It seems to me that Mother’s Day is an appropriate time to talk about abortion (at least, that’s when I started writing this blog). We honor our mothers because they bore us for nine months, brought us into this world, nurtured us, trained us, disciplined us, and loved us unselfishly. On this day, I say, “Mom, I love you! You have been a magnificent mother! You have imparted wisdom, encouraged me to be strong in the faith, and prayed for me diligently—especially that I would marry a wonderful, godly woman (your prayers have been answered far beyond what you ever dreamt, Mom!).”
I wish that all mothers were half as good as my own mother or my children’s mother. The most horrific tragedy in America is that since Roe v. Wade over 58 million babies have been aborted in the United States. Statistics on women through the age of 45 are shocking: three in ten of them have had an abortion. This is nearly ten times the number of deaths that occurred in the Nazi gas chambers, and is almost equal to all the deaths that occurred during WWII. In the next few years, we will pass the statistic of the carnage of that most unspeakable war of all time.
What seems to be really tragic is that the one person who, by her very nature, is designed to be a giving, nurturing, unconditionally loving individual (have you ever heard someone say, “Only a face a father could love!”) is a mother. Thirty percent of them are going against their own natural inclination by aborting their children.
Now, this blog could be a rant against the women who have had an abortion. Some may think I’ve already done that. But that’s not the focus of this piece. A surprisingly high number of women who have had an abortion simply don’t know the facts. They need to be loved, counseled, and gently guided—not hated! Instead, I want to offer two theses that seem to me are not normally part of the discussion about abortion.
Thesis 1: Abortions Contradict the Physician’s Basic Principles
“First, do no harm” has been claimed as a part of the Hippocratic Oath for a long time. Actually, Hippocrates did not quite say this in his Oath, but he did make the promise “to abstain from doing harm.” What is not well known is that the Hippocratic Oath also specifically spoke against abortion: “I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroying the child.”
Almost thirty years ago, I witnessed a debate between Kerby Anderson (now president of Probe Ministries) and one of the most notorious abortion doctors in Arkansas. The debate was held on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Kerby, who has degrees in zoology, science, and bioethics, used one basic argument that blind-sided the physician. Rather than use the Bible at all in his argument, he argued from the physician’s handbook: “First, do no harm.” His basic thesis was that a physician is required to save life, not destroy it. As the moment when a zygote is considered a human being was (and is) being hotly debated, Kerby pointed out that physicians are required to give the benefit of the doubt to life.
The physician began to throw out pages and pages of notes that he was going to use in the debate—all presumably against a would-be Bible-thumper. But Kerby argued instead from the realm that the physician knew well.
One of the great ironies of our time is that so many physicians are calloused to this basic principle. What did it take for them to decide to perform abortions? During WWII, the Nazis began to kill Jews and other undesirables by firing squads. But the soldiers soon chafed at the horror of what they were doing. A new plan needed to be into place. Doctors were brought in. They started by giving these undesirables lethal injections. They were required to wear their white gowns, and do the job in an antiseptic environment that resembled a medical clinic. This was intended both to make the ‘patients’ less suspicious and to ease the conscience of the physicians. Also, the propaganda machine of the Nazis went all out to speak of the Jews as a “cancer” on Europe that needed to be cut out. This change in the method of execution worked to some degree, because the government knew that physicians would be naturally reticent to murder. The question I have is, What has happened in the years since WWII that has created an environment in which physicians who perform abortions no longer need to pretend that their actions are some sort of noble act—as that which cuts out a ‘cancer’ to save the mother’s life? The collective moral compass in western society seems to have broken.
Thesis 2: Abortions Empower Men, not Women
The main thesis of this blog—and the one that is hinted at in the title—is that abortions empower men, not women. In many respects, it has actually shackled women. The cliché, “Why buy the cow when you can get milk for free?” has been mothers’ advice to their daughters for years against premarital sex. Those with the Y chromosome know this adage instinctively. But until Roe v. Wade, there was always a second argument: “You don’t want to get pregnant before you’re married!” That second argument kept many girls from going all the way before their wedding day. With improved birth control methods, things changed. But even if such were not used, or if they didn’t do their job, after Roe v. Wade the second argument has become increasingly muted. Girls began to think that if they got pregnant they could just have an abortion. Problem solved. Or so it seemed.
Upon closer reflection, the sexual revolution and Roe v. Wade have put in bold relief mothers’ first argument—“Why buy the cow when you can get milk for free?” More than any technological advance, the Supreme Court’s pronouncement has granted men greater freedom to use women as they saw fit. If their girlfriend gets pregnant, the mantra now is, “Just get an abortion!” Rather than abortion being pro-choice for women, it is really con-responsibility for men. The pressure to have sex before marriage—which almost always comes from the guy rather than the girl—has gained incredible momentum since 1973. In short, Ladies, you’ve been duped! The dissolution of a man’s responsibility hardly translates into greater freedom for you. You’ve been used. And you need to stand up and say, “No more!” Your dignity as a human being depends on it.
For further reading:
Randy Alcorn, Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments Expanded & Updated (Multnomah Books, 2000)
The first review of this book on Amazon is written by “Groovy Vegan”—a woman who descries herself as “a non-Christian, non-religious, feminist liberal.” Her praise of the book shows that Alcorn uses science, rather than the Bible, as his principal argument. It’s a good read for anyone who is considering having an abortion.
Randy Alcorn, Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers, revised edition (Hendrickson, 2012)
Scott Klusendorf, The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture (Crossway, 2009)
Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates: A Dramatic Debate on the Issues Surrounding Abortion (IVP, 1983)
12 thoughts on “Ladies, You’ve Been Duped! The Myth about Abortion Giving You More Freedom”
Reblogged this on St. John One: One.
In the following, please understand from the outset that I’m pro-life, in the historical meaning of the term.
Dr. Wallace wrote: “The question I have is, What has happened in the years since WWII that has created an environment in which physicians who perform abortions no longer need to pretend that their actions are some sort of noble act—as that which cuts out a ‘cancer’ to save the mother’s life? The collective moral compass in western society seems to have broken.”
I’ve read that some are want to apply the term “pro-life” to the mother. Shifting it this way enables an argument such that having the baby will result in a financial and emotional burden that ‘does harm’ to the mother. Hence, performing abortions are consistent with primum non nocere, first do no harm.
John P. Holdren, the current senior advisor to the President on science and technology issues as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, co-authored a work by Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich on population control in the early ‘70s. Following is a quote from this work:
“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”
So, from this perspective, the unborn fetus and the newborn are not (yet) human beings, and, hence, very much expendable.
In preparation for an article, I’ve recently been studying the ramifications of the Social Trinitarian (ST) model based on how it’s being applied to mankind by some adherents. Many, if not most, proponents claim that the Persons in the Godhead should be understood as “persons” in the modern understanding of the term, meaning they are not-quite-autonomous individuals, as each one is simultaneously mutually dependent upon and with the other Persons. Each One is *constituted* as a Person by their social relationships. Since most proponents apply this part of the theory univocally (just as it was first applied to the Godhead), it follows that if one is incapable of social relationships, as in the case of an unborn fetus (and an individual in a coma, etc.), one is not actually a “person.” Therefore, an abortion advocate (“pro-choice”, if you like) can use ST to further their cause.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
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While I think killing unborn babies is terrible, I disagree with your statement here. The availability of legal clinical abortions have given women more freedom. In the past, women who got pregnant were often unable or prevented from completing their schooling or keeping a job. They were dependent on the fathers, who were often irresponsible and uninterested in the restraints of family life. Clinical abortions haven’t made men more promiscuous. What clinical abortions have done is kept women from having to live, marry, and put up with such men.
Jenny, if you go back and read accounts of the 16th century Puritans they were far from “puritanical”, yet they also understood that children would have to be provided for. The community would pursue a man who “did a woman wrong”.
Irresponsible and uninterested? So is every man before he has a wife and children to worry about. Why were said women having sex with irresponsible and uninterested men anyway?
I write and speak for LTI -Life Training Institute all across the country at universities, high schools, and churches on the value of human life. I just wanted to thank you for you post. It is always encouraging when people are willing to put their names on strong positions on difficult issues. Your article is right on point. Marvin Olasky wrote in his book Abortion Rites that the early 20th century move to liberalize abortion laws was driven by men trying to cover up their infidelity. I have talked to women all over the country that tell me how alienating it is to them to have the father of their unborn child look at them after being informed of the pregnancy and tell them ,”It is all up to you. I’ll pay for the abortion, but you have to decide what you want.” The entire weight of an unjust and immoral decision has been thrust upon them under the guise of reproductive freedom. It is sad. Thank you for speaking out. God bless.
Reblogged this on Intelligent Christian Faith and commented:
Ladies You’ve Been Duped by the Myth About Abortion Giving You More Freedom – – By Dan Wallace
Good word Dan! I hope you don’t mind I reblogged that at my site. This piece is an important facet of the abortion debate which is often lost in the rhetorical whirlwinds. Underneath all the huff and bluster there are real feminine and masculine natures where, unfortunately, guys will use girls as far as the girls will let them–and sometimes farther. The abortion industry don’t little to nothing to stop that trend. Quite the opposite, it fosters and environment where guys can use girls like objects with relative ease. Even in incest, rape, trafficking, and abusive situations, the abortion industry adds felt trauma to the mother–who now feels like a baby-killer as well as an abuse victim–and it destroys another line of evidence (the child) that could help indict the perpetrator. Abortion helps those victims stay silent so their traffickers and abusers can keep trafficking and abusing (I address this point in: http://intelligentchristianfaith.com/2013/05/13/is-abortion-safe-iterating-the-obvious-and-not-so-obvious/).
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Kreeft’s book from the 80s was my best tutor at a secular level; it is refreshing to see that such a fine treatment of the subject is still pertinent. Thank you for all your work and a fine blog. Read about you in one of Strobel’s books, proceeded to enhance my library with your advanced Greek studies book.
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