Here is a pro-life response to some of the most common arguments that are made by abortion rights advocates, along with an explanation on why these arguments are not necessarily true.
Argument #1: A woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body
There are limits on what a woman can do with her body and no woman has an absolute right to do whatever she wants with her body. As an example, woman does not have the right to illegally abuse an illegal drug. In most of the countries where abortion is legal, there are restrictions on abortion procedures. Late-term abortion is illegal in some of the countries where 1st trimester and 2nd trimester abortions are legal.
Additionally, an abortion involves more than the mother’s own body since an abortion kills an unborn child. An unborn child is not a part of his or her mother’s body since he or she is a separate human organism. What makes an unborn child a separate human organism, even though he or she is within his or her mother’s body, is the unique genetic identity of the unborn child and the fact that the unborn child will develop into a fully formed human being if he or she does not die prior to birth.
Argument #2: Women in crisis pregnancies will resort to illegal abortions after abortion becomes illegal
Even though it is often argued that women in crisis pregnancies will resort to illegal abortions if abortion becomes illegal, this argument is not necessarily true for several reasons. First, most women who are in a crisis pregnancy are not willing to undergo an illegal abortion. Second, appropriate help for women who are in crisis pregnancies would likely be available if abortion were to become illegal again. Third, pregnant women who do not want to take care of their unborn children after birth will be encouraged to give up their baby for adoption. Fourth, fewer pregnant teenage girls and pregnant women would be forced to undergo abortions after abortion is outlawed. Fifth, abortions were being performed by doctors as early as the late 1950’s, and Mary Calderone of Planned Parenthood even admitted back in 1959 that abortions were “being done well by physicians.” Finally, abortion will not be widely available if abortion is outlawed, and this factor will reduce both the demand for abortion and the number of abortions being performed.
Argument #3: Pregnant women will die if abortion becomes illegal again
If abortion becomes illegal again, maternal mortality would very likely be lower than it was prior to Roe v. Wade for several reasons. First, there have been advances in medicine that have enabled pregnant women whose lives were in danger during the pregnancy to safely carry the pregnancy to term. Second, there have been advances in medicine that have allowed premature babies who are born as early as 20 weeks post-fertilization to survive outside of the womb. Third, more advances in medicine would be made that would make it possible for babies to survive outside of the womb at earlier than 20 weeks post-fertilization and that would allow pregnant women who are suffering from life-threatening complications to safely carry their pregnancies to term. Fourth, the unlawfulness of abortion after abortion becomes illegal will create an incentive to find alternative means to preserve the lives of pregnant women and their unborn children in cases where the life or health of the mother or her unborn child is in danger. Finally, there would be fewer women dying from the complications of abortion procedures because of less demand for abortions, the unwillingness of women to undergo illegal abortions, and the availability of help for women who are in crisis pregnancies.
Argument #4: Women will lose access to healthcare if abortion is made illegal
Even though the widespread availability of abortion will not exist after abortion is outlawed, women certainly will have access to healthcare after abortion is illegal. Low-income women in the United States who are covered under Medicaid already do have access to healthcare at providers who are not in the business of performing abortions. Other healthcare providers who do not perform abortions will continue to provide healthcare services after abortion is outlawed. Furthermore, licensed physicians will still be able to perform medical procedures other than abortion on pregnant women and prescribe medications to pregnant women after abortion becomes illegal.
Argument #5: More contraception is needed to prevent unplanned pregnancies
Even though it is not always possible to prevent unplanned pregnancies that are the result of rape, unplanned pregnancies can be prevented by completely abstaining from sexual activity. Most unplanned pregnancies are the result of voluntary, consensual sexual intercourse, and these pregnancies could have been prevented prior to conception by choosing to completely abstain from sexual activity. In the United States, at least half of the women who obtain abortions after becoming pregnant were already using contraception around the time that they became pregnant. No form of contraception provides foolproof protection against unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted protection. The risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is still there with the use of contraceptives.
Argument #6: Abortion is a safe and legal way to end pregnancy
Some post-abortive women have already suffered complications from legal abortion procedures. There have even been women who have died from the complications of legal abortions performed at American abortion clinics. Furthermore, there have been incidents where women undergoing abortions have had to be rushed to the hospital from the abortion clinic as a result of complications of an abortion. Abortion is often more dangerous to the life and health of the woman undergoing the abortion than abortion rights advocates claim. Some of the post-abortive women would not have suffered from the serious complications of their past abortions if they hadn’t had an abortion and had carried their pregnancies to term instead.
Argument #7: In the United States, pregnant women will always have a constitutional right to an abortion
Even though the United States Supreme Court has ruled that women have a constitutionally guaranteed right to an abortion as a result of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases, this can be changed by either amending the United States Constitution or having the United States Supreme Court rule that a pregnant woman does not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to an abortion. A woman did not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to an abortion within the United States until the final decision of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases were made by the United States Supreme Court on January 22, 1973.
Argument #8: Legalized abortion will prevent poverty
Legalized abortion has led to the death of unborn babies, but poverty still does exist in the United States today. The availability of contraception and legalized abortion has made it easier for unmarried couples to engage in sexual activity, and the resulting increase in sexual activity outside of marriage has led to more children being born out of wedlock and more children being raised in single-parent households. More single-parent households with children is one of the factors that has enabled poverty to continue to exist within the United States.
Argument #9: Morality cannot be legislated against
Even though there are some people who argue that morality cannot be legislated against, there are laws which prohibit immoral behaviors within the United States, including but not limited to laws prohibiting murder, assault, child abuse, rape, incest, child pornography, prostitution, theft, fraud, perjury, and robbery. There are actions that are always morally wrong, regardless of the intention or the specific circumstances of the act, and abortion is one of the acts that is always morally wrong. Abortion can be legislated against because abortion is always morally wrong, regardless of the intention or the specific circumstances, and also because abortion involves the intentional killing of an unborn child.
Argument #10: Abortion is necessary for women to be able to complete their education and have a career
Women are able to avoid unplanned pregnancies by choosing to completely abstain from sexual activity. The option of giving up their children for adoption is also available for those women who do not wish to take care of their children. Some women who have had their first child prior to completing their education have been able to complete their education and have successful careers. There are even teen mothers who have gone on to earn their college degree, even though some of these teen mothers had their first child prior to completing high school.