Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,
My tween is reading The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel Bluedorn & Hans Bluedorn for school this spring. The authors teach 38 ways to recognize bad reasoning. It’s fun! and my son loves it!
A fallacy is an error in logic. The Fallacy Detective provides names for different kinds of errors in logic. The one you probably know best is red herring.
My son gets very animated when we read the book because he recognizes the fallacies in the news and on the internet. I just sigh and shake my head, saddened, because I see all the fallacies in the abortion debate.
Most recently, Busy Philipps has been shouting her abortion, and it grieves me that women listen to her because she is a celebrity. Frankly, I’m so old that I only know about her because I’m active in the pro-life movement. (I’m really only 50, so not that old!)
Ms. Philipps claims that she has a career because she had an abortion—at age 15. To assume that she could not have had a career if she had given birth at age 15 is an either-or fallacy.
“When someone asserts that we must choose between two things, when in fact we have more than two alternatives, (s)he is using the either-or fallacy.”—page 125 The Fallacy Detective
Ms. Philipps had the obvious alternative of putting her child up for adoption.
However, women with crisis pregnancies usually choose between raising their babies or aborting their babies. This, too, is an either-or fallacy, but we cannot discount how attached women feel to their pre-born babies. Women intuitively know that they cannot handle the idea of giving birth and then giving away their babies.
And science explains this. Oxytocin is released in abundance during childbirth, and oxytocin is a bonding neurochemical.
The fact that oxytocin bonds women to their babies makes sense both from an evolution perspective and a creation perspective. After all the pain of childbirth, mothers because they bonded to their babies want to protect them, feed them, nurture them, and raise them to be thriving adults. When we do so, the human race continues.
But what women ignore is that they are already bonded to their pre-born babies. If you were to talk to women who regret their abortions, you would find that they know when their babies would’ve been born and how old they would be today. Most know intuitively whether their babies were girls or boys, and many have named their babies.
Women who regret their abortions are grieved that they murdered their babies.
But putting her child up for adoption was not Ms. Philipps only choice. She could have raised her child or co-raised her child with the baby’s grandmother.
Taraji P Henson was in college, not high school, when she had her unplanned pregnancy. People told her she wouldn’t finish her degree. She showed them wrong by walking across the stage at graduation with her son on her hip.
I had a friend in high school who not only finished high school with a newborn but went on to get both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
So to say that we women have to choose between career and a baby is an either-or fallacy, but even more so—it’s demeaning to women to say that we’re not strong enough or not capable enough to have a child and a career. Single moms do it all the time.
Praises to you strong, single moms!
To say that we women have to choose between career and a baby also assumes that it’s 1973, and we don’t have equal rights to work. That’s a slap in the face of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ACLU, who took case after case through the courts to get rights for women. (See the movie “On the Basis of Sex.”)
One last note on fallacies: To listen to Busy Philipps or Alyssa Milano or even Taraji P Henson because they are celebrities is a faulty appeal to authority, an error in logic (again, see The Fallacy Detective). When we listen to celebrities, we assume that they are authorities because they are famous.
But these women are not authorities on unplanned pregnancies and abortion because they are celebrities. They are authorities because they’ve had unplanned pregnancies and (except Ms. Henson) abortions.
So have I.
P.S. Pray for Busy Philipps and Alyssa Milano and all post-abortive women and men so that they are completely healed, let go of their anger/bitterness/resentment, and feel God’s agape love.