Today’s contest is between two pro-life arguments. The question is, which is sillier?

As a pro-choice activist, I have had many debates on the topic of abortion. Most of them have been strange affairs. In my experience, the pro-life position is almost always based on a belief that the soul enters the body at conception, but that being a religious dogma, advocates can never come out and say they want to impose their dogma on the rest of us because that wouldn’t be constitutional. So, instead, they must make other arguments that appear non-religious.  This can make them sound really silly, even when they are actually intelligent people. I have grudging respect for the ways pro-life debaters hide their religious argument in other packages. Our question this week is, which of these is the sillier argument. And judges, it won’t be an easy decision.

The first argument was made by Rep. Marsha Blackburn that removing exceptions against rape would force more women to report the crime and thus get more rapists off the street.

“There is a reporting requirement in the text of the bill. And the hope is that that will help in getting some of these perpetrators out of the population that are committing these crimes against women and against minor females.” -Rep. Blackburn

So, this anti-choice argument is based on the premise that instantly after a woman has survived what may be the worst moment of her life, she should be forced to prosecute the rapist or relinquish control over her reproductive life. The argument claims its purpose is to reduce rape. So, that’s our first pro-life argument.

The second argument is by Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas who observes that a male fetus at 15 weeks can be seen putting his hand between their legs, so he must feel pleasure. It follows with euclidic certainty that if he can feel pleasure, they can experience pain and therefore abortion must be banned after 15 weeks.

There’s no question in my mind…that a baby at 20 weeks after conception can feel pain…I thought the date was far too late…Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. They feel pleasure. Why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain? -Rep. Burgess

Yikes. This isn’t going to be easy. So which is the dumber argument?

1. Ending the rape exemption will force traumatized women to file charges and thus get rapists off the streets,


2. If male 15 week fetuses put their hand between their legs, they are stimulating themselves and thus feel pleasure, which also means they feel pain, which means abortion should be banned at 15 weeks.


If you need more evidence, here are the links: