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On March 28, 2017 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced felony charges against David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for invading privacy and recording individuals without consent. Daleiden and Merritt undertook an undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood, eventually releasing videos claiming to prove that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal organs for a profit.
Even while felony charges are being pursued against Daleiden and Merritt, we should not miss the irony that many Americans are concerned to protect privacy laws but unconcerned to protect innocent human life. They are outraged about the injustice of being filmed unawares, but not outraged over the injustice involved in terminating innocent babies in the womb.
Considering that the lives of 60 million have been taken since 1973 and that Planned Parenthood is recruiting “tens of thousands” of persons to expand its abortive mission, how should Christians respond? In short, we should continue to seek both legal reform and cultural renewal, and should do so not only by articulating the Bible’s teaching but also by enumerating the ways abortion corrupts society.
When we offer distinctively Christian reasons, we focus on the fact that God creates human beings in his “image and likeness” (Gen 1:26), knows the unborn intimately and individually just as he knows adults (Ps 139:13-16), consecrates babies for special service even while they are in the womb (Lk 1:41), considers a baby’s life equally valuable as an adult’s life (Ex 21:22-25), commands us not to kill innocent human beings (Ex 20:13), and loves humanity enough that he sent his own Son to die to save us from our sins (Jn 3:16).
In addition to this type of reasoning, which is distinctively Christian in its reliance upon Scripture, we evangelicals need to renew our efforts to communicate the pro-life position not only with Scriptural reasoning, but also through sociological persuasion. While many of our fellow citizens might not be persuaded through Scriptural reasoning, they may be persuaded when they come face-to-face with the social degradation caused by abortion.
Although countless sociological reasons might be given, such as the 26 reasons enumerated in “The America We Seek: A Statement of Pro-Life Principle and Concern (TAWS),” this post limits itself to articulating eight ways abortion harms society and its members.
- Abortion hurts the baby. Dying in violent and agonizing manners, somewhere between 1-2 million innocent baby humans are killed each year. The baby’s experience of pain is widely agreed upon, which is one reason why pro-abortionists resort to socially neutral euphemisms such as “products of conception” and “termination of pregnancy.” As the authors of TAWS note, “The unborn child in America today enjoys less legal protection than an endangered species of bird in a national forest.”
- Abortion hurts women. Our country’s legalization of abortion damages women by communicating to them that it is morally and legally acceptable to take the life of their baby. This legalization has catalyzed male irresponsibility and predatory sexual behavior which, in turn, destabilizes romantic relationships and marriages.
- Abortion hurts men. Abortion-on-demand means that many fathers must watch their children killed against their will; some months, years, or even decades later, fathers find out that the child they would’ve wanted to nurture was killed without their input or consent.
- Abortion hurts marriages and families. Abortion hurts families in numerous ways, among which are: its destruction of a baby, fueling of male irresponsibility, marginalization of fatherhood, and the implicit message that members of a family can use lethal force to solve their problems.
- Abortion undermines justice and equality. Abortion should not be a matter of “choice” any more than other situations that involve taking the life of an innocent person. When we allow our citizens to take the life of innocent persons, we undermine our nation’s claim to being a law-governed democracy. No longer does our nation really believe that we are all created equal; no longer do we seek justice for all.
- Abortion undermines our nation’s system of checks and balances. In Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions, the Supreme Court majority bypassed democratic debate and legislation by fabricating a Constitutional right to abortion.
- Abortion minimizes society’s mediating institutions. Abortion-on-demand assumes that an individual (the mother) has the right to take a life without the consent of the baby’s father or siblings. This sort of individual autonomy pushes America even further toward a cultural environment where the only actors of consequence are the ever-expanding state and the solitaire individual.
- Abortion hurts society at large. In an article supporting the pro-life movement, Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote, “There is growing awareness that the moral ecology of the country has suffered something like an environmental disaster, and that we are faced with a very complicated clean-up operation.” Indeed, abortion license has eroded the moral foundations of our civic community and numbed our collective consciences by normalizing lethal violence against innocent humans. Instead of reinforcing our intuitive desire to protect those persons among us who are weakest and most vulnerable, it demands that we adjust our consciences to the termination of those persons.
The Path Forward
In the midst of Planned Parenthood’s aggressive expansion of its abortive missions, let’s engage in an aggressive expansion of our own mission—to seek legal reform and cultural renewal so that unborn babies will be protected by law and welcomed in life.
May our striving for legal reform and cultural renewal be rooted ultimately in the gospel of Christ. For abortive mothers, may we remind them that another Son died to liberate them from residual guilt. For fathers who may have approved of, paid for, or pressured an abortion, may we remind them that there is another Father whose own Son was killed. For doctors whose hands have been employed in abortive procedures, may we introduce them to the Great Physician who offers eternal life for those who have caused temporal death.
For persons interested in gaining a better understanding of the pro-life cause, here are seven pro-life articles and books you should consider reading.
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