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Peter Kreeft argues from a non-controversial premise to a controversial conclusion:


1. We Know What an Apple Is

Our first principle should be as undeniable as possible, for arguments usually go back to their first principles. If we find our first premise to be a stone wall that cannot be knocked down when we back up against it, our argument will be strong. Tradition states and common sense dictates our premise that we know what an apple is. Almost no one doubted this, until quite recently. Even now, only philosophers, scholars, “experts,” media mavens, professors, journalists, and mind-molders dare to claim that we do not know what an apple is.

2. We Really Know What an Apple Really Is

From the premise that “we know what an apple is,” I move to a second principle that is only an explication of the meaning of the first: that we really know what an apple really is. If this is denied, our first principle is refuted. It becomes, “We know, but not really, what an apple is, but not really.” Step 2 says only, “Let us not ‘nuance’ Step 1 out of existence!”

3. We Really Know What Some Things Really Are

From Step 2, I deduce the third principle, also as an immediate logical corollary, that we really know what some things (other things than apples) really are. This follows if we only add the minor premise that an apple is another thing.

This third principle, of course, is the repudiation of skepticism. The secret has been out since Socrates that skepticism is logically self-contradictory. To say “I do not know” is to say “I know I do not know.” Socrates’s wisdom was not skepticism. He was not the only man in the world who knew that he did not know. He had knowledge; he did not claim to have wisdom. He knew he was not wise. That is a wholly different affair and is not self-contradictory. All forms of skepticism are logically self-contradictory, nuance as we will.

All talk about rights, about right and wrong, about justice, presupposes this principle that we really know what some things really are. We cannot argue about anything at all—anything real, as distinct from arguing about arguing, and about words, and attitudes—unless we accept this principle. We can talk about feelings without it, but we cannot talk about justice. We can have a reign of feelings—or a reign of terror—without it, but we cannot have a reign of law.

4. We Know What Human Beings Are

Our fourth principle is that we know what we are. If we know what an apple is, surely we know what a human being is. For we aren’t apples; we don’t live as apples, we don’t feel what apples feel (if anything). We don’t experience the existence or growth or life of apples, yet we know what apples are. A fortiori, we know what we are, for we have “inside information,” privileged information, more and better information.

We obviously do not have total, or even adequate, knowledge of ourselves, or of apples, or (if we listen to Aquinas) of even a flea. There is obviously more mystery in a human than in an apple, but there is also more knowledge. I repeat this point because I know it is often not understood: To claim that “we know what we are” is not to claim that we know all that we are, or even that we know adequately or completely or with full understanding anything at all of what we are. We are a living mystery, but we also know much of this mystery. Knowledge and mystery are no more incompatible than eating and hungering for more.

5. We Have Human Rights Because We Are Human

The fifth principle is the indispensable, common-sensical basis for human rights: We have human rights because we are human beings.

We have not yet said what human beings are (e.g., do we have souls?), or what human rights are (e.g., do we have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”?), only the simple point that we have whatever human rights we have because we are whatever it is that makes us human.

This certainly sounds innocent enough, but it implies a general principle. Let’s call that our sixth principle.

6. Morality Is Based on Metaphysics

Metaphysics means simply philosophizing about reality. The sixth principle means that rights depend on reality, and our knowledge of rights depends on our knowledge of reality.

By this point in our argument, some are probably feeling impatient. These impatient ones are common-sensical people, uncorrupted by the chattering classes. They will say, “Of course. We know all this. Get on with it. Get to the controversial stuff.” Ah, but I suspect we began with the controversial stuff. For not all are impatient; others are uneasy. “Too simplistic,” “not nuanced,” “a complex issue”—do these phrases leap to mind as shields to protect you from the spear that you know is coming at the end of the argument?

The principle that morality depends on metaphysics means that rights depend on reality, or what is right depends on what is. Even if you say you are skeptical of metaphysics, we all do use the principle in moral or legal arguments. For instance, in the current debate about “animal rights,” some of us think that animals do have rights and some of us think they don’t, but we all agree that if they do have rights, they have animal rights, not human rights or plant rights, because they are animals, not humans or plants. For instance, a dog doesn’t have the right to vote, as humans do, because dogs are not rational, as humans are. But a dog probably does have a right not to be tortured. Why? Because of what a dog is, and because we really know a little bit about what a dog really is: We really know that a dog feels pain and a tree doesn’t. Dogs have feelings, unlike trees, and dogs don’t have reason, like humans; that’s why it’s wrong to break a limb off a dog but it’s not wrong to break a limb off a tree, and that’s also why dogs don’t have the right to vote but humans do.

7. Moral Arguments Presuppose Metaphysical Principles

The main reason people deny that morality must (or even can) be based on metaphysics is that they say we don’t really know what reality is, we only have opinions. They point out, correctly, that we are less agreed about morality than science or everyday practical facts. We don’t differ about whether the sun is a planet or whether we need to eat to live, but we do differ about things like abortion, capital punishment, and animal rights.

But the very fact that we argue about it—a fact the skeptic points to as a reason for skepticism—is a refutation of skepticism. We don’t argue about how we feel, about subjective things. You never hear an argument like this: “I feel great.” “No, I feel terrible.”

For instance, both pro-lifers and pro-choicers usually agree that it’s wrong to kill innocent persons against their will and it’s not wrong to kill parts of persons, like cancer cells. And both the proponents and opponents of capital punishment usually agree that human life is of great value; that’s why the proponent wants to protect the life of the innocent by executing murderers and why the opponent wants to protect the life even of the murderer. They radically disagree about how to apply the principle that human life is valuable, but they both assume and appeal to that same principle.

8. Might Making Right

All these examples so far are controversial. How to apply moral principles to these issues is controversial. What is not controversial, I hope, is the principle itself that human rights are possessed by human beings because of what they are, because of their being—and not because some other human beings have the power to enforce their will. That would be, literally, “might makes right.” Instead of putting might into the hands of right, that would be pinning the label of “right” on the face of might: justifying force instead of fortifying justice. But that is the only alternative, no matter what the political power structure, no matter who or how many hold the power, whether a single tyrant, or an aristocracy, or a majority of the freely voting public, or the vague sentiment of what Rousseau called “the general will.” The political form does not change the principle. A constitutional monarchy, in which the king and the people are subject to the same law, is a rule of law, not of power; a lawless democracy, in which the will of the majority is unchecked, is a rule of power, not of law.

9. Either All Have Rights or Only Some Have Rights

The reason all human beings have human rights is that all human beings are human. Only two philosophies of human rights are logically possible. Either all human beings have rights, or only some human beings have rights. There is no third possibility. But the reason for believing either one of these two possibilities is even more important than which one you believe.

Suppose you believe that all human beings have rights. Do you believe that all human beings have rights because they are human beings? Do you dare to do metaphysics? Are human rights “inalienable” because they are inherent in human nature, in the human essence, in the human being, in what humans, in fact, are? Or do you believe that all human beings have rights because some human beings say so—because some human wills have declared that all human beings have rights? If it’s the first reason, you are secure against tyranny and usurpation of rights. If it’s the second reason, you are not. For human nature doesn’t change, but human wills do. The same human wills that say today that all humans have rights may well say tomorrow that only some have rights.

10. Why Abortion Is Wrong

Some people want to be killed. I won’t address the morality of voluntary euthanasia here. But clearly, involuntary euthanasia is wrong; clearly, there is a difference between imposing power on another and freely making a contract with another. The contract may still be a bad one, a contract to do a wrong thing, and the mere fact that the parties to the contract entered it freely does not automatically justify doing the thing they contract to do. But harming or killing another against his will, not by free contract, is clearly wrong; if that isn’t wrong, what is?

But that’s what abortion is. Mother Teresa argued, simply, “If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” The fetus doesn’t want to be killed; it seeks to escape. Did you dare to watch The Silent Scream? Did the media dare to allow it to be shown? No, they will censor nothing except the most common operation in America.

11. The Argument From the Nonexistence of Nonpersons

Are persons a subclass of humans, or are humans a subclass of persons? The issue of distinguishing humans and persons comes up only for two reasons: the possibility that there are nonhuman persons, like extraterrestrials, elves, angels, gods, God, or the Persons of the Trinity, or the possibility that there are some nonpersonal humans, unpersons, humans without rights.

Traditional common sense and morality say all humans are persons and have rights. Modern moral relativism says that only some humans are persons, for only those who are given rights by others (i.e., those in power) have rights. Thus, if we have power, we can “depersonalize” any group we want: blacks, slaves, Jews, political enemies, liberals, fundamentalists—or unborn babies.

A common way to state this philosophy is the claim that membership in a biological species confers no rights. I have heard it argued that we do not treat any other species in the traditional way—that is, we do not assign equal rights to all mice. Some we kill (those that get into our houses and prove to be pests); others we take good care of and preserve (those that we find useful in laboratory experiments or those we adopt as pets); still others we simply ignore (mice in the wild). The argument concludes that therefore, it is only sentiment or tradition (the two are often confused, as if nothing rational could be passed down by tradition) that assigns rights to all members of our own species.

12. Three Pro-Life Premises and Three Pro-Choice Alternatives

We have been assuming three premises, and they are the three fundamental assumptions of the pro-life argument. Any one of them can be denied. To be pro-choice, you must deny at least one of them, because taken together they logically entail the pro-life conclusion. But there are three different kinds of pro-choice positions, depending on which of the three pro-life premises is denied.

The first premise is scientific, the second is moral, and the third is legal. The scientific premise is that the life of the individual member of every animal species begins at conception. (This truism was taught by all biology textbooks before Roe and by none after Roe; yet Roe did not discover or appeal to any new scientific discoveries.) In other words, all humans are human, whether embryonic, fetal, infantile, young, mature, old, or dying.

The moral premise is that all humans have the right to life because all humans are human. It is a deduction from the most obvious of all moral rules, the Golden Rule, or justice, or equality. If you would not be killed, do not kill. It’s just not just, not fair. All humans have the human essence and, therefore, are essentially equal.

The legal premise is that the law must protect the most basic human rights. If all humans are human, and if all humans have a right to life, and if the law must protect human rights, then the law must protect the right to life of all humans.

If all three premises are true, the pro-life conclusion follows. From the pro-life point of view, there are only three reasons for being pro-choice: scientific ignorance—appalling ignorance of a scientific fact so basic that nearly everyone in the world knows it; moral ignorance—appalling ignorance of the most basic of all moral rules; or legal ignorance—appalling ignorance of one of the most basic of all the functions of law. But there are significant differences among these different kinds of ignorance.

Scientific ignorance, if it is not ignoring, or deliberate denial or dishonesty, is perhaps pitiable but not morally blame-worthy. You don’t have to be wicked to be stupid. If you believe an unborn baby is only “potential life” or a “group of cells,” then you do not believe you are killing a human being when you abort and might have no qualms of conscience about it. (But why, then, do most mothers who abort feel such terrible pangs of conscience, often for a lifetime?)

Most pro-choice arguments, during the first two decades after Roe, disputed the scientific premise of the pro-life argument. It might be that this was almost always dishonest rather than honest ignorance, but perhaps not, and at least it didn’t directly deny the essential second premise, the moral principle. But pro-choice arguments today increasingly do.

Perhaps pro-choicers perceive that they have no choice but to do this, for they have no other recourse if they are to argue at all. Scientific facts are just too clear to deny, and it makes no legal sense to deny the legal principle, for if the law is not supposed to defend the right to life, what is it supposed to do? So they have to deny the moral principle that leads to the pro-life conclusion. This, I suspect, is a vast and major sea change. The camel has gotten not just his nose, but his torso under the tent. I think most people refuse to think or argue about abortion because they see that the only way to remain pro-choice is to abort their reason first. Or, since many pro-choicers insist that abortion is about sex, not about babies, the only way to justify their scorn of virginity is a scorn of intellectual virginity. The only way to justify their loss of moral innocence is to lose their intellectual innocence.

If the above paragraph offends you, I challenge you to calmly and honestly ask your own conscience and reason whether, where, and why it is false.

13. The Argument from Skepticism

The most likely response to this will be the charge of dogmatism. How dare I pontificate with infallible certainty, and call all who disagree either mentally or morally challenged! All right, here is an argument even for the metaphysical skeptic, who would not even agree with my very first and simplest premise, that we really do know what some things really are, such as what an apple is. (It’s only after you are pinned against the wall and have to justify something like abortion that you become a skeptic and deny such a self-evident principle.)

Roe used such skepticism to justify a pro-choice position. Since we don’t know when human life begins, the argument went, we cannot impose restrictions. (Why it is more restrictive to give life than to take it, I cannot figure out.) So here is my refutation of Roe on its own premises, its skeptical premises: Suppose that not a single principle of this essay is true, beginning with the first one. Suppose that we do not even know what an apple is. Even then abortion is unjustifiable.

Let’s assume not a dogmatic skepticism (which is self-contradictory) but a skeptical skepticism. Let us also assume that we do not know whether a fetus is a person or not. In objective fact, of course, either it is or it isn’t (unless the Court has revoked the Law of Noncontradiction while we were on vacation), but in our subjective minds, we may not know what the fetus is in objective fact. We do know, however, that either it is or isn’t by formal logic alone.

A second thing we know by formal logic alone is that either we do or do not know what a fetus is. Either there is “out there,” in objective fact, independent of our minds, a human life, or there is not; and either there is knowledge in our minds of this objective fact, or there is not.

So, there are four possibilities:

  1. The fetus is a person, and we know that; The fetus is a person, but we don’t know that; The fetus isn’t a person, but we don’t know that;
  2. The fetus isn’t a person, and we know that. What is abortion in each of these four cases?

In Case 1, where the fetus is a person and you know that, abortion is murder. First-degree murder, in fact. You deliberately kill an innocent human being.

In Case 2, where the fetus is a person and you don’t know that, abortion is manslaughter. It’s like driving over a man-shaped overcoat in the street at night or shooting toxic chemicals into a building that you’re not sure is fully evacuated. You’re not sure there is a person there, but you’re not sure there isn’t either, and it just so happens that there is a person there, and you kill him. You cannot plead ignorance. True, you didn’t know there was a person there, but you didn’t know there wasn’t either, so your act was literally the height of irresponsibility. This is the act Roe allowed.

In Case 3, the fetus isn’t a person, but you don’t know that. So abortion is just as irresponsible as it is in the previous case. You ran over the overcoat or fumigated the building without knowing that there were no persons there. You were lucky; there weren’t. But you didn’t care; you didn’t take care; you were just as irresponsible. You cannot legally be charged with manslaughter, since no man was slaughtered, but you can and should be charged with criminal negligence.

Only in Case 4 is abortion a reasonable, permissible, and responsible choice. But note: What makes Case 4 permissible is not merely the fact that the fetus is not a person but also your knowledge that it is not, your overcoming of skepticism. So skepticism counts not for abortion but against it. Only if you are not a skeptic, only if you are a dogmatist, only if you are certain that there is no person in the fetus, no man in the coat, or no person in the building, may you abort, drive, or fumigate.

This undercuts even our weakest, least honest escape: to pretend that we don’t even know what an apple is, just so we have an excuse for pleading that we don’t know what an abortion is.

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20 thoughts on “The Apple Argument against Abortion”

  1. jason french says:

    One of the most reasonable explanations i’ve seen – however, if we argue from human reason alone and not from an absolutely, authoritatively objective and divine revelation, we will still lose the argument….humans may be saved physically but they still have to stand before God both physically and spiritually, then spend eternity somewhere. Reason may further incriminate us, but it won’t solve the problem – only the Gospel can do that. Thanks for the post, Justin!

  2. Phil says:

    This article is completely devoid of any discussion about the rights a woman has to her own body.

    While the author of the article presumably believes that she has none under these circumstances, most women disagree.

    1. Evan May says:

      “This article is completely devoid of any discussion about the rights a woman has to her own body.”

      Abortion isn’t an issue of what a woman does to her own body, but what a woman does to her own body *and someone else’s body*.

      A suicide bomber who blows up a building filled with people is not just exercising his “right” over his own body, but all the other bodies in the building.

    2. Thomas says:

      Following logically from this article’s reasoning, I believe the argument would be that BOTH male babies and female babies share the same rights to their body and to their life. It seems quite simple. Abortion would be wrong in both cases.

  3. Natalie says:

    I understand that you, through this article tried to cleverly coerce people into seeing abortion as a simple yes or no scenario but I feel that you have completely failed at your task. You started off with what I thought would be a clever argument likening and apple to abortion and then appeared to drop that half way through almost as if you forgot about your primary point. This article lacks discussion and frankly could be half the size. You spend the majority talking absolute nonsense, I get that you wanted to be philosophical but why couldn’t you just make your point. I was one of those people that thought, get on with it. Not because I was impatient but because it was going absolutely no where. After all this discussion you made some very good points with the three premises but then lost it when you assumed that the only reason to be pro choice was ignorance. Abortion is not a simple issue and I think that you should maybe think about that. By denying a woman the right to make a decision about her body you are taking away a human right. You are making her live with a child she does not want and leaving that child in an environment where it is not wanted. In doing this, it almost becomes a punishment for having un-safe sex and that is not right. Does that child deserve to die for her mistake?, no it doesn’t. Even now I am still undecided on my opinion of abortion because it is not straight forward, Like most things in life. I think before you try and write an article about how an Apple is a good argument against abortion and then list 3 simple premises. Make sure that article at least contains a discussion and follows a firm thought process.

    1. Evan May says:

      Hi Natalie,

      “By denying a woman the right to make a decision about her body you are taking away a human right.”

      You commit the same error that Phil does above. Abortion is not simply an issue of the woman’s body, but the woman’s body *and the baby’s body*.

      And from where are you deriving that it is a human right for someone to make any decision with respect to their own body? Is it a human right for someone to end their own life, to destroy their body?

      “You are making her live with a child she does not want and leaving that child in an environment where it is not wanted.”

      Is that the only alternative to abortion?

      1. Phil says:


        What you call an “error” is, in reality, a philosophical disagreement. I happen to think you are the one “in error.” (by finding that a woman has no rights to her own body once conception happens).

        1. Evan May says:

          “…a woman has no rights to her own body”

          You are continuing to beg the question.

          1. Phil says:


            Do you believe that a woman has a right to terminate a pregnancy at the embryo stage?

            If not, then your findings of “error” and “begging the question” are irrelevant.

            My point is that most woman disagree with you. They believe they have some rights in this area (for example, if conception is due to rape).

            I don’t believe I am saying anything controversial here at all. Indeed, I am stating what is (objectively) true.

            1. Justin Keller says:

              @Phil – If you are simply noting that the majority of women disagree, then that is indeed an objective statement that can be falsified or verified.

              But that is not the only thing you appear to be doing. By appealing to “most women,” it certainly appears to this reader (who is admittedly fallible) that you are thereby dismissing charges of circular reasoning and error. And that is an ad populum logical fallacy.

              You also set up a false dichotomy by pitting “error” against “philosophical disagreement.” And you use the term “philosophical disagreement” in a way that no professional philosopher, theologian, or logician would recognize — at least none that I studied with in school or now work alongside professionally. In those circles, having a “philosophical disagreement” means having an argument about truth and error. You seem to think it means the same thing as “personal opinion.”

              The majority can be wrong, even as they can be right. Appealing to the majority proves little to nothing. Disagreements over matters of fact mean someone is wrong — maybe one party to a debate, maybe the other party, maybe both parties. And if from the moment of conception we have a human being, then in abortion there are two parties whose basic human rights must be accounted for, not just the rights of the mother.

              Kreeft’s piece is brilliant not only because he takes logical and metaphysical concepts and makes them understandable, but also because he takes basic premises under which all of us operate and shows how they lead to conclusions which so many seek to avoid.

              1. Phil says:


                Yes, I was simply noting that most women disagree. That is, most women believe that they in fact have certain rights to their body (for example, they have the right to decide whether they want their body to house/host the embryo) under certain circumstances. (Rape being the primary example).

                Indeed, this article is completely devoid of any discussion about a woman’s rights to her own body, and the relationship of a woman’s rights to the embryo’s rights. As I stated above, presumably the author of the article believes a woman has no rights, or any rights a woman has are trumped by an embryo’s right to life. Most women disagree. (NOTE, I am not saying women have good, or even thought out, arguments for why. Maybe women only have bad arguments. But I doubt it, and I think recognizing that women believe they should have such rights is important.)

                Evan’s charge of “begging the question” and “error” were mistaken for 2 reasons (he either misunderstood what I was saying or I didn’t say it clearly enough): 1) I was simply noting that most women disagree. I wasn’t making an argument. 2) He was assuming that I was saying that an embryo=merely a part of a woman’s body, without rights. I didn’t say that.

                With regard to “philosophical disagreement,” I certainly was unclear. I was referring to the fact that Evan and I clearly have different ideas on the intersection of a woman’s rights and an embryo’s rights. I think this qualifies as a “philosophical disagreement,” even if only in a colloquial sense.

                One thing you wrote struck me: “If, from the moment of conception, we have a human being, then in abortion there are two parties whose basic human rights must be accounted for.” I agree 100%.

                Finally, I read Kreft’s piece three times. I still don’t understand his whole “We all know what an apple is” thing. We all certainly can recognize a mature, red delicious. But isn’t the question: When does an apple becomes an apple?

    2. Cameron says:

      Regarding the rights of the mother “It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish “-Mother Theresa.

      This issue is once again a case of the golden rule which was mentioned above. Adoption is a viable alternative in most cases. What is also needed is more support for the mother.

  4. Thomas says:

    I think you are right, Natalie–abortion for sure is not a simple issue. I do believe, however, that the ultimate answer is simple, and that answer is Jesus. As you say, the child in the womb does not deserve to die for the mother’s mistake. What is so wonderful is that Jesus has already died for our mistakes! And as we run to him for salvation, he asks us to deny ourselves and follow and love HIM. That is so contrary to what the world is constantly saying: “It’s your life, it’s your body, it’s your future–just do whatever is best for YOU YOU YOU.” But Jesus says, come to me and become free to live for Me, and to do what pleases Me! I died for the world; I died for the brokenhearted and the imprisoned and the abused and the helpless and the poor. Let them LIVE! Serve and help them, in My Name! They are Mine! Only He can free us up to be committed to help each other in all of this.

  5. Mike says:

    I liked this article, but thought of one objection that someone may encounter. Are there conditions for which these rights are subject to change? Do humans always have the right to life or can it be forfeited? If it cannot be forfeited, then war and capital punishment are also morally and criminally wrong. If it can be forfeited, the perhaps difficult and subjective task of delineating when humans do and don’t have the right to life begins. Are these conditions based on science (existence if brain activity), morality (a community gut feeling), or legal/political decisions (consensus of the powerful regarding capital offenses). It seems like once there are conditions for the forfeiture of human rights, the discussion becomes subject to the assumptions and worldview of the one considering the issue.

    1. Shayne McAllister says:

      If Democrats in this country came to Republicans and said “look, you give up capital punishment, and we’ll give up abortion,” the deal would be signed in a matter of seconds.

      The right to life can be forfeited. Let’s take the case of a man walking through a mall killing people at random. An officer shoots him and goes home to his family sad, but the law, morality, justice, and common sense are on his side. Why? Because by behaving this irresponsibly towards his fellow man, and taking their life, he had forfeited his right to life (not so with the unborn). The rights of the community to live trumped his own. Since the right to life can be forfeited in the moment of attack and agression, the question is why wouldn’t it be the same in the course of due process of law? A community could decide that the murderous actions (let’s say of the same murderer above is shot, but survives) result in the forfeiture of his life for the good of the community, because of his murderous actions.

      “It seems like once there are conditions for the forfeiture of human rights, the discussion becomes subject to the assumptions and worldview of the one considering the issue.”

      Human rights can always be forfeited by the actions of the individual, to pretend that they aren’t every day isn’t giving the full picture. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can all be curtailed and forfeited by criminal acts. People are in jail in America. If they didn’t commit a crime, then that’s taking away their right to liberty. It’s a violation of human rights based on law, common morality, and God. Everyone has a worldview. The question is about whose will win.

  6. Bob says:

    Loquacious. Do we really have to reason this through? If God’s Word isn’t clear, the answer is hard-coded in our genes.

  7. Joseph Rhea says:


    Thanks for this article; it’s logically sound and I find it compelling.

    I completely agree with you about the infant’s right to life, but I wondered what you would say in circumstances where the infant’s life was endangering the mother’s. “Health” as justification for abortion seems to be way too widely (inanely, maybe) used, but at least on a root philosophical level there is the possibility that two human beings’ lives might not be able to be saved simultaneously. Would that be a special moral or legal case?

    Again, I’m pro-life, but I’m just wondering about this possible logical objection.

  8. Jon says:

    What would a ban on abortion look like in the United States of America, particularly in light of the Supreme Court Roe V Wade ruling? How would such a ban be implemented?

    1. Jon says:

      This is how one country implements it. Are we ready to go this route? I have never understood the States rights arguement which seem to be what I hear a lot when it comes to implementation of a ban.

      The Philippines is one of a handful of countries to prohibit and criminally punish abortion without recognizing
      a clear legal exception for the procedure in any circumstance. As a result, a woman or adolescent girl cannot
      terminate her pregnancy legally and safely, even if it poses a risk to her life or health, if the pregnancy is
      caused by a criminal act such as rape or incest, or in cases of fetal impairment. This prohibition on abortion is
      expressed in the Revised Penal Code of 19307 which largely replicates the Spanish Penal Code of 1870.8 The
      law punishes both the provider of an abortion and the pregnant woman with prison terms of up to six years
      depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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