What would it take for you to change your mind on abortion?

At the moment, abortion is on the nation’s agenda. It’s about time I think; it’s amazing that such an extraordinarily significant issue is essentially a “do not discuss” zone in Australia. I’m going to strike while the iron is hot and do some blogging on it, but…

There’s one serious problem with the discussion on abortion I’ve heard so far – pigheaded certainty. If you are committed to never, ever changing your mind, real discussion can never, ever happen.

Whatever your stance, if you can never be changed by the other’s argument, you can never really discuss it. You will only assert, assert, assert you own view and deny, deny, deny the other’s. Doubt is such an important part of public discourse, it’s the admission that I could be wrong. A bit of doubt means you’ll really listen to the other’s argument, because, well, they just might be right. When you make that admission, the other’s defences lower, your arrogance lowers, and people can really share ideas, and listen, and change.

I don’t think abortion will ever be an easy topic. But I do want it to be a public one. And I do want it to be a thoughtful one. What sort of argument could change your mind? Is anyone making it?

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3 responses to “What would it take for you to change your mind on abortion?

  1. I was debating this issue with friends a few days ago. They all had a very strong pro-choice view about abortion. Because the debate had developed out of another about euthanasia, I raised Peter Singer’s argument that “unproductive” (=disabled) humans (adults and babies) should be killed if it would prove quality of life for those around them. My friends disagreed with Singer, declaring that the disabled bring much that it is positive to our society. The inability to reconcile this view of the disabled (compassion, love and care) wiith a pro-choice view of abortion is the thing that I hope will keep them thinking.

  2. No one I have ever encountered has (seriously) tried to argue that it’s God’s will that there is a case for abortion. I don’t know why this is. Maybe it can’t realistically be argued? I generalise, that pro-abortion advocates rarely place authority on God’s word or will? That’s the kind of argument that would change my mind, and no, no one is making it.

  3. I’m not sure there is only one abortion question. Is it always wrong? Is it generally wrong? Should it be illegal? Three different questions.
    While the last is a practical question that must be answered.. one way or another…why must we answer the others for all people and all time? How can we?

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