January 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
Why be pro-life? In the free booklet ’21 Days of Prayer for Life’ is a great summary of four reasons we can’t scripturally, scientifically, or logically deny that the unborn have life and value equal to that of you and me. Nor can we claim our nation’s founding principals leave any room for legalized abortion, which has polarized America more than ever 43 years after Roe v Wade.
2) Science affirms life: The science of embryology is clear that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings.
3) Logic affirms life: If humans only have value because of some characteristic (like size, intelligence, or stage of development) they possess in varying degrees, those with more of it have greater rights than those with less.
4) America’s founding documents affirm life: If pro-lifers are irrational and unconstitutional for grounding basic human rights in the concept of a transcendent creator, our important historical documents—all of which advanced our national understanding of equality—are irrational and unconstitutional as well.
September 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
In the new film 3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy, we will hear convicted murderer and late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell defend his actions on Biblical grounds:
“Until I really completed my first Genesis to Revelation reading of the Bible, which I did since I was incarcerated, I really didn’t feel as comfortable as I am. I think it’s Genesis 2:7, expresses the breath of life as the beginning of life that God breathed breath—breathed life—into Adam. The Bible, to me, is very clear that life does not happen until breath.”
As an example of how NOT to interpret Scripture, let’s just point out two simple things:
1) Adam was created from the dust of the earth as a grown man. He was not conceived in a womb, so it’s nonsensical to compare the “birth” of Adam to the birth of any human being after him. If we want to talk about when a fetus begins breathing, it’s actually at conception. In utero, oxygen is delivered through the placenta to the baby, long before the likes of Kermit Gosnell can get a hold of them.
2) Gosnell cites Genesis 2:7 but claims to have read the Bible from “Genesis to Revelation.” Did he skip Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:41,44, Galatians 1:15, and Ephesians 1:3,4, passages that clearly establish the existence of life and personhood before the point of birth?
Such a bad hermeneutic employs classic cherry-picking, but while having the entire Bible to pick from, cherry-picking a verse completely irrelevant to a case for abortion. Even Gosnell’s own medical textbooks tell him that life begins before a child reaches the delivery room air, and his desperate moral appeal doesn’t change that truth. Gosnell is interested in saving one life: his own.
We don’t need more examples of terrible hermeneutics, but what we can gain from this one is a contemplation of the man behind it. Kermit Gosnell is an enemy, but we should practice praying for him. Whether he’s read the whole Bible is not evident in his apologetics for abortion, but he should do it again. In its pages are the gospel and the possibility for redemption, even for Kermit Gosnell.
August 27, 2014 § 8 Comments
Last week, atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted to a follower who had pondered the moral dilemma of being pregnant with a child diagnosed with Down Syndrome. She called it a “real ethical dilemma.” It wasn’t so much of a dilemma for Richard Dawkins, who responded: “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” This of course ignited a firestorm of debate for and against his sentiments. Mostly against.
Knowing full well the reality that much meaning can get lost in the limitations of a 140 character Tweet, Dawkins wrote what he calls an “apology” on his web site the next day. Although the post was more of a clarification of his Tweet than a rescinding of it. He says that if he were allowed more than 140 characters, his reply would be this:
“Obviously the choice would be yours. For what it’s worth, my own choice would be to abort the Down fetus and, assuming you want a baby at all, try again. Given a free choice of having an early abortion or deliberately bringing a Down child into the world, I think the moral and sensible choice would be to abort. And, indeed, that is what the great majority of women, in America and especially in Europe, actually do. I personally would go further and say that, if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare. I agree that that personal opinion is contentious and needs to be argued further, possibly to be withdrawn. In any case, you would probably be condemning yourself as a mother (or yourselves as a couple) to a lifetime of caring for an adult with the needs of a child. Your child would probably have a short life expectancy but, if she did outlive you, you would have the worry of who would care for her after you are gone. No wonder most people choose abortion when offered the choice. Having said that, the choice would be entirely yours and I would never dream of trying to impose my views on you or anyone else.”
What he clarifies in his post is that he really meant what most people thought he said in the tweet. He exhibits really no fundamental change of heart.
The “apology” portion is on par with what many celebrities and political figures offer as an apology. His words: “Those who thought I was bossily telling a woman what to do rather than let her choose. Of course this was absolutely not my intention and I apologise if brevity made it look that way.” And then, “I regret using abbreviated phraseology which caused so much upset.”
Maybe a little Apology 101 is in order. A true apology expresses something like, “What I did was wrong”, or, “I regret what I said and I intend to change my direction.” What produced the greatest offense is what he said—that unborn children with Downs Syndrome are probably not worth saving—not necessarily how he said it. Dawkins’ apology centers on how he said it. It was more akin to “I’m sorry if you were upset or misunderstood.” An apology is one time where the offender should seek the spotlight, owning up to what he has said or done; the focus is on his actions and his appeal for forgiveness or an offer of restitution. Dawkins may regret the fact that controversy erupted, or feel sorry that others were incapable of seeing it his way.
The remaining two-thirds of his “apology” post was directed to “the haters” who were upset with him. Then he concludes: “what I was saying simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most us, I presume, espouse. My phraseology may have been tactlessly vulnerable to misunderstanding, but I can’t help feeling that at least half the problem lies in a wanton eagerness to misunderstand.”
Far from an apology, his post is closer to an apologetic for the utilitarian brand of Atheism revealed in his pro-choice logic. Dawkins says, “My true intention was, as stated at length above, simply to say what I personally would do, based upon my own assessment of the pragmatics of the case, and my own moral philosophy which in turn is based on a desire to increase happiness and reduce suffering.”
Without God, the highest achievement can only be one’s own temporal happiness. Without God, personhood is endowed on a sliding scale according to a child’s growth toward (or an aging person’s growth away from) usefulness, a “a gradual, ‘fading in/fading’ out definition.” Without God, humanity has no value beyond what some men consider useful, so “the decision to abort can be a moral one.” Without God, there is no objective moral standard for good and evil, right and wrong, yet the moral law written on every fellow human heart created in God’s image compels even atheists to reason about “moral” choices, despite the reductio ad absurdum. That Law on our hearts can be suppressed for a lifetime, but ultimately convicts. Atheism is in every case a temporary state (Romans 14:11,12; Philippians 2:10,11).
Richard Dawkins’ pro-abortion statements make perfect sense on Atheism, which would make a genuine about-face apology quite unexpected anyway.
March 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
Perhaps the most effective offense against a fortress is a long-term series of smaller, quieter assaults that covertly destroy one brick at a time. That must be Satan’s strategy against humanity’s most fundamental unit, the institution of marriage. The gay marriage debate has our attention now, but that’s really one piece of crumbling structure that’s been under attack for many decades, and actually much longer. Marriage was given by God and designed to be a permanent, covenantal relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). Here’s a historical look at what has laid siege against marriage as it was originally designed.
1ST OFFENSIVE: DIVORCE
Divorce dates back to the days of Moses, when certificates of divorce were granted to the Israelites. In Matthew 19, we find out that God permitted divorce as a concession, but “it was not this way from the beginning” (19:8). Numerous times in Scripture, God gave people over to their own sinful desires and allowed certain conditions to exist, and this was one of those. Despite hating divorce (Malachi 2:16), God, knowing the persistent nature of man’s hardened and sinful heart, regulated it by adding grounds for and a process to divorce to keep a bad situation from getting worse (Deuteronomy 24).
2ND OFFENSIVE: BIRTH PREVENTION
Various methods of birth control existed from ancient times, the first being coitus interruptus, found in Genesis 38. Following various birth control experiments throughout the 1800s in the US, the early 20th century brought the coining of the term “birth control” by activist Margaret Sanger. Sanger was later instrumental in the development of the first birth control pill approved for contraceptive use in 1960, which was legalized in all US states within 5 years and available to all women regardless of reason for use by 1972.
Birth control that is non-abortive and exercised with wise motives is not sinful. But the same goes with alcohol or any other drug—it’s sinful when it’s abused. What’s abuse? There’s a distinction between birth control and birth prevention because often married couples use the pill or some other method to delay pregnancy, sometimes indefinitely, and for selfish reasons. The desire for becoming well-established in a career or enjoying personal freedom can become an idol. I fell into this trap myself, and birth control made it a lot easier for my wife and I to push parenthood back. There are justifiable reasons to delay having children related to illness, economics and other life circumstances. Today’s trends show that married couples are in better health and financial situations now than in previous decades, yet the average age for child-bearing has moved from early to the late twenties. In fact, the majority of first children are now born outside of the stability of marriage.(1)
How does delaying children impact marriage? Considering one of the chief purposes of marriage is procreation, by delaying kids or in some case deciding never to “be fruitful and multiply” means a load-bearing beam has been knocked out of the structure. Part of marriage should be family planning, rather than planning to not have a family.
3RD OFFENSIVE: ABORTION
The intentional termination of a pregnancy dates back to ancient times as well, and has been historically banned or restricted in countries around the world. While having the same effect as deciding not to have children, abortion is not preventing a child, but murdering a child. In the mid- to late-20th century, many countries passed laws legalizing abortion on various levels, beginning here in the US with the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.(2)
In addition to reducing births (approximately 42 million children are aborted annually, worldwide), abortion philosophy diminishes the value of human life, and the guilt and regret following an abortion can devastate a marriage. One wife’s take, from the Elliot Institute’s Post-Abortion Review: “Marriage vows are based on the idea of loving, honoring, cherishing and respecting each other. After an abortion, love can turn to hate, honor to dishonor, respect to disrespect, and cherishing to yesterdays newspaper.”(3) The body of evidence that conditions such as Post-Abortion Syndrome have a negative effect on marriages is vast. Effects include the resentment of spousal pressure to abort, reinforcement of defective problem solving, disillusionment and emotional disengagement, questions about identity—all of which can strike at the core of a marriage.(4)
4TH OFFENSIVE: FEMINISM
Protofeminist (precursors to feminism) movements began to surface in a few ancient cultures, but began to really move in the US in the 19th to early 20th centuries, mainly in the context of suffrage, working conditions and educational rights for women and girls. It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, that Feminism moved from the realm of fighting moral injustice in a sinful society to sinfully redefining the God-given role of women in marriage. Feminism is rooted in arrogance and has an agenda to destroy any distinctions between men and women. Christians understand that men and women have equal access to blessings in Christ (Galatians 3:28) and are created to fulfill different roles in the world, and women are not inferior in virtue or importance. Feminist Gloria Steinem popularized the phrase “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”—although she eventually married a man. Feminist attitudes undermine marriage, which require both men and women to fulfill God-given gender-specific roles that don’t function well under such an oppressive ideology.
5TH OFFENSIVE: SEXUAL REVOLUTION
It’s hard to know how to briefly summarize the 60s and the explosion of “free love,” when marriage began to show up as the cumbersome alternative to cohabitation. From communes to condos, the lifestyle caught on, and it’s pretty easy to see that legalized abortion, the sexual revolution, the rise of feminism, the advent of the pill were linked to a false hope of freedom and even fueled each other. The rise of sexual liberation outside the arena of marriage has devastated marriage over the last half century probably more than any other “progressive” movement.
6TH OFFENSIVE: NO-FAULT DIVORCE
Along with the sexual revolution’s degraded view of marriage came the need for an easier way to get out of marriage. No-fault divorce laws(5) began sweeping across the US in 1970 with the state of California. Since 1985, all 50 states and D.C. allowed married couples to divorce without any accusations of adultery, abandonment, felony, or any other legal or moral cause. From 1960 to 1980, the divorce rate more than doubled in the US.(6) No-fault divorce was already law in Russia in 1918, and other countries adopted similar laws more recently, including Canada, Sweden and Australia.
7TH OFFENSIVE: GAY MARRIAGE
One of the most compelling very recent essays I’ve seen on the case against gay marriage was written by a gay man. Doug Mainwaring writes in The Public Discourse (I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, March 8, 2013) that he opposes gay marriage not on grounds of religion or tradition, but logic and experience. His own story tells of his discovery of purpose and deep fulfillment as a father and a husband to one wife, while deriding the marriage liberalism’s preoccupation with superficial eros sexuality and it’s obvious inadequacies to give children what they desparately need, a dad and a mom. “Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely. … denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.” Not a professing Christian, Doug probably doesn’t realize that he finds fulfillment in heterosexual marriage and fatherhood because he was made to do this, despite his confusion over his basic sexuality. And although he believes he was born gay, Doug resisted sex with other men, and “denial didn’t diminish or impoverish my life. It made my life experience richer.”(7)
A side note on the importance of stable marriages for the sake of children: Most of the kids we minister to in our youth group are from broken families. Not all children of divorced families carry such burdens, but the kids we give rides to rarely want to go home Wednesday nights after our youth meetings. Each one asks to be dropped off last, and they would all prefer to run an errand to get milk with me, something I’d normally do after taking them home. Drugs, sex, violence and theft are often coping mechanisms for normal life for them at home. My experience is that kids truly suffer from families that are not balanced with an involved father and mother in their lives.
As Ryan T. Anderson outlines in The Leadership Foundation’s backgrounder, Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It, reveals that gay marriage would undermine the benefits that marriage brings on society in ways no other relationship does, and further distance marriage from the needs of children. Men and women are complimentary, and simple biology shows that the survival of the human race depends on heterosexual unions.(8)
In recent days, former president Bill Clinton, who signed the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act into law just 7 years ago, now says it’s unconstitutional. Republican Senator of Ohio Rob Portman recently came out in support of gay marriage after his son came out as gay, and Portman attempted to use the Bible to justify his support for homosexuality.
Gay marriage is indeed a fresh new idea, but the arguments used to advance it can be also used to advance really any type of imaginable union. Since the beginning of history, marriage has always been between a man and a woman, until the year 2000, when gay marriage laws began to enter civil societies around the world.
But this type of assault on marriage is anything but new, and in fact those embroiled in the debate over gay marriage can be myopic in their view of history. It is incredibly short-sighted to think that we have just recently discovered the truth that the right for gays to marry is a basic human right. Clearly it isn’t. It’s also short-sighted for the rest of us to think that this is the biggest brick in the foundation of marriage. Clearly it isn’t.
What an incredible and incredibly sneaky arsenal that has been launched. The assault that has chipped away at marriage over the millennia has come in waves, but each wave of attack has amassed slowly, almost unnoticed, until it’s powerful enough to take out another block from the foundation.
8TH OFFENSIVE: THE SLOW FADE
There is another threat to marriage that is perhaps the most well-camouflaged of all, and it typically comes from within. A friend recently preached about a dangerous “slow fade” that happens in marriages, and is a pretty accurate picture of what’s happened to marriage as a whole. Slow Fade is also the title of a song by Casting Crowns,(9) written about a typical fall from grace. Lead vocalist Mark Hall describes this: “Nobody falls, it’s just a slow fade. It’s a series of minor compromises until you’re in a place you never thought you’d be, doing things you never thought you’d do and rationalizing all of it.” In the context of individual marriages, the slow fade invades in the course of life, slowly driving couples apart. Divorce may result, or a couple may resign to a life of misery together, feeling stuck, ineffective as “what God has joined together” to raise Godly children and serve His purposes in the kingdom. People don’t crumble in a day. This is a slow fade.
Destroying marriage would be an enormous victory for Satan. What’s the best defense against the slow fade, or any other incoming attack? I think we need to recognize how small the offenses are once they start to advance. We may be looking for giants on the horizon and overlooking the trolls digging under the wall. Guarding our marriage means guarding our hearts against not just the obvious external dangers, but the small compromises we make inside the walls.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
I’ve become aware of some of the little assaults that may be creeping into my own marriage, and the possibilities are many: laziness, complacency, bitterness, laziness, sexual temptation, idolatry, shadows from the past. Any number of seemingly small compromises will grow if undetected.
Man’s will substituted for God’s will is still the secret of the world’s unrest. When we are not anchored in God’s Word and a church community, we are trading God’s will for our own and are left without the the clear vision and discernment to detect a camouflaged enemy. God’s Word provides us with an unwavering, uncompromising stronghold of truth that defines marriage (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 24, Matthew 19:6). When we deviate from the divine plan, anything goes. We have no real plan of defense against the Father of Lies, who is waiting to deceive and accuse and kill us slowly. The body—and bride (Ephesians 5:22-23)—of Christ known as the church is an incredible force in supporting and strengthening our marriages, IF we let it be that. It’s encouraging to see sermon series at my church dedicated to that, and couples young and old seeking counsel and prayer to keep their marriages alive and strong.
Stopping the offensive and rebuilding the damage begins with an awareness of the problem and a broad view of history that shows us how the enemy has made its attack all along—a quiet, concentrated, brick-by-brick assault on a slowly fading marriage institution. “It was not this way from the beginning.” At the beginning of that history is the Creator’s foundation of marriage. That’s what we must protect and our blueprint for rebuilding what’s been destroyed. Seeing the big picture of marriage history shows us the assault it has endured, but keeping a watchful eye on the big picture of the purpose of marriage reminds us that it is a sacred covenant. The love and commitment of God with His chosen people, of Christ and His church, of the relationship His creation was made to have with the Creator comes into view. That is so much bigger and more important than any idea of marriage as a human social convention, and this view can save marriage. It starts with your own.
1) The New Unmarried Moms By Kay Hymowitz, W. Bradford Wilcox and Kelleen Kaye
2) Celebrating Roe v Wade’s Anniversary (or Why Hardly Anyone Is), Mike Johnson
3) A Time to Grieve, A Time to Heal, Theresa Burke with David C. Reardon, The Post-Abortion Review, Vol. 10, No. 2
4) The Effects of Abortion on Marriage and Other Committed Relationships, Teri Reisser, M.S.
5) No Fault Divorce: Increasing Divorce Rate in America, Sandra J. Patterson
6) Does Divorce Law Affect the Divorce Rate? A Review of Empirical Research, 1995-2006, iMAPP Research Brief, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, July 2007
7) I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, Doug Mainwaring, The Witherspoon Institute Public Discourse, March 8, 2013
8) Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It, Ryan T. Anderson, The Heritage Foundation, March 11, 2013
9) Slow Fade, Casting Crowns (video with lyrics)
January 21, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s been 40 years since the landmark Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling legalized abortion in the United States. Since then, by some estimates, over 55 million unborn children have been aborted.
For something that many hailed as a victory for freedoms in this country, there is a strange lack of what we would call celebration on its anniversary. This is unlike other victories we commemorate, like Independence Day. It’s unlike any number of holidays or anniversaries of a wedding or birth, where the beginning of something wonderful is remembered with parties and celebration. An internet search will show that very few use the word “celebration” in conjuction with the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, even among proponents and sympathizers of abortion. Roe v Wade is far more often “marked” or “remembered” by benefit dinners and events, but most don’t assume the gaiety and joy that usually accompanies the anniversary of something good.
Could it be that the anniversary is marred by opposition to abortion that never waned, but actually increased, highlighting a 40 year conflict that advocates didn’t expect? Or could it be that those in a position to celebrate the victory for abortion don’t feel the moral liberty to celebrate something that they somehow know is evil?
Abortion proponents may say the polarizing debate is the reason for the shortage of “celebration” of legalized abortion, but I think the latter explanation may have some validity. The human conscience bears witness to moral law written on every heart, according to Romans, law that tells us that abortion is murder, and murder is wrong. The conscience is often seared, but it’s an intellectual inhibitor as well as an emotional one. It may be that the divine law in the heart of the pro-abort serves as an annoying reminder that the heart that beats deep within the womb has the right to live. That’s a downer.
We generally celebrate life, not death.
If Roe v Wade was a victory for freedom, then we all ought to feel free to celebrate. If abortion is murder, we should mourn, and even the hardened may be at least reluctant to pop a cork and dance. There is no widespread jubilee about Roe v Wade, unlike what we will probably see from many the day it overturned. That would be a victory worth celebrating.
[Related post: Pro-Abortion, Pro-life and the Importance of Consistency]
November 6, 2012 § 15 Comments
A recent post, Fetal Personhood and Criminalizing Abortion: A Prosecutor’s Perspective, was written by a criminal prosecutor who feels she has a unique perspective on abortion, and indeed she does. In particular she exposes the inconsistency in many pro-life claims and the difficulty of prosecuting parents if abortion were criminalized. For the most part, I agree with those sentiments.
She says that “an abortion ban that leaves exceptions in place only for instances of rape, incest or life of the mother” is in essence “a pro-choice position.” This is technically true. In the classic exception “hard cases” that many pro-lifers concede, there is a choice to be made where death will result.
I agree with the author that exceptions made in the cases of rape and incest do not morally belong in a pro-life position. A pro-life position is concerned with the preservation of life, and such an accommodation is inconsistent if it considers the circumstances that led to the unwanted pregnancy. Regardless of the intentions of the parents, the child is innocent of any civil crime deserving death.
“…if you actually believe that a zygote is a person, then how can you demand anything less than justice for the murder victim?” Exactly.
The only possible exception I can see to prohibiting abortion is a case where the mother’s life is genuinely in danger if the pregnancy carries to term. This is a choice made when there is no available choice to save a life. Tragically, someone dies regardless.
The only upside to these cases are that they are extremely rare. Put together, these hard cases account for less than 1% of all abortions. Over 99% of all abortions are basically a form of birth control.
Convenience has always been a factor in abortion. It would be ignorant to say it’s an easy decision, but it’s seen as a choice that ultimately eases a burden. This leads to the other point the author makes: If abortion were outlawed with the exception of the hard cases, it would cause an “unequivocally impossible enforcement situation.” How would we easily determine if those situations apply?
“…how does a woman who qualifies for one of these exceptions go about availing herself of the exception? Are we going to take the pregnant woman’s word for it that she was raped (somehow I suspect that the answer to this question will be “no”)? Is there going to be a form that she has to fill out? Will she be placed under oath? Will there be post-abortion investigations by the police to ensure that she was truthful when she said that she was raped? If we aren’t going to just take her word for it, what will be the mechanism for fact finding we will use?”
These are a small portion of the potential complexities the author ponders. Her focus is clearly on how inconvenient and impractical it would seem to enforce a law prohibiting abortion with the hard case exceptions. A consistent pro-life position asserts that abortion is murder, and any difficulty in dealing with murderers should come secondary to the axiom that we need to deal with murderers, despite the impractical nature of some rare cases. We don’t overlook murder because it’s hard to prosecute. The difficulty would come from criminalizing something that should have never been legal in the first place—of course that will cause a rift. But this is where we start to see the internal inconsistency in abortion logic.
What’s more, something of a genetic fallacy shows up in her discomfort in the opinions of those who are neither women nor pregnant.
“I am more than a little bit uncomfortable about being legally mandated to prosecute other women because they have terminated a pregnancy when it is a bunch of non-pregnant people – many of whom are men who can’t even become pregnant – who don’t think her reason was ‘good enough’ to be ‘legal’.”
If something is morally wrong, the gender or experience of those challenging abortion doesn’t change the truth of the matter. Obviously this is an obstacle for the author.
Even without dealing with exceptions, I suspect the author wishes never to have to prosecute any kind of abortion. She doesn’t view abortion as morally wrong. This criminal prosecutor recognizes that to identify murderers of adults and ignore murderers of the unborn would be inconsistent, so this is the obvious solution to the dilemma. And this is managed in the usual pro-abortion fashion of denying the personhood of a developing child in the womb. Interestingly, we call it a baby or son or daughter when we want it and a fetus or zygote or “cluster of cells” when we don’t. A proud expectant mother doesn’t joyously declare, “We’re having a fetus!”
Truly, if personhood doesn’t begin at conception, when does it begin? Theories about various stages of pregnancy abound—implantation, segmentation, brain function, fetal viability—even the ridiculous idea that the moment of birth signals the magical entrance of humanity, when the baby finally exits the birth canal into open air. On the fringe, some extremists like Peter Singer suggest personhood is established long after birth.
Regardless, the concession of most pro-abortionists is that the beginning of personhood is still up for debate, while at the same time they adamantly assert that killing a fetus at almost any point during the pregnancy is an acceptable choice. If we haven’t settled on when life becomes valuable, how can we be settled that abortion is right? This is the grand moral inconsistently and the absurdity of abortion.
Christians know from the internally consistent Word of God that all human life, created in the image of the Creator (Genesis 1:27) , has inherent value, regardless of the cause or circumstances surrounding pregnancy.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16; See also Jeremiah 1:5, Luke 1:41,44, Galatians 1:15, and Ephesians 1:3,4)
There is an “us” before birth, and there is a plan for us long before we arrive. While medical science grapples with the mysteries of life’s origin, our God-given sense of morality (Romans 2:15) testifies that the pre-born are already more than just a “cluster of cells.” Many who convince themselves otherwise are willing to trade this knowledge for the convenience of abortion. The inconsistency is ignored, along with the sanctity of life in the most helpless among us.
Pro-lifers, be consistent in your convictions. Don’t embrace exceptions that may allow rapists to go to jail, but also allow killers to go free, and condemn the innocent to death without a trial. And love your neighbor from conception to the end of their natural life, praying that the span between the two isn’t cut short by abortion.
[Related post: Celebrating Roe v Wade’s Anniversary (or Why Hardly Anyone Is)]