How to Stump Anti-Abortionists

Daniel Florien of the Unreasonable Faith blog proposes to stump anti-abortionists with one simple question: If abortion is made illegal, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions?

I’m quaking in my shoes – except I’m Asian and wear no shoes in the house.

Not at all. I ask in return: What should be done with people who commit infanticide?

Now for my real answer. Obviously, you should consider the implications of what you support, and I’m willing to bite the bullet: of course you punish everyone who was a willing agent in the killing of a child, just as you do with people who kill a baby who has just been born. This applies to the doctor, the father, the mother and the nurse. I have absolutely no problem with this.

How to punish a licensed doctor who agrees to help kill a baby in the womb? If he chooses intact dilation and extraction, he can be “intactly dilated and extracted”; if he chooses suction aspiration, something commensurate to that, perhaps measured-drop hanging. And if a man forces his wife to kill her baby, let him be punished and let her go free. And if it’s the mother who ordered the killing, let her be like a mafia boss who had a hitman kill the victim.

On the less Dante-like side, read this comment by jmulf.

Still, the question is a good way to test how well people have actually considered the proposition that there is no moral difference between “abortion” and infanticide. For rooting out those who haven’t considered the implications of abortion constituting murder (but I hate stupid slogans), I congratulate Mr Florien; for depicting the question by which he does it as a trump card, I ask him to reconsider.

3 responses to “How to Stump Anti-Abortionists

  1. Oh, that’s not a real argument against it, of course. It’s just a fun tool to stump some of the godbots on the streets who haven’t thought about their position.

    Thanks for the link!


  2. Ah, I see. I’ve been annoyed by seemingly similar things before where people actually did appear to expect it to be some overwhelmingly powerful argument, but I see now that that wasn’t your purpose.

    You’re welcome. Discourse is a good thing.


  3. Maybe the other question would be what constitutes a child? A fertilized egg? A fetus with a heart beat?


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