Pro-lifers, particularly male pro-lifers, get this objection all the time. Generally it goes like this: “You are a man. Fie on you for speaking about abortion. It behooves you not to even have an opinion!” Some people seem to think that since men cannot get pregnant, they are not allowed to have an opinion about abortion. I have heard a number of persons add that pro-lifers all seem to be white men in particular. Interestingly enough, I have heard the “you are all white men” objection solely from white men. However, I will focus primarily on the question as to whether we are all men before discussing the objection that we are all Caucasians, since I think that is more relevant (and a more common complaint).
First of all, if what pro-choice advocates are saying is that most or all pro-lifers are men, the objection is not even very accurate. Statistics show that there is actually a very narrow difference. From 2015 to 2018, 2015-2018 47% of men and 44% of women in the U.S. typically choose the pro-life label while 50% of women and 46% of men choose the pro-choice label. As a matter of fact, it is roughly equal at about 19% of both men and women who say that abortion should be illegal under all circumstances (I am one of them and in my opinion they are the only true pro-lifers). So I could hardly say it is fair to say we are all men.
More importantly, however, even if we were all men, that would still not discredit the pro-life position, the reason being that the entire argument is an ad hominem. How does the fact that all pro-lifers are male make their logical argumentation less valid? Now a pro-choice advocate might say it does not concern men. In a sense, that is true. Certainly, I am not in utero, for which reason the legality of abortion does not really effect me, nor indeed am I a woman, for which reason I am not about to experience an undesired pregnancy. However, we tell people to do or not to do things which do not effect us all the time. For instance, in the case of protecting the environment, the world will most likely not become inhabitable in our time on account of climate change, much less in the lifetimes of older individuals who are more often the one in charge of such policies. Now many will argue that on account of them being older, they do not seem to care about doing their job to combat pollution and other such things as much. That may be true, but it is not the point. Certainly they ought to try to protect the environment, though perhaps not for their own sake, for the sake of future generations. Honestly, I myself am glad to have been given the chance to be born and I would like others to have a similar chance. If a fetus is a human person, does not a man have as much right to speak out for those who have no voices as a woman does?
And second of all, are all the pro-lifers actually white? According to pew research in 2021, the pro-life stance is most common among Caucasians, as 42% say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, although they are actually followed closely by Hispanic people at 40%. 31% of African-Americans and 30% of Asians hold the same view. I would note that Hispanic people are actually very close to Caucasians while African-Americans and Asians are about ten lower and also at roughly at the same level.
But again, this is another ad hominem, and a somewhat racist one as well. Whatever does the color of one’s skin have to do with abortion? Is it racist for a white person to oppose abortion because black people are more likely to get pregnant out of wedlock? That is like saying one wishes to legalize drugs to keep African-Americans out of prison. For cultural reasons mostly, drugs are unfortunately more common in the African-American community, but it is still somewhat unreasonable to say it is “helping” African-Americans more than any other group to de-criminalize drugs on that account, since it is not as if persons of African descent have a greater temptation toward cannabis or cocaine than any other group—and the same could be said of abortion. But whatever is the case, again it could be said that none of this discredits the logic of the arguments of pro-lifers. Indeed (and I say this as a minority myself) how can it not be anything but racist to claim that a human being should not have an opinion on a given issue (especially an issue which does not concern race whatsoever) on account of the color of his skin?
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