As discussed in my previous Youth Voices post, the most common arguments with regards to the subject of abortion almost always have to do with issues regarding personal beliefs, religion, birth control, sex education, financial status, adoption/foster care, health of both the embryo and the mother/carrier, and circumstances of the pregnancy such as incest or sexual assault. Mike Adams, publisher of a far right online column for the website Townhall, addressed nearly all of these subjects in his argument. He says he wrote this column to “…equip young pro-life students with proper rebuttals to pro-abortion choice arguments.” Within his published column, Adams addresses a list of six possible arguments pro-choicers could possibly provide, and fairly in-depth rebuttals for each.
In this discussion, I will be addressing some of the additional counterarguments that Adams claims to some of the statements made by many pro-choice groups throughout the US. Next on the list is the pro-choice claim that it is “wrong for a woman to bring a handicapped child into this world.” This statement is phrased by Adams himself, and is actually wrongly perceived by many due to the word usage. The claim used by more liberal groups more accurately argues that if the person in question discovers the embryo they are carrying has a terminal illness, abortion should be available as an option. Adams grossly misunderstands this claim by stating it means something along the lines of “there are far too many handicapped people in the world.” Once again, Adams’ arrow is far from the bullseye. What pro-choicers are trying to argue is the well-being of the embryo, the ability of the mother/family of the embryo to care for it with its disabilities, the opportunities that stand in the embryo’s future, and they are trying to face the reality of the difficulties in life that the embryo will inevitably have to face if it is ever fully brought to life.
Adams’ next counterargument is with regards to the claim that “women should not be forced to give birth to a child they cannot afford.” Adams argues that murder is not the solution to poverty. But this, in most cases, is not murder, because to many, the embryo is not considered a human being. Additionally, what do you, Mr. Adams, consider to be a solution to poverty? Will one more child being born into the arms of an unstable and corrupt economy help that system to flourish? Would you rather let that child starve to death at the ripe age of 312 weeks rather than avoid that suffering for both mother, family and child at the “age” of eight weeks? No child being born into poverty can help the situation they are born into. Nor can they be helped in the situation in which they find themselves. More than 15 million children today live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold. On average, families need incomes of about twice that size to cover the total expenses they accumulate throughout the year. Poverty often affects children’s ability to learn, form relationships, contribute to social life, and most often causes behavioral problems.
The final counterargument that Adams addresses is the pro-choice claim “it is wrong to force a woman to give birth to a baby after she has been a victim of rape.” Adams’ argument is that even the product of rape is human, and that the termination of even this situational pregnancy would be murder. He used the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana to support his claim. In this trial, a brutal rape case, the convicted man, Patrick Kennedy, was spared by the Supreme Court from the death penalty on the grounds that it would be “Cruel and Unusual Punishment to kill a man who did not kill anyone.” Adams argues that because the embryo, though formed through a brutal crime, did not kill anyone, it should not be killed because that would be considered Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Patrick Kennedy, a man who sexually assaulted and destroyed the life of a young, eight-year-old girl, whom he was supposed to be protecting, was someone Adams thought would be a reasonable example to use for this argument. Patrick Kennedy raped and tortured his eight-year-old step-daughter. Adams used this case, as if any of his viewers would present any sympathy for Kennedy, and therefore show sympathy to the hypothetical, though very real and very widespread rapists, who impregnated an innocent woman. The is no validity whatsoever in this argument. No person in their right mind could have sympathy for someone that destroys the life of the ones person they are intended to protect. In this way, Adams’ argument of Cruel and Unusual Punishment is baseless. How does an unborn embryo and a man so undignified through the monstrosity of his actions even compare? A full grown man should become aware of his actions and should have to be punished for the harshness of his crime. Why should an unborn embryo have to do the same? Why should an embryo be born into a world in which it knows that it was born unwanted, born from hate and lust and fear and crime? Why should an embryo be born knowing they are not something good, but something formed with guilt and trauma?