I keep seeing this photo go around social media and people defending it as if it was logical. It is not a logical argument to make for reasons I will explain. In writing this article, I am not advocating one position over another. That is for you to decide. My only objective in this article is to show how to look at an argument logically instead of narrative and emotionally based.
Let’s break this down, shall we? First, the argument is being framed as a pro-woman rights argument. The argument is trying to appeal to men. The essence of the argument is that if you don’t think men’s body’s should be regulated, then neither should a woman’s. If this were not framed in an abortion argument it would hold valid. However, this is argument is a logical fallacy called a non-sequitur.
Non-sequitur in Latin means “it does not follow.” In this type of fallacy, the person arguing will make one point and try and draw a conclusion that is not related. For example, the phrase “I had a crazy music teacher in elementary school. All music teachers are crazy.” The conclusion has nothing to do with the premise. It is illogical.
With the argument at hand, there are two premises. First, that the source of pregnancy is the male. Second, that a vasectomy is equivalent to abortion. The conclusion, therefore, is that disagree with limiting the male reproduction system then you are a hypocrite to oppose abortion. They are trying to make the argument that they are both elective procedures and should be left solely up to the individual. This does not follow.
First, Male semen by itself cannot produce a human being. It requires an egg. So the source of pregnancy is not male semen but the combination of semen with an egg. So the premise is false. Males are not the source of pregnancy. They are a part of pregnancy.
Second, a vasectomy is a preventative action, abortion is not. Abortion is a reactive situation where a human being has been created and is not wanted by the mother or father. This doesn’t follow in the argument.
Third, they frame the debate in such a way as to avoid any mention of a third party, a third human being. We are not talking about the potential for life such as semen or an egg that are looking to get together. We are talking about the fertilization of an egg that has produced a fetus with a human genome.
This argument actually suffers from two logical fallacies. It is a non-sequitur and it uses false equivalencies to make an argument. A simple example of false equivalence is saying that a knife and dynamite are both tools that can be used as weapons, so they’re pretty much the same thing, and therefore if we allow people to buy knives at the store, then we should also allow them to also buy dynamite.
The abortion debate is an important debate to have. There are valid points on both sides of the argument. In order to solve solve this issue we have to rely on solid arguments. This argument is not a solid argument.