Patrick S. Tomlinson, the author of The Ark Trilogy, asks a hypothetical question that forces those who are anti-abortion to take a side.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on September 30, 2021
One of the core arguments of those who are anti-abortion is that "life begins at conception." These people recognize fetuses as human beings, while those in favor of abortion maintain that embryos and fetuses are not the same as a baby. Abortion rights activists have long argued that conservatives are only using their anti-abortion stance as a pretense to control the body autonomy of child-bearing people including women, reported Bored Panda. Author Patrick S. Tomlinson put forth a hypothetical situation that exposes the fallacy of the anti-abortion argument. Tomlinson, the author of The Ark Trilogy, posted a string of tweets in a thread that highlights why a fetus or embryo will never be a baby and shatters the anti-abortion argument.
Here are the tweets:
Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I've been asking for ten years now of the "Life begins at Conception" crowd. In ten years, no one has EVER answered it honestly. 1/— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
It's a simple scenario with two outcomes. No one ever wants to pick one, because the correct answer destroys their argument. And there IS a correct answer, which is why the pro-life crowd hates the question. 2/— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
Here it is. You're in a fertility clinic. Why isn't important. The fire alarm goes off. You run for the exit. As you run down this hallway, you hear a child screaming from behind a door. You throw open the door and find a five-year-old child crying for help. 3/— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
They're in one corner of the room. In the other corner, you spot a frozen container labeled "1000 Viable Human Embryos." The smoke is rising. You start to choke. You know you can grab one or the other, but not both before you succumb to smoke inhalation and die, saving no one. 4/— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
Do you A) save the child, or B) save the thousand embryos? There is no "C." "C" means you all die.— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
In a decade of arguing with anti-abortion people about the definition of human life, I have never gotten a single straight A or B answer to this question. And I never will. 5/
They will never answer honestly, because we all instinctively understand the right answer is "A." A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically. 6/— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
This question absolutely evicerates their arguments, and their refusal to answer confirms that they know it to be true.— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child. That person does not exist. They are lying to you. 7/
They are lying to you to try and evoke an emotional response, a paternal response, using false-equivalency.— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
No one believes life begins at conception. No one believes embryos are babies, or children. Those who cliam to are trying to manipulate you so they can control women. 8/
Don't let them. Use this question to call them out. Reveal them for what they are. Demand they answer your question, and when they don't, slap that big ol' Scarlet P of the Patriarchy on them. The end. 9/9— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
Because a lot of people are missing the point, it is not being argued the embryos are not alive. Nor is it being argued they are without value.— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 17, 2017
All that is being demonstrated is their value is not equal to that of a human child.
That's it. That's the point.
There were arguments both ways but a majority of those who were anti-abortion refused to answer the question, continued asking vague questions about the hypothetical conundrum. A few of them did go there and say they would save 1,000 embryos as opposed to the boy. To them, Tomlinson replied, "Thank you for your honesty about being an amoral monster who should never be allowed around children. That was very brave of you." To all those who tried to go mental gymnastics to avoid answering the question, he said, "Thank you to everyone in the comments twisting in the wind to find a way to avoid answering the question, just as I said you would. Your help proving my point is greatly appreciated."
"Because it is a child."— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) October 31, 2017
And the embryos, no matter how numerous, are not.
Author Patrick S. Tomlinson posted the tweets almost three years ago but they still hold true, and now more than ever, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's judgment overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark judgment that made abortion a constitutional right. The discussion has once again turned to the core argument of whether a fetus is a live person.
Well…….not a single lie was told. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/CdGL1PLjsU— 1 of 1. (@Tee_Smiley) September 9, 2021
As we reported earlier, a woman brilliantly pointed out that the concerns of those who are anti-abortion toward a baby end at birth. One called the admin of the Facebook page Insufferably Intolerant Science Nerd (IISN) a murderer for supporting abortion. "You’re a murderer. You advocate murder. You have the blood of millions of unborn children on your hands," the person wrote. The page admin flipped the ethical question on them. "What happens next? Once you have succeeded in your quest to stop the termination of a pregnancy — disregarding the circumstances for why the woman or couple wants to terminate (failed birth control, rape, lack of financial stability, unsuitable environment, domestic violence, mental health issues, lack of employment, medical issues, lack of comprehensive sexual education) – what happens next?" they asked.
The admin then went on to question the hypocrisy of the anti-abortion faction. "Will you and your ilk – the self-proclaimed 'pro-life' community help your community pay for healthcare and education costs?" asked the admin, before asking if their "pro-life" role ended at birth. "Once you have succeeded in stopping the termination of a pregnancy, what role will you have in ensuring a quality of life for the fetus you so desperately wanted to save?" The person who was anti-abortion replied, "That’s the parent’s responsibility."
Best argument ever! pic.twitter.com/POzigxnFr9— Daniella Mestyanek Young 🇺🇸🇧🇷🇲🇽 (@daniellamyoung) May 9, 2019
The admin duly called out their lack of empathy and compassion. "You don’t get to come into my inbox and sh*t all over my Sunday with your over-inflated Messiah complex with your Facebook profile filled with delusions of superiority declaring yourself to be on the side of “life,” when in reality your compassion stops just inside the vaginal canal. Don’t pretend you give a sh*t about children when you aren’t prepared to do a damn thing about the millions of struggling families on welfare, or the millions of children in foster care," the admin wrote.