An Abortion Conversation

conversationIn excellent article about abortion, Greg Koukl imagines a very helpful conversation between a pro-life person and pr0-choice person.

“The government shouldn’t tell me what I can do with my own body.”

“Should the government be allowed to control your body concerning your two year old?”

“That’s different. That’s outside my body. Right now we’re talking about my uterus. The government shouldn’t tell me what I should do with my uterus any more than it should tell me I have to donate my liver or kidney.”

“On that I agree with you, but that has nothing to do with the pro-life view. Pro-lifers are not asking you to give up your uterus. Pro-lifers are saying that the government should be able to protect a human being inside your body just like it does an infant child on the outside of your body.”

“But we’re talking about my uterus, not a human being like an infant.”

“I thought we were talking about what was in your uterus.”

“Okay, but that’s not a human being.”

“It isn’t? Then what is it?”

“Nobody knows. It’s just tissue.”

“Well then, let me ask you a few questions about this mysterious thing in your uterus. You agree, then that there is something inside the uterus of a pregnant woman, right?”

“Of course.”

“Is it alive?”

“Like I said, no one knows when life begins.”

“You didn’t answer my question. I asked if it was alive, not when does life begin. So let me ask another way. Is the thing inside of a pregnant woman’s uterus growing?”

“Yes, it’s growing.”

“Well, this is progress. How can it be growing if it’s not alive?”

“Hmm… Okay, you’ve made your point. It’s alive. It’s living tissue, part of my own body, and the government has no say over my tissue growing in my body.”

“In principle, I would largely agree with your point about the government, but I don’t think this tissue is part of your body.”

“Of course it is.”

“Did you ever watch CSI?”

“Sure.”

“When the forensic pathologist finds remains of a human body, how do they determine which person the remains belong to?”

“They try to do a matching DNA test.”

“Right. If the DNA from the tissue matches the DNA of a hair sample from a known individual, then, they know where the tissue came from.”

“Right.”

“So if someone took a DNA test of that piece of flesh growing inside of your body if you were pregnant, would its DNA match your DNA?”

“Well…no.”

“Then whatever is growing inside of your body is not part of your body, is it? It’s tissue from a different body. That’s why it has a different DNA.”

“I guess so.”

“What kind of foreign creature do you think would be growing inside of your uterus when you’re pregnant.”

“I don’t know.”

“Well then, let’s go back to the CSI illustration. If forensic pathologists found a piece of tissue at a crime scene, how would they know if that tissue came from a human being or from some other animal?”

“I guess they’d do a DNA test.”

“Yes, but it would be a different kind of DNA test than the first one. This one isn’t looking for a match with a certain individual, but with a kind of individual. What kind of creature did this sample come from? What kind of DNA “signature” does the sample have? It might be dog DNA, cat DNA, possum road-kill DNA, or possibly human DNA. So if we took a piece of tissue from that living thing growing in your uterus, what kind of DNA do you think it would have?”

“I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.”

You don’t really have to be a scientist to know the answer to that question. Let me ask my question another way. What kinds of things naturally grow in a woman’s uterus?”

“You know, offspring.”

“So, if there is an offspring growing in a woman’s uterus, what kind of offspring is it? Could it be a dog, or a cat, or a possum offspring? What kind do you think?”

“I guess it would be a human offspring.”

“So we do know what’s growing inside your uterus when you’re pregnant, don’t we. It’s not a mystery. It’s not your tissue, but your human offspring. Someone else is in there—your unborn child. So now that we’ve solved that mystery, you think the government should be allowed to force you to protect your offspring when the child is outside of your body, but not when he’s inside your body. Right?”

“I guess that’s right.”

“Why should the government be allowed to protect your offspring on the outside of your body?”

“Because children are valuable.”

“Right, I agree. But that creates a problem for you now, doesn’t it?”

“How so?”

“Well if children are valuable outside of your body—say, right after they’re born—how are those same children not valuable when they are just a couple of inches away hidden inside your uterus? Why does the location of your child make any difference to the value of your child?”

(Note: This conversation is a good example of an apologetic tactic Koukl calls the “Columbo Method.” You can read more about the tactic here.)

John Piper said it well, “We know they are killing children – all of us know.”

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About Dana Dill

I am a happy slave of Jesus Christ, a thankful husband to Chawna Dill, and the youth pastor of South Shores Church. I'm here on assignment (Acts 20:24).
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