When it comes to the issue of abortion, both opponents and proponents support the freedom of choice and the sanctity of human life.  Those on the pro-choice side, however, think a woman’s freedom to choose trumps the life of the unborn.  Those on the pro-life side think the sanctity of the life of the unborn trumps a woman’s freedom to choose.  How do we break the impasse? 

All parties recognize that the freedom to choose is not sacrosanct.  It can be trumped by a higher principle or moral good.  We generally restrict people’s ability to choose when their choice would bring tremendous or irreparable harm to others.  For example, physically abusing a child would bring irreparable harm to the child, and thus we restrict people’s freedom to abuse children.  We prohibit people from exercising their choice to kill their fellow citizens for the same reason: it brings irreparable harm to a valuable human life. 

The question, then, is whether the life of the unborn is a higher moral good than the freedom to choose.  The answer depends on what the unborn is.  If it is just a cellular growth comparable to a tumor, then it lacks value/sanctity and can be killed without moral consequence (freedom to choose trumps the life of the unborn).  If, however, it is a bona fide human being, then it possesses value and cannot be killed (the sanctity of human life trumps the freedom to choose).  The biological and philosophical evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that the unborn are full members of the human race from the moment of conception onward.  That being so, it would be just as wrong to take the life of the unborn without proper justification as it would be to take the life of your neighbor.

Here is a good strategy for conveying this point to pro-choice advocates:

 Pro-Life: “Do you think the freedom to choose includes the freedom to kill another human being?” 

 Pro-Choice: “No.”

 Pro-Life: “So if I could demonstrate that the unborn are human beings from the moment they come into being, would you agree that we do not have the freedom to choose to kill them?”

If they are consistent, they will have to respond with a “Yes.”  At that point, present them with the evidence for the humanity of the unborn.  If they are intellectually honest, they will cede the point that when it comes to the issue of abortion, the sanctity of the unborn human life trumps a woman’s freedom to choose.