When Talking with Pro-Choicers… Pull Out a SLED!

By: Rebecca Pimentel

photo credit: carbonated via photopin cc

photo credit: carbonated via photopin cc

What Do You Say When Someone Admits the Preborn are Human but Still Accepts Abortion?

When discussing abortion it is important for the conversation to always come back to the main question, “What is the unborn?” Convincing the other person that the unborn is a living human can be relatively easy enough. But the argument often follows that though the unborn child is human she isn’t a person. Or in other words, she is less valuable than other humans. It is then that we must ask the individual, “What is the difference between the unborn and, say, you and me that make them less valuable?”

Pull Out a SLED!

The usual response will most likely fall under one or more of four categories that we refer to as the SLED Test:

  • SIZE: “The unborn is so much smaller than us. It couldn’t possibly have the same value.”
  • LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT: “Early on, the unborn is just a clump of cells. It can’t feel pain, its brain isn’t developed, and isn’t self-aware.”
  • ENVIRONMENT: “The unborn is still in the womb, not in the world. It isn’t born yet.”
  • DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY: “The unborn is completely dependent on the mother. It wouldn’t be able to live on its own.”

These arguments are by their nature erroneous, as each attacks the physical differences between the born and the unborn and neglects what truly makes all of us valuable as humans: our basic human nature. So, what are some ways in which we can respond to each of these arguments?

  • SIZE: “It is true that the unborn are smaller than us, but does that mean that a toddler is less valuable because she is small?” “Generally, men are larger than women. Would you say that women are less valuable because they have a smaller frame?”
  • LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT: “Yes, the unborn are still developing, but aren’t all children and adolescents? Even after birth, a baby’s frontal lobe of the brain still isn’t fully developed and she won’t become self-aware until she is two years old. Does that mean we can kill children before the age of two?” “Some people are unable to feel pain or to be self-aware. On that basis, wouldn’t we discriminate against people who have such disabilities?”
  • ENVIRONMENT: “Yes, the unborn is in the womb, but what do you mean by saying that it is ‘not in the world’? If I am outside of a house and you are inside of it, am I more of valuable because I am outside and cannot see you inside the house?” “At the moment of birth, how does passing less than a foot through the birth canal make someone more valuable than staying where she was?”
  • DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY: “True, the unborn is dependent upon her mother, but what about conjoined twins? Are they less valuable because without being connected to one the other would die?” “Should it be ok to kill a toddler because of her dependency?”

As we are all subject to these physical changes, knowing that we can easily respond to these points with real life examples should give us a bit more confidence when discussing abortion.