I’m having quite a debate with “Deep Thought” in the comments about some of the finer points of abortion. I don’t want to pick on Deep Thought in particular, but I have noticed a few things. Pro-lifers like to think in analogies: Abortion is like pushing someone off a roof when they’re hanging on with one hand. Just letting them fall may be negligent, but it’s not like abortion.
Frankly, I’m having a hard time figuring out what either of these analogies has to do with abortion. The only way it works for me is if you start with the idea that abortion is murder. Then, yes, a different type of murder is also like abortion. But if you actually consider what an abortion is, then the analogy falls completely apart. Is the woman the roof? Or is she the one hanging from the cliff? Or is she the pusher? Maybe the father is the roof. I guess the fetus must be the guy hanging from the roof, since it’s the thing that “dies.” But what if you don’t believe the fetus is alive? The analogy is of no use in determining whether abortion is actually murder.
Second, pro-lifers don’t like statistics. You can tell them that there’s a one in a million chance that someone on the Pill will somehow produce an egg that gets fertilized but doesn’t implant (actually the chance is probably lower — there’s no evidence the Pill, even the “day after pill,” prevents implantation), and they’ll go on a crusade from here to Kathmandu to protect that one “potential life,” no matter how many other lives they ruin in the process. That one in a million fertilized egg is worth more to them than the millions of women who die in childbirth around the world.
Third, they will deny until hell freezes over that their opposition to sex education has anything to do with their opposition to abortion. They’re two completely separate issues that almost all pro-lifers happen to be in agreement on. It’s just a complete coincidence that people who don’t like abortion also don’t like sex. Education. I mean it’s a coincidence they don’t like sex education.
Fourth, it’s all a slippery slope to them. Except when it’s not. For example, if you’re willing to abort a four-week fetus, you might be willing to murder a toddler with autism. Yessir, a slippery slope. But it’s invalid to suggest that since many pro-lifers and all pro-life organizations are either opposed to contraception or unwilling to support contraception, that the ultimate goal of the pro-life movement is to ban not only abortion, but also contraception. Nosirree, no slippery slope there.