Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 72 (3) August 2022

Book Review

Speaking for the Unborn
30-Second Pro-Life Rebuttals to Pro-Choice Arguments

by Steven A Christie, M.D., J.D.
Emma’s Road Publishing

Book CoverThis book is a wonderful pro-life resource. What it does so well is to give the reader the ability to respond to pro-abortion arguments in a manner that is brief, sensible and charitable. The author is both a medical doctor and a lawyer. He was also pro-choice for many years. He is thus able to understand the opinions of the pro-abortion lobby and give good argu- ments to counter them.

Let us examine his seven brief rebuttals to the statement: "Nobody really knows when life begins. It is really a personal or philosophical or religious question" Justice Sotomayer needs to read the rebuttals. Firstly, science tells us life begins at conception. Secondly, pro-choice scientists agree with this statement that life begins at conception. Thirdly, what pro-choicers are really saying when making the statement that it is all subjective is that only some human lives matter. Fourth, even a for- mer director of Planned Parenthood agrees that life begins at fertilisation. Fifth, that life begins at conception is noted in Planned Parenthood liter- ature. Sixth, if death is defined as the cessation of the heartbeat and brainwaves, it is logical to say there is life when the heartbeat and brainwaves exist. Seventh, if a living cell is found on Mars, it would be proclaimed that there is life on Mars. I might also add that it is ironic for an atheist like Peter Singer to turn to some kind of faith when he makes the unscientific claim that human life achieves personhood only some time after birth. Why stop there?

What about the argument that abortion affects women and therefore only women should talk about it? The author proposes two rebuttals. Firstly, abortion is an issue about human rights. Secondly, my personal identity has nothing to do with the morality of abortion.

I remember having a discussion with a woman at medical school who told me that only women should talk about abortion as only women are affected. I asked her if she was against apartheid, and she testilly responded "of course." She was not pleased when I pointed out that she should not have a view as she was not black. Also, the pro-life champion Jack Scarisbrick asked me to give a series of talks on abortion and mental health some years ago. There were consistently more women than men in the audience.

As one might expect, the author looks at abortion in so-called hard cases: disability and rape. The rebuttals are excellent and, as always in this book, they are brief and to the point.There are some wonderful images throughout the book. I particularly liked the photo of Justice Amy Coney Barrett with the caption: " Without abortion, women might have to settle and not for having 7 kids and sitting on the highest court in the land." Let us pray that she will live up to her pro-life reputation.

I found this book to be a brilliant resource. Ideal for the busy person both in and outside of health care.