In the past, I have engaged a number of people who are pro-abortion. When I defend my pro-life stance, I’ve always turned to Scripture and the sanctity of life that it teaches. As a result, the encounter generally does little change either of our options. I’m not saying it’s wrong to turn to Scripture, but when debating with someone who does not share your views of the Bible, your arguments fall on deaf ears.
So how do you effectively engage them in a way that can defuse their arguments?
Scott Klusendorf knows just how to do just that. He is the president of Life Training Institute and travels the United States and Canada teaching others to combat the abortion agenda and arguments. He has debated some of the nation’s most important abortion advocates including Kathryn Kolbert an attorney who argued abortion rights before the United States Supreme Court.
In the audio below, Klusendorf relays an incident that happened on a cross country flight where he got engaged in a defense of the pro-life position. The person expected him to use the typical biblical arguments, but he didn’t. Instead, he asked the guy:
“Do you believe newborns are human beings?
The man replied:
“No, I believe that once it’s born it’s a human being.”
He then asked the man to look at the four differences between a foetus and a human being. The man agreed and Klusendorf laid out his defense of the foetus as being human using the four major arguments used by pro-abortionists.
Size – Argument: How could you call something the size of dot a human being? Response: He then asked if larger people are more human than smaller people? Men are generally larger than women so do men deserve more rights than women?
Level of development – Argument: How can you call something that doesn’t even have a functioning brain and is not self-aware a human being? Response: He responded asking if self-awareness and intelligence define us as human beings, then people that are more intelligent should have the right to exploit those that are less intelligent. We are all in a gigantic bell curve. We start off with very little rights of personhood and self-conscientiousness and we gradually gain rights of personhood as we reach our intellectual and physical peaks and then gradually loose rights of personhood as we age. The man agreed that this is not right. So Klusendorf asked him why he is imposing it on the foetus. A four year old girl is less developed than a fourteen year old girl, so is she less of a person because of it? Then why rule out the foetus just because its development doesn’t match ours?
Environment – Argument: Birth makes it human. Response: How does where you are have any bearing on who you are? When you move from one location to another, do you stop being you? Then why should traveling 8 inches down the birth canal change a non-human tissue blob into a protectable human life?
Level of Dependency – Argument: Until it’s viable, it’s not human. Response: if our ability to live independent of anyone or anything is what makes us human, we have a real problem. Anyone that depends upon anyone else or any medication or medical device is not human. If a person needs insulin to live, are they less human than us? If a person needs a pacemaker, are they less human than us?
The only differences between a foetus and human are these four things and as you can see, they are not morally relevant.
I urge each one of you to commit Klusendorf’s method of defending the lives of the unborn to memory and use them when you engage others in the pro-life/abortion debate. Instead of trying to convert them to biblical principles that they do not agree with, show them how their own arguments are flawed and illogical. When you take the wind out of their sails, they are left still and motionless. If we all did this, who knows how many defenseless lives we may save.