Man Shuts Down Anti-Abortion Argument By Asking One Question

by Mike Julianelle
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/Patrick S. Tomlinson

Writer laid out the dishonesty of pro-life zealots on Twitter

The topic of abortion is one of those issues that, like gun control, or where you stand on President Trump, has become so divisive that thinking rationally has taken a backseat to emotion and politics.

A writer on Twitter laid the situation bare with one simple question.

His name is Patrick S. Tomlinson, and he’s a science fiction writer. Last week, he took to Twitter to lay out the one question he’s been asking the “life begins at conception” contingent of anti-abortionists for ten years. In the decade he’s been asking it, he claims he’s never gotten a straight, or honest, answer.

Here comes the question, and it’s a doozy. (It’s also pretty long, so Patrick is lucky to be taking advantage of Twitter’s beta version of the 280 character tweet!)


Patrick explains why the question is such a conundrum.

He believes those who oppose abortion by claiming an embryo is the same thing as a human child have such a hard time answering because when they’re confronted with a scenario in which they are forced to compare the two things, any rational human being can see they aren’t the same. Anyone with a beating heart would save the living 5-year-old rather than those theoretical children.

But pro-lifers can’t admit it, for fear of acknowledging the lie behind their argument. And, Tomlinson suggests, because their end game isn’t to protect life, but to control women.

Patrick ends his nine-part thought experiment with an exhortation to readers to refute the “life begins at conception” fallacy and call those people out for what they are: misogynists.

Tomlinson’s series of tweets caught fire last week, and the original tweet has over 54,000 likes and 27,000 retweets. The abortion argument is not going away anytime soon, certainly not during the Trump administration.

He puts forth a provocative scenario designed to put pro-lifers in a difficult position. There is often more nuance to the abortion debate, there’s no denying that the writer’s question is an effective tool for outing those who are arguing based on emotion rather than logic.

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