Case for Life — A Pro-Life Resource (Five Bad Ways to Argue About Abortion)
Mistake #1: They confuse objective claims with subjective ones. Personal preference takes precedent over moral claims, which are simply dismissed rather then refuted. Objective truth is replaced with moral relativism.
Mistake #2: They attack the person rather than refute the argument. This is known as an ad hominem fallacy, which appeals to one’s prejudices rather than to reason, as attacking one’s opponent rather than debating the issue.
Mistake #3: They assume what they are trying to prove. This mistake is called begging the question. Here arguments are based upon assumptions rather than evidence.
Mistake #4: They confuse human value with human function. Abortion advocates make the mistake of identifying personhood by what someone does rather than by what someone is.
Mistake #5: They disguise their true position by appealing to the hard cases. The horrible case of rape is used by abortion advocates as a smokescreen to camouflage their true objective, the legalization of abortion for any reason whatsoever.
Honestly, almost every single pro-choice argument I’ve come across is guilty of one of these five mistakes (unless it’s an attack of the idea that intentionally killing an innocent human being is wrong). Familiarizing myself with these has made arguing the abortion issue much, much easier. It puts a halt to the tendency of most pro-choice rhetoric to go in circles and select another topic when things start to fail. The five mistakes won’t necessarily allow you to convince everyone, obviously, but even in cases where you’re talking with someone with a very strong pro-choice belief, they help you to isolate your disagreements.