Reverse the formula


Election season has a way of resurrecting old arguments and slogans. I was thinking about one of these this morning -- one of the most popular pro-choice formulas -- and it struck me that we pro-lifers have been handling it all wrong. All we have to do is reverse it.

The formula goes something like this:

"If you pro-lifers really cared about children, you wouldn't stop caring as soon as they were born. We won't believe you really care until you have adopted/fed/clothed/cared for every needy child in the entire world."

The genius of that formula is that it contains a seed of truth. We pro-lifers, particularly those who have come to the pro-life position by way of our faith, know that of course we have a moral obligation to help every needy child we can, and so we allow ourselves to get put on the defensive. But the fatal flaw of that formula is that, if we tried, we could so very easily turn it upside down. Like this:

"If you pro-choicers really cared about children, you would start caring before they were born. You wouldn't hold them hostage to our promise to care for them, and you wouldn't even dream of letting them be killed. We won't believe you really care until you have sworn to help every unborn child come to birth so that we CAN care for them."

As I said, I just came up with this, so it may need some tweaking. Anyone have any corrections or modifications to suggest?

Comments:

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Is staircase wit, wit that exasperates people enough to throw Lee down the staircase?
(I recently learned about the French phrase "l'esprit de l'escalier", which translates to "staircase wit". It refers to the brilliant response you should have given to someone during dinner (a large, formal dinner, as in, say, the birthday celebration for young Albert Mondego in "The Count of Monte Cristo"), but to your frustration it only occurred to you *after* dinner as you were descending the staircase to go home. I demonstrate that effect in what follows.)

"You pro-choicers say 'We won't believe you really care until you have adopted/fed/clothed/cared for every needy child in the entire world.' And it may be true that we have not cared for every last one, but we are far and away caring for more of them than you are. Pro-life churches have been running orphanages, adopting, and giving money and supplies to those children for centuries - millennia, in fact. We even support economic development and socio-political reform so both the born and unborn can potentially live lives that are not needy and not dependent on ongoing support. Johnny-come-latelies whose activities pale in comparison to ours do not have good standing from which to criticize."
Lee, that brings up why I stopped donating to Save the Children. They promote abortion in some of "those" countries, on some of "those" people, and they use a dressed-up version of a thinning-the-herd argument to justify it. Funny, a lot of liberals hate that justification when it comes to hunting deer, but apparently it's just fine to kill people for that reason.
"If you pro-choicers really cared about children, you would start caring before they were born. We won't believe you really care until you have allowed every Down Syndrome/hydrocephalic/wrong sex/wrong race/inconvenient child in the entire world to have a chance to live."??

"wrong sex" refers to sex-selective abortion. "wrong race" refers to Planned Parenthood placing the bulk of their offices in predominantly minority neighborhoods, and to the promotion of abortion in countries where people have dark skin.
What needs to be addressed is the not-unreasonable basis for their argument: that the pro-life movement is closely aligned with a party that frequently targets programs like WIC, food stamps, etc. As long as that alliance exists--and I understand why it does--the pro-choicer has cause to question the pro-lifer's sincerity about caring for the child after birth.
I understand what you're saying, Jason, but I don't want to lose the parallelism. The second sentence of the original formula is usually an integral part of it, and it needs a specific response.
Cut off everything but the first sentence and maybe part of the second. The rest is logically unnecessary and rhetorically pondorous.
thought
Gina--this is excellent. I do have one thought: I think the pro-choice argument is concerned less about the good of children and more about the rights of women. They openly and unapologetically prioritize women's health and welfare over the child they are carrying.They believe the unborn represents a threat to women's good. I would argue that in most cases it's a false dilemma. Thanks for your good work for Life, Gina!!
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