Pro-Life Persuasion: Trotting out the Toddler

This is the second of a two-part post on pro-life tactics. I covered this topic in Fight Death, Ep. 2. If you prefer to listen, click here.

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We have already established that there are no morally significant differences between a pre-born and a born human being. That means any attempt to justify killing a pre-born human would also justify killing a born human. Conversely, if a justification for abortion would not justify killing a born human, it doesn’t work for the pre-born either. Scott Klusendorf teaches this technique, and it is very effective at communicating the pro-life position.

The technique itself is simple. When someone gives you a justification for abortion, ask yourself (or them, if the situation calls for it): would this be an excuse to kill a toddler?

For instance, pro-aborts like to bring up rape as a justification for abortion. “How can you force a woman to carry the child of her rapist? How can you force her to carry a child that will look like her rapist?” This is a powerful emotional appeal. However, when we trot out the toddler, we see that the excuse doesn’t work.

Imagine a situation where two people have a baby. The child turns two. Then, the woman’s partner is caught, charged, and found guilty as a rapist. This disgusts the woman. But would we say that she can turn around and kill the two-year-old for the sins of his father? Of course not.

Imagine a situation where a rape victim chooses to have the baby. The child is born healthy and happy. Then, after the kid’s second birthday, the child begins to look like the rapist. This is difficult for the woman: now, just looking at the child reignites incredibly painful and traumatic memories. Still, would we say that the woman can kill her child then? Of course not.

Again, whenever someone proposes an excuse for abortion, ask whether this would justify killing a two year old. If the answer is no, then it shouldn’t justify abortion either. This is a powerful tool both to communicate the pro-life position and to evaluate a pro-abort’s arguments that are new to you.

Together with the SLED framework, you now have the core pro-life arguments. The rest is developing nuance and understanding, but these two pieces will serve you in 99% of situations.

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