Quick Response #17: Every Child a Wanted Child

Emily Albrecht responds to the pro-choice concern that every child should be a wanted child. No one wants children to be unwanted, so how should that effect how we think about abortion?

Watch all the videos in ERI’s Quick Response series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsN8Ay8poS-It-dWSmblq1ZufOH-MVj1L

Related Links:

Pro-Life Apologetics: The Equal Rights Argument:

Script Text

The argument that abortion should be legal because every child should be a wanted child is a platitude that begs the question. If the unborn human is a person, isn’t it better for him to be alive and unwanted rather than dead and unwanted?

(intro sequence)

Let’s start off with some common ground. I’m sure we agree that every child should be wanted, but we probably don’t agree with the specifics of how that should play out. For example, I don’t think it’s necessary (or even good) for every child to be PLANNED in order for them to be wanted. I might think that it’s society’s attitude towards children which most needs to change for children to be wanted properly. But we can certainly agree that the proper state of affairs is a world in which each child is wanted.

It seems like an easy response to say, “Well, all babies ARE wanted. Don’t you know that there’s a high demand for newborn adoptions, and not enough babies to adopt?” The problem with this response is, while it might be true of the United States, it’s NOT true of many places in the world. We’re not arguing that elective abortion is only wrong in the United States, but that it’s wrong EVERYWHERE, so we have to make an argument that’s true in all places.

Instead, we should argue about what’s wrong with this picture in the first place. The slogan “every child a wanted child” assumes that unborn humans are not persons, so they don’t count as a “child” for the purpose of the slogan. The people repeating this idea are usually displaying real sympathy, and most of them would be horrified at the idea of killing a kindergartener because she was unwanted by her parents. For the slogan to work, it has to deny fetal personhood.

So I’d begin my response to the “every child a wanted child” person with common ground, then see if they agree that the slogan wouldn’t apply to someone who is uncontroversially a person. After that, I’d move into the Equal Rights Argument to establish that unborn children are persons with the same moral status as every other human being. The conclusion? Wantedness and unwantedness don’t change whether it’s wrong to kill people, and the unborn are people.

Check out the link in the description to learn how to make the Equal Rights Argument.

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