I’m going to pick on Daniel Florien for a minute because I absolutely detest the basic form of his blog post, How to Stump Anti-Abortionists With One Question. Florien is hardly the only person to offer one of these “how to stump xyz with one questions” guides. I’ve seen how to stump pro-abortionists, atheists, Christians, Darwinists, creationists, etc. etc. in one question essays.
For the most part, the argument that is allegedly a show stopper is surprisingly lame. Consider, for example, what Florien considers to be a show stopping argument against anti-abortionists,
Just ask them this:
If abortion was illegal, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions?
Now watch their faces as the cognitive dissonance sets in. They believe abortion to be murder. Murder deserves severe punishment. Thus, women who have illegal abortions should receive severe punishment — like life in prison or the death penalty. That’s the logical conclusion.
That’s just stupid on a number of levels.
First of all, it simply does not logically follow that if abortion is wrong that it should result in “severe punishment — like life in prison or the death penalty.” That’s not a logical conclusion, that’s a straw man.
In fact, prior to Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal in most states, women were rarely prosecuted for having illegal abortions. Rather if there was a prosecution, the state would generally go after the doctor performing the procedure. Similarly, abortion is banned throughout Ireland, and yet prosecutions of women who have illegal abortions are extremely rare there.
On the other hand, it is also certainly possible for anti-abortion states to prosecute women. Portugal, after all, does actively prosecute women who have illegal abortions as well as the doctors who perform them. Unfortunately for Florien, the penalties are from from his Draconian straw man — for example, a couple of women acquitted of having abortions in 2005 faced up to three years in jail if they had been convicted.
Apparently Florien needs to first convince both Ireland and Portugal that they simply cannot ban abortion without sentencing women to life in prison or the death penalty.
I’m sure there are, nonetheless, anti-abortionists who may be stumped by this lame argument, just as I assume there are jurors who may be convinced by the Chewbacca defense. All Florin’s post shows is that he takes the arguments for or against abortion about as seriously as those dimwits he seeks to stump. Personally, I wouldn’t be bragging about that.
Finally, Florien felt the need to update his blog post with the usual tripe from “pro-choice” types,
First, a clarification. I’m not pro-abortion. I support the legalization of abortion. I do not like abortion nor do I usually counsel it. However, I do think it should be available for women who want it, especially if they were raped or have zero interest in caring for a child.
I would like abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. We can all work together on the rare part.
God, I hate this line of thinking. Can you imagine this nonsense being deployed in any other medical contest? I’m not pro-viagra. I would like viagra to be safe, legal and rare. Why do “pro-choicers” always feel the need to apologize for their support of legalized abortion in this way?
I am pro-abortion. I want abortion to be safe and legal and occur in whatever frequency women freely choose.
Anyone adding the “and rare” clause needs to define a) just what sort of abortion rate would qualify as rare, and b) how they would go about reducing the number of abortions from the >1 million annually in the United States to whatever rate is acceptable as “rare.”