One common response to this statement from pro-lifers addresses the ‘rare’ part. “Why would you want abortion to be rare? If it is really so good, as the pro-choice person suggests, then there really is no reason for the pro-choicer to desire abortion to be wrong.”
In other words, the pro-lifer believes that pro-choicers are contradicting themselves when they say that they want abortion to be rare. The pro-lifer thinks that there is no reason for pro-choicers to want abortion to be rare unless pro-choicers actually considered abortion to be something wrong to do.
This is a dreadful response, and the simple reason for this is that the pro-choicer does not necessarily contradict themselves when they say that they want abortion to be rare. There is another reason why pro-choicers may want abortion to be rare without it being due to them considering abortion wrong in and of itself and, thus, without denying their own views on the morality of abortion.
This is due to the reality of social services. Abortion advocates consider abortion to be a social service for those in a ‘desperate’ situation (the desperate situation here being an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy). Ideally, however, it would be best to prevent the desperate situation from occurring in the first place because desperate situations, by their very nature, suck to be in.
Pro-choicers can say with consistency to their own view, then, that they want abortion to be rare because they consider the situation that causes the ‘need’ for abortion, an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy (particularly amongst unwed and unprepared-for-parenthood teenagers), to be a situation that would be better if it was prevented from happening in the first place then by dealing with the situation after having already arrived at the desperate situation.
Take homelessness as an example. Homeless shelters are a social service provided to those who do not have a home. Homeless shelters are, in and of themselves, good. But certainly one would, ideally, want homeless shelters to be ‘rare’ in the sense that one would rather want to prevent people from entering into the desperate situation of homelessness in the first place rather then wait for people to become homeless and then provide them with homeless shelters.
If such a thing were done, then the amount of homeless shelters would lessen, but it would be due to a good thing: the prevention of the desperate situation of homelessness, and consequently the lessening of the need for homeless shelters, in the first place. This is one of the reasons why education and job access is stressed so highly, so that people can prevent more people from entering into a desperate situation of homelessness.
From the pro-choicers’ perspective, it is no different with abortion. To them, it is not abortion itself that is the problem, but what leads to the ‘necessity’ of abortion.
Of course, abortion is not truly a good social service to begin with due to the humanity and right to life that the unborn have; this post does not argue against that. It merely states that the pro-choicer does not contradict him/herself when stating that the abortion should be rare. By seeing abortion as a social service to solving a desperate situation that, ideally, would be better if it was prevented from happening in the first place, the pro-choicer avoids the charge of inconsistency that is hurled at him/her by the pro-lifer.
As a result, it is ultimately better to attack such a statement by arguing the very fact that we have been trying to help others understand from the beginning: that abortion is not ‘safe’ at all because it takes the life of an innocent human being with the right to life.