Dealing with the claim, “You’re not pro-life, you’re just pro-fetus”

Anyone familiar with the abortion debate has surely come across at least some of the countless empty slogans, distractions, and accusations thrown around by those in the pro-abortion movement.

“Pro-lifers are waging a war on women!” “Pro-lifers are trying to force religion into government!” “Pro-lifers are scientifically illiterate!” The list goes on. While each of these claims can be quite easily destroyed, this article will focus on an equally absurd and very common misconception which we’ve all heard in one form or another: “If you focus primarily on stopping abortion, you’re not actually pro-life, you’re just pro-fetus.”

Sometimes this argument arises in the context of supporting health care legislation, or the context of taxpayers financially supporting poor families. It even arises in the context of issues like war and the death penalty (clearly separate issues from abortion to anyone with any analytical abilities whatsoever). “Pro-lifers don’t actually care about kids and families,” they say, “they just oppose abortion and don’t care what happens to people after birth.”

While it’s hard to choose where to begin with such clearly over-generalized and ignorant claims, let’s start with the pro-abortion camp’s attempts to distract from abortion and shift the goalposts by redefining “pro-life.” In the context of children and families (you know, the ones we pro-lifers supposedly don’t care about), being “pro-life” quite clearly would include as a priority opposition to killing. Since abortion is by far the leading form of intentional killing in families, it is actually quite logical for pro-lifers to focus primarily on abortion. Telling pro-lifers that they also have to focus on (and take a certain position on) a host of other issues in order to be truly pro-life is not only arrogant, but quite illogical.

For the record, many pro-lifers do support health care, are anti-death penalty, and support finding diplomatic solutions to international conflicts. But regardless of that, it’s absurd to claim that in order to be pro-life one must line up on all these distinctly unique issues and give them equal attention, just as it’s absurd to claim that to be pro-“choice,” one must support the choice to own guns and actively lobby for gun rights. Let’s stay on topic, people.

Now let’s talk about the assertion that pro-lifers don’t care or don’t help families once children have been born. The claim that pro-lifers do not contribute to the lives of the born places pro-lifers in a ridiculous and unfair position of having to choose between either bragging about their own private charitable assistance, or keeping it private, thus giving the impression that the claim has merit. Of course, even when pro-lifers do respond by saying, “no, actually I’ve helped local families by ______,” they are often met with, “yeah, right.” So really, it’s often a lose/lose situation to even engage with people making such accusations, and that’s likely one reason that the pro-abortion camp pushes these claims, despite a high probability that many pro-choicers are at least intelligent enough to recognize how ignorant and off-topic these claims are.

While I hesitate to even mention this, because to argue this point in a way falls prey to the pro-abortion camp’s plan to distract from the real topic (abortion), it’s worth noting that the majority of pro-life activists I know in real life have contributed to the lives of families (including born children) in significant ways, whether through donating money, volunteering to work, offering assistance with housing and jobs, or other ways. And that’s just what I’ve personally witnessed; it would be safe to assume that – especially considering the religious views of some of these pro-lifers (“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” Matthew 6:3) – there is much more charity that I’m not aware of. Of course, the pro-abortion camp would dismiss these claims as anecdotal evidence, or claim that they are lies, but considering the sweeping claims they make from ignorance about pro-lifers in general, it doesn’t really matter. We do not, and should not, have to publicize and defend our charity just to prove that we care, to a group of people that won’t believe us anyway. Once again, it would be nice if instead we could actually stay on topic: abortion.

But instead of dealing with the actual issues and facing the science and logic related to the abortion debate, the pro-abortion side would rather hurl out groundless accusations that place pro-lifers in difficult positions and distract from the real problems. This is what we’ve come to expect, as time and time again the opposition proves it is short on actual arguments.

Editor’s Note: All op-eds are the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily the official position of Live Action.

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