When it comes to abortion and women being told what to do with their own bodies, the argument has no compromise. The dialogue over abortion is perpetually heated, but with the current administration's futile attempts at repealing Obamacare - which would lead to a block in planned parenthood funding - the conversation got louder, especially on Twitter.
But one person posed the perfect question meant to impair obstinate pro-lifers. Patrick Tomlinson is a comedian and sci-fi writer who aimed at those who believe women shouldn't have the right to choose. And he did it brilliantly on Twitter, igniting a viral thread.
Tomlinson was so frustrated when the House passed the 20-week abortion ban which is "flagrantly unconstitutional. It’s just a complete waste of time," he decided to pose the ultimate question that people would have a difficult time responding to.
He began with this sensible setup on Twitter.
Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I've been asking for ten years now of the "Life begins at Conception"… https://t.co/Yx2vOeFL4G— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@Patrick S. Tomlinson) 1508200460.0
"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."
"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."
"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."
He offers three options, and this is where pro-lifers start to squirm.
Do you A) save the child, or B) save the thousand embryos? There is no "C." "C" means you all die. In a decade of… https://t.co/ZR4BESn7vh— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@Patrick S. Tomlinson) 1508200939.0
"They will never answer honestly," Tomlinson said. "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."
According to him, this has been a question ten years in the making, and knows that "they" are reticent because they know that the right answer is the human child. "No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child," he said.
He told Salon's Paul Rosenberg the genesis of his question coming up in casual conversation over the past decade.
"I came up with it because I was sick to death of the irresponsible and frankly dishonest framing of the whole debate. I am not, as Ben Shapiro called me, a "pro-abortion fanatic," which is complete nonsense. Nobody is pro-abortion. People are just pro-"Hey maybe since I don't have a vagina, I shouldn't really have a whole lot of say in what people do with theirs." The framing of the debate from people who want to call themselves pro-life -- I prefer anti-abortion, or anti-choice -- they frame it as “you’re killing babies” or “you’re killing children.” That kind of language absolutely suffuses the whole argument that comes from their side. And it's completely false. It's completely dishonest, and it's intended only to emotionally manipulate the conversation."
@gt_rman @ShaneSexton07 The choice is never only the embryo. The choice is between the embryo and the safety and or… https://t.co/natR8q3iS8— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@Patrick S. Tomlinson) 1508354250.0
Tomlinson's asked this question for the past ten years, and claims, he's never gotten a straight answer. For those perpetuating the argument about embryos being living human beings, replying with the decision to save the child would mean conceding. And they would never, ever do that.
Tomlinson, who does some standup on the side, has gotten quite the pushback from his tweetstorm, which is hardly surprising. His website suffered a DDOS attack, and he's received death threats. But he's not trembling. "If somebody wants to come to my door and take a swing at me, good luck! Pack a lunch. Bring some friends. It will be great! I will live stream the whole goddamn thing!"
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