No, not John Piper, although he is worthy of our support as a great man of God. Today, my mind is on Piper Palin. Maybe if we all remember that sweet little girl licking her hand to fix baby Trig’s wayward hair at the Republican convention we will be a bit more cheerful today and much better focused. The election is about Piper; it’s about loving human beings rightly–even those babies with Down syndrome. Remember Piper loving her little brother and making him pretty for the world to see. Think about the tender care she offered to a fragile child and remember what America is supposed to be about: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It all starts with life. Piper seemed to get that, didn’t she? Watch the video again. Then, Go Vote for life.
A liberal Christian group going by the name of Matthew 25 has set up a website to convince people that Obama is the more pro-life candidate between the two major contenders. It would be laughable, except that it is devilishly deceptive and destructive. I do not recommend going to their site, as it would give them credibility through traffic, but here is an article that describes the movement. You might also look for people to say they take the life issue to be more “holistic.” By this, they mean that they feel righteous by recycling their bottles so that they are helping the environment in this global warming crisis. Therefore, the issue of abortion is not as important any more.
From the NRLC website comes this disturbing factoid:
An unborn child has less legal protection from feeling pain
than commercial livestock.
In a slaughterhouse, a method of slaughter is deemed legally humane only if “all
animals are rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical,
chemical, or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted,
thrown, cast, or cut.” (Section 2 of the Humane Slaughter Act, 7 USC 1902).
By contrast, D&E abortions, performed as late as 24 weeks (well after the child
begins to feel pain), involve the dismemberment of the unborn child by a pair of
sharp metal forceps.(9) Instillation methods of abortion (performed even in the third
trimester) involve the replacement of up to one cup of amniotic fluid with a
concentrated salt solution, which the unborn child inhales as the salt burns her skin.
The child lives in this condition for up to an hour. In neither of these techniques is
the unborn child provided with any form of anesthesia.(10-13)
The reality is that abortion causes pain before it causes death. For a full summary of legislation related to fetal pain, see this page. Or, if you want to read a summary fact sheet on the pain that infants feel while in the womb, see this page.
There is an inextricable link between abortion (the idea that a human life at an early stage of development can be destroyed for the sake of convenience) and our present culture’s fascination with death. Where abortion was supposed to clean up the back alley butcher shops, in reality, it only moved butcher shops into mainstream hospitals and created new venues for ridding our race of “useless” and unwanted human beings. We now have doctors promoting death.
The euthanasia “debate” is driven by the same death thirst driving abortion. Schaeffer and Koop told us this would soon follow the Roe v. Wade decision, and it certainly did. We have states like Oregon offering to foot the bill for “Physician-assisted suicide,” while at the same time refusing to pay for necessary cancer treatments. And, as this article points out, the natural progression from “safe, legal, and rare” abortions to actually killing any life considered “not worthy” of life is inevitable. We remember Terri Schiavo. She was a logical consequence of abortion. Sadly, the attitude that the “unfit” are disposable is taking over what used to be the honorable enterprise of medicine. Medicine which once was designed to heal is now being used to kill. Doctors which were once on the side of life seem now to side with death.
More Bad Fruit: Doctors of Death
Even now, supporters of Obama are running ads which picture “back alley butcher” shops where women will be forced to go for abortions if anything were to happen to the Roe v. Wade decision. The truth, however, is that back-alley butcher shops would be tame compared to the death unleashed on us by Roe v. Wade. This Fox News story is but one of many demonstrating the diminished value of human life in our culture after Roe. In the story, an unwanted baby is thrown out with the trash. (Haven’t we learned that every child should be a wanted child?)
Carolyn Garago writes about the fallacious argument that abortion prevents child abuse since it, supposedly, will make sure that every child is a wanted child. Garago says,
“Aside from the fact that killing someone because they might be abused isn’t very logical, child abuse has increased since the legalization of abortion. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect indicates that the prevalence of child abuse is increasing, and the increases are “significant.” From 1986 to 1993, the incidence of physical abuse rose 42% (97% under the revised Endangerment Standard), physical neglect rose 102% (163% E.S.), sexual abuse rose 83% (125% E.S.) and emotional neglect rose 333% (188% E.S.).”
You can read the entire article here, but the point is well-taken. Abortion has not decreased child abuse. Given the fact that child abuse has increased fifty-fold since the Roe decision, one might argue that abortion has contributed to child abuse, as a result of its clear message that inconvenient people ought to never have been born in the first place.
Why continue harping on the same subject? Two reasons. (1) The awful destruction of human life in the wake of Roe v. Wade warrants the attention of any decent human being; (2) As this Pew Research poll reports, evangelicals are the only ones who are solidly in the pro-life camp nowadays. If we don’t hammer the point home, who will? If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Sarah Palin is giving us a great opportunity to push the culture back to life and away from death. Sadly, evangelicals–though we are the most staunchly pro-llife of all Americans–still have a full one-third of their constituents in the poll arguing in favor of abortion.
Today, there is a nice article from Mona Charen detailing the rotten fruit of infanticide that is a reality of the abortion industry. Read this timely and significant article here.
Abortion is supposed to be helpful because it enables us to detect “problem pregnancies” and dispose of them before the “problem pregnancy” becomes a “problem child.” Forgetting for the moment that many of the so-called problem pregnancies result in the creation of a beautiful child like Trig Palin or Emily Rose, we can see that even in the case that a Down Syndrome child is detected early, abortion may not be a good option. Abortion is supposed to be a solution to “problem pregnancy” (such as Down Syndrome). It is true that 90 percent of Down’s babies detected are aborted. But, once again, we can see the fruit of such a practice is as rotten as a 10 day banana. This story from the UK tells the dreadful tale that 2 healthy babies are lost for every three Down syndrome babies targeted for abortion. Targeting babies for death is one of the destructive fruits of the abortion practice. Read the article here…
Barack Obama is clearly the most ardent sort of pro-abortion advocate. The record shows that he was instrumental in defeating the Infant Born Alive Protection Act while a state senator in Illinois. He has said that people are lying and misrepresenting the facts about his position, but the documents are on the table for review. I have linked here to the NRLC compilation of all the bills and articles related to Obama’s role in killing a bill that would have protected babies who were born alive after failed abortions. He was afraid to offer protection for these babies, preferring rather to allow them to die slowly from neglect than to give any kind of support to the view that babies in the womb deserve protection. This is why he could not answer Rick Warren’s question, “When should babies get human rights.” Such questions are above his pay grade, but, apparently, he was paid enough as a state senator to decide that babies should not have human rights if “accidentally” born alive. Fact check all the documents for yourself.
For a single article documenting the entire conversation, click here.
For a review of the material from the independent Fact Check.Org, click here.
In an unusually frank admission, a leading doctor from Canada’s OB/Gyn practices is worried that Palin’s giving birth to Trig, her Down syndrome baby, is going to hurt the abortion industry. Up to 90% of Down pregnancies end in abortion. You can read the LA Times article here.
I think this may have something to do with the media hysteria surrounding Palin’s nomination. For a more thorough discussion of this point, click here.
Another common defense for pro-abortion advocates is the Joe Biden defense. Joe Biden of late has been saying that he is not in a position to push his views on others. He believes that a baby is a human from the moment of conception, but he doesn’t believe he has the right to tell others what to believe about abortion. I have heard Obama say this sort of thing lately, too. When Biden and Obama say that they want to limit abortions or when they say that they wish unwanted pregnancies would diminish, but then they go on to say, “But I cannot impose my beliefs on others,” they are being gross hypocrites.
Consider this. Obama and Biden are employed by the government to be senators. The U.S. Senate is part of the legislative branch of government. What does the legislative branch do? It legislates. Writes laws. To say they are uncomfortable legislating morality is as nonsensical as a dentist saying he is uncomfortable with teeth. What does one write laws for if not morality?
Marriage laws, tax laws, traffic laws, business laws—all are moral laws. They are written for the moral ordering of a society, spelling out the minimum duties the citizens ought to perform (like paying taxes and stopping at red lights). If abortion is an abominable practice—or even if it is just a less than desirable practice for a society—then a legislator is not only permitted to make a law against it, he is obligated. That is what legislators do. They make laws for the good of those governed.
Senators are precisely those in position to make such laws. Judges are not. It is true that judges ought not be making laws concerning abortion, but that is what happened in the Roe v. Wade decision. If Obama and Biden were judges, they would be right (sort of) to say what they are saying, but they aren’t judges, they are lawmakers.
So, whether or not moral beliefs are legislated is a question already answered. Moral beliefs are the substance of all law. The only question is whose morality prevails.
For a further consideration of Biden’s dilemma, see Dr. Mohler’s blog today on the issue.
So, I wasn’t the only one thinking of putting out helpful, practical guides for speaking about abortion. Turns out, the guys over at “Between Two Worlds” are doing the same thing. They have published an article by D. A. Carson on practical strategies for discussing abortion. If you want a truly brilliant man’s advice on speaking about abortion, check out Carson.
Modestly, I still recommend reading the articles here simply because they are intended to serve a different function. These articles will give you the real components of meaningful conversation, as suggested by Carson. In this post, we will examine the claim that abortion should be the mother’s choice because it concerns her body.
There are a couple of quick responses which challenge the notion that a woman is free to have an abortion because the baby is a part of her body. First, is the woman (or a man) free to do whatever she wishes with her body? We once had laws against suicide. We have laws against prostitution. We have laws restricting nakedness. It isn’t completely clear that women are free to do whatever they wish with their own bodies.
But, more to the point, is a baby really a part of the woman’s body? The evidence says a baby is not part of the mother’s body; rather, the baby is a human entity in its own right. For instance, from the time of conception, the baby has its own, unique genetic code. As the baby develops in the womb, he develops his own two eyes, his own two arms, his own two legs, his own heart, his own lungs, his own brains, his own sexual reproductive organs. Does the mother claim to be both male and female? Does the mother claim to have four legs, two brains, four nostrils, and twenty fingers?
Finally, scientists have demonstrated the unique nature of conception by fertilizing a white baby in a Petri dish and implanting the conceptus into a black mother. When the baby is born, she is white, not black like the birth mother. So, while it is true that the baby is attached to a mother’s body, it does not appear to be true that the baby is part of the mother’s body. The baby is attached in the same sense a nursing child attaches to the mother in order to get nutrition; it is not attached in the sense a wart might be attached to her elbow.
So, the question really is not a question concerning what the mother should do with her body, but, rather, what the mother ought to do with her child’s body. We ought to pass laws which protect children in cases where a parent wishes to do harm.
The most egregious abuse of human rights in America is the practice of abortion. Ironically, many so-called civil rights groups support the practice. Be that as it may, I think the subject has been under America’s skin for more than 35 years now.
Oddly, we don’t talk about it much. Many of us have been conditioned by the media to think it is somehow “too controversial.” I hope to dispel some of the controversy and encourage reasonable conversation about the topic of abortion. What follows is a conversation starter on the subject of abortion which will allow us to sustain a conversation with those who may hold an opposing view. It seems that Sarah Palin’s rise to the VP nomination has many people talking about abortion. Having both a teenage daughter pregnant and a child with Down syndrome, Mrs. Palin has given folks a reason to be talking about abortion. Each day for the next few days, I will post a new conversation angle for speaking about abortion. I hope it helps you to speak more comfortably.
The most common objection you will hear is that it is woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. After all, isn’t it the woman’s body? Well, it’s her choice. Now, there is much to say here—including asking some questions about what it would mean for a woman’s body to have male organs, extra feet, and another heart. But leaving that discussion behind for later, we need to get right at the heart of the matter of choice.
Saying that the woman has a right to choose is a true statement; you need not bristle at such a statement. In America today, the woman does have a right to choose. But I wonder what exactly we mean when we say that? I wonder how clear the thinking is concerning what this means. What kind of right are we speaking about?
Is this a divine right? In other words, is the person arguing that God has given a divine right to all women for all time to be free to choose whether or not they abort their babies? I really don’t think people are making this argument. If so, I would immediately ask on what authority are they speaking this way on behalf of God. I might also point out that many others disagree strongly on this point. The majority of evangelical Christians, for instance, are convinced that Scripture teaches that abortion is sinful. And they would say God opposes abortion. Such was the teaching of the early church, too. When folks say it is the woman’s right, they are meaning something other than a God-given right to abortion.
Perhaps, they mean something more akin to constitutional rights. This is much more likely. Yet, I would then ask them to show me where one gets the notion from the Constitution that women have a constitutional right to abortion. Of course, such notions are not contained in the constitution. The closest thing to a right to abortion found in the constitution is a liberal re-reading of the Constitution to include a perceived “right to privacy.” The right to privacy was hatched by Louis Brandeis around the turn of the 20th Century. After 7 decades, it found its way into law when the Supreme Court determined that the inherent right to privacy included the right for a woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. There is no constitutional right to abortion. The constitutional right to privacy is debated and somewhat mysterious. Does a private citizen in his own home have the right to privately manufacture and personally use crystal meth? Furthermore, is terminating a pregnancy actually a “private” affair? Doctors, fathers, grandparents and others (not to mention society at large) are affected, aren’t they?
A third type of right (and I think this is the proper type for classifying abortion) is simply a legal right. Yes, it is true in America today that women have a legal right to abortion. This fact, however, does not settle the question any more than saying the laws against illegal drug use have solved the drug problem. Laws are reflective of a people and of a value system those people hold. Pro-choice people tend to value sexual freedom. Pro-life people are saying value human life first. Laws provide an ordering around a value system; they are not the fixed points by which morality is determined. They tend to be derivative; they are derived from (a) what people value and (b) what problems need to be corrected. So, for example, we might value both freedom and human life, but, when a problem is identified, we may have to craft a law to correct abuse of one form or another. If it were shown, for instance, that wearing a helmet would save human life, then we might re-enact laws which say motorcycle riders must wear helmets, even though it would be a loss of freedom for them.
When it comes to abortion, there is a similar conflict between the two values of freedom and life. The fact is, of course, that women have the legal right to abortion, but should that be the case? Is it possible that those laws ought to be changed in favor of life, even if it means losing freedom? After all, laws become outdated. You have probably all read some of these laws. For instance, there is a law that makes it illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket. Now, before you think one would be insane to carry an ice cream cone in his pocket, realize that the law was made to prevent folks from luring horses away from their owners. If a horse just “followed” you home, you wouldn’t be accused of stealing it. There were some smart folks who put food items in their pockets to get horses to follow them. Hence arose the laws against such practices. Those laws are now obsolete and irrelevant.
Some suggest that abortion law is likewise out of step with the facts on the ground. When Roe v. Wade happened 35 years ago, we did not have ultrasound technology. Now, we have 3D ultrasound, and it has become glaringly obvious that we are not talking about a glob of tissue; rather, we are talking about a baby. Doctors have also performed surgeries on babies in the womb to correct medical issues with the living babies before they are born. How many of you have seen the pictures of the little baby grabbing the doctor’s scalpel while surgery was being performed? (If you haven’t seen the picture, click here). The facts are clear, and they have corrected a medical misdiagnosis made in the Roe v. Wade decision.
While it is true that women have a legal right to terminate the life of a baby in the womb, the question still needs to be answered, “Should they?”
I just read the report that Palin’s 17 year-old daughter is 5 months pregnant. This surely is not “good” news for the governor and VP nominee. However, she and her family have once again demonstrated their affirmation of human life. While Obama remarked that he would not want to “punish” his daughter for making a mistake and getting pregnant, Palin and her husband are excited about the possibility of welcoming a grandchild, even if it is not under ideal circumstances. I don’t think they will feel that the baby they rock to sleep is a punishment to their daughter.