The issue: Is restricting access to and education about contraceptives an effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies?
The argument: No; it’s as effective at stopping unwanted pregnancies as restricting access to life jackets would be at preventing drowning.
Logos: This is an argument by analogy, a concept I explore here. Since the strength of an analogical argument is in its simplicity, this meme gets less powerful as it goes. It should have ended with, “They only encourage risky behavior.” That forms a simple statement that anyone would reject, and it makes the anti-contraceptive argument look silly when placed alongside.
However, because the argument goes on, the analogy breaks down. There are too many points of non-correspondence between this meme and the anti-contraceptive argument. By the time you get to “You should see drowning as a gift,” it really ceases to be an effective analogy at all, because no one in their right mind would believe that. Even using the term “abstinence” in the first portion undermines the argument by using an ideological “trigger word” in what is supposed to be a commonplace, self-evident statement.
Pathos: Kids! Everyone loves kids. Throwing a picture of a kid into the meme was probably the best move they could make. A baby in floaties might have been even better. (Actually, a picture of a drowning kid would have packed the most punch, but it would have been a lot harder to obtain.)
Ethos: The “production values” of the photo and typeset are endearing; this isn’t technically a “meme” in the strict sense at all, just an advertisement distributed over the Internet. The professional production increases the likelihood that people will stop and read it, especially people who don’t typically communicate in memes.
Verdict: Possibly persuasive. The ridiculous lengths to which the analogy is stretched reveal multiple points of non-correspondence and its language reveals it to be a full-out assault on conservative religious ideas about contraception. The foundational analogy is solid, however, which could make it useful in swaying someone whose mind was not yet made up.
Personally, I would cut it down to “We should ban life jackets and other flotation devices. They only encourage risky behavior.” People like your argument better when you let them put it together themselves.