In a recent post, I made an argument for Democratic presidents having a better strategy for reducing the number of abortions than Republican presidents. While I’m still contemplating all sides of this very complex issue (and because I refuse to slip neatly into one political category), I wanted to write a piece which responds to my own piece; I wanted to push back and at the very least, reiterate my pro-life stance and give the reasons for it.
Some of the feedback was sincere, presenting valid points and counterarguments to my points, while others were simply insulting, ranging from “shame on you” to “I thought you were a Christian.” However my article was received, the bottom line should have been evident: I am in favor of no abortions ever. I want to make that clear in this post.
I’m also afraid my previous post diminished the efforts of many hard-working pro-life advocates, including friends of mine. That was not my intent. I did not look at enough data from pro-life organizations or acknowledge their efforts in reducing the number of abortions performed each year, perhaps painting the entire situation with too broad and simplistic a brush.
Before I dive in, I want to make one caveat: The point of this article is not to shame women who have had abortions. I know some, and they are not monsters; they are humans just like you. Many families have also had to go through the unthinkable horror of medical complications which left no other choice than to abort the child. This post is not aimed at those situations, because not only are those impossible decisions which were not elected, but they are not the majority of abortions. They are very much the exception and not the rule.
To get a clearer picture of the current state of abortions in America, let’s look at the founding history. One friend said he was doing research into the origins of Planned Parenthood, and in reading Margaret Sanger’s arguments, he could only do it in small doses because “it was so heavily demonic in nature.” Her intent, however disguised it may have been in pro-women rhetoric, was to eradicate both poor and black people from America. Here are a few quotes of hers:
“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population”
“…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”
It’s helpful to know that Sanger was an active member of the Ku Klux Klan, and that to this day, 80% of PP clinics are in lower-income, minority neighborhoods. Or the fact that 13% of American women are black, yet black babies account for 35% of abortions performed.
As I have written about before, Planned Parenthood is a brilliant way to eradicate groups of people you don’t want alive. Not only do you get to attack them when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable—inside their mothers—but you get to raise funds for your company by masking it as an altruistic institution and make money on the back end by selling the human tissue.
It’s an Aryan dream come true.
In the feedback I received for my recent post, I was forced to recount my stance as pro-life and that meant returning to many of the gruesome details about the act itself. The term ‘abortion’ has become such a politicized category that we often forget what it is, exactly, we are talking about. The act is not only dangerous for the mothers, but studies have shown that many mothers change their minds just after seeing a detailed photograph of the baby inside their womb. The act stops a tiny heart from beating; it pulls apart little limbs with distinct fingerprints, and ends the life of a little human which can hiccup.
The best strategy of pro-choice abortionists is to convince the public that the tissue inside a pregnant woman is not, in fact, a human being, but simply an extension of the mother’s own body. Simply by using basic logic, we can dismantle this argument. First of all, if one becomes a human at birth, how would someone approach babies born several months prematurely? Suppose a baby was born at 7 months and managed to survive and grow into a flourishing adult. Did they take a shortcut to ‘humanhood’ ahead of others born at 9 months? The very fact that humans debate “how many months is too many months to abort?” reveals how arbitrary this definition of personhood is. It’s essentially saying, At x days, they’re not a human, but after x days, they are a human. It addresses the very ontology of what it is to be a person, one of the few categories I see as very black and white.
Did a man and woman come together sexually to create this being? If so, then it’s a human upon his or her creation. They don’t magically become a human later, after x months of development. And if the fetus is indeed a new, separate human being, the issue is not about women’s rights, but human rights.
Think about the issue in terms of animals. If there was a lioness in a zoo who repeatedly got pregnant, only to act in ways which harmed her fetal lion cub, the zookeepers would think there was something profoundly wrong with her. It’s simply unnatural to want to harm our unborn babies.
“Abortion is profoundly anti-women,” said Mother Teresa of Calcutta. “Three fourths of the victims are women: half the babies and all the mothers.”
Much of the language used in the media also betrays pro-choice rhetoric. For instance, when Beyonce became pregnant, the media instantly lit up talking about her “baby bump.” However, when the child is unplanned or unwanted, it is merely a “fetus,” “tissue” or “cells.” It’s important that as we form our beliefs about this issue, we learn to see through the language used (on all sides) in order to see the truth of the matter. The only way abortion could be seen as pro-women is if we explained away any traces of personhood from the child, and this is what pro-choice proponents have worked hard to do for the past 4 decades.
I don’t want to paint women who have had abortions, or even the doctors who performed them as sub-human monsters, but I also do not want to make excuses for the act or in any way defend it. We have reached a tragic moment in American culture where not only is the act of abortion permitted, but celebrated with abortion parties. This is something I could never condone: The loss of human life should always be mourned, never celebrated.
I remember a video I saw years ago, which outlined the differences between a baby in the womb and a full-grown adult. It employed the acronym S.L.E.D.:
Size – Shall we murder people of different sizes than us?
Level of Development – Shall we murder those who are not as developed as us?
Environment – Shall we murder those who live in different environments than us?
Degree of Dependency – Shall we murder those who require more medical aid to survive?
Now the question becomes, what do we do about it? As I mentioned in my previous post, we will not stop people from having extramarital sex (though that would be the ideal). In addition, Christians should be on the forefront of providing pro-life alternatives to pregnant mothers. Whether this means adoption or simply helping single mothers raise their children, the American church needs to be the alternative to abortion.
This brings up one more false argument from pro-choice advocates. Many accuse pro-life folks of being simply “pro-birth,” meaning they fight against abortion, but then abandon the baby once it’s out of the womb. In my own experience, as well as in these statistics, people who care about life seem to be consistent in their practice. Christians adopt children twice as often as non-Christians. Adoption and support of unwed mothers are beautiful reversals of the destruction and racism of abortion. If the church can continue to offer alternatives to pregnant mothers, we will continue to see a reduction of abortions via beautiful choices that celebrate life and give aid to the needy.
While I don’t have a simple answer or solution, may we continue to work together to find solutions which celebrate new life and nurture our communities. All the while, may we pray Marantha, come swiftly Lord Jesus and make all things new.
Adoption agencies are biased against non-Christian male/female couples, so… maybe don’t gas-light us?
Can you show any evidence of such a bias? If so, I’d like to know about it. Bias based on religion would be hugely wrong, unless the agency is religious in nature.
It’s good evidence that a quote is taken out of context by someone with an agenda when ellipses are utilized and there is no link or footnote to the original so that the reader can review it in its entirety and judge it in full context. If you’d read Sanger’s entire letter and research the historical background, you’d know that it was addressed to African-American physicians and was meant to provide advice for opening clinics in the South, and how to counter the inaccurate, conspiratorial, and foul narrative that was being spread by their opponents in the same way you’ve done here. I highly recommend you read her entire letter.
Context is everything. The contextual history of Sanger you should be looking into is in her relationship to the eugenics movement in the US, which she was a part of, and which was very much backed by the white Protestant Christian establishment prior to its exposure and fall from prominence after the discovery of the Holocaust. I highly recommend watching the PBS show American Experience’s documentary on the topic, The Eugenics Crusade, available on Amazon Prime and, I believe, PBS.org. If you’re going to yoke people like Sanger to those who she spoke with (the KKK), then you definitely have to connect White Protestants to the foundations of the American eugenics movement.
Well, there isn’t a doubt of the connection between white racists and the eugenics movement. That goes without saying. However, do bear in mind that Scripture doesn’t support racism without first being heavily twisted and mistreated. As for Sanger, I’ve read the letter in question. I’ve also listened to recordings of her speaking, and she was very clearly a white supremacist who was very much in favor of exterminating those she regarded as unworthy of living.
Very helpful points – thank you Ethan. If we zoom out beyond America it quickly becomes apparent how anti-women abortion can be. Across the globe, the UN reports that 117 million girls demographically go “missing” due to sex-selective abortions.
That’s a huge issue, especially in places like India, where sex-selective abortions have become quite endemic. Sadly, people don’t seem to understand exactly how that is so very counterintuitive.
The population of the States in 2016 was 73.4% Christiam, and 18.2% atheist. That means there are 4 times more Xtians than non- believers. And you are proud because twice as many Xtians adopt babies than non-believers. If you believe numbers do not lie, Xtians ahould be adopting babies at 4 times the rate of non-believers just to be equal, so really they are doing only half as well as non-believers. If you are going to compare apples to oranges, makes sure you know how many of each you have.
Next, you ask about babies born pre-maturely, whether they are human? Strange question for a human. Born means born, leaving the mother’s womb, no matter what the process. Or are you trying to suggest babies born by caesarian section are not humans? I doubt that is what you are saying. They become human when they survive the birth process, and they celebrate that day for the rest of their lives. If they do not survive the process, even if they are naturally aborted, they do not become humans. Why there is a debate about that is ONLY because prejudiced Xtians started the debate. It certainly was not started by atheists.
So, whether abortions are done by nature, or by other humans, the fetuses were never human. That takes the birth process, whether done by nature or by other humans. You cannot have it where natural abortions are okay but human-caused abortions are not, when natural births are okay and so are human-caused births. What would you be saying about all the women who choose caesarian sections over natural birth, and there are a lot of them, including by Xtians. Are their babies not human?
Cherry-picking is one of the most prominent actions of bible thumpers. As the commentor above states, you have to read things “in situ,” or context, or the story gets completely messed up. Yet believers cannot help but mess up biblical stories. They are duty-bound to cherry-pick.
I hope you will respond to these comments. Without cherry-picking!
To help with your argument:
“There are different opinions of when an embryo becomes a human being because opinions are often affected by religious and personal views. The scientific answer is that the embryo is a human being from the time of fertilization because of its human chromosomal constitution. The zygote is the beginning of a developing human.” “Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects”, 10th Edition, Moore, Persaud, Torchia (2019)
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