Posts Tagged ‘Bodily Rights’

posted by Life Report, July 12, 2013 @ 10:59 am

6 Tips for Arguing with Analogies Clearly

Download Audio MP3 | 00:22:29

6 Tips for Arguing with Analogies ClearlyI got a wonderful email from Andres in Santa Barbara who was in a dialogue about abortion and used an analogy about being hooked up to a machine in order to demonstrate that your personhood isn’t based on your dependance. But the person he was talking to retorted, “Are you comparing a woman to a machine?!” Andres wants to know what I would suggest we do to avoid throwing people off when the analogies we use seem, at a surface level, to demean pregnant women.

In the video, I offer six tips for making clear analogies and responding to people who continue to misinterpret them.

  1. Make sure you’re communicating clearly.
  2. Narrate the debate.
  3. Suggest a golden rule for dialogue.
  4. Explain that analogies are just that…analogies!
  5. Explain that pro-choice people would be wise to not throw out all analogies.
  6. Determine the right time to politely end the conversation.

Related Links:

  • Click here for more resources about bodily rights argument for abortion.

I’ve been privileged to participate in a philosophy study group with folks from the JFA community.  Stephen Wagner, writing for the group, just completed a first draft of a long-awaited paper detailing a response to what we believe is the toughest pro-choice argument, a bodily rights argument that claims that a woman has a legal right to refuse to allow the unborn to use her body, especially in the case of rape and very early in pregnancy (a version of the Violinist argument).  Our response is available for download here.  Eager for public interaction with the paper, we decided to make this post the official internet download site in order to focus public discussion of the paper in one place, using the commenting features within this post.

De Facto Guardian and Abortion: A Response to the Strongest Violinist (PDF)

With this paper, we hope to push the dialogue about bodily rights arguments in a direction we haven’t seen very prominent in the literature or on the web.  We look forward to hearing what you think!

UPDATE: 3/26/14: You can now download audio of me teaching this material at a Students for Life conference by clicking here. Some people have told me it was easier for them to listen to the speech first to get the basic concepts in their head before reading the paper.



Download Audio MP3 | 00:04:20

Josh responds to a listener mail question asking whether the potential health benefits a mother receives during pregnancy negate bodily rights arguments.

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posted by Life Report, July 12, 2012 @ 9:57 am

Violinist Reasoning. SPECIAL GUEST: Trent Horn

Download Audio MP3 | 00:28:00

Pro-life advocate Trent Horn explains how some pro-choice arguments don’t seem so crazy if you view them through the lens of Judith Jarvis Thompson’s violinist analogy instead of an anti-personhood worldview. This is very important, because we want to understand where pro-choice people are coming from, and in my experience, more and more of them are coming from a bodily rights case and not only an anti-fetal-personhood view.

Trent Horn is the Coordinator of Respect Life Leadership Support at the Diocese of Phoenix. To learn more about Trent, visit Watch other Life Report episodes with him at

More Life Report episodes responding to bodily rights arguments can be found here:

posted by Life Report, August 29, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

Open Line: Bodily Rights Arguments; Consistent Pro-Choicers & More

Download Audio MP3 | 00:54:26

Josh & Liz respond to questions from the audience.

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