I Am A Grandpa

I Am A Grandpa

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I am a grandpa now! To be clear, I am a grandpa of the little life bouncing around in my lovely daughter-in-law Annie. 

I don’t become a grandpa from the first heartbeat; I don’t become a grandpa when the age of viability is reached; I don’t become a grandpa at birth; I don’t become a grandpa when this life takes its first breath after birth; I am a grandpa now, and became a grandpa at the moment of conception. 

The pro-life argument is not strictly biblical, but many passages certainly support the pro-life view. For example, Genesis 1:27Job 33:4Psalm 127:3-5, and Psalm 139:13-16, to name a few, but it is also philosophical and scientific. 

SLED

A philosophical example would be the simple SLED test. Human value is not based on Size, Level of development, Environment, or Degree of dependency.

Considering the size, some might say the unborn is just a clump of cells; consequently, Annie is not a mother, and you are not a grandpa, yet. Well, we are all just a clump of cells; what does that have to do with the clump of cells being a distinct human entity? This clump of cells is alive, growing, and human. Am I worth more than a 2-year-old little girl? Obviously not, and especially not to the parents of that little girl. That clump of cells from the first germinal stage is a distinct and separate human life. This life has their own DNA and is defined as ‘life’ by any biology textbook.

After size, if you look at the level of development, you will see that criteria can’t determine value. For example, a three-year-old girl does not have a fully developed reproductive system, so she can’t bear children. Does that somehow make her less valuable? Obviously, the unborn is less developed than the 3-year-old girl, so does she have an even lesser value? Equating a human’s value to their development level is clearly abhorrent to the clear thinking. 

How does location change the value of a human? Does traveling down a 7-inch birth canal suddenly bestow personhood, value, and human rights to that individual? 

Finally, does dependency alter value? Yes, the unborn is dependent on the mother, but newborns are also dependent on their mother/parents for love, security, and a safe environment. Should mothers be allowed to kill their newborns because they need them for nutrition or safety? 

DISCRIMINATION

The SLED method points out what abortion really is, discrimination based on size, development, location, and dependency. The strong, those in complete control, are allowed to disqualify the weak and defenseless. Recall in history, another class of human beings considered to be less valuable because of another arbitrary characteristic. African Americans because of their skin color. 

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own. – Abraham Lincoln

SCIENCE

How do I know I am a grandpa now? Science. If you are already rolling your eyes, you will not like anything else I have to say. Nevertheless, if you have got this far, I encourage you to keep reading and thoughtfully consider my points. 

Why do I say science? One example is the technology we use today; women can take a pregnancy test at home, which measures the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). About two weeks after conception, HCG can be detected in the blood or urine.1

Another example is how biologists define life? I had this discussion with my friend Dennis, a biology professor, when I went backpacking for two weeks with him in Wyoming. He explained that biologists define life with several criteria: organization, homeostasis, metabolism, growth, response, reproduction, and adaptation.2

Some terms might change depending on your source, but they all help us determine the characteristics necessary for something to be defined as life. 

BIOLOGY DEFINES LIFE

From conception, there is organization. Cells too tiny to see with the human eye carry out the activities necessary for life, forming complex structures. Homeostasis involves feedback controls and the life seeking to maintain a stable internal environment as it deals with external changes. Metabolism is simply converting energy from chemicals into various and specific cellular structures. Growth is cell division, and it grows in size or number. The response trait is the ability of life to react to its environment. Reproduction is the ability to multiply or procreate, which for most life does not come till later stages of development. Finally, adaptation is the ability to adjust to a change in an environment.3

There is no question that the unborn are alive from the moment of conception. There is no question that the unborn are human from the moment of conception. 

Of course, you will not hear this from the pro-choice advocates. Not long ago Chris Cuomo tweeted, “…the pro-life position is more about faith and feeling than fact.”4 It is a typical claim that Christians and pro-life advocates base their arguments on the Bible, blind faith, and feelings, none of which have anything remotely to do with facts and science. 

LIFE AFTER FIRST BREATH

Last month a woman named Ann on Facebook defended the claim that life does not begin till the first breath. I have heard others make the same claim and then quote Genesis 2:7 to support their view. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (NIV) Technically, God’s breath began life, not when a human first takes a breath after birth, but let’s dig a little deeper. 

Pro-choice supporters say the Bible says life begins at first breath. Of course, clumps of cells don’t breathe air in the womb. Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being.” Let me be clear; this is a descriptive statement, not prescriptive. It describes how and when Adam came to life, not when all human beings come to life. Scripture does not teach that everyone comes to life at their first intake of oxygen into their lungs, and to make that claim is complete rubbish.

Again scientific because I can quote a textbook for medical students, “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”5

The pro-life argument is founded on the principle that intentionally killing an innocent human being is wrong, which is precisely what abortion does.

The unborn are alive, the unborn are human, the unborn are innocent, and the unborn are helpless, so tell me what justification do you have for abortion? And before you toss out the rape and incest card which is less than 1% let’s settle the other 99%. 

  1. Smith, Lori. “Pregnancy tests: All you need to know.” Medical News Today, medicalnewstoday.com, 24 May 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295001. []
  2. Mason, Kenneth; Losos, Jonathan; Singer, Susan. “The Science of Biology.” Biology, New York, McGraw Hill, 2017, pgs. 2-3. []
  3. “Life.” Biology Online, biologyonline.com, 16 June 2022, https://www.biologyonline.com/dictionary/life []
  4. Cuomo, Chris. [ChrisCuomo]. Twitter, 7 May 2019, https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/1125740694977548288 []
  5. Keith Moore, T. V. N. Persaud, and Mark Torchia, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 10th Edition, Philadelphia: Saunders, 2015), pg 11. []
Do You Really Believe Abortion Is Wrong?

Do You Really Believe Abortion Is Wrong?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Do you really believe abortion is the killing of an innocent human being? Then why shouldn’t women receive the death penalty or be put in prison?

I read this question for the first time when I viewed the Steve Chapman article that was mentioned on a podcast I listen to.

Concerning the pro-life voices claiming abortion is the killing of innocent human beings Steve Chapman a Chicago Tribune columnist says, “…this is a rhetorical device or a moral conceit, not a well-thought-out conviction. The vast majority of people who endorse it really don’t mean it. Even they exhibit a deep sense that a fetus has an appreciably lower status than an actual person.”((Chapman, Steve. “I don’t think abortion is murder, and neither do you.” Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, 27 April 2018. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-perspec-chapman-abortion-murder-williamson-homicide-0429-20180427-story.html))

His point is well taken. How many Christians do you know that are vocal about abortion, claiming it is the taking of an innocent life? Then those same Christians turn around endorsing, and even supporting healing and counseling for women who have had abortions, never punishment. How many of us would say the same for a woman who killed her innocent two-year-old?

Jeanne Mancini, president of the pro-life organization March for life said, “Being pro-life means wanting what is best for the mother and the baby. Women who choose abortion often do so in desperation and then deeply regret such a decision. No pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen abortion. This is against the very nature of what we are about. We invite a woman who has gone down this route to consider paths to healing, not punishment.”((Peck, Bethany. “No Pro-Life American Advocates Punishment For Abortion.” March For Life, marchforlife.org, 30 March 2016. http://marchforlife.org/no-pro-life-american/))

What is up with that? How can Christians claim abortion is the killing of innocent human beings, but then do an about face and huddle around women who have had abortions and suggest counseling for healing vs a concrete cell.

What would you say to someone who pointed that out to you as Steve Chapman did in his column? Chapmen went on to argue that if you really consider abortion murder then you should agree that women who have abortions should be punished. If not, then your not being consistent in your Christian convictions. If it is murder then punish them, if not then get out of the way, give women the choice to do what they want with their own body and quit calling it murder. Chapman wrote, “About 1 of every 4 American women will have an abortion by age 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute. If you regard abortion as murder and think your sister, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin or friend should go to prison for decades — or be executed — if she ever terminated a pregnancy, you’re being consistent. If you regard abortion as murder and think they deserve a gentle path to healing, you’re not.”((Chapman, Steve. “I don’t think abortion is murder, and neither do you.” Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, 27 April 2018. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-perspec-chapman-abortion-murder-williamson-homicide-0429-20180427-story.html))

I personally believe abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, but like virtually every other Christian I know I don’t believe women should be punished for having an abortion. Why is that? If you feel the same way can your reasoning to someone who is pro-choice?

Science is clear on when life begins. Science is also clear that at the moment of conception life begins and if left alone this new life will develop and grow into an adult human.

Should women get the death penalty for killing an innocent human being? Absolutely not, but that does not mean I don’t think abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

Imagine if a woman is about to roll forward in her truck knowing full well that an infant is just in front of one of her tires. This woman knows the child is there. She saw the child, touched the child, heard the child. Has no doubt about the child being just in front of her tire, but goes ahead and rolls forward. None of us would consider this accidental, and everyone would agree that this woman is guilty of murdering an innocent child.

Now imagine another woman also has a child in front of one of her truck tires. We know the child is there, we see the child, touched the child, heard the child, but the woman does not believe the child is there. She is convinced, has no doubt in her mind, completely self-assured, there is nothing but dirt and gravel in front of all four tires. Rolling forward would mean rolling over dirt, gravel and other inanimate objects. Then she pulls forward killing the child.

Would we punish both women the same? Of course not, one knew full well what she was doing, the other did not.

Steve Chapman article makes us look at two questions to be considered over the abortion issue. First, is abortion morally right or morally wrong? The second question is a policy question, not an ethical question. The second question begs for guidelines once the moral question is answered. If it is decided that abortion is wrong then what should be the consequences or public policy for women and men who are guilty of committing abortion?((Shlemon, Alan. “Do Pro-Lifers Really Think Abortion Is Murder?” Audio blog post. STR Weekly Audio. STR.org, 7 June 2018. Web. 14 July 2018))

Alan Shlemon in an STR.org podcast points out that we may be able to decide on the first question, (many of us have) if abortion right or wrong, but may not be able to easily solve the second question. What to do with those who are guilty of committing abortion.((Shlemon, Alan. “Do Pro-Lifers Really Think Abortion Is Murder?” Audio blog post. STR Weekly Audio. STR.org, 7 June 2018. Web. 14 July 2018))

Keep in mind our society has already dealt with the issue of killing the unborn. Currently, we have 38 states that recognize the unborn and its status as a victim of crime and consequently punish those who have caused the death or injury of the unborn. In 2004 the ‘Unborn Victims of Violence Act‘ was passed and the U.S. recognized over 60 federal crimes of violence against the unborn. One example can be found in the Scott Peterson case where he was found guilty of double homicide 2004 of the murder of his wife Laci and his unborn son Connor. 

Shlemon points out that even if we can’t decide on a punishment for those who break the law, (if abortion was illegal) that does not mean it is ethically acceptable to have abortions. There are many considerations, motives, intent, and understanding of the actions taken. I personally believe that many women are duped into believing the unborn is nothing more than a clump of cells with little or no consideration to the growing life within them. If not coerced they are certainly encouraged in Planned Parenthood clinics throughout our nation to have the abortions.

Steve Chapman ends his article with, “If abortion is not murder, it is impossible to justify banning it, early in pregnancy or later. Women have the right to control their own bodies — have knee surgery or not, donate blood or not, go sky diving or not. The freedom to end a pregnancy is part of that physical autonomy.”((Chapman, Steve. “I don’t think abortion is murder, and neither do you.” Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, 27 April 2018. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-perspec-chapman-abortion-murder-williamson-homicide-0429-20180427-story.html))

This is, of course, the argument pro-choice advocates have been waving for decades. Women have the right to choose, they can do what they want with their own bodies. Nonsense! Women can’t strap bombs to their body and walk in public places, women can’t consume drugs and alcohol when they choose, women can’t sell their own bodies whenever and wherever they want. We all have restrictions on our bodies and we don’t have the right to choose.

Yes, women can have knee surgery, donate blood, skydive or not, and it is pathetic Chapman would even compare abortions to that list of preferences, as if having an abortion was nothing more consequential than deciding on your flavor of ice cream for that evening. The question of what they are aborting remains. If the unborn is life, human life, growing, developing human life, and science is clear that it is, then that life has weight on the justice scale of inherent human value.

Sources:

Engaging the Culture

Reading Time: 8 minutesBelow is a response I received from someone, (I will call Joe) when I asked if they were pro-life. This was a private message because he was not comfortable discussing abortion, (no doubt a hot topic for some) on his Facebook page. But he gave me permission to use it on my blog. 

So in reference towards Pro Life or Pro Choice, I really do not speak to either issue because I feel as if I have no power whether the law on this will change… I do feel abortion is morally wrong, but I would never condemn anyone on their life choices…nor do I believe I should be the judge of anyone…It is such a sensitive issue and there are so many arguments around pro life and pro choice I just don’t see any benefit in discussing the subject. I used to be a strong advocate for pro life and would cry for endless hours for these babies, but in growing and learning, I have discovered even more horrors man has committed…man will do as they please, laws or not…I guess I try to see the issue as realistic as I can. 

When we are able to sit down and communicate our beliefs and views on various topics, and in turn hear opposing views, we can only benefit from the exchange. I have opinions on gun control laws, homosexuality, death penalty, evolution, young earth, old earth, welfare, miracles, and abortion that have changed over the years. Some of those changes came about from discussions with others whose opinions differed from mine. Other changes came from my own investigative or skeptical mind that led to some research on my part to come to a decision, or at least tip the scale on one side of an issue or the other.  

So in reference towards Pro Life or Pro Choice, I really do not speak to either issue because I feel as if I have no power whether the law on this will change… 

I can understand your feeling that way. Many times over the years I have felt I was wasting my time punching the hole in the ballet box for one candidate or another; candidates who will hopefully share at least some of my views. Although in recent years, my choices for representatives were more akin to asking me if I would rather be eaten by a pack of wild dogs, or torn apart by a hungry lion.  

I would encourage everyone to stay involved in the political system and speak out on the issues they feel strongly about. For some it may be the 2nd amendment, others may champion gay rights. Most of us may have an issue that is on the forefront of our minds. I am not talking about parroting the views on CNN or Fox to our friends, family, or co-workers, but really understanding and articulating to others their reasons for their beliefs.  

Changes in our laws come from the market place of ideas. Ideas rule the day, not kings, queens, princes, presidents, or dictators. We all have the power to change laws, trends, or even views of people who are willing to listen to a thoughtful argument or well reasoned conclusion.  

I do feel abortion is morally wrong, but I would never condemn anyone on their life choices…nor do I believe I should be the judge of anyone… 

I too feel abortion is morally wrong, and like you Joe, I would never point the finger at anyone who made this morally wrong choice, but that does not mean we should ignore what took place, and is taking place, every day: approximately 3,300 abortions every day in the United States.1 Nor does it mean I will not tell them if asked, what I think of their conclusion. We all can expect consequences for our moral, (right or wrong), decisions. We have all made morally wrong choices such as lying, cheating, stealing, but does that mean someone should not point out how wrong our decisions are when we make those choices? If someone steals, and no one ever points out it is morally wrong to take something that does not belong to them, how can they ever correct their immoral behavior? 

You say that you don’t believe you should be the judge of anyone, but you have by that very statement. How can you say you feel abortion is morally wrong, but not be the judge of anyone? You have already judged it is morally wrong. Many states have mandatory reporting laws for anyone who is a witness to a crime. Teachers are keenly aware of this responsibility as they are mandatory reporters when they suspect child abuse. But not just teachers, anyone who observes a crime against children has a duty to report it and if they don’t they can be prosecuted and held civilly liable.2 

If you observed your neighbor, through a broken board in a fence, abusing his wife by tying her to a tree and beating her, would you feel you should not be the judge of him? Quite the contrary, not only judge, but condemn him if you were on the jury that was presented with undeniable evidence such as pictures and other eyewitnesses.  

Why do you think abortion is wrong? Is it wrong to point out to someone they are taking the life of an innocent human being? 

Many people today view right and wrong as an opinion. You like chocolate, I like vanilla. Are you right and I’m wrong? Of course not. That is simply an opinion based on personal preferences, but morals are not based on personal preferences, nor are they based on popular opinion, such as “according to Oprah”. Morals transcend human judgement. Is it ever, under any circumstance, OK to torture babies for fun? Of course not, and we all understand that, and if anyone was to argue that point, would you allow them to baby sit your children?   

We all judge, we all condemn, (as in the case of jurors) the behaviors of others. What if I was to kick in your door and steal your smart phone and other valuables? Would you say, “Go right ahead”? “I would never condemn anyone on their life choices…nor do I believe I should be the judge of anyone.” Do you see how silly this statement is? Yet many have bought into this line of thinking of not judging others which is sold at most of our universities. I have even seen Christians quote Matthew 7:1-2 telling others not to judge. Silly really, the Bible has a whole book titled Judges, and Jesus was not launching the age of relativism in that statement. Just read a couple verses down, He was talking about hypocritical judging. Matthew 7:3-5  And in John 7:24 Jesus tells us to judge correctly, not by outward appearance.  

Christians are accused of being intolerant and always judging others, but is it wrong to point out immoral behavior? 

It is such a sensitive issue and there are so many arguments around pro life and pro choice I just don’t see any benefit in discussing the subject. I used to be a strong advocate for pro life and would cry for endless hours for these babies, but in growing and learning, I have discovered even more horrors man has committed. 

Your statement about discovering more horrors man has committed is a red herring. In other words, what does the ‘other’ horrors man has committed have to do with the horror of 3,300 abortions taking place daily in the U.S.? Nothing. What does the tragedy of 911 have to do with the abortion issue? What does the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary school have to do with the abortion issue? Nothing. We are discussing the abortion issue, not other moral catastrophes committed by man. Pointing out or getting side tracked on other human failures does not address the moral dilemma.  

I was pleased you allowed me to use your PM in my blog, despite your feeling we would not benefit from it. Thank you. More often than not, when I blog on a particular subject I feel I am the only one to benefit from it, having done the research and time for a thoughtful reply, all in an effort to persuade someone to my way of thinking. Small time blogger here with the number of subscribers around six, and four of those are my kids. I am just glad they are old enough to read.  

There are times the benefits of discussing certain subjects are past. This is especially true if someone is completely closed off to hearing reasons or evidence from someone who wants to explain why they believe what they believe. As a Christian apologist, 1Peter 3:15 holds a special significance to me. I strive to have reasons for my belief in God, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, the offer of salvation, and many of the social issues we struggle to make sense of our world today.  

I was never a strong advocate for pro-life. It was not a social issue that was on the top of my list, but in recent years it has moved up several notches. Not because I have moved into some greater moral maturity, but simply because the Lord has put it on my heart, as it was on yours at one time. Others have seen the arguments of both sides and come to a different conclusion.  

man will do as they please, laws or not…I guess I try to see the issue as realistic as I can. 

I would like to end this post with a brief argument for life that I would like you to consider. An argument that may help you see the issue realistically. An argument without scripture, but simply looking at the issue and the facts involved.  

Size does not dictate value. I am about 6’2” tall, but my wife is only 5’3” tall. Just because I am larger does not make me more valuable. Neither is our kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Hall more valuable than any of the children she teaches. So the size of the unborn is unrelated to its worth. First trimester or last trimester is of no consequence. Value is not dictated by size.  

Location does not dictate value. As I sit at the end of our kitchen table working on this post, my moving to the other side of the room does not have any relation to my significance. Moving 8 inches down the birth canal does nothing to change the worth of the child.  

Development does not dictate value. My youngest just started high school and has not finished growing yet, but that does not relate to her value as a human being. A three year old girl who does not have a functional reproductive system is not less valuable than a woman who is twenty.  

Dependency does not dictate value. If a two year old was to fall in a pool who would not rescue them? Just because they are dependent on others does not make them less valuable. The newborn are completely helpless and dependent, but are considered precious, and priceless to the parents and grandparents.  

William Lane Craig poised two questions, (I will use one) we can ask ourselves concerning the unborn that may bring this into focus. “Is the developing fetus a human being?” 

When a little boy walks up behind his parent while they are doing the dishes and asks, “Mommy can I kill this?” the natural response is, “What is it?” If it was a cockroach, most would say yes. Those who value all life might say “No, take it outside.” But we all recognize that the answer to what it is determines our answer. From the moment of conception we have life, growing, changing, and developing.  

Augustine said we should love people, not things. Once we determine what we are killing, there should be no question concerning the moral implications. Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler conceded, “If indeed there were a human being present from conception, then interfering with its growth or removing it from its human support system would be tantamount to killing a human being.”4 

I have not discussed the issue of abortion in the case of incest or rape, but have done so in another post if you are inclined to read it.

Abortion is a sensitive issue, but those are often the most important ones to discuss publicly. No question discussions on Facebook can be heated, angry, and people unfriend others because of things said, but not discussing an issue because it is sensitive does not remove the sensitivity of it. It just becomes a boulder in the driveway that everyone is driving around and ignoring but doing nothing about. The arguments for pro-life when compared to pro-choice are remarkably better, but people in general have swallowed hook, line and sinker the slogan pro-choice because they don’t want to appear to be anti-women rights. They are afraid of being labeled intolerant or judgmental. Who are we to tell women what to do? Well, we tell women and men what to do all the time.  

There are objective truths, and one is that abortion is wrong. It is taking the life of an innocent human being. Pointing that out to others is judgmental and possibly intolerant. That’s OK, because we should never be tolerant of those who take innocent human life.  

 

Sources: 

1. “Abortion Facts” Abortion No. The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. Abortionno.org n.d. Web. 18 March 2016
2. “What Can Happen to Me If I Don’t Report?” Do Right by Kids. Dorightbykids.org, n.d. Web. 18 March 2016
3. Craig, William L. Hard Questions Real Answers. Wheaton: Crossway, 2003. Print.
4. Ibid. 

 

 

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Engaging the Culture by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.dev.christianapologetics.blog/.

 

What About Rape and Incest?

What About Rape and Incest?

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Above Image by Snap_it from Pixabay

This is the only comment like this I will ever make: I am not going to tell a woman who is pregnant by rape that she has to have the child. Great if she wants to, but I refuse to force her. Or a girl pregnant by incest. Or a woman who may die with another pregnancy. Or someone who doesn’t want a child. And no, I will not reply to or even read comments about my comment. Yes, it’s a rotten way to do it. I wish there were no abortions, but women – not me, not you, not our churches – have to make this decision.

This was a recent post in a Facebook thread I had been following. On the surface, it would seem difficult, if not uncomfortable for the Christian to respond to. Certainly playing the rape or incest card is a common tactic that pro abortion advocates pull, which leaves many stumped on how to respond. It is these kinds of posts or “drive by” comments that fuel my apologetic fire.

I say “drive by” because like the drive by shootings, the shooter, like this poster, does not want to stick around for a response. In fact, it reminds me of the child who squeezes his eyes shut, plugs his ears, and begins to sing or hum loudly so they don’t hear your reply to something they just said. Childish behavior, yes.

Also in light of the Planned Parenthood videos that have been released, I felt it was going to be a worth while post for some who struggle with the issue of abortion. Let’s break this down and consider all that she wrote.
This is the only comment like this I will ever make: I am not going to tell a woman who is pregnant by rape that she has to have the child. Great if she wants to, but I refuse to force her. Or a girl pregnant by incest. …Or someone who doesn’t want a child.

My impression is that she is uncomfortable making such a strong comment. It could be she expects some push back by family and friends who are pro-life, and has no desire to debate her stand. This is made very clear when a couple of lines down she adds…
And no, I will not reply to or even read comments about my comment. Yes, it’s a rotten way to do it.

So let’s take this at face value and not put any words in her mouth. She voices her opinion, but is completely unwilling to even listen to or consider other reasoned replies. This is a called intolerance, something Christians are accused of quite often. She recognizes and acknowledges that it is a ‘rotten’ way to behave, but does so anyway.

It could be she has had some personal experience with abortion, which would explain to a large degree her posture; I have no way of knowing. If not a personal experience, it could be she had a daughter or sister that experienced the tragedy of an abortion, but whether is was a personal experience, or close family member or friend, it needs to be handled with gentleness and compassion. Yet, as painful as the truth is, you can’t ignore it and it should be brought to light.

Having said that, the purpose of this post is not to point a finger at anyone who has had an abortion, but to take a brief, careful look at the most common arguments Christians encounter for a pro-choice stand.

She stated she was not going to tell a woman who is pregnant by rape that she has to have the child. So if she is not going to force a woman to have the child, then she is allowing the woman to kill her child. These are the words she used. When a woman is having an abortion, she is killing her own child. Pro-abortionists will coin other phrases to soften what is really going on. For example, my wife shared with me the other day that she heard someone use “a product of conception”, referring to the unborn. Really? A product of conception? How about just calling it what it is – a baby.

But, no matter what we call the unborn, there is no getting around the fact that rape could result, and has, (though very rarely), in an unwanted pregnancy.

Bioethicist Andrew Varga, who wrote a book about bioethics, states abortionists explain it this way, “It is argued that in these tragic cases the great value of the mental health of a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest can best be safe-guarded by abortion. It is also said that a pregnancy caused by rape or incest is the result of a grave injustice and that the victim should not be obliged to carry the fetus to viability. This would keep reminding her for nine months of the violence committed against her and would just increase her mental anguish.” 1

Francis Beckwith, a Christian philosopher and apologist, wrote in his article subtitled, The Appeal to Pity, “It is the rapist who is the aggressor. The unborn entity is just as much an innocent victim as its mother. Hence abortion cannot be justified on the basis that the unborn is an aggressor.”2

The pro-choice movement says the woman has a right to have an abortion for any reason. Our culture, and even supposed conservative Republicans, are quick to denounce abortion, but when pressed they bend to popular opinion, especially when the rape and incest card is pulled. Then, almost without fail, they yield to the pro-choice crowd. Yet abortion is wrong in any instance, even in the very rare cases of rape and incest that result, as some pro-choice advocates call it, in a product of conception. They will call it anything but what it is – a human life.

By and large, abortions occur for reasons of convenience. In a detailed study by the Guttmacher Institute, the most common reasons (nearly 75%) were:
-They could not afford the child
-The child would interfere with school or employment
-Concerns of being a single mother and relationship problems 3
According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.2 million abortions in 2008. To put that in a different perspective, roughly 2% of women between the ages of 15-44 had an abortion. Less than 1% of those 1.2 million abortions were due to rape or incest. 4

So less than 1% of all abortions are what some call ‘hard cases’, those due to rape or incest, yet many will argue that because of those hard cases, abortion on demand is by far the rule of law. What sense of this can we make? I have heard it put this way: in the first six months of a pregnancy, a woman can have an abortion for no reason. In the last three months, a woman can have an abortion for any reason.

We have traffic laws against speeding, and we have moral laws against killing persons. In rare circumstances, (say, rushing a child to the hospital), we may justifiably break the law. Finding an exception to the law, (speeding to rush a child to the hospital), does not mean we should do away with all of our posted speed limits. Finding what some consider an exception, (which it is not), rape and incest, does not justify abortion on demand. The unborn is just as innocent as the mother in the case of rape. It is the rapist who is the aggressor, not the child. The murder of one person can never be justified to relieve emotional distress. 5

Serrin M. Foster, president of Feminists for Life, shared a story about when she was lecturing at U.C. Berkeley. A grad student who was a “product of conception” by rape was attending the lectures and her pro-choice peers pulled out the rape card. The grad student said she had a right to be here. They were shocked and replied, “We didn’t mean you!” She made it clear their pro-choice statements included her.6 Should we ever rank the value of human life on how they were conceived?

Rebecca Wasser Kiessling is an attorney who sees helping women and unborn children as a mission through her law practice. Why? She was adopted as an infant, met her birth mother at 19, and found out she was conceived by a serial rapist. Kiessling wrote, “One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that the rapist is NOT my creator, as some people would have me believe.”7 She can’t count the number of times she heard people say what this woman on Facebook wrote,
I am not going to tell a woman who is pregnant by rape that she has to have the child. Great if she wants to, but I refuse to force her.

The question is, force her to do what? By not allowing a women to have an abortion we are forcing, restraining, stopping her, phrase it how ever you want, we are preventing her from killing her own child, taking the life of another human.

Francis Beckwith wrote in the Christian Research Journal, “Although such a judgment is indeed anguishing, we must not forget that the same innocent unborn entity that the career-oriented woman will abort in order to avoid interference with a job promotion is biologically and morally indistinguishable from the unborn entity that results from an act of rape or incest. And since abortion for career advancement cannot be justified if the unborn entity is fully human, abortion cannot be justified in the cases of rape and incest. In both cases, abortion results in the death of an innocent human life.”8

I wish there were no abortions, but women – not me, not you, not our churches – have to make this decision.
What is this decision she is referring to? The decision to have an abortion, which is the taking of a human life. Many pro-abortionists will argue it is not a child, baby, or even a person, but in the early stages simply a mass of tissue. If the pro-choice advocates are correct, then having an abortion is of no consequence and the ethical considerations of abortions cease to matter. But what if an abortion is the taking of a human life, no matter what stage of development?

Let’s consider for four states that can help us define what the unborn is – size, development, environment, and dependence.

Starting with size – equating the value of a person on how large or small they are is silly. I don’t think anyone would dispute this. Are basketball players more valuable due to their size? Are parents more valuable than their children? How many of you remember William Perry, aka The Refrigerator, who played for Chicago Bears? In high school, he played at 295 pounds! Was he more valuable than the cheerleaders of his team? Height or size has nothing to do with the inherent value of a person.

Does the value of a human being lessen because of their level of development? Is a 16 year old boy more valuable than a 6 year old boy? If the level of development matters, then anyone prior to puberty would have less value than someone past puberty. Same would be true from an infant to a toddler, and a toddler to a teenager. Does a fetus in the first trimester have less value than one in the 3rd trimester? Some might argue that point, but if that is true, then we should be able to apply that to everyone, not just the unborn. Level of development cannot determine the value of a human being.

What about environment, or location? Does your value increase or decrease depending on where you are located? Do you have more or less value because you are at work, home, in your car? Do you have more value on the left side of your sofa than on the right side of your sofa? How about those in another country? Do those who live in third world countries have less value than those in developed countries? Does the value of an astronaut change if he is orbiting the earth or walking on the moon? Does your value change when you have traveled from mother’s uterus, though the birth-canal, to the hands of a waiting physician? Absolutely not. Value cannot be placed on a person depending on where they are.

Finally, we have the degree of dependency which again is a point some might argue. If you look at this issue sensibly, then you will see it has nothing to do with the value of a person. Does the young adult who is pro-active and finds a job right out of high school have greater value than another who has not found a job? As a children grow and mature, do they have greater value as the months pass and they become less and less dependent? If a small child falls in a pool, do we not rescue them because they are dependent on us for life?

How about economic dependence? Do those who collect welfare have less value than those contributing to our tax base and have full time work? How about those who need dialysis or heart medication on a weekly basis; is their value less due to the medication they need? Obviously, the answer to this is no, and to suggest the value of a person is dependent on their level of dependency is foolish.

After hearing these reasons, someone might respond, “So what? I agree with all this, but you still should not take away a woman’s right to choose.” I would respond, “Choose what?” Think about it, a woman’s right to choose what? Do women have the right to choose to kill an innocent human being? No, they don’t and neither does anyone else, because if size, level of development, environment, and level of dependence does not make a difference in the value of a person, then abortion is the killing of innocent human beings.

The same holds true if there has been an incident of rape or incest which created life. This life is innocent and has the same value as any other human.
Someone might respond, “So you believe even in the case of rape, you would take away a woman’s right to choose?” Again I would ask, “A right to choose what? Because a woman was raped, does that give her the right to kill an innocent human being?” Ray Comfort asked, “Which is worse, rape or murder?” 9

Greg Koukl puts it this way, “Let me put the issue plainly. If the unborn is not a human person, no justification for abortion is necessary. However, if the unborn is a human person, no justification for abortion is adequate.” 10

In researching this post, one of the more interesting and significant finds was a study by the Elliot Institute which asked women, who were victims of rape and incest, what they did. They found that 80% of those who had an abortion felt it was the wrong solution. On the flip side, they found that 80% of those that carried their babies to term were happy with their decision and didn’t regret giving birth to their child. 11 You will never hear this from the main-stream media.

A pro-life group wrote an open letter to Congress. They were 38 women who were victims of rape and incest, “Our experiences are varied. Many of us carried our pregnancies to term. Some of us raised or are raising our children, while others placed our children in adoptive homes. Others of us had abortions. In many cases, we felt pressured to abort by family members, social workers, and doctors who insisted that abortion was the “best” solution. For many the abortion caused physical and emotional trauma equal to or exceeding the trauma of the sexual assault that our abortions were supposed to ‘cure.’”12

Or a woman who may die with another pregnancy.
I believe what she means is, a woman’s life is threatened by the pregnancy. My first question is, what does this extremely rare condition have to do with abortion on demand? Nothing. These three issues, (rape, incest, threat to the mother), in my opinion are in part, responsible for the abortion on demand laws we have today, because of the difficulty law makers, Christians, and pro-lifers have in responding to them.

Of the three, a threat to the mother’s life is the most difficult. As rare as it is, (a fraction of 1%), it does occur. We have two innocent parties and have to decide which to safeguard. There could be odds involved for the unborn and the mother. I remember many years ago watching a T.V. movie that was about a women who was pregnant, but if she carried the child to term, she would likely lose her life. Rarely does Hollywood produce anything that resembles real life, but it is an issue that some have had to face. It is a decision that the husband and wife would have to make, supported and advised by family, friends, and physicians.

According to Worldmeters there are approximately 125,000 abortions taking place every day. That would be 40 to 50 million a year.13 Abortion on demand for matters of convenience is a modern day genocide, but not a wholesale carnage due to someone’s skin color, someone’s ethnic background, or religion. It is an athocide, (innocent killing) on a scale that dwarfs the slaughter’s of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Lenin combined.

Sources:
1. Varga, Andrew C. The Main Issues in Bioethics. Costa Mesa: Paulist Press, 1980. Print
2. Beckwith, Francis J. “Answering The Arguments For Abortion Rights (Part One): The Appeal to Pity.” equipsources.org. Christian Research Institute, 1990, Web. 8 August 2015.
3. Finer, Lawrence B, et al. “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” guttmacher.org. Guttmacher Institute, 2005. Web. 11 August 2015.
4. Ibid.
5. “Is abortion justifiable in cases of rape or incest?” christiansanswers.net. Christian Answers Network, 1998. Web. 10 August 2015.
6. Foster, Serrin M. “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions” feministsforlife.org. Feminists For Life, n.d., Web. 11 August 2015.
7. Kiessling, Rebecca. “Rebecca’s Story.” rebeccakiessling.com. Rebecca Kiessling. n.d., Web. 13 August 2015.
8. Beckwith, Francis J. “Answering The Arguments For Abortion Rights (Part One): The Appeal to Pity.” equipsources.org. Christian Research Institute, 1990, Web. 8 August 2015
9. Comfort, Ray. “180 Movie” YouTube Video. YouTube. 21 September. 2011. Web. 25 July. 2013.
10. Koukl, Greg. “Abortion: One Key Issue” str.org. Stand To Reason, 30 March. 2013. Web. 20 July. 2013.
11. Crouse, Janice. “Rape, Incest, and Abortion: Women Victims Want Their Voice Heard.” cwfa.org. Concerned Women For America, 11 October 2012. Web. 9 August 2015.
12. Ibid.
13. “Abortions Worldwide This Year. worldometers.info. Worldmeters, n.d., Web. 13 August 2015.

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What about rape and incest? by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.dev.christianapologetics.blog/.

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