Defending your pro-life views in 5 minutes or less

In just five minutes, a Christian can argue against elective abortion in a way that is both convincing and gracious.

That is the contention of Scott Klusendorf, president of the Life Training Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., as he summarizes how to do it in an article entitled “How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less.”

The first step to arguing against abortion is to clarify the issue, according to Klusendorf.

“Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion takes the life of a defenseless human being,” he writes. “This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing public attention on just one question: Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. ? Conversely, if the unborn are not human, killing them for any reason requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled.”

Arguments based on “choice” or “privacy” are irrelevant when the issue is framed correctly, he argues, because such excuses would never count as justifications for killing people that are universally agreed to be humans.

After clarifying the issue, a Christian should defend the pro-life position with science and philosophy, Klusendorf writes.

Scientifically, leading embryology textbooks confirm that from the earliest stages of development, “the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings,” he writes, adding that even former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher, prior to his abortion advocacy, was perplexed that anyone would consider an unborn child less than fully human.

Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between an embryo and a person outside the womb, Klusendorf argues. He uses the acronym SLED to note the differences between an embryo and an adult: Size, Level of development, Environment and Degree of dependency.

None of those differences, Klusendorf says, justify killing an unborn child.

He concludes that pro-lifers must challenge their opponents to be intellectually honest.

“Remind your critics that if we care about truth, we will courageously follow the facts wherever they lead, no matter what the cost to our own self-interests.”

The text of the article is available at

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