In Tony Kaye's documentary Lake of Fire, the abortion debate is considered from both sides of the issue. In the case of pro-life proponents, abortion should be made illegal because it causes unwed children to be killed. In their eyes, to destroy an embryo or a child before it is born is murder, and there should be steps taken to prevent people from doing that. Many arguments they have consist of emotional appeals, as they want to enforce the idea that people who abort are killing others. Furthermore, they put forth ideas that abortion comes about as a result of empty physical relationships, with the implication that those who are in healthy relationships do not abort. To them, legalizing abortion means condoning what they feel are unhealthy sexual relations and socially immoral actions (promiscuous/premarital sex), and they tell people that those who commit sin will burn in hell forever.
In the case of the pro-choice people (whose camp I was firmly in before watching the movie, and in whose camp I remain afterward), the questions boil down to testimonials and expert opinions, as well as emotional appeals of their own. Experts are used to purport the idea that early-term fetuses are not people, and that the irreparable economic harm that would come to a welfare system that has more unwanted children than it can take care of. Emotional appeals are also used in the case of the mother, especially in the cases of rape and incest victims who people do not want to abort their children. After watching this documentary, it was clear to me that the pro-choice side of the issue - given Tony Kaye's relatively agenda-free direction and editing - was far more rational and compassionate toward the issue than the pro-life movement. Many of the pro-life people had an air of judgment about them, whether they were condemning those who abort to hell or implying that only products of immoral, sinful sexual relationships need abortions.
Kaye T., dir. (2006). Lake of Fire. ThinkFilm. Documentary.
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