Emily Albrecht responds to the pro-choice charge that men shouldn’t talk about abortion. While men can’t get pregnant, does that mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to share their opinion about abortion, or is there a good response to “no uterus, no opinion”?
Watch all the videos in ERI’s Quick Response series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsN8Ay8poS-It-dWSmblq1ZufOH-MVj1L
Pro-Life Apologetics: The Equal Rights Argument:
“No uterus, no opinion.” It’s the classic slogan designed to stop half the world’s population from talking about abortion. At its best, the slogan claims that people who can’t fully understand someone else’s experiences shouldn’t be allowed to make moral judgements about their actions. Since people without a uterus clearly can’t get pregnant, they shouldn’t be allowed to make moral judgements about abortion.
It is certainly true that men can’t possibly understand what it is like to be a woman. They can’t understand pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, or the whole host of hormonal and physical changes that come along with those things. Neither can I, for that matter, because I haven’t been pregnant yet! But it simply doesn’t follow that someone’s inability to understand pregnancy means they shouldn’t talk about abortion. I’m going to use a short thought-experiment to demonstrate what I mean here:
Suppose that my friend Andrew is out sitting at the lake by himself, and he sees a woman a bit further down the shore pushing her car into the lake. This is obviously a pretty odd scene, so Andrew walks a bit closer until he spots a newborn in the backseat of the car. Now, Andrew doesn’t know this woman’s situation at all. In fact, she has postpartum depression, which Andrew is biologically incapable of experiencing himself. Regardless of her circumstances or Andrew’s biological sex, it still seems incredibly obvious that Andrew has a responsibility to try and save that child in the backseat. Of course, Andrew should also try to get the woman the help she needs to recover from her depression in a way that doesn’t kill anybody.
When pro-choice people claim that men shouldn’t talk about abortion, what they don’t understand is that pro-lifers view that child in the backseat and the fetus as having the same moral status. We can use the Equal Rights Argument to establish the unborn’s equal right to life, meaning that Andrew should speak up against abortion just as he should try to save the newborn from certain death in the lake.
If abortion is truly the egregious human rights violation that pro-lifers believe it to be, then it is my responsibility, your responsibility, and every person on the face of this earth’s responsibility to stand up against it.