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Person 1: Abortion is okay until the fetus is viable. Person 2 (our hero): I’m glad we agree abortion is wrong if the fetus is viable. I’d like to understand your view better. Before viability, would you say the fetus is a human person?


Where you go from here will depend on their answer. If your conversation partner says no, then the main disagreement between the two of you is about the status of the preborn. It might be help to point out that viability varies depending on a lot of external factors that have nothing to do with the fetus herself. For example, in the United States we’re lucky to have great resources available, but in a developing nation with fewer and lower quality resources, the viability line is much later.

On the other hand, the person you’re speaking to might agree that the fetus is a valuable human person even before viability. In this case, the two of you mainly disagree about the ethics of killing. They might think that ending a pregnancy should always be an option, and until viability ending the pregnancy always also means ending the child’s life, but after viability that’s no longer the case. Ask more questions until you have a better understanding of their view. For example, clarify what they think should happen if a woman decides she wants to stop being pregnant after the fetus is viable.

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Person 1 (our hero): You and I equally deserve the right to life. So do all our friends. What do we have in common that makes us equal? Person 2: We can all survive on our own. Person 1 (our hero): Hm. If that’s the right explanation, ducks deserve the same right to life as us.Person 1: A fetus is a parasite. Person 2 (our hero): I see the similarities. Help me understand. Are you saying a fetus isn’t a person, like a tapeworm isn’t a person? Or are you saying abortion is okay even if a fetus is a person, since she’s using her mom’s body?Person 1: A fetus is a parasite. Person 2 (our hero): It’s true that the fetus is entirely dependent on another person. Many elderly adults suffer from depression because they feel guilty about being in a similar position.Person 1: So that’s why I’m pro-choice. Person 2 (our hero): Thanks for explaining. I think I get it, but I want to make sure I understand your view correctly. Let me ask a couple questions to clarify.
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