How to Refute the Most Common Pro-Abortion Arguments: Part 2

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“At the end of the day, there is no greater injustice in the United States right now than the permissible murder of children through abortion. Yet there is no greater — no more fundamental — human right than the right to life.”

–WILLIAM WOLFE

Read part 1 of this series here.

6) “If abortions are banned, women will just get dangerous back-alley abortions.”

The truth is that abortion is already a dangerous procedure. In fact, if performed correctly, it is a lethal one — for the unborn child. No abortion is safe. Period. It always results in a tragic death. However, to put things in historical context, before the Roe decision in 1973, “abortion was outlawed or subject to significant restrictions in the vast majority of U.S. states.”[1] And yet, even with many states having largely restrictive laws prohibiting most abortions, there was no statistically significant record of women dying from back-alley abortions. Even the aggressively liberal Washington Post corrected “Planned Parenthood’s false stat [that] thousands of women died every year before Roe.”[2]

According to Dr. Rae, “In reality, most abortions before 1973 took place in licensed facilities with properly licensed physicians [re: abortionists].”[3] The horrific reality, again, is that abortion is never safe — not for the child, of course, but also not for the mother. Recall the case of prolific abortionist and convicted serial killer Kermit Gosnell. Dr. Gosnell operated what was described as a “house of horrors,” an abortion clinic in Philadelphia that catered to and preyed upon the weakest and the most vulnerable. Gosnell was ultimately convicted of “the murders of three infants who were born alive after botched abortion attempts, [and] was convicted of manslaughter in connection with the death of one woman during an abortion procedure.”[4]

There is no such thing as a safe abortion. Therefore, we have a moral obligation to legally prohibit abortion to the greatest extent possible. The sad truth is that people will still commit crimes despite the laws that are on the books, but we shouldn’t use that as a reason to neglect the pedagogical function of the law — that is, as a teacher. If abortion is illegal, the right response to the illegality of it isn’t to try and find an underground abortion clinic but rather to adjust your behavior accordingly under the due threat of the penalty of law. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

One Sentence Summary: There is no such thing as a safe abortion in the first place since it always results in the death of the unborn child; however, the fact that people break the law is in no way an argument against the need for a law, particularly if the new law is needed to protect innocent life.

Key Verses: Leviticus 18:21, Jeremiah 7:31,Romans 7:12

7) “You’re not really pro-life, you’re just pro-birth.”

The white-hot pressing moral question at hand in our nation is not “Will there be government-funded pre-K?” but rather “Are unborn children full persons deserving of life and equal protection under the law that they currently do not have in the United States?” The debate isn’t over post-maternal care, it’s about whether or not an adult woman (or even a teenage girl) is legally allowed to kill her unborn child on-demand, at any moment, and even, in some states, up until the moment of birth.

In other words, to conflate the question of stopping the unmitigated slaughter of the unborn with economic conditions or a social safety net is to miss the point. It’s essentially the same thing as arguing that we shouldn’t have rescued the captive prisoners in Nazi German concentration camps, living under the threat of imminent death in the gas chambers, unless we also supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild the European economy.

Such an argument is preposterous, but let’s draw out the analogy. Today, in America, unborn children are essentially living in the concentration camp of their mother’s womb. How so? Because at any moment the mother can take them to a Planned Parenthood or another abortion clinic — the modern-day equivalent of the Nazi gas chambers — and put them to death. Pro-life advocates want to put an end to that. We want to remove the threat of death that hangs over the unborn. We want to liberate the modern-day Auschwitz of the womb, ensuring that children who are conceived are given the guarantee of life — the right to continue living while in the womb and during subsequent birth. Imagine, if you will, running up to the Soviet army right before they liberated Auschwitz in 1945 and shouting, “Wait! What’s your plan to provide government-funded social safety net services for these captives? Are you really pro-life or just anti-gas chambers?” Do you see how absurd that sounds? But that’s exactly how those individuals sound when they pillory those they pejoratively label as being just “pro-birth.” In other words, don’t let anyone try to tell you that you aren’t really advocating for the unborn unless you support cradle-to-grave government spending to take care of every child ever born. Frankly, that’s an anti-family policy on its own merits. And supporting such an expansive, socialistic vision for government is in no way a prerequisite for being pro-life.

One Sentence Summary: The most pressing issue of the pro-life movement is to secure the legal prohibition of abortion. That is what is most fundamental about what it means to be “pro-life,” so don’t let anyone guilt you into supporting big government social programs under the guise of being “more holistically” pro-life.

Key Verse: Exodus 20:13

8) “Banning abortion will disproportionately impact the black community.”

 Yes. Yes, it will. But it won’t be a negative impact — it will be a wonderfully positive one. If anyone accuses you of being a racist or aiming to hurt the black community by banning abortion, confidently respond: “If we ban abortion, there will be millions more black lives born into our nation, not less. Don’t you want that?” Staggeringly, according to Dr. Carol Swain, “Eighty percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are within easy walking distance of minority neighborhoods and 60 percent are in minority zip codes.”[5] Keep in mind, Planned Parenthood was founded by a deeply racist individual, Margert Sanger. Sanger was a “eugenicist who believed society would be better off without immigrants, blacks, and people with mental disabilities.”[6] Sadly, her eugenics-fueled effort has paid off. In a recent piece, Gary Franks — who served three terms as U.S. representative for Connecticut’s 5th District, was the first Black Republican elected to the House in nearly 60 years, and changed from being pro-choice to pro-life — explained that “nearly 40% of all abortions in America since Roe v. Wade have been from Black Americans. This equates to more than 20 million Black pregnancies aborted…Yet Black people make up just 14% of the U.S… [meaning, as a result] abortions amount to a 50% reduction of the Black population.”[7] Given these sad statistics, the truth is evident: The black community has been disproportionately hit hardest by legalized abortion. Bringing an end to abortion is the first step in restoring some of the most hurting communities in our country.

One Sentence Summary: Far from hurting the black community, making abortion illegal will help save millions of black lives, since sadly, black babies account for 40 percent of all abortions despite the fact that blacks are only 14 percent of the population.

Key Verses: James 2:1-13

9) “Don’t have a uterus? Then you can’t have an opinion.”

This is a classic argument made by pro-abortion activists. This argument not only lacks logical sanity, but it also wreaks of sexism. Discrediting someone’s opinion based solely on their sex is textbook sexism. The sexist nature of this argument speaks for itself, so I’ll move on to another point.

Pro-abortion activists claim that since men can’t get pregnant, they aren’t allowed to have an opinion or say on abortion policy, sometimes referred to as “reproductive rights” or “reproductive freedom.” But is that right? Well, according to the Bible, there is no such thing as “gendered knowledge.” The moral truths of the universe apply equally to men and women. Women aren’t given a “get out of the Sixth  Commandment free” card. No, the commandment “You shall not murder” applies equally to men and women alike (Exodus 20:13). If the unborn child is an innocent human person, neither men nor women have the right to take the child’s life — regardless of their reproductive organs or lack thereof. What a woman can do is make other choices. She can choose abstinence and chastity to avoid the possibility of pregnancy in the first place, but if she does become pregnant, then she can choose motherhood or, with the consent of the father, adoption.

The sad truth is that many men don’t want any responsibility for the repercussions of their sexual choices, so they are often some of the strongest supporters of on-demand abortion. In his brilliant book The Unaborted Socrates, Peter Kreet, via Socrates, criticizes the “convenient injustice of abortion” and suggests that it may continue to exist “because the men make most of the laws…statistics show, you know, that men consistently favor abortion more than women do.”[8]

So, despite the popular chant that “men can’t tell women what to do with our bodies,” reality reflects that many men are happy for women to have the option to get an abortion because it potentially absolves them any responsibility to care for their child. This is ungodly and unjust and shouldn’t be tolerated by Christians. Not only are men duly entitled to have an opinion on laws in our land regarding the protection of life, but they are also morally responsible to care for any women they impregnate and any offspring they produce. God cares about this as well. In 1 Timothy 5:8, we read that “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

But in conclusion, the reality is that God’s revealed truth and moral order apply to all men and women equally. When it comes to the great matters of justice and moral significance — such as the life and death of the unborn — everyone in society not only has the right to have an opinion but they are also obligated before God to have the right opinion, for men and women alike will one day be judged by God for their actions — and opinions — in this life.

One Sentence Summary: Possessing a certain set of reproductive organs is not a prerequisite for moral reasoning nor for holding an opinion on how society should best care for the most vulnerable among us; far from being quieter, men need to show more leadership, both in working to end abortion and being willing to provide for any children they father.

Key Verses: Exodus 20:13, 1 Timothy 5:8, Romans 3:23

10) “You’re just trying to use your religion to seize power and turn America into ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”

To this, you can answer 1) yes and no, 2) not really, and 3) definitely not. Let me explain. First, Christians aren’t trying to “use their religion” for anything. In fact, we understand that we are bound by and ultimately subordinate to our religion, which comes from God our Father, and since we are not sitting in a position of authority over our faith, we are not using it for anything. But the unavoidable reality is that our faith makes ethical claims and moral judgments — one of those being the primacy of the value of human life. God reveals this premium in Genesis 9:6 when He institutes the principle of retributive justice after the flood: “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.”

So, while we aren’t using our religion for anything, we are seeking to live according to the truth and the goodness of God’s wisdom, which He indelibly set into creation order in accordance — and that means opposing the unjust slaughter of the unborn. If this isn’t an animating principle for you as a Christian, you haven’t fully grasped the implications of our faith. So yes — and no.

Second, to the charge that we are “trying to seize power,” the answer to that is not really. Arguably, some Christians should aspire to run for political office and all Christians should desire to see that those who do have power wield it according to good, just, and right ends. Proverbs 29:2 teaches us that “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” If we care about our neighbors — and the answer is, of course we do, because we are commanded to (Mark 12:31) — then that includes our unborn neighbor. And that includes loving our unborn neighbors enough to ensure their lives are safe and protected. Since their lives are currently and tragically disposable in our nation, loving them as our neighbor means that Christians must actively petition our government to right this wrong. That petitioning should also include seeking to secure political power and influence, through legitimate means, to bring an end to abortion.

This brings us to subpoint three: Do Christians secretly want to turn America into a theocratic slave state? Of course not. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a farcical and absurd take on classic Christian theology. The reality is that Christians are simply trying to be faithful to the same faith commitments we have held since the advent of Christianity. For example, the Didache, one of the earliest non-canonical Christian documents, clearly states, “You shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.”[9] Thus, pro-life values — and the logical extension of voting for pro-life platforms by Christians — is not some modern, Western construct created by the Moral Majority as a means to seize power but rather the millennia-old interpretation of the teachings of Scripture. While Christians may or may not have the possibility of holding political power in any given national context, Christians must always be pro-life. There is simply no other option.

Also, it should be noted that when Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a mother of seven, was appointed to the Supreme Court, pro-abortion activists donned costumes from “The Handmaid’s Tale” to illustrate their concern that Barrett’s appointment would compromise or diminish women’s rights. To rephrase: Women claimed that women’s rights would be stripped because of the appointment of a woman. In a twisted irony, pro-abortion activists declared that a woman who has excelled expeditiously in a very demanding and male-dominant profession, ultimately finding herself on the highest court in the land, would be responsible for reducing women’s value to that of property and second-class citizenry.

The irony is fascinating. But this was never about women’s rights. This is about abortion. This is about evil.

One Sentence Summary: Christians aren’t trying to turn America into a dystopian theocracy; we are just living out our faith in the public square, calling on our nation to be a just nation that affords equal protection under the law to all of its citizens and availing ourselves of whatever political power we may secure through legitimate means to do so.

Key Verses: Genesis 9:6, Mark 12:13

Conclusion

This is the pro-life cause. It is grounded in God’s creation and the inherent respect due to the Imago Dei stamped on all human life. It is a loud and unapologetic voice for the most innocent and defenseless among us, the unborn. It utilizes faith, reason, science, and the natural law to defend the personhood of the unborn baby — one that is fully deserving of equal protection under the law. It’s committed to overturning Roe v. Wade and bringing about a legal prohibition on abortion nationwide. Finally, with a generous and Christian spirit, it is committed to helping mothers and fathers who are faced with unplanned pregnancies. 

At the end of the day, there is no greater injustice in the United States right now than the permissible murder of children through abortion. Yet there is no greater — no more fundamental — human right than the right to life. There is no greater civil right than the right to be born. There is no greater systemic institution of injustice in our country than the abortion industry. There is no more heart-dropping statistic than the fact that over 60 million infants have been killed in the womb since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973.

Ultimately, all other political rights, causes, and efforts are secondary to the movement to stop the legalized institution of on-demand infanticide in America. That’s why we, as Christians, are obligated before God to speak out and up — loudly — for those who are never given the chance to speak or cry, or even to breathe. That’s why we fight for justice for those in the womb. There is no cause so clear cut, so unquestionably just and aligned with the law of God and His purpose for mankind, so tied to absolute truth, so grounded in God’s revelation that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, so respectful of His creation, and so valiant in defending His image than the pro-life cause.

As the pro-life movement eagerly awaits the outcome of the Dobbs case, which we hope will overturn Roe in the immediate and ultimately lead to the end of unquestioned national-level legal abortion, we pray to God that He will “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” on our nation (Amos 5:24).

And remember: While the overturning of Roe v. Wade would be an enormous accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated, it’s not the end of the pro-life movement. In many ways, it is just the beginning. May God grant us all grace, wisdom, charity, love, and strength to continue to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 3:8) until such a time as abortion isn’t just illegal, it is truly unimaginable.


Footnotes

[1] O. Carter Snead, What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020), 110.

[2] Glenn Kessler, Planned Parenthood’s false stat: ‘Thousands’ of women died every year before Roe, Washington Post,  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/05/29/planned-parenthoods-false-stat-thousands-women-died-every-year-before-roe/.

[3] Scott B. Rae, Introducing Christian Ethics: A Short Guide to Making Moral Choices (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2016) 68.

[4] Kermit Gosnell, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell.

[5] Carol Swain, “Systemic Racism at Planned Parenthood,” First Things, https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2021/02/systemic-racism-at-planned-parenthood.

[6] Swain, “Systemic Racism at Planned Parenthood,” First Things.

[7] Franks, Gary, “Black babies are nearly 40% of U.S. abortions,” TRIB Live, https://triblive.com/opinion/gary-franks-black-babies-are-nearly-40-of-us-abortions.

[8] Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates: A Dramatic Debate on the Issues Surrounding Abortion (Madison, WI: Intervarsity University Press, 1983), 146.

[9] The Didache, https://legacyicons.com/content/didache.pdf, 5.


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