Ben Shapiro On Abortion

The marriage of of Ben Shapiro and the issue of abortion has long been at the forefront of his internet persona. As a religious Jewish conservative, abortion has consistently been in his crosshairs as a major position. A stern opponent of abortion, Ben Shapiro has long argued that abortion is both immoral and should be constitutionally illegal.   However, Shapiro’s Ben position is not without nuance. Though Shapiro does believe that life begins at “conception”, he takes a rather liberal interpretation of what is meant by conception. In short, Ben Shapiro believes that life begins at implantation and not fertilization. It’s important to note that there’s an important distinction between facts and values and this is a “value” position, even when determining when a life begins.

Among Ben’s favorite arguments for Abortion is the fetal potential argument that found footing in the seminal pro-life paper Why Abortion is Immoral. The argument essentially states that the reason we feel bad about a child dying is because of the opportunity the child could’ve had in the world. In this same breath, Abortion is therefore immoral. For more on the fetal potential, we recommend this article from the NIH which features a, mostly, even handed history of the argument as well as it’s detractors. 

Abortion: In Ben’s Own Words

At Berkley on Sep 14, 2017, Shapiro was asked why, in his opinion, a first trimester fetus has moral value. He responded:

A first-trimester fetus has moral value because whether you consider it a potential human life or a full-on human life, it has more value than just a cluster of cells. If left to its natural processes, it will grow into a baby. So the real question is, where do you draw the line? So, you’re going to draw the line at the heartbeat – because it’s very hard to draw the line at the heartbeat? There are people who are adults who are alive because of a pacemaker, they need some sort of outside force generating their heartbeat. Are you going to do it based on brain function? Okay, well, what about people who are in a coma? Should we just kill them?”

On page 175 of his 2013 book, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans Ben went after feminists (who are predominantly left leaning) for supporting abortion because many abortions are performed specifically because the fetus is a female:

“The truth is that of all the biennial positions, the liberal positions on abortion is the most inherently coercive and bullying. Feminists may think they’re standing up for women, but they don’t give a damn about unborn women, who are the prime targets of abortion.”

Ben Shapiro on Heartbeat Bill

An important 2021 update we thought we’d share is that Ben has expressed support for the Heartbeat Abortion Law in Texas which took effect in August of this year. In this video published to his Facebook channel, Ben Shapiro walks through his reasoning and defense of the bill but also why the bill is fundamentally different from other heartbeat abortion bills. The short answer is that people are now allowed to sue a doctor who performed an abortion, rather than have criminal charges pressed against them by the state. 

Abortion Remains Controversial In United States

Ben Shapiro is in fairly good company among other (American) conservatives who are far more likely to say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases than to say that it should be legal (66% vs. 29%). Among moderate and liberal Republicans, 58% say abortion should be legal, while 37% say it should be illegal.

To frame the larger question, as of late 2018, views on Abortion have been mostly the same as they have been in the past. 58% of American’s polled say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. Religious affiliation is a major contributor as sixty percent white evangelical Protestants (61%) think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Conversely 74% of Americans (an astounding number compared to the base rate) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. 

Compared to Other Countries: Abortion Around The World

Though many issues (such as Global Warming) are less controversial abroad than they are in the United States, Abortion is (as of 2018 just as controversial in other countries as it is in the United States. However, that’s not to say that abortion is not freely available in many, ostensibly progressive, countries.

In Germany, for example, a 1995 law made abortion illegal however neither doctors nor women are prosecuted if the mother is shown to be a victim of rape and the procedure is done within the first three months of the child’s conception. Additionally, a similar waiver exists “in the first trimester for cases in which the mother has received counseling to encourage carrying her baby to term but still wants an abortion. After the first trimester, abortion is available only to preserve the life or mental or physical health of the mother. State insurance generally does not pay for the procedure except in cases of financial need.” Similar policies and legality restrictions are common throughout the developed world. Though we may be jeopardizing our credibility, the wikipedia article on Abortion Law is as good as any article this lowly researcher could find in the peer reviewed academic literature.

As always, should we become aware that Ben has changed his opinion or should new evidence be submitted that we have either misconstrued his opinion or failed to include important statements from him, we will 1) make the correction, 2) note the correction here, 3) issue a mea culpa that attempts to explain and improve on how we missed this. 

Ben Shapiro on Marijuana

The conservative commentator has changed his tone recently about the de-criminilzation of Marijuana. 

Sam Harris on Eckhart Tolle

Though the two have never sparred in person, they haven’t be shy about offering an opinion on each other’s work. 

Noam Chomsky on Jordan Peterson

The linguist isn’t particularly fond of his fellow social scientist. 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This