10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media

There are a lot of important issues at the time of an election. I'm not sure any are more important than abortion (because I know of no other national issue involving the intentional, direct killing of a human being). Some would say that makes me a single-issue voter (and perhaps I will comment on that at another time). But yesterday Trevin Wax listed ten questions a pro-choice candidate is never asked by the media (but should be). I love these questions! You can see the original post here.

I think these questions are brilliant. As you read them – stop and consider how amazing these questions are and how important they are. And imagine how any candidate might answer them.

Here it is reposted…

Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard
questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for
pro-choice candidates.

Here are 10 questions you never hear a pro-choice candidate asked by the media:

1. You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive
choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any
restrictions you would approve of?

2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story
on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world –
abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a
problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to
terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?

3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her
parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school
nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or
parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?

4. If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when
do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn
child have human rights?

5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down
Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that
this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the
slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem
“unfit” to live?

6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her
religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and
contraception to employees?

7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that
“abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact
that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for
59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority
of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of
minorities?

8. You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not
morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is
something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical
procedures?

9. Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?

10. If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you
believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a
harsher sentence?

So – what do you think? Do you think these are fair questions?

11 comments
  1. This is excellent. I have noticed that it is always the pro-life candidates that are highlighted in the news for making alleged clumsy statements about abortions. The “pro-choice” candidates get a pass. I put “pro-choice” in quotes because the baby has no choice in the matter.

  2. The use of drone strikes is another national issue involving the intentional, direct killing of human beings. Strikes have killed people with no terrorist involvement, and also one case of a 16 year US citizen.

    But to the abortion issue, most of the questions aren’t fair because of their clear bias, misinformation, and misunderstanding on of the reproduction process and how contraceptives work. To give good answers to the questions as they are stated doesn’t provide the sound bites that our society likes. There is a women who did support the pro-life movement and has switched her thoughts on the matter and wrote an excellent post about it that was brought to my attention today. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

  3. I assume that you don’t not think those are good answers, so I have to turn the question back to you. Why do you not think those are not good answers?

    Some of the answers given could be expounded on more, but for trying to keep a relatively short blog post they make their point. I would have liked it if she wrote more addressing personal liberty, embryonic development, birth control mechanisms, religion in determining laws for a pluralistic society, and economic disparity but for her audience they are familiar with those issues.

    I would assume that you do not like those answers because you believe “life” starts at conception. That is a religiously based belief, I have stated in your other post that it is not one I think is not fully supported in the Bible, however there is no known determination when “life” or personhood begins. It is interesting that Jews permit abortion and may even require it, why should your religious belief take precedence over theirs?

  4. Here is another source for answers to these 10 questions: http://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2012/11/01/all-right-peter-ill-bite/

    But Mr. Brassington is a little bit more explicit about what underlies his position. Even if a child in the womb is human, it doesn’t necessarily have a right to birth. It’s perfectly moral to kill a living child in the womb if it would be inconvenient for the mother (even Brassington would probably not put it so bluntly, but that is the force of his arguments around a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body).

    I write his arguments so dramatically to prove a point. We are tempted in reading some of these responses (or even in composing the questions) to say, “That sounds right!” or “That seems true!” or “Oh, that’s terrible!” in some kind of emotional response. We base our reasoning on little more than our own heads and hearts. But our hearts in particular are easily deceived.

    Let’s begin reasoning inductively, from biblical principles, rather than relying on the emotivism that has resulted from a failed enlightenment project to justify morality deductively.

    Before we discuss the morality of abortion or contraception, we must have a firm grasp on the questions, “What is man?” We must know our purpose, our teleology. We must ask, “What is family?” and “How did God design us to interact?”

    The Church in the west seems to be in great need of a new anthropology.

  5. I think that Mr. Brassington would say that having an abortion at any stage is amoral, the circumstances would determine if it was moral or not, but that is just my feeling. I don’t see this conversation getting emotional responses, so I am not sure Matt why you are trying to elicit one.

    It is quite a statement to say that trying to determine morality deductively has failed, I would disagree and see it as the best option for trying to reason with people the may disagree with you. Trying to reason inductively from biblical principles is only useful when people are working from the basis that the Bible is useful for determining morality. As I pointed out in my other comment the Bible seems fine with killing children, in the womb or not.

    Bringing this back to the context of the election our representatives need to represent their constituents equally whether Christian, Jew, Mormon, Muslim, Athiest, ect… so they can hold whatever beliefs they want but they cannot force or legislate those beliefs on others. Within a religion there may be no agreement on these issues so we have landed in a realm of personal freedom.

    “What is man?” A human being is a bipedal primate. That definition could be longer but that should suffice.
    “What is our purpose?” On a cosmic level none. On a planetary level hopefully we don’t all kill each other or the planet. On a personal level to enjoy the very temporary life that we have and help others to do the same.
    “What is family?” The closest group of people that we choose to share our life with and have them share ours.
    “How did God design us to interact?” No God designed us, we are the result of a very slow natural process, in which we are just another progression. If we do not learn to interact outside of the tribal mentality we evolved from we may end further progressions.

    I would defend any women that would choose to have an abortion or to not have one, it is her choice. I see no reason that the potential person developing in her should trump her actual person.

  6. Mark,

    I appreciate your intellectual honesty so far. Perhaps you’d be willing to take it a bit further.

    You have demonstrated moral judgments and made moral utterances. On what do you base any of your decisions about what is moral or immoral?

    Is there anything outside of yourself on which you base your reasoning?

  7. I base my decisions about what is moral or immoral on the harm caused or the benefit created.

    I base my reasoning upon what we can know, prove or demonstrate to be true. If there are things that fall outside of that then we must make the best decisions that we can with the limited information that we have.

    How about you?

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