Answering Alleged "Biblical" Arguments for Abortion
There are so many arguments for abortion floating around the internet right now. It can be overwhelming to respond to them all. We talked to Scott Klusendorf, a pioneer who has been making the case for life for over 3 decades. We focused in particular on the alleged "biblical case" for abortion that is often put forward by Progressive Christians.
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Interview with Scott Klusendorf
Scott Klusendorf is a pioneer and living legend in the pro-life movement! Back in 1990, he was an Associate Pastor when he first saw a video of an abortion procedure. Shortly thereafter, he left his pastoring position and devoted himself full-time to equipping pro-lifers to make a case for what they believe. Today, he is the President of Life Training Institute where he equips Christians to make a case for life in the secular marketplace of ideas.
Scott explained the fundamentals that every Christian needs to be informed on regarding pro-life arguments:
The three most important words in pro-life apologetics are: Syllogism, syllogism, syllogism! In other words, two premises followed by a conclusion.
The pro-life syllogism/argument goes like this:
Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is wrong.
The S.L.E.D. argument against abortion:
S=SIZE; There are differences in size between the embryo, newborn baby, toddler, adult, etc. But body size doesn't bestow value!
L=LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT; The pre-born are less developed as an embryo, but this doesn't determine value!
E=ENVIRONMENT; Where you are doesn't determine WHAT you are!
D=DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY; Yes, the unborn are dependent, but simply pointing that out isn't a justification for killing them!
The supposed Biblical passages in support of abortion:
Genesis 2:7--"Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature."
In other words, the pre-born child is not a human until they breathe air with their lungs outside the womb. WRONG! This is a category error!
Exodus 22: 21-25--“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."
This passage does NOT support abortion; it is being used as a non-sequitur fallacy...two different things are being compared--an accidental injury/pre-term labor of the baby vs the intentional killing of a pre-born baby.
The term "forced-birth" proponents/extremists--This is a type of ad-hominem fallacy. Instead of addressing the true argument at hand (the pro-life syllogism described previously), the person is resorting to name-calling and avoiding the true issue.
Be prepared and know basic debate techniques!
Name-calling is inevitable, but don't get distracted or heated!
**Important note--we must stick to evaluating arguments based on their merits (ie following the laws of logic), rather than being influenced by the person who is giving the argument (ie standpoint epistemology).
An important point regarding the terms/definitions of person/personhood vs being a human.
The pro-abortion claim is that the fetus can be a human, but it might not yet be a person...personhood is something that is achieved/gained at some *magic* moment. This is nonsense and the burden of proof lies with the pro-life critic! They focus on arbitrarily selected features such as:
3. Ability to interact with environment
But, they MUST ARGUE for why or how it's even possible for the pre-born to be human, but not a person and NOT merely assert these claims!
Be aware of what is on the horizon for pro-life issues:
1. Use of Scripture to support abortion
2. Misinformation about facts; scare tactics
3. Misplacement of moral outrage (ie churches supporting those who are "hurting" due to the overturn of Roe v. Wade instead of supporting the unborn)
In terms of political advocacy for Christians, be sure to check out a previous episode we did with Abraham Hamilton III: https://youtu.be/LZtkcPAQkYU
Pick up a copy of Scott's book, The Case for Life:
If you missed our previous shows regarding abortion and the pro-life movement, be sure to go back and watch!
An OB-GYN Answers Questions About Abortion: https://youtu.be/h9_mHIeNrkk
Biblical Child Advocacy Begins in the Womb: https://youtu.be/kZJ9OiWj6qc
Connect with the Guest
Be sure to check out Scott's work:
For those who want to take a deeper dive into pro-life issues and training, Scott will be teaching a course in January 2023 through Dr. Frank Turek's organization, CrossExamined. Check it out here: https://www.onlinechristiancourses.com/occ-the-ethics-of-abortion-premium-course/
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