Questions for Our Pro-Abortion Friends, Church Leaders, and Politicians
What shall we call the child in the womb? A fetus? A mystery? A mistake? A wedge issue? What if science and Scripture and commonsense would have us call it a person? What if the unborn child, the messy infant, the wobbly toddler, the rambunctious teenager, the college freshman, the blushing bride, the first-time mother, the working woman, the proud grammy, and the demented old friend differ not in kind but only in degree? Where in the progression does our humanity begin and end? Where does life become valuable? When are we worth something? When do human rights become our rights? What if Dr. Seuss was right and a person’s a person no matter how small?

Do Pro-Life Policies Really Matter?
One of the persistent myths in the abortion debate is that the pro-life movement doesn’t actually do much to help save lives. You’ll sometimes hear this complaint from pro-lifers themselves who have cynically concluded that pro-life legislation and pro-life legislators don’t accomplish anything that matters to unborn babies. On the other side, pro-choice advocates will claim that the pro-life cause is all about controlling women and regulating sex and don’t do anything to reduce the number of abortions anyway. If there is one thing cynics on both sides can agree on it’s that pro-life policies don’t work. Except, that’s not true.

Suffer the Little Children
For Greeks and Romans in the first century there was virtually no sentimentality regarding children. Abortion was frequent. Infanticide was even more common. There were too many mouths to feed in the Empire. Offspring were good to work in the fields, but as small children they were unwanted. They were sometimes left for dead in the outdoors or on literal trash heaps.

2112 Antietams
The bloodiest single-day battle in American history was at Antietam in 1862, where 23,000 Americans lost their lives. It was a mind-boggling loss of life. Now imagine another Antietam every five or six days for 32 [now 41] straight years.

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10 thoughts on “Four Pro-Life Posts”

  1. 8thday says:

    I will not bother to have an intelligent discussion with someone who uses the a term of ignorance “pro-abortion.” NO ONE is pro-abortion. People are pro-choice. If you do not understand the difference, you should educate yourself.

    But I would ask a question in response to yours –

    What is the difference between an acorn and an oak tree?

    If I rake up the pine cones in my yard, have I just clear cut a forest?

  2. Dan says:

    8thday,

    1) Have you expressed similar concerns to msnbc for misrepresenting pro-life proponents as anti-abortion? Or is your indignation only one way?
    2) since you apparently believe that abortion is no more a crime than raking up acorns, is murder no more a crime than cutting down an oak tree?

    Dan

  3. 8thday says:

    Dan,

    1. I do not watch msnbc. But as a rule, I feel that if someone needs to resort to inflammatory or inaccurate language to spin their argument, they probably don’t have much of an argument.

    2. I did not state my beliefs on abortion at all. You should read a comment accurately and not jump to conclusions.

    3. My question is simple – if someone believes that a collection of cells in a womb is a human, do they also believe that an acorn is an oak tree. And if not, what is the difference?

  4. BobRoss says:

    8thday,

    In addressing your question I’m sure you would agree that we are all “a collection of cells.” Some people have more cells than others, but surely the quantity of cells doesn’t provide a human with a greater “person” status.

    I agree that if you rake up acorns most people would not say that you “cleared a forest.” But, the reason is not because you didn’t prevent oaks from growing. The reason is that a “forest” by definition is a dense growth of mature trees. The acorn seeds given enough time could grow into that forest.

    In the same way if you aborted several fetuses we would not say that you massacred a nursing home. Why? Because a nursing home is occupied by elderly humans by definition.
    The real question in the abortion debate is not “Are there significant changes between an embryo and a toddler?” Obviously there are. The question is: Is there a qualitative change during that development that allows us to decide when it is a human?

    I would argue no. If you measure personhood based on the quantity of cells or the mental capacity of that being then we are all more or less human relative to each other. Once we open the door of deciding when, during the development of a human, life ought to be protected, we inevitably begin to allow subjective and arbitrary justifications for ending human life.

  5. Paul Reed says:

    @BobRoss
    @8thDay

    “Is there a qualitative change during that development that allows us to decide when it is a human?

    We have to be careful when we try to make moral decisions apart from the Word of God. Without it, we will always be arbitrarily drawing a line at when someone becomes a person. “It happens at the moment of conception”, I hear you say. But conception is a process that happens over 12 hours or longer. When is the magic moment? When the sperm just barely touches the egg? Or after mitosis? Or when exactly? And why?

    Rather than looking at human institutions to give us an answer, we must go to the Word of God. The Bible tells us that children are a blessing from God, rather than something to be prevented.

  6. 8thday says:

    @Paul Reed

    Children may be a blessing from God but unfortunately God does not take care of every child born.

  7. MPDaddy says:

    Abortion can seem like an easy way out of a big responsibility. There are two contrary modern ideas that I think create a dangerous tension. On the one hand, there is increasing emphasis on the importance of childhood and how a child needs all sorts of nurturing and special attention and whatnot if we are to prevent them from becoming delinquents and serial killers. On the other hand, our modern values often focus on “me” and the primacy of the unburdened, childless life which frees us up to have fun and to climb the corporate ladder. So then, not only is pregnancy a negative, it is a negative that is also an immense responsibility that will consume your entire life.

    I wonder, how can we make parenthood feel like less of a burden in a culture where both parents are working to make ends meet, and where extended families live separate lives, often spread across hundreds of miles, instead of gathering together to care for their young and old. I’m speaking from experience as a father struggling to raise two children far away from grandma and grandpa and all the family and friends we grew up with. Is there a place in this world for families? Or will the family fade with a whimper, unnoticed, beneath the buzz of our wired world with all its day care centers, retirement homes and mobile device apps?

  8. Paul Reed says:

    @MPDaddy

    “I wonder, how can we make parenthood feel like less of a burden in a culture where both parents are working to make ends meet,”

    I think you ask some very hard questions, and we want easy questions with easy answers. Part of the answer to your question is that basically we have everyone demanding the same lifestyle as the rich (lavish weddings, huge houses, multiple cars, etc). Look at the average house size in 1960.

  9. Barry says:

    @8thday – No, an acorn is not an Oak tree but the potential to be one. Therefore, in your analogy an acorn would be akin to a sperm unplanted in the egg. However, had your acorn planted into the ground and started to sprout into a tree and you chopped it down, you would be killing an Oak tree.

  10. 8thday says:

    @Barry

    Well, no. An acorn contains everything it needs to become a tree (with the exception of a growing environment), while sperm will grow into nothing on its own, no matter where it is planted.

    But in your example, if you dug up an acorn that was still underground, but had sprouted a few roots, you would call that an oak tree?

    @MPDaddy

    While I would take issue with the insinuation that women have abortions so that they can be unburdened and free to have fun and climb the corporate latter, I absolutely agree with you that until we, as a society, take responsibility for the care and health and well-being of all our children, from birth to independence, then abortion will continue to be the only answer for many.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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