it was apples and oranges. That’s true only if the baby in the womb is something other than a human being. But it’s not.

All human life is precious at every stage. And any person who uses disagreements over universal healthcare or food stamps as a way to justify murder, simply denies that truth.

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Ron Black
Ron Black

Debating whether you are "pro life" or "pro choice" is talking past one another.

The simple--yet absurdly controversial--question in the middle of all of this is when a human soul is imparted to the new entity. That's it. That's the whole debate.

The word "life" is meaningless in this context since lots of things are "alive" including parts of your body you might have removed. It's also a word that applies to bugs and plants and everything else.

Moreover, the definition of a living person is not a biological question since a brain-dead body kept alive by science, or a dismembered body, etc., is not a person for most people.

Abortion foes consider the entity in question a person. Some consider a fertilized egg a person, and some define it at some later time, yet before the current legal definition, which is at 24 weeks. Hence in this view abortion is murder of a person.

Those who wish to keep abortion legal either see that entity as a non-person, or believe that this purely spiritual question should be left to the individual. Hence either deliberately or by default, they view abortion as just another medical procedure.

So there you have it. You can stop talking past each other now. You're welcome.


James Martin, S.J. is part of the Catholic Church's problem. He is damaging souls with his advice rather than saving souls. Full disclosure: I despise James Martin, S.J.


As is 'you're pro-abortion not pro-choice' or 'you're pro-death not pro-choice'. In fact none of them are arguments at all, they are strawmen used to avoid having a real discussion and attacking them as if they are arguments just perpetuates the food fight.


I am pr PRO-LIFE, until it involves life in prison. No euthanasia. I belive in living wills, but question assisted. assisted suicide. Is it living when all of life's functions are controlled for months and even years?


I had a long discussion some time back with a person arguing a similar point. How he asked me could I condemn a woman for wanting to abort a baby she couldn't possibly care for. I gave my point of view and then he said, "well, if you're so great why don't you adopt a child so show you care about the unborn." My response wasn't what he expected. "My son is adopted. He became mine at three weeks of age. Why don't you do the same?" He just walked away.