In last week’s blog I stated that the only question worth debating in regards to abortion is this, “What is the unborn?”. If the unborn is a human person, then no excuse can justify killing it. If the unborn is not a human person, then there is not a need to justify killing it, because its removal would be similar to the removal of an appendix or gall bladder. The question, “What is the unborn?” is really the only issue that matters when discussing abortion. However, it is very easy to get off track and begin discussing a woman’s choice, rape, finances, quality of life, and many other issues. Although these are important issues to consider, they do not allow us to kill the unborn if the unborn is in fact a human person. Today I want to share a tactic with you that will help keep your conversation focused on the main point of the abortion debate, “What is the unborn?”.

TROT OUT THE TODDLER          
When in a discussion about abortion, a common argument that abortion supporters make is that women should have the right to choose. When you encounter this argument, do not take the bait and spend your time arguing about women’s rights. Just employ the tactic of Trotting Out The Toddler. This tactic asks if the justification for killing the unborn would still apply if the child was a toddler. By doing this, you expose the fact that the justifications for abortion are illegitimate. For instance, if someone tells you that abortion should be allowed based on the right of a woman’s choice, ask if a woman has the choice to kill her two-year-old toddler. Your friend will answer “No”, at which you point can ask why a woman does not have the right to choose to kill her toddler. Your friend will say something like “because murder is wrong”, or “because no one has the right to kill an innocent human being”. At this point you can agree with them, and ask why abortion is not the murder of an innocent human being. By doing this, you have brought the conversation back to discussing the only question that matters, “What is the Unborn?”.
 
Some will argue that abortion is permissible if the mother cannot adequately provide for the unborn child. This argument takes the position that it is better to abort the unborn than to allow the child to grow up in poverty. When someone utilizes this argument, Trot Out The Toddler. Ask, “Is it permissible for a mother to kill her three-year-old son if she cannot provide shelter and food for him?”. The answer to this is obviously no. But what is the difference between the argument about the three-year-old boy and the unborn child? If the unborn is a human person, there is not a difference. So the main question to discuss is “What is the unborn?”.
          
Another popular argument for abortion is that teenage girls who become pregnant have their whole lives ahead of them, and to follow through with the pregnancy will greatly inhibit their future in regards to education, marital status and finances. This argument implies that forcing a teenage girl to have her child is cruel to the teenage girl. Let’s Trot Out The Toddler with this argument. If a teenage mom begins to feel trapped by her two-year-old child, is she allowed to kill it so that she can go back to school? Is she allowed to kill her toddler in order to make herself more attractive to a potential husband? Can she kill her child in order to focus on college and help secure her future career path? Of course none of these reasons justify killing a toddler, and they do not justify killing the unborn if the unborn is a human person.
 
No matter what excuse is used to make abortion allowable, you can Trot Out The Toddler to show that there is never justification for killing an innocent human being. Once you Trot Out The Toddler and show your friend that the real issue is whether the unborn is a human person or not, then you can begin to show how the unborn is in fact a human person. To do this utilize the S.L.E.D. argument which you can find in last week’s blog here.  Trotting Out The Toddler is a great tactic that will help you have a productive discussion about abortion, instead of being side tracked by arguments about choice, finances and potential futures.
           
In the next few weeks, I am going to dedicate an entire blog post to discuss the issues of incest and rape as they relate to abortion. I will also discuss how abortion relates to a situation in which the mother’s life is at risk. These situations are emotionally charged and require some time to develop a pro-life response. With that said, less than 1% of women who have abortion do so because of rape or incest. The main reasons that women give for having an abortion are convenience, financial situation, marital situation, and not being prepared to have the child.[1] You can see an exhaustive list of reasons women give for having an abortion here. Since these are the main reasons given for having an abortion, Trotting Out The Toddler is a great tactic to help your pro-abortion friends see that there is never justification for killing an innocent human being.
 
I want to close by expressing how important it is that we are kind and respectful when we engage in conversations on abortion. This is such an emotionally charged topic that it is imperative for us to be gentle, loving and compassionate as we make our case for life. Even when you have the best evidence for your argument, your delivery and demeanor will play a major role in your friends accepting your evidences. Remember, our goal is not to win an argument, our goal is to persuade people to stop killing innocent lives and to make it illegal for others to do so as well.  


[1] https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/tables/370305/3711005t2.pdf