4 Reasons Why Your “Pro-Life” Friend May Not Care About Abortion (4 of 4)

I was talking with a Life Report fan recently about one of her family members who claims to be pro-life, but doesn’t care very much about abortion. I suspect this is a relatively common thing and can be very confusing for pro-life people who believe that the unborn child is fully human and worthy of legal protection. I offered her four possible explanations why somebody who claims to be “pro-life” may not care about abortion very much. I suspect that you know at least one person that would fall under each of these categories, and I want you to have some tools for engaging each of them. I’ll cover the third reason in today’s post.

  1. She is pro-life, but falsely thinks that all social issues are equal.
  2. She is pro-life but thinks that other social issues are more important than abortion.
  3. She only thinks the unborn are semi-valuable, like a golden retriever.
  4. She believes that while the unborn are fully human, abortion shouldn’t be made illegal because of women’s bodily autonomy rights.

br#4: She believes that while the unborn are fully human, abortion shouldn’t be made illegal because of women’s bodily autonomy rights

As I said in part three, there are some pro-choice people that completely agree with pro-life people about the humanity of the unborn. Most of the time, this pro-choice person’s sole or primary reason for believing that abortion should remain legal has to do with women’s bodily rights. They feel like a law making abortion illegal would be tantamount to forcing women into slavery, unless there was a way to end her pregnancy without having an abortion, like transferring the child to an artificial womb. They feel like losing the option of abortion means a pregnant woman is now forced into nine months of forced pregnancy, having her body used against her will by her child.

Before I give you links to some resources in how to respond to this argument, stop for a second and notice something. If your friend says she’s “pro-life” but doesn’t seem to care about abortion or thinks it should remain legal, this very well might be the reason. She calls herself “pro-life” because she agrees with the primary argument pro-lifers are always making: that the unborn is a full human being. There are lots of people who refer to themselves as “pro-life” but think at least some elective abortions should remain legal. Your friend might just be one of them.

There are lots of good resources out there on bodily rights, but I think the best response that’s been published so far is one that my friend Steve Wagner published this year. It explains the two different types of bodily rights arguments that pro-life advocates often lump together. It explains why some of the common pro-life counter-arguments are pragmatically problematic because they’re unpersuasive to atheists or they don’t effectively argue against all abortions procedures, and offers a new argument that may solve the problem. I’ve also recently published a speech on this same topic, and you may prefer to listen to that first to learn the concepts more easily, and then read the paper which is much more thorough.

Question: Do you know somebody who agrees with pro-choice bodily rights arguments? Have you responded to them yet? How did it go? I’d love to hear from you!


Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh has worked in the pro-life movement since he was 18. A sought-after speaker, Josh has spoken for more than 23,000 people in six countries and in 22 of the 50 states.

Josh’s primary passion is helping pro-life people to be more persuasive when they communicate with pro-choice people. That means ditching faulty rhetoric and tactics and embracing arguments that hold up under philosophical scrutiny.

He has publicly debated leaders from Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Georgians for Choice, and one of the leading abortion facilities in Atlanta.

Josh also wants to bring relational apologetics to the pro-life movement. “Some pro-choice people will not change their mind after one conversation on a college campus. Some of them will only change their mind after dozens of conversations with a person they trust in the context of friendship.”

Josh is formerly the host of a globally-heard podcast turned radio/TV show, Life Report. He now hosts the Equipped for Life Podcast. He’s also written dozens of articles for LifeNews.com and the ERI blog.

He directed the first 40 Days for Life campaign in Fresno, resulting in up to 60 lives saved.

Josh has been happily married to his wife, Hannah, for 15 years. They have three sons, Noah, William, and Eli. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

David Bereit, the National Director of 40 Days for Life, sums up Josh’s expertise this way: “Josh Brahm is one of the brightest, most articulate, and innovative people in the pro-life movement. His cutting-edge work is helping people think more clearly, communicate more effectively, and — most importantly — be better ambassadors for Christ. I wholeheartedly endorse Josh’s work, and I encourage you to join me in following Josh and getting involved in his work today!”

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