Responding to Advanced Personhood Arguments
One of the most widely-read posts I’ve ever written is “The Most Undervalued Argument in the Pro-Life Movement,” in which I gave a basic introduction to the Equal Rights Argument. It wasn’t a thorough explanation of how my colleagues and I use this argument in dialogue, but at the time I was planning on giving a more thorough explanation soon after. While I’ve been teaching the argument in more depth to live audiences, I’ve refrained from blogging about it for a variety of practical reasons. Before the end of the year, we will finally post a more detailed analysis of how we respond to personhood arguments.
In the meantime, there is a place you can find the same basic argument in written form, and that is in chapter 2 of Charles Camosy’s book Beyond the Abortion Wars. We explain it differently and we use our terms a bit differently, but substantively, it’s the same argument. We were really pleased when we read it, because we think it is the most persuasive way to respond to personhood arguments.
Whether or not you are struggling with how to respond to personhood arguments, you really should read Beyond the Abortion Wars. We don’t always agree with his conclusions, but even the places where we disagree are well-researched, well-argued, and well-explained, and they help me to think more clearly about my own beliefs. Charles Camosy is a very unusual, very interesting voice in the pro-life movement and any pro-life advocate would benefit from wrestling with him.