Salon tries, fails to teach pro-choicers how to effectively argue with pro-life relatives

By Carole Novielli

Ten suggestions on how to argue abortion with your pro-life relatives, published by Salon, gives some indication that abortion supporters are having to be much more creative to defend the indefensible.

In the article, entitled, “How to argue with your relatives about abortion: A few arguments that don’t work with pro-lifers and some that might,” Shawna Kay Rodenberg gives some interesting insight into the mindset of those who claim to want to sway solidly pro-life beliefs.

Some of Rodenberg’s recommendations are in bold below, along with my thoughts:

“First, acknowledge that abortion isn’t only a conservative Christian concern.”

Showing respect for pro-life beliefs is something you do not always hear from those who advocate for the taking of life in the womb. But, interestingly, Rodenberg admits that many religions believe abortion is morally wrong, writing:

Even the Dalai Lama has said that abortion is an act of killing but “it should be approved or disapproved according to each woman’s circumstance.” Fetus-protecting politics are not exclusive to Christian traditions, so when you’re sitting across from your Aunt Cheryl at the holiday table, pretend she’s a Buddhist so you’ll be more patient with her.


“Don’t argue semantics like using “anti-abortion” versus “pro-life.”

“Remember that her news feed does not resemble yours.”

These are good pieces of advice for everyone. However, Rodenberg’s next few suggestions caught my eye because they actually acknowledge the humanity of the baby while in their mother’s womb…

“Never say that a fetus is not a baby or argue that it is not alive.”

Wait… isn’t that one of the main points abortion advocates make when discussing the legality of abortion? The ‘fetus’ is nearly always dehumanized as a ‘blob of tissue,’ a ‘product of conception/POC,’ a ‘non-sentient’ form of life, or even a ‘parasite’ attached to the unwilling ‘carrier’ (the pregnant woman). And yet, amazingly, Rodenberg tells readers to “concede the human-ness of the fetus:”

Pro-life women are disgusted by the “vagina as magic portal”-style pro-choice argument in which some dark magic takes place during birth that transforms a fetus into a person. Even if you maintain that independent breathing marks the beginning of life, many premature infants cannot breathe on their own, but we still call them infants, not fetuses. Concede the human-ness of the fetus.

The reality is that abortion absolutely kills a preborn human in the womb — a truth even the most hardened abortionist is now admitting, as Live Action News has reported. This Salon writer’s instruction to readers suggests that the “my body, my choice” argument is falling apart, thanks to abortion victim imagery, sonograms, 4-D ultrasounds and successful fetal surgery (along with the rise of social media, which has shone a light on the indefensibility of abortion).

This is even more obvious in Rodenberg’s next suggestion.

“Don’t argue that abortion gives a woman autonomy over her body.”

Whoa… wait a minute! I thought that was the whole argument! Am I confused? Didn’t seven men on the Supreme Court who ruled in favor of Roe v. Wade somehow grant women a ‘right to privacy’ to do what they wanted with their bodies, even if it takes another human life? Apparently, Salon has conceded this argument:

In doing so, you infer that the woman’s body is the only one involved, and whether you believe a fetus should have civil rights or not, we must all admit that it does in fact have a body, a tiny physical manifestation. Denying that it does ensures you will lose the argument.

Silly me… I thought Rodenberg’s Salon article was supposed to be about how to defend the pro-abortion position, not how to concede pro-life arguments! The article continues with more points…

“Don’t argue against adoption as a viable alternative.”

“Don’t talk about exceptions for cases of rape.”

Hmm… this suggestion is also puzzling because Roe was based on the lie that the woman in the case, “Jane Roe” (Norma McCorvey) was raped. It’s also puzzling because whenever pro-life laws are passed, abortion advocates always mention the so-called “hard cases” (rape, incest, and life of the mother).

The truth behind the rhetoric, however, is that there are many women who have chosen life for their babies after the trauma of rape — despite feeling external pressure to abort. And some women who did choose abortion after rape have testified to the ongoing victimization that the abortion thrust upon them.

“Never contend that abortion is a single issue and there are other issues of equal importance.”

According to Rodenberg, the reason for this is:

They [pro-lifers] are consistent in their belief that all people, even those who are terminally ill, should live for as long as God intends. Many argue, quite validly, that legalizing euthanasia would place undue pressure on elderly, disabled and terminally ill people, especially when there’s poverty, to end their lives before they burden their families.

But never fear! The world hasn’t turned upside down. Salon isn’t actually being reasonable; in many of Rosenberg’s suggestions, she takes jabs at her opponents, suggesting pro-lifers are only concerned about “the sanctity of the white middle-class lives of men and children.”

However, it is not abortion supporters but pro-lifers who oppose abortion being used as a tool for eugenic genocide against minorities. Rodenberg completely disregards the thousands of Black and Hispanic pro-lifers and the many minority groups who oppose abortion and shed light on the history of Planned Parenthood’s eugenic roots.

Rodenberg even suggests that Planned Parenthood is the solution to abortion instead of admitting that they are, in essence, an abortion Goliath, saying, “Emphasize the importance of pregnancy prevention”:

Tell your Aunt Cheryl that the vibrant presence of many organizations advocating for women’s health, such as the leviathan Planned Parenthood, decreases the number of abortions women seek. At least you’re acknowledging that abortion is not ideal and she will appreciate that. Tell her funding cuts to Planned Parenthood have been proved to cause a rise in the number of abortions sought, specifically by low-income women.

Hmm… let’s hope that “Aunt Cheryl” sees through this nonsense rhetoric and is aware of Live Action’s video which breaks down Planned Parenthood’s self-reported corporate data, revealing how abortion is the organization’s core service and chief money-maker:

Indeed, perhaps “Aunt Cheryl” would accurately reply that abortions at Planned Parenthood have generally increasednot decreased as Rodenberg has suggested — while non-abortion services (STD testing, pap smears, etc.) have been on the decline.

Rodenberg’s last suggestion is simply spine chilling. She attempts to claim that “if” a child is at risk for abuse, then that child should instead be killed.

Under the point, “Unintended pregnancies carry risks for the child, too,” she writes:

Aunt Cheryl should also know that women who aren’t prepared to care for children or have adequate support are statistically more likely to neglect and abuse such children after they’re born. They are more likely to suffer depression and less likely to bond and less prone to seek prenatal care and more likely to experience domestic violence during pregnancy. Their babies are more likely to die even in the absence of abortion… In your Aunt Cheryl’s sheltered mind palace, every woman loves her baby. Remind her that is not always the case, that not all women are cut out to be mothers.

“Sheltered mind palace”? No, Ms. Rodenberg, it’s not that pro-lifers like Aunt Cheryl are living in la-la land — it’s simply that we don’t think a child should be killed simply because one person has decided that the child has no value.

And thus, Salon comes full circle from an air of reasonability to the standard pro-abortion mentality: ‘Unwanted babies are better off dead!’ While Rodenberg clearly acknowledged that the preborn in the womb is, in fact, a human, she failed to draw the conclusion that purposely killing that human is unjustifiable murder.

In the end, if Salon’s readers attempted to use Rodenberg’s suggestions, I would hope that the fictitious, pro-life “Aunt Cheryl” graciously made mincemeat out of them.

Editor’s note. This appeared in Live Action News and is reposted with permission.