Oct

21

2013

Betsy Childs|12:01 AM CT

Why We Should Legalize Murder for Hire

I'll be the first to admit it; hit men are shady. But they are shady because they are doing work that no one else wants to do, work that is, in fact, illegal. By labeling contract killing a "crime," we have obscured the fact that hit men provide a valuable service to society.

Bourne SightMany women find themselves trapped in unwanted marriages. Matrimony severely curtails a woman's freedom, and husbands can be unreasonably demanding. A woman in such a situation is vulnerable. She sees only one way out, and so she makes the difficult decision to kill her husband.

But the inconvenient truth is that a woman hiring a hit on her husband will likely have to pay tens of thousands of dollars, with no guarantee that the kill will actually take place. Legalizing the transaction would remove uncertainty. Hired guns could be vetted, trained, and held to professional standards of safety. No one wants a hit to go bad. Removing the threat of prosecution would drastically lower the cost of contract killings. Legalizing murder for hire would bring a sordid industry into the light.

While divorce may be an attractive alternative to murder for hire in most cases, some women do not have the emotional and financial resources to go through a divorce. A contested divorce can take more than a year to resolve. After attorneys drain the couple's finances, the woman will be left with little money to get on with her life. Additionally, a discrete and well-timed hit protects a husband from the pain of discovering that he is no longer wanted. A truly skilled assassin can take his target painlessly in an instant, without any suffering. The end of a marriage can potentially ruin a woman's life, but if her husband can be taken out quickly and cleanly, it can be a new beginning for her.

Murder for hire is an uncomfortable subject, and I personally could never order a hit. The better course is to avoid unwanted marriage in the first place. Yet this is not a decision that anyone else can make for a woman. It is her marriage; only she can decide when it must end.

I realize readers may be hesitant to endorse this proposal, but stop to consider the profound way that the legalization of abortion has taken away the stigma against a woman who wants to kill her child. Abortion was once considered murder and thus could only be obtained secretly and at great risk to women. Now, our country celebrates women who exercise their choice to kill their family members. Why shouldn't we extend this right, and give women the choice to kill their partners?

Betsy Childs is the web and publications editor of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.

Categories: Current Events
  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com Curt Day

    Isn't our economy a professional hitman? After all, it is for the economy that we prosecute wars and conduct military interventions. It is for the economy that we pursue trade policies that impoverish other countries. It is for the economy that we do away with regulations that protects the environment and people's lives. And it is for the economy that we allow the kind of economic disparity that leaves people hopeless, homeless, and without resources.

    Yes, abortion was considered murder and now isn't. But some people argue for abortion because of how the economy has affected them. And before the kind of hitmen referred to here could be allowed, even in an analogy, we will have to go through the progression of allowing post birth abortions, and then euthanasia on the old and severely ill. That is because those are the people we can easily distance ourselves from outside of the preborn child. And though I like the analogy made, it is the gap between pre-born and a person that demonstrates personality that we have bridge to win the emotional and intellectual debate on abortion.

    • Joe Carter

      Isn't our economy a professional hitman?

      No. No, it's not.

      • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com Curt Day

        Joe,
        If not a hitman, would it qualify for a godfather, in the movie sense that is?

    • Melissa

      I agree - although this makes for a thought-provoking read, the intellectual/emotional distance people create when speaking about unborn children makes this sound illogical for folks who argue for abortion but try to deny it as homicide - while it's true, it's not going to win anyone over to the pro-life side of the debate, it only makes sense to those who already agree....

      • Jeff Bromley

        Don't under estimate the power of fortifying your defenses. I have found that a good argument that fortifies also wins adherents. We shouldn't worry about winning the argument with those unwilling to adjust their thinking we should make sure our thinking is solid. So making arguments that appeal to the base aren't useless.

        • Hal

          Prov 26:4
          Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
          or you will be like him yourself. NIV

          • JPL

            Prov 26:5
            Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. (NIV)

            • Hal

              Knew that was coming.

              Rom 1:22-23
              22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
              NIV

    • Dave Fritch

      That's like saying the fact that the earth is an isolated system with a limited amount of resources is the cause of all our problems including murder. With that fallacy you could argue that if we only had an unlimited amount of land, water, wood, stone..... we would not have any wars/murders because we would never be forced to get along. Everyone could move and start their own country!

    • Mrs M M Reynolds

      The old and sick are having their life taken. Now, today, yesterday. It is happening. We have been told by their families.

    • Tommy Hard

      Regarding your comments on the economy as a hitman--no, no it isn't. The unnamed party behind wars and military interventions, trade policies, regulations, and poverty is: The State. The State is exercising it's monopoly on violence/coercion when it gets involved in any of these areas on behalf of special interests. The State is the hitman, with special interests competing with each other for his services.

  • http://www.thenicenenerd.com/ Caleb Smith

    That really is eerily similar to the common arguments for abortion, isn't it? That's rather scary.

    • Steven

      It isn't SIMILAR to the arguments for abortion, ii IS the arguments for abortion with the word abortion replaced by 'murder for hire' and the word adoption replaced by 'divorce'. The POINT of the article, which declares itself satire in the title, is to illustrate exactly that in terms that abortion supporters may actually read before dismissing.

  • JayJay

    Brilliant! I loved you piece. You hit (no pun intended) the nail right on the head! 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' That is an absolute truth. People have bent it and in the case of abortion completely thrown it away but it doesn't stop the truth from being the truth.

    • Jeff Bromley

      Thou shall not commit murder. There's a difference. Killing isn't always wrong i.e. Capitol punishment in a biblical system of justice. Murder is always wrong.

  • Phil

    This whole piece is premised on the idea that a (say) two-week old embryo is equivalent to a (say) 38-year old man.

    But that's exactly what those who are pro-choice reject.

    So, in the end, this is just sillyness, masquerading as some sort of point.

    • Betsy Childs

      Hi Phil,
      Other than the obvious developmental differences, I see two important differences in a 38-year old man and a 2-week old embryo. A man may have done something besides simply exist to make him a target, and a man can fight back against his killer.

      • Phil

        Other than the obvious developmental differences

        Ah, now we are unto something.

        I see two important differences in a 38-year old man and a 2-week old embryo. A man may have done something besides simply exist to make him a target,

        The baby is not "simply existing" in a vacuum. The baby's existence is dependent entirely on the mother.

        a man can fight back against his killer.

        The hit man is doing it wrong, then.

        • Adam

          Hey Phil,

          And I do mean this respectfully with no cheekiness intended...

          You know a two week old baby can't exist on their own either. So your argument is not a solid determiner of personhood.

          Babies really are alive inside their mother's womb. I would recommend watching a free 33 min. movie http://www.180movie.com for an interesting and thoughtful commentary on this issue. Watch how many people on the street change their position on this when presented with some simple arguments. You might find yourself reconsidering some of your thoughts on this.

          Submitted Respectfully,
          -Adam

          • Phil

            Adam,

            You know a two week old baby can't exist on their own either. So your argument is not a solid determiner of personhood.

            I wasn't making an argument, but thanks for the reply.

            Also, I haven't seen the movie that you link to. Maybe I'll get time to see it soon. Have you seen "After Tiller"? I haven't seen it, but I've heard good things about it.

            • Adam

              Thanks Phil,

              Sorry about addressing something that you weren't. :)
              Checked out the 'After Tiller' trailer. Seems interesting. Although not impressed with doctors who see performing late term abortions as these sort of humanitarians. They really aren't.

            • Phil

              Adam,

              Checked out the 'After Tiller' trailer. Seems interesting. Although not impressed with doctors who see performing late term abortions as these sort of humanitarians. They really aren't.

              I haven't seen the trailer (only read a little bit about it), but I am at least open to the idea they are humanitarians. (Or, rather, in certain circumstances they might be performing humanitarian work.)

              I'll make a deal with you--I'll watch your 180movie if you watch "After Tiller."

            • Chris Baker

              Phil, any time you are in a discussion about someone or something, and your opinions are different from the other person's positions and you put forth you opinions and your reasons for having those opinions, then you are making an argument for your opinion. Arguments are not bad in and of themselves. No discussion is complete without each side listening to the arguments of the other side even if they don't agree. There is a huge difference between an argument where the people are heated and angry and simply arguing their point in a peaceful calm manner. So the way I see it you were arguing. It's nothing to be ashamed of since you were being calm and rational. Any debate is made up of arguments. Perhaps you weren't aware of this definition of the word "argue"?

          • Luke Jongsma

            If "living on your own" is our definition of person hood, do we not need to pull the plug on a lot of people on life support, and people in comas? Living on your own isn't a good litmus test for person hood either.

            I go to the word of God for my personal conviction:
            "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." - Psalm 51:5
            We are brought forth into a sinful nature at conception.

            I tend to approach this issue philosophically. The philosophy behind most pro-choice arguments is fundamentally flawed and filled with hypocrisy if you apply them to other aspects of life.

            • Phil

              If "living on your own" is our definition of person hood, do we not need to pull the plug on a lot of people on life support, and people in comas? Living on your own isn't a good litmus test for person hood either.

              Yup. I agree. It's a good thing that I don't think anyone makes that argument.

            • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

              Yes. And to add another group to the analogy: passengers in a plane flying at 35,000 feet can't live on their own either. Does the pilot have the right to choose to abort some of the passengers?

            • http://thenface2face.wordpress.com Karen Butler

              @ Phil: "existence is dependent entirely on..."

              Not your mother, but maybe your husband? Have you forgotten Terry Schiavo? Her husband hired some layers and made a convincing argument for her contract killing, and so the basic life support we all need -- food and water -- were pulled from her, and she died a painful lingering death. Simply because of a brain injury.

              Because she could not "live on her own." A Christian Bioethecist discusses the troubling aspects of this case, here:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/may/9.48.html?paging=off

        • Jordan

          If you assume, for the sake of argument, that it is not "silly" to think an unborn baby has as much value as an adult, then the article makes valid points by comparing the language used to justify pro-choice arguments to what most of us would agree is murder.

          Also, a marriage doesn't simply exist in a vacuum; a wife requires a husband and a husband a wife. Neither is the existence of an embryo 100% dependent on the mother; two people are required for conception.

          And 38 year old's physiological development can be substantially different from another adult's - he may be missing limbs, organ, or brain function - yet most of us value his right to life.

          • Phil

            If you assume, for the sake of argument, that it is not "silly" to think an unborn baby has as much value as an adult, then the article makes valid points by comparing the language used to justify pro-choice arguments to what most of us would agree is murder.

            If you assume that an "unborn baby" has as much value as an adult, then there is no argument. It is literally impossible to assume it "for the sake of argument."

            Again, the equivalence of 2-day old (or week) embryo and an adult is exactly what pro-choice peoople reject, so positing it as the basis for your criticism is sillyness.

            • David Graham

              The point of a satirical piece such is this is to highlight that the most common and influential pro-choice arguments have nothing to do with precisely defined non-equivalence but our sense of individual freedom. It's simply disingenuous to suppose that the pro-choice movement has gained public prominence as a result of rigorous analysis of the nature/value of the one who is dependent.

            • Phil

              The point of a satirical piece such is this is to highlight that the most common and influential pro-choice arguments have nothing to do with precisely defined non-equivalence but our sense of individual freedom.

              I guess we'll just have to disagree on how much people are aware that a 2-day (or week) old is NOT like a 38 year old. (Indeed, there is nothing "precisely defined" about it--I think people know the difference intuitively.)

              It's simply disingenuous to suppose that the pro-choice movement has gained public prominence as a result of rigorous analysis of the nature/value of the one who is dependent.

              I am not sure who's being disingenous. I never said anyone has conducted any "rigorous analysis."

            • anonymous

              A point which I have read before in argument against the idea that a unborn child--an "embryo" as they are often called--should be considered less than human. The fact was solicited that one cannot consider a 3 month old "fully developed," nor a 3 year old, or a 6 or 8 year old. Children this young are not "fully developed" as humans, one can argue. They are utterly dependent on their parents for survival, they have no "fully functional" brain processes when compared to an average adult, their rational and emotional awareness is utterly stunted (again, in comparison), and they are a great burden to their caregiver.
              Should we let parents kill their 3 year old child because they're sick of taking care of them? Because they're a burden? Because they "limit" life choices?
              The idea is absurd. Yet, the only thing different between an adult, between a 6 year old, or 1 month old child is their level of dependency and helplessness at the mercy of their parent. Children are fully human when they are conceived.
              In addition, I would state as well that it makes as much sense to argue that we can kill an unborn child as it would to argue we should kill people with any mental or physical disability because they are a "burden," "trauma," or "hinderance."

            • Phil

              anon,

              Children are fully human when they are conceived.

              What would you call the difference between a zygote and a 38-year old man? How about one is a potential person, and the other is an actual person?

            • Ariela

              Phil, they would both be actual human beings. Complete, unique individuals of the human species. ("complete" meaning they are not a part of an existing human, but wholly a separate entity)

              "Person" unfortunately is such a subjective term theses days. You would have to first define what a "Person" is in order to determine whether a zygote is a potential or actual person. 

              To me, a "person" is equivalent to a "human". They're very existence determines this in my opinion, whether we are aware if them or not, whether we mourn their loss or not. I don't want to add any other kinds of criteria like independence, age/size, etc. as these are all criteria that could also be used to dehumanize (and thus devalue and give reason to destroy) born individuals also.

              Phil, so how would you define a person? 

            • Ariela

              Note: It is very common for us born humans to try to dehumanize other humans that we want to kill in order to justify the killing - they are not a person yet, they are no longer a person (eg. in a coma), they are a monster, they are an animal... etc. common labels put onto fellow humans when we are considering destroying them. But these labels dont change that they are actual humans, actual persons (by my definition anyway)

              An interesting short essay on dehumanization is here: http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/dehumanization
              "Dehumanization is a psychological process whereby opponents view each other as less than human and thus not deserving of moral consideration..." - 

              Make no mistake, there is an industry profiting from abortion (billions of $$$ a year in US alone) so they like to perpetuate the idea that the rights of mother and unplanned child are being pitted against each other, thus making them enemies/opponents, but in reality they are not... and carrying a child to term generally does not harm or encroach on a woman's rights (she can be even be totally oblivious to it, like those women who have given birth  not even knowing they were pregnant at all!  it happens more often than you think - Google "I didnt know I was pregnant" to find a TV series of women's stories.

            • BG

              Phil, I find it interesting that you keep using the 2-day/week old fetus as your example. When do most abortions occur? A mother typically doesn't even know she's pregnant at 2 weeks.

              I have another question for you? Is the moral reprehensibility of murder based on the degree of value of the individual? Is it better or worse for us to murder a 37 year old over a 38 year old?

            • Phil

              Ariela,

              Phil, so how would you define a person?

              Here's what I think you are asking: when do I think a zygote/fetus has developed enough to be called a "person?" (such that the "person" has a right to life that outweighs the woman's right to her own body)?

              I'll answer with a question:

              How do you define a woman?

              Specifically, what I am asking is: when do you think a girl has developed enough to be called a "woman?" (such that the woman has a right to get married that outweighs her parent's rights to veto any such decision)?

              BTW, philosophers have disagreed for literally thousands of years on what makes us uniquely "human." (Or, "a person.") Given the lack of any sort of philosophical/scientific/societal consensus as to when "personhood" starts, we should leave this choice up to the individual (the mother) with the most at stake. At best, all society can/should do is set broad parameters for the range in which that choice can be made.

            • BG

              Phil,

              Any chance you'll engage with some of the other questions too? I'd still like to hear how you determine the difference in value between two individuals. Should we punish more severely if you end the life of a VIP over an orphan who lives in a trash dump in India? Or is it the fact that you've killed a person that makes the whole thing reprehensible? And I'll interject one other thought based on my last post: most women do not abort until the whole baby has formed. It has a heart, a brain, a functioning body, and that child is executed when a mother chooses to abort her baby. You claim some significant difference at 2 weeks, but mothers are not aborting a 2 weeks, they're aborting when someone like you would look at the child and know it's a whole person.

              I'd like to respond to your post here on Oct 23. I don't think anyone disagrees with your definition of a woman. But having a baby doesn't change or take away her "woman-ness" while killing the baby does change everything about that being--abortion destroys its personhood, identity...everything. And being a woman should not entitle one to make the moral choice of whether that baby is worthy of keeping its life.

              So you asked your question, and I don't feel like it answered the question posed to you: how do you define a person?

              You say philosophers have debated about this for thousands of years (though even a heavy hitter like Rousseau sees the distinction--read Discourse on the Origin of Inequality if you would), but that's only because they disagree with what God says. We are made in his image, and that's what makes a human unique. That's also what makes ending the life of a person, no matter how small, such a horror.

              You say the mother has the most at stake when it comes to abortion? That's unbelievable! The life of a child is literally ending and you say the mother has the most at stake?!

            • Phil

              BG,

              Any chance you'll engage with some of the other questions too?

              I'll try. But 1) replying on my iPad is incredibly tedious (both the lack of a typewriter and the comment doesn't seem to 'scroll' proprerly) 2) I am afraid that--based on some of your word choices--we are too far apart to have any sort of meaningful/useful dialogue.

              I'd still like to hear how you determine the difference in value between two individuals. Should we punish more severely if you end the life of a VIP over an orphan who lives in a trash dump in India? Or is it the fact that you've killed a person that makes the whole thing reprehensible?

              I don't really understand the questions. 'Punishment' of a killing depends on a huge number of factors. If you mean, given the exact same circumstances, should we punish the unlawful killing of a VIP more harshly than an orphan? The answer seems to me to be no.

            • Phil

              And I'll interject one other thought based on my last post: most women do not abort until the whole baby has formed. It has a heart, a brain, a functioning body, and that child is executed when a mother chooses to abort her baby. You claim some significant difference at 2 weeks, but mothers are not aborting a 2 weeks, they're aborting when someone like you would look at the child and know it's a whole person.

              Do you support "the morning after pill" or other emergency contraception designed to be taken immediately/soon after unprotected sex? If you oppose them, then it seems perfectly fine for me to talk about 2 days or 2 weeks. (If you are ok with abortions before 8 weeks, then we can shift to that time frame).

              I'd like to respond to your post here on Oct 23. I don't think anyone disagrees with your definition of a woman.

              I don't understand, I didn't provide a definition of a woman.

            • Phil

              But having a baby doesn't change or take away her "woman-ness" while killing the baby does change everything about that being--abortion destroys its personhood, identity...everything.

              This presumes the 2-day (or week) old has those things.

              I'll leave it there for now...

            • BG

              Phil,

              Given everything discussed here, would you be willing to outlaw abortion except for the morning after pill?

              By the way, even though you didn't quote OED, you most certainly did define womanhood. You defined it as a girl who has the right to get married and veto her parents' objections. You defined it as a girl who has developed a certain amount. You did not draw a bright line on when that happens, but your implicit definition is one of independence.

              It's going to be hard to have a conversation if there isn't intellectual honesty. You're making arguments and then claiming you're not making arguments simply because you're not "debating" with others. But you are most certainly trying to progress your agenda even with the very questions you're asking. We all do it. I was doing it--you were doing it, and that's okay. The way we've been talking is using various rhetorical devices to make arguments, but you need to own that before we can get anywhere.

            • Phil

              BG,

              You've fundamentally misread my question about "how do you define a woman?" This doesn't give me any faith in your reading comprehension. (To explain further, right now, in the state of California, a female has the right to get married without her parents' consent the days she turns 18 (provided her partner is over the age of 18). She cannot get married if she is 17 years and 364 days old without a parent's consent. So you think that a "girl" becomes a "woman" on the day she turns 18? I don't.)

              And, rather than answer my questions, you pose your own.

              And, you question my intellectual honesty. If anything, I've tried to be extremely precise in my responses (not always achieving that, but trying at least).

              Thanks anyway.

            • TAD

              Haha Phil I think you must be a primary school teacher and used to dealing with people with such different intellects. Remarkable patience.

            • Phil

              TAD,

              Insulting people helps no one.

              Most pro-life people have good reasons for believing what they believe. Now, I ultimately disagree with those reasons, but you should address their reasons, and not their "intellect."

        • Jeff Bromley

          So, something dependent entirely on another is justified killing? No wonder this logic tends to attract those who deny God. We as created beings are entirely dependent on our creator/sustainer God. You have just logically justified your damnation with that argument. Be careful how you judge by that which you judge you will be judged.

          • Phil

            First, I wasn't making an argument.

            Second, even if I were (which I wasn't), at most I have "logically justified" my own killing, not my own "damnation." (Although I am not sure what you mean by that.)

            • Chris Baker

              Oh but Phil, You were making an argument. Since I stated this in another reply but did not use a reference, I do so here so you can better understand my point (which is to say, my argument)...

              ar·gu·ment
              [ahr-gyuh-muhnt] Show IPA
              noun
              1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
              2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.
              3. a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.
              4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
              5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.

              Note please that we both agree it was not an argument in the sense of definition number 1 but the remaining four should be what defines what is being done here. We are arguing our points, especially in the sense of number 5 although number 2 also seems to especially apply.

              Hope you enjoyed my arguments in favor of my opinion.

            • Phil

              Thanks for straightening me out. :)

      • Lilian

        Good morning, Phil, and thank you for commenting.

        I disagree with you. This isn't just silliness if human rights apply to human beings.

        A 38-year-old man is a living member of the homo sapiens family and thus a human being.
        A two-week-old *human* embryo is a living member of the homo sapiens family and is a human being by the same standard. What else could it be? It is alive, it is human, and it is a unique human organism following the developmental trajectory laid out in his or her (sex is decided at fertilization) genetic code - unlike the existence of a mere sperm or egg cell.
        A human newborn/toddler/child/teenager is alive, human, and doing the same thing as the embryo - following the developmental trajectory as laid out in his or her genetics.
        It was at fertilization that the genetic code defining my biological humanity was laid out. Therefore, regardless of what a two-week-old human embryo looks like and is capable of, what matters is what it is, and it is a human being. It is simply at an early stage of development.

        If you do not wish to give human rights to human embryos, you should find different criteria for the endowment of human rights upon a being as opposed to straight-up genetic biology. If this is the case, what criteria would you choose? What criteria do you think society should choose?
        How would one measure those criteria in an abortion situation? Could the threshold be narrowed down to a certain week of pregnancy? A certain day? What if developmental differences between male and female fetuses cause female fetuses to attain human rights before male fetuses? How could improving neonatal intensive care impact the criteria?

        Thanks again for commenting, and doing so politely. If I don't talk to you again, have a great day. :)

        ~Lilian

        • Charles

          To play the devil's advocate, if a 38-year-old man and a 2 week old embryo are moral equivalents, why don't we have a funeral for a miscarriage? If a miscarriage is the death of a human being, then why aren't their deaths treated the same as man's?

          • Dallas

            My wife and I had a miscarriage. We gave our son a funeral and proper burial. And that's not uncommon.

            • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

              Yes, you're right, that's not uncommon. Besides, the question is irrelevant. It's somewhat like someone in Nazi Germany asking, "Hey, if Jews are really equal to us 'Aryans', how come we don't have a funeral when we gas them?"
              We create the murderous status quo and then use that status quo as the measure of normalcy.

        • Andrew Kirke

          Grief is partly a selfish thing. The measure of grief we feel about the loss of a person's life is proportional to how close we are to that person, or to how much we knew about them. By its nature an unborn baby would never have been known to its parents, they had not spent time with it, or watched it grow. But that is no determinant of its personhood. Millions die in Africa every year and we do not mourn their passing. Is that because they are any less human than the people who die who are proximate to us? I don't think so.

          • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

            ^ excellent reasoning and wise answer (by Andrew Kirke).

        • Chris Baker

          What I'd like to ask is, why do some people seem to think it's ok to kill a baby that is still in the womb, a perfectly innocent human being (yes they become that at fertilization) and yet they think it's such a horror to execute a murderer or rapist.

          A sub question of the above is why would it be any different to kill the baby because it was conceived by rape or incest? The baby is still innocent, it's the father who committed the crime.

          Why does anyone think it's not a human baby starting at fertilization? What else could it be? It's certainly not a chimp or gorilla baby. It's a human baby.

          The only difference between us and those animals is that we were give souls by God. They are the dust of the Earth out of which we were created by God.

          Thank you God! I am enjoying my life and thankful that I wasn't aborted.

      • Lori

        Because I don't want to oversimplify things, I think we need to acknowledge that the law does not require me to sustain the life of that 38yo man.

        I'm not saying there's no usefulness in this analogy, but analogies are limited. It reminds me of another thought experiment that pro-choicers like to use: what if you woke up one morning attached by tubes to said 38-year-old man? If you detach yourself from those tubes at any point during the next nine months, he will die. Should you be required by law to stay hooked up to those tubes in order to sustain his life?

        The point of that analogy is to note how abortion is unique, in that while the law doesn't allow me to kill a 38yo man, neither does it require that I use the resources of my own body to sustain his life. And, if there were a situation where expelling that man from my home would mean his certain death--let's say it was extremely cold outside, there was no food, he had no car, and there'd be no way he could make it to safety alive--I am still within my rights to do so. He cannot demand that I use my home to keep him alive.

        Would I be right to turn him away? No. I'd be committing a moral wrong. But, it's still legal for me to do. Per that analogy, the question becomes why a woman is not required to open her home to a born person to keep them alive, but should be required to use her own body to keep an unborn person alive.

        Again, I am not saying this to argue that abortion should be a legal right. I'm simply saying that our analogies are all limited.

        • Patrick

          Did I choose to get hooked up to the 38 year-old man?

          • Jennifer

            Many women do not choose to become pregnant. Women who are raped, whether by strangers or by their regular lovers, both do not have a choice, including women whose husbands refuse to use a condom yet force them into sex (whether physically or via emotional or finantial coercion). I realise that these cases do not form base of most debate, but it is worth realising that they may be far more common than we think.

            • Chris Baker

              It's still not right to kill the baby. The baby is innocent of the crime, it's the father who committed the crime. Why do you think it's ok to kill the baby because the father was a criminal?

              IT'S NOT THE BABY'S FAULT!

          • Phil

            Two thoughts:

            1) Few people "choose" to get pregnant. If you are using birth control, you are actively choosing NOT to get pregnant.

            2) Choking is a foreseeable, natural consequence of eating. Does anyone who consents to eating also consent to choking, and they have to live with the results?

            • Vinícius

              1) Does anyone think there's a single birth control method, including condoms, that is 100% efficient? Anyone who's having sex with a person of the opposite sex knows there's a risk of generating a pregnancy.

              2) Does getting rid of choking kills anyone? Any person? Any half person? Any quarter of a person?

              Having to be attached to the stranger for a year is a dire thing. Letting the man die/killing him is dire too. So if you don't want to get attached to said man, don't go to that part of outer space where these strange kind of thing happen.

              If you're not willing to deal with dire stuff, stay safe and just do things with minor consequences, like eating, which doesn't affect anyone else but you.

        • Amanda

          What if the 38 year old man was your SON?

        • Chris

          THAT analogy is full of holes; it is known as the violinist analogy.

          First of all, pregnancy is not an arbitrary affliction; you don't just "wake up pregnant". Secondly, abortion isn't just "disconnecting" yourself from your child - you are ACTIVELY tearing your child apart and sucking him or her through a tube. Third, you forget the inherent LEGAL obligation that parents have to their children that they don't have towards strangers - if a random street urchin collapses from starvation and dies outside your house, it is indeed tragic, but not your fault, and not your problem... But if a your OWN child dies of starvation, YOU are charged with HOMICIDE.

          How do you not see this?

    • Megan S

      On a side note, no abortions are done on 2wk old embryos because no woman knows she is pregnant before the embryo has even implanted in the woman's womb. A pregnancy at this early stage would come back negative.. The most common GA for abortions are between wks 8-14. At week 8, all the organs have developed, the heart has been beating for 4 wks. At 14 wks, the fetus has hair, eyebrows, and moves (the fetus can grasp, squint, frown, and grimace. It may even be sucking its thumb.).
      Other than a 38 yo man living in an environment of air while a fetus lives in an environment of fluid, I don't see a difference.

      • LG

        "Other than a 38 yo man living in an environment of air while a fetus lives in an environment of fluid, I don't see a difference."

        You don't see a difference between a completely independent, self-sufficient, grown adult, and a human that is utterly dependent for its very existence on the *body* of another human? I think abortion is wrong, I think it ends a human life, and is a great moral evil, but I cannot understand this sort of refusal to see that there are at least TWO humans involved in a pregnancy, not just one.

        • Megan S

          Thanks for your reply!
          Of course I do not reject the fact that there are two humans involved in every pregnancy. The woman is equal in her humanity, dignity, value and worth to the fetus, and the fetus to the woman. The size of the person (10mm or 126cm), the level of development (preschool or businesswoman), the environment needed for life (fluid or air) nor the dependence of the person (mentally handicapped or self-sufficient bachelor) give a person their humanity. The simple fact of DNA and the species you belong to alone is sufficient. As a medical professional dealing with all types of people, born, unborn, old, young, male, female, rich, poor, etc., I try to treat each person with the respect due to their humanity.

        • Ariela

          There are two involved with a pregnancy, but the inconvenience of pregnancy is greatly exaggerated to create a fear in pregnant women. The first 4-5 months of a healthy pregnancy is generally cruisey and easy (I have been pregnant 4 times, currently 5.5 months with my 4th child). There are aches and pains in a healthy pregnancy but nothing that is so inconvenient to me that I should be allowed to kill me child over it. Indeed there a numerous cases of women giving birth not even knowing they were pregnant in the first place! Check out the show "I didn't know I was pregnant" (some episodes on youtube) and many more stories in the news (I see one almost monthly)... pregnancy is not that huge of a burden...

          • LG

            YOUR pregnancies have not been that huge of a burden. Congratulations on being incredibly callous toward other women whose experiences are not like yours.

            A friend of mine almost died from hyperemesis during the supposedly "cruisey and easy" first few months of her last two pregnancies -- and she was on bed rest for the last two months. Several dear friends of mine have suffered from prenatal depression (yes, that can happen too). Deep-Vein Thrombosis is a pregnancy complication. There are countless other, more minor potential pregnancy complications from gestational diabetes to vertigo to anemia. Pregnancy complications are real. When you add to those problems the fear and instability and turmoil of many women who seek abortions, can you not understand how tempting it must be when someone tells them they can simply "not be pregnant anymore"?

            Haven't you ever had a friend who got pregnant unexpectedly, perhaps when her most recent child was just a few months old, and who had to work through fear and dread before she was able to rejoice in the new life her body was nurturing? Even happily married women in financially stable circumstances are often caught off guard by an unexpected, unplanned baby on the way. I hope that, if you do have a friend like that someday, you don't respond to her the way you've responded here -- I hope you respond to her fear with compassion rather than dismissiveness.

            • Ariela

              LG - You make a lot of assumptions about what I am aware of or experienced in life, and my attitute towards women who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. 

              My comment was that "The first 4-5 months of a HEALTHY pregnancy is generally cruisey and easy..." I am clearly talking about "healthy pregnancies" which are more common than high risk, problematic pregnancies. 

              Of course I am aware of pregnancy complications (how can I not be after 4 pregnancies, one born premature), I just know that the real concerning/debilitating ones where abortion is considered an good option to alleviate the "difficult pregnancy" are rare.

              My sister had two miscarriages, one at 22 weeks and one at 25 weeks because she was ill during her pregnancies (thyroid issues). She longed for a child so risked a 3rd pregnancy, successfully birthing my nephew 8 weeks premature, but he survived and now thrives - he is now 10.

              My cousin became pregnant with her 3rd child 4 months after her 2nd was born. Freaked her out for sure because you don't know what to expect, but she coped... and went in to have 2 more children, the youngest born this year.

              My own 3rd child was an unplanned pregnancy... I had a 3 & 1yo and didn't really want any more children. My husband and I had just quit our day jobs to persue a business of our own so I was worried about how we'd cope... I was working up until the second I went into labour trying to do what I could before I got busy with parenthood... but we coped, and our 3rd child is such a joy.

              And the thing is none of these situations were good reasons to have an abortion - to kill our children over. 

              But my original point was in response to your comment about the unborn being "... utterly dependent for its very existence on the *body* of another human" ... somewhat making out as if most or all pregnancies are difficult, so that pregnancy is unfair on women... but MY POINT IS that most pregnancies are healthy/low risk... that significant complications and the general inconvenience of pregnancy are purposefully exaggerated in order to create a fear of pregnancy and birth... women being scared into drugging up to avoid any pain during birth, being scarred into getting procedures done to speed up their birth, and of course, scared into getting an abortion to avoid all of that potential pain and discomfort pregnancy and birth... 

              My main point is that pregnancy and birth are not to be feared, that it is a totally natural process that generally takes care of itself (to the point that some women birth without knowing they were pregnant)... Parenthood on the otherhand can be daunting and burdensome, but pregnancy and birth are the easy parts in the greater scheme of things.

            • Jessica

              Hm. I almost bled to death with all my children, had pre-eclampsia with all my children, was on bedrest, gained an incredible amount of weight. I was told, under no circumstances, that it would be wise to assume that I would survive another birth after my second child. My third child was conceived while on birth control that was 99% effective statistically. Again, I came very close to bleeding to death, but I was not going to deny my gif--her life to save my own. I am not in control, God is. I planned accordingly and put it in his hands. Emmalyne is now 5 and I am still here to be with her because She has a purpose on this earth and so do I. When we both fulfill that purpose, we can go home. Not on our time, on his. Instead of worrying about what constitutes a human, how about worrying about the role that being will have to the world overall and what happens when you alter that purpose. My husband was born to a mother whose husband left her with 4 other babies, pregnant, alone and homeless. Do you not think abortion crossed her mind? Well it did. He was almost killed. Without him, I could not exist as I am, my children would not exist, my nephew would have grown up in the system when my sister died, the lady down the street who raises her grandchildren by herself and did not have the money to fix her car, would still be without a car if it wasn't for his talents as a mechanic and love for his fellow man that led him to help her. If only to help that old lady that one day, would that not be enough reason to let him live? I believe so. Whether you believe in God, or karma, or energy, you cannot deny that we are but a tiny piece of a massive puzzle. I choose to assume that every piece has a purpose in that overall picture and we, as individual pieces, have no right to take off and alter the overall plan without dire consequences to someone somewhere.

        • Moses Malone

          You said full grown adults are self sufficient? Humans cannot survive on their own regardless of what stage they are in developmentally. We need water and food in order to survive which we do not generate within our being. We are not self sufficient; so drawing a distinction between an in the womb fetus and a grown adult based on self-sufficiency does not work. Both are NOT self sufficient.

    • AS

      So is a 38 year old man's life more than a 22 week neonate in the NICU?

    • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

      We know the pro-abortion people reject the humanity of the fetus. However, their rationale is entirely arbitrary. The fetus is human -- the DNA tells us that. The fetus is alive. That's why he/she is growing and there must be something to interfere to stop him/her from doing so. The fetus is therefore human life.
      The fetus is simply what we can a human being at a certain stage of development. There is no objective criteria by which to judge that anyone on the continuum of human life, from conception to natural death, is any less valuable than anyone else on that life-span. To insist otherwise is to engage in sheer arbitrariness and opens the door to arguing that "Aryans" are more human than Jews or white more than blacks, etc.

    • http://talmid1021.wordpress.com KC

      Phil --
      I read your brief comment and then read enough of the ensuing exchanges to read your denial to be making the point I thought you were clearly making. So what point ARE you trying to make then?
      Are you sure you are not guilty of offering what might be called "just sillyness, masquerading as some sort of point"?
      If you expect others to apprehend rightly some point of yours that you have couched in some clever (I guess) words that sound very much like some other point, why do you pick some tertiary aspect of Childs' article and make that the point of your attack? The basic commonality between the two things (assassination of the husband and abortion of a baby) is this: Person A is hiring a professional to terminate Person B, whom they find to be an inconvenience. It doesn't need to go deeper than that for the point to made and made very well.

      • Phil

        KC,

        See Wesley, below.

    • Andy

      Wait, but a baby that has been in the womb for 2 weeks and a 38 year old man ARE equivalent according to most pro-choice proponents - they're both conglomerations of carbon and hydrogen that were accidentally agglomerated in certain configurations due to evolutionary process, which will be recycled soon, and which will undergo an eternal heat death with the rest of the universe. Thus, not only do they carry out pretty much the same chemical reactions, but also since there is no eternal soul that will be judged by God, both the baby and man are fundamentally the same in substance and nature as a chair, so there is nothing different from you killing the man and the wind blowing the chair off a cliff.

      • Phil

        Why does our government/society treat them (them meaning: the killing of a man and the wind blowing a chair off a cliff) differently?

  • LG

    What you're presenting here is what's called a false dilemma, and an egregious one at that. The choices you've given us are to consider women who seek abortions as morally equivalent to women who hire hitmen to murder their husbands, OR to gleefully celebrate a woman's "right" to abortion. Ridiculous.

    Most people fall somewhere along the spectrum, like the majority of Americans who favor restricting abortion at some stage, or the many pro-life Americans like myself who recognize that many women are coerced and pressured into abortion or seek it in extremity and desperation, and that the solution is not to paint them as murderers and drive them further from those who would help enable them choose life, but to support them as they grow to understand that the life they carry is valuable and worth protecting.

    I'll ask this honestly, and hope for an honest response: what purpose does it serve to paint women who seek abortions as murderers? How does it actually save the lives of the unborn?

    • Betsy Childs

      LG,
      You raise a very good point. I struggle with knowing how best to help women who are considering abortion. I don't yell, "Murderer" when they are going into the clinic. I more often say to them, "I think you'll regret this."
      The point of this article is to show how most women would never dream of committing the crime of murdering their husbands. Statistics show that many women kill their babies in the womb. I think we need to consider why one is acceptable in our society and the other is not.

      • Lori

        " The point of this article is to show how most women would never dream of committing the crime of murdering their husbands. Statistics show that many women kill their babies in the womb. I think we need to consider why one is acceptable in our society and the other is not."

        The easiest explanation seems to be that the two are fundamentally different acts. That doesn't mean that either one is right, just that there is a fundamental difference of moviation between having an abortion and killing a person. That's why, I think, most of us would be perfectly comfortable with a woman who had had an abortion caring for our children, but would probably be hesitant to allow somebody who had murdered her born child to do the same, no matter how changed and repentant she was. We understand that these were two different acts. It's why you will find very few people, even the most ardently anti-abortion, who believe that women who have abortions should face the same legal penalties as women who use hit men to kill their husbands.

        The fundamental difference, of course, is that a woman seeking an abortion is not primarily motivated by a desire to kill. Most women I know who have had abortions were not seeking to kill an unborn child: they wanted to be not pregnant. Killing the unborn child was the result of them becoming not pregnant, but it wasn't the primary intent. We have ways for a woman to become not married besides killing her husband--she can divorce him--but no means for a woman to become not pregnant without having an abortion.

        A question I wonder about is what both sides of the abortion debate would do if we developed the technology to remove an embryo from the womb without killing it (perhaps an artificial womb to grow it, or a process of transplant where a couple unable to get pregnant on their own could adopt the embryo and have it implanted). Would pro-choicers insist that the mother still had a right to kill the embryo? Or would they agree that, if the woman could become not pregnant without killing her unborn child, she had an obligation to do so? Would pro-lifers insist that the mother remain pregnant? Or would they agree that, if there were a non-fatal way to end a pregnancy, women should have the legal right (regardless of whether we think it's a moral right) to determine whether or not they wanted to be pregnant?

        I don't think using the language of murder is particular helpful around abortion, nor do I think it's necessary. Abortion can be wrong without it being murder. I do not believe that abortion is murder (for one thing, I don't believe that women seeking abortions or doctors performing them are acting out of malice). I do, however, think abortion is wrong, because I think we are called to be life-givers, not life-takers.

        • Adam

          Lori,

          Not all abortionists are not doing it in malice but, but when they chop up babies in bits like Texas BBQ...I think your softening language of 'life takers' shows that you might not understand the barbarous nature of what is really going on.

          Which makes the abortionists even more cold and evil in that they don't think what they are doing is wrong. People can do all sorts of evil thinking that it is OK. But it's not OK. That's the point. It is murder.

          • Lori

            The barbarousness can't be presented as the problem, though. What about medication abortions (which make up an increasingly-large percentage of abortions), that mimic a miscarriage? There's no chopping up of the embryo, simply a pill that makes the uterus inhospitable to life. Is that okay, because it's not barbaric? Or is it wrong because, even if it isn't barbaric, it's still life-taking?

            Until Christians are clear and consistent in our message of nurturing and sustaining human life in all forms, and of being life-givers, then I think the anti-abortion message is going to fail. Successful arguments will not be premised on the ugliness of abortion (especially since we may be able to find less and less ugly ways to perform them) but on the beauty of nurturing and giving life.

            • Adam

              Lori,

              How about how God refers to the issue of 'life taking'? "You shall not murder." It is not "You shall be life-givers." Those are similar statements but not identical.

              To frame an anti-abortion argument in terms of murder is not ineffective and certainly is not un-biblical. That is why ultrasounds given to mothers considering abortion are so effective to make them choose life. The mothers realize the humanity of the child and realize that it would be killing the child. At that point they are not being 'life givers', in fact they are just coming to terms with the reality that the 'so-called' fetus is a person and alive.

              Not that I totally am against 'life giver' aspect of the anti-abortion argument. To me it seems that using the 'life giver' terminology it is not cutting the issue clearly as murder...which it is. Which of course is a more 'in your face' term.

            • LG

              I love the way you've phrased this. Human life is valuable and worth "nurturing and sustaining," period, and abortion is wrong because of that, not simply because it's barbaric but because it fails to attain to the standard of life-giving that we are called to.

            • Lori

              @Adam, without being overly pedantic, part of the reason that the "abortion is murder" argument fails to persuade those not already convinced is because murder is defined, legally, as an unlawful killing. When abortion is legal, it's not definitionally murder.

              You can use the term all you want, but I'm simply saying, it's not persuasive. I tend to think it's a word that hardens people's hearts rather than softening them, because it is so loaded. And, when around 1/3rd of women--including the women sitting in our churches--have had abortions, I'm not sure we want or need to use inflammatory language.

              We can speak the truth in love. I don't think that the "abortion is murder" language is bringing the kind of grace and love to the issue that we are capable of bringing. Regardless of whether or not we believe it's true, when we're talking with women who are either in or have been in difficult circumstances, I think we can find more gracious and compassionate ways to talk about this issue.

            • Adam

              Hello Lori,

              Good point about the definition of murder. As far as the US is concerned it would certainly not be 'unlawful killing' as it is legal. Yet there is a God who sustains our being moment by moment who has a law that would prohibit this type of killing. So in a much more profound sense it is murder before the One whom we all must give an account.

              Yet...you are right in that we must talk with people in wisdom. We must have our speech seasoned with salt. We must not be over-inflammatory. There are many ways we can talk about these things that are more constructive. I don't want to give you the impression that one should say to women, "You're all just a bunch of murderers." and leave it at that.

              You can directly address sin with perpetrators of that particular sin in such a way that is winsome. Lori, I would simply recommend going to http://www.180movie.com (free and 33 min. long) and watch the interviewer do exactly that with many people among whom is a young woman who killed her child through abortion. The interviewer uses 'murder' language with clear, honest, and winsome reason to change the her mind.

              You are right. We should be winsome and kind, but we don't have to throw away terms that are accurate to the horror of the sin to do that either.

            • Jon

              @ Lori,
              I agree with some of your points, but speaking the truth in love does not mean speaking in a way that does not offend. God came down on Mt. Sinai speaking the truth in love in such a way that brought sheer terror to his hearers. Was He wrong to speak the law to them in that way. I know you do not think so. The truth slays us all. I only hope is that it slays us while there is still hope.

        • Seth

          Granted, you won't find many who have the logical consistency to treat women who have had unjustified abortions (unjustified in the way that other killing is unjustified, it is not in self-defense or as punishment for taking another life) as women who hire hitman to take out their husbands, but that is because our society is very illogical. You have not shown how they are different, only acknowledged that a very ignorant populace treats them as different. To harken to somebody else's analogy, that's like Nazi's arguing that Jews are subhuman because all the Nazi's treat them as such.

        • Chris Baker

          Of course there is a way to become not pregnant. Have the baby and give it up for adoption. That way, you haven't killed a baby and some couple who might not have one for whatever reason is given an opportunity to have one of their own.

    • D. McDonald

      LG,

      Great point! While were at not "painting" those who seek abortions as murderers/people who take the lives of others, let's stop painting people who sleep around on their spouses as 'adulterers,' those who have sex with little children as 'pedophiles,' and those who worship anything other than God as 'idolaters.' I mean really, how is painting their behaviors this way actually going to stop them from having sex outside their marriages, hurting and scarring little innocent children for the rest of their lives, and not worshipping false gods? (facetious rant over)

      Calling the taking of an unborn life murder is just what it is. Before I'm judged as an ignorant male, I'm not saying this because I think women make the decision to have an abortion flippantly and without much heartache--the vast majority aren't in this category. But the message that is constantly being fed to women (at least here in Canada, and I'm pretty sure it is the same in the US) is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with abortion. Regardless of the distress that occurs when making that choice, it is still just a life planning decision, albeit a difficult one. On the other hand, the message that most women are hearing is not the murderous message Betsy is offering on a website where, I'm assuming, the majority of its readers are of the same mind as her, whether or not they agree with the approach she has taken in this article. As Betsy pointed out in her response to you, it doesn't mean that just because people call abortion murder that they are advocating going up to broken women who are contemplating having abortions and yelling out in a Fred-Phelps-like manner, "Murderers!" Why is that the necessary leap?

      Just like any other sin, however, people will not turn away from them until they are broken and realize that what they are doing is in fact a sin against a most holy God. Once again, I'm not calling for pro-lifers to do this in an unloving manner and without sensitivity. But as I said, the reality is that one of the biggest problems with the message women are hearing today is that there is nothing wrong with having an abortion. When people don’t see sin as sin, then people don’t flee from it like it is sin. Why would they?

      Just a final thought: Couldn’t it be possible that the reason why so many women are feeling so much anguish over the decision to have an abortion is because they are hearing two distinct messages: 1) the popular idea that unwanted/unplanned children are a burden, so get rid of the unborn fetus/baby (society), and 2) if you get rid of this fetus/baby, you are killing a living thing (inner-voice [right word?]). So perhaps if terminating a pregnancy was called what it is, then women wouldn't face such a hard decision in most cases. They may want to curse the day they got pregnant, and grieve over all the missed life opportunities and experiences they will now miss, but at least they wouldn't think that killing a baby was one of the appropriate responses.

      • LG

        D. McDonald,

        There's a legal difference between "murder" and "taking a life." Murder is a type of taking a life, but not all life-taking is murder. As Lori said above, most women who get abortions are not thinking about "killing a baby," they're thinking about "not being pregnant anymore." Given that, legally, intent is a huge part of a murder conviction, I think it's a misnomer to call women who have abortions "murderers" without exception; if calling them by an inaccurate name is going to keep them from seeking our help, I don't see the purpose of insisting on that terminology when it only serves to drive women away from those of us who actually want to help them.

        And I guess my response to your last paragraph is that I agree that many women are torn by the competing messages about abortion. But we've been calling it murder for many years now, and it doesn't seem to have made a difference. A woman who is already seeking an abortion is not in the best position to re-evaluate her worldview, in my opinion.

        Just as a final note, I think you seem pretty defensive (like your assumption that I would dismiss you because you're a man? Come on, brother) given how much we agree. That makes working toward consensus a bit difficult!

        Blessings,
        LG

        • D. McDonald

          I will first apologize about my comment about being judged as a male. I guess that is usually an argument that comes up when I have tried to discuss this issue. I should not have assumed you would think that.

          I agree that most women don't think that they are killing a baby, and they simply want to terminate a pregnancy. But that is one of my points. The reason they think this is because they have been lied to that they are unjustly (if you prefer, rather than use the word illegal) taking a life.

          • D. McDonald

            (I will finish and correct my post since I pressed the "post comment" button by mistake):

            Women have been lied to by a society that tells them that taking the life of an unborn is not "unjust." Whether society deems it murder or not, would not the unjust (since "illegal" is not appropriate since abortion is legal) killing of another human fall under one of the degrees of murder, biblically speaking I mean?

            As I said, I don't think we should shout murder to a woman's face, but I have had the experience of trying to comfort my sister who lives with the regret, shame, etc. that comes with having an abortion. She had one because the people with whom she was surrounded were feeding the often heard lie that killing an unborn child was an obstacle to her dreams. The fact that she was told it was only about "not being pregnant anymore" didn't change the consequences, nor did it change the way God sees views. Do we kick people like this when they are down after they have had one, or when considering having one? Certainly not! But, if my sister had of received better counsel during the times when she was deciding what to do, she may not have chosen to have one. She didn't think it was inherently wrong at the time she made her decision.

          • LG

            Thanks for your apology. Just a few thoughts:

            A) It's not like we're advocating a massive shift in the language of the pro-life movement; we've always called it murder and doing so has always driven people away.

            B) It's impossible to tell just by looking at them, which woman is going in for her sixth abortion because she can't be bothered to use contraception, and which woman is being forced into one by an abusive boyfriend, pimp, or parent. This would seem to mitigate even further against using the "murderer" terminology indiscriminately, because you're catching women who have been doubly victimized in with women who are making a heartless and unjust decision.

            C) Once a woman is pregnant and seeking an abortion doesn't seem like the best time to suddenly become interested in her life. It certainly doesn't seem like the best time to jump in with inflammatory, alienating language. My argument is that there are more legally-accurate ways to talk about women seeking an abortion that don't involve painting them as morally equivalent to the wife who has her husband killed for his money. I like your suggestion of "unjust" as a good term to move forward with.

            • BG

              I understand what you're saying in terms of legal accuracy, but isn't part of the point of the pro-life movement to change the legal status of abortion? If abortion were illegal (like it used to be), would you still be offended at the use of the term murderer? Is the term slave-owner more or less offensive after it became illegal?

              You are correct that current US law does not consider abortion murder. But there is an absolute moral Law that does.

        • Mark

          Even if killing the baby is not the primary motivation (vs not being pregnant anymore), this really isn't much of an argument. It still leaves the fact that killing the baby is the means of not being pregnant. This is why people call abortion murder. It is killing a person for the purpose of getting something we want. When someone kills a person to steal their car, we call it murder, even though the real goal was getting the car. In the theme of the article, someone could kill their husband because they don't want to be married, not because they want to kill a person.

        • Tim M.

          LG,
          The distinction between murder and killing is certainly a distinction between intentionality, however, you are confusing intentionality and self designation. A man cannot claim to be guiltless of murder simply by saying that his intention was to keep his wife from cheating on him again with her lover. Intention refers to the act itself. Certainly most women who murder their unborn children are blind to the fact that it is murder. This doesn't mean that murder is an inappropriate description.
          Tim

          • LG

            The law recognizes at distinction between the moral will behind an act and the execution of the act. A hunter who, in attempting to shoot a bear, shoots his hunting buddy, is not going to be charged with murder. It's not a direct comparison by any means, but what the two cases share, IMO, is a lack of malice. I think few women, as they walk into an abortion clinic, are murderously angry with a human baby whom they want to kill, as in the case of a woman who hires a hitman.

            • Tim M.

              LG,
              You are right the distinction between murder and manslaughter is the distinction between intentionality. Was the action morally "willed" or an accident? However, you are playing semantic games with the definition of "willed." The issue is whether or not the act was "willed #1," i.e. volitional, not whether the action was "willed #2," i.e. happily desired. Abortion is willed #1, i.e. premeditated, planned, and enacted.

              Perhaps you could interact with my example? Would a husband who kills his wife in order to keep from having to go through the pain of adultery be guilty of murder or manslaughter?

              Your hunter example breaks down because abortion is no accident. At the end of the day, we cannot define malice entirely in terms of feelings. The loving action is to allow the child to live, the hateful action is to end the child's existence. Love isn't simply a feeling.

              I admire your desire to help those who have sinned in this way. This is praiseworthy. You don't help anyone by searing their consciences. You can try all you like to blur semantic distinctions, but at the end of the day, their consciences are screaming at them and their only hope is to confess and repent of their sin, i.e. murder. I completely agree that there are wise ways to present this information and unwise ways.

              Tim

    • Seth

      The point is to think rightly, because, as the image of God, that is what He has made us to do. Think rightly about Him. Think rightly about ourselves. And think rightly about those who have had their unborn children murdered for unjust reasons. This is enough in and of itself, but if you want a pragmatic and practical reason, I want women who have had unjustified abortions to recognize that they are murderers so that they can repent and be forgiven. I have harbored secret sin before, too afraid to confess it and seek help. That is not the path of repentance that Christ has called His followers to, nor is it helpful. When a woman is ready to admit that she is a murderer, then she is ready to have Christ's abundant and free mercy showed to her. But not before. Christ came to the sick, not the well.

  • Mark

    Wow! This article threw me waaaaayyy off this morning, had do a re-take and re-read it through. Then I realized the method of writing - to write something so provocative and jarring that you are supposed to take a re-take. Then the author, Ms. Childs, introduces the idea of abortion being a legal hit, preposterous to think of an idea, but how is it any different from ending a child's life, who is family, in the womb?

    The idea of murder for hire is revolting, even in a divorce most people would never think of the idea to murder a spouse over a broken marriage, its unheard of. In parallel terms, our current society approves of abortion as a woman's right to choose...to put a hit on the family in the womb. With great costs and no one thinks of the idea behind to end someone's life.

    Great, provocative piece posted on TGC. Well done.

  • Tony

    I see what you did there. :P

  • David

    If abortion were simply an argument about the life/death of the child, this would hold water. However, to equate the argument of the government's ability to possess, invade, and decide for a woman what to do with her own body, regardless of how that child was conceived, with a hitman killing her husband is oversimplification and dare I say, disturbing.

    • John

      "woman what to do with her own body, regardless of how that child was conceived"

      David, which one is it? If it is a child, and not just "her body" your point is invalid. Pro-choice tip: Don't call the baby you are destroying a "child", or else your point sounds ridiculous and poorly thought out.

      • David

        I am pro-life. It is a child. They are being killed on a grand scale. However, I do not believe that legislating morality is the answer. That is not the cure for sin. When I speak of "her body", I acknowledge those that do not share my beliefs. God is sovereign, and He is in control, despite our sin and failures, including abortion.

      • Gabe

        David. With all due respect, your view that abortion is killing children but we should not legislate it is the worst argument I've ever heard. On your view we should then have no moral laws at all. While it's true that a law is not going to change someone's heart, it does not follow that we should just allow any atrocity to flourish. We have a moral obligation to try to reduce sin and suffering as much as possible while at the same time being used by God to address the more foundational heart issues.

        • David

          Gabe, I respect your judgment on my position, but I have prayed about it and continue to do so. I pray you do as well. I believe that prayer is not the least you can do, but the most. This is why I do feel a moral obligation to pray for the hearts and minds of the mothers of the world. We battle not against flesh and blood. I will pray for you to continue in your battle as God has called you. Regardless whether we agree, you are still my brother in Christ. Peace.

        • Melissa

          I agree - when our sin creates consequences that end another human life, society throughout history has found these actions to be worth legislating as part of human civilization and governance - the times we have failed to step in, we now look back on as genocide (ancient Egypt and the murdering of Israelite babies all the way up to modern genocides in several African countries). The idea that people would still seek to attain abortions if they were illegal is not a reason that we shouldn't fight to make it so, just as we wouldn't agree that other laws against other forms of taking a human life shoiuld be done away with.
          Praying is a huge part of this battle, but speaking up for those without a voice is equally important.

    • Dallas

      What's more disturbing to me is a baby being ripped to pieces.

    • Nathan

      In other words, to equate a woman deciding to kill a human being developed to adulthood with a woman deciding to kill a human being developed to an early in utero stage - this is disturbing? Disturbing in its accuracy and equivalency maybe.

      • David

        No, to equate it without considering the other factors is disturbing.
        Abortion is murder is not a new view. If it were that simple, there wouldn't be a debate.

        • Ray Nearhood

          Marriage is a union between a man and a woman is not a new view. If it were that simple, there would be no debate.

          See what I did there?

    • Joel

      David, don't you think that it might be oversimplification and disturbing to speak of a woman making a choice of "what to do with her own body" when it is not just her own body, but also the life of another?

      • David

        I do not oversimplify by referring to the woman's body. I stated that it is part of the equation. Of course, the life of the child is the focus, but if it were that simple, there wouldn't be a debate.

    • Tim

      David, I agree that the government should not tell a woman what she can do with her own body, but the government does have a moral responsibility to limit what she can do to another person's body, in this case her child's body. The unborn child is a genetically unique person, not an appendage of the woman. On this point the hitman analogy holds up.

      • David

        I agree, except the government has determined that a fetus is not another person's body - though I completely disagree with that. Therefore, the hitman analogy only holds truth to us that hold that viewpoint, and doesn't progress the discussion.

    • Lisa Beth W.

      The baby in the womb is NOT a part of the woman's own body. And the mother is responsible for that life once it is there, no matter how he/she was conceived. Also, if the government outlawed abortion, that is in no way possessing the woman's body, but protecting another's. It is not invading the woman's body, but protecting it from invasion for the means of murder. It is not deciding for a woman what to do with her own body, but protecting the body of another. You are, dare I say, disturbing b/c of your skewed views of a woman's body and our responsiblity to protect the helpless ones.

      • Lori

        Again, just because I don't think we should oversimplify things:

        If somebody was running down my street screaming that another person was trying to kill them, am I legally obligated to allow that person to shelter in my home? Not letting them in means that I am failing to protect their life. And yet the law allows me to make the choice, regarding my own property, to not let that person in. I am allowed to expel anybody from my own home that I want to, even if doing so puts them in mortal danger.

        So we are not simply asking for the unborn to be treated like persons; we are asking for special protections, for women to be legally obligated to use their own bodies to support them. And, that may be fine. There may be good reason for it. But we cannot pretend that it's just treating unborn persons like born persons, because it is not. I am allowed to expel a born person from my home if I so desire, even if my doing so results in their certain death. It may be a moral evil to do so, but it's my legal right. Unless we recognize that, and that outlawing abortion requires something far more intimate of women--to use their own bodies to sustain the life of another person whether they want to or not--we are going to talking in circles with those who disagree.

        • Hal

          When moral evil is a person's legal right, we've got problems.

          • Lori

            There are plenty of moral evils that are legal rights. Adultery jumps immediately to mind.

          • David

            Were you to list the number of moral evils that were legal, well, we'd be here all night, unfortunately.

        • Nick Missios

          Hi Lori,

          I appreciate your emphasis on compassion for pregnant mothers in difficult circumstances. The church must be prepared to step forward and care for these women and children even better than it has been.

          However, your insistance upon the faulty analogy of not being required to preserve the life of another human being reveals a logical flaw. Namely, you are ignoring the nature of abortion and the relationship of the child to the mother. Let me explain what I mean:

          (1) You insist that we are not legally bound to sustain the life of another human being. You illustrate this by describing people in peril and explaining that we are not required to let them into our homes to sustain them. Perhaps. However, what we are not allowed to do is open our doors and shoot them in the face. Abortion is not simply a passive act of withholding sustenance. It is the active chemical poisoning and/or bodily dismemberment of another human being.

          (2) You insist that we are not legally bound to sustain the life of another human being. This is true. Except for the fact that, sometimes, we absolutely are. Your analogy and subsequent argument assume no relationship between the pregnant woman and her child. In reality, parents are required to provide for the care of their children. They may do this by putting the child up for adoption or into the care of another family. However, simply withholding food and water from the child and allowing it to starve to death is not a legal option for parents.

          It troubles me that our culture is so comfortable with these arguments that we overlook basic tenets of humanity like, "Parents take care of their children". It is easy, however, in the midst of such creative analogizing (on both sides), to miss fundamentally inherent flaws.

          • Lori

            I agree that it is sad that we can overlook basic tenets, absolutely, and thank you for your gracious reply.

            We do need to recognize, though, that we do have means other than killing a child for a parent to relinquish care of a born child. There is no means other than abortion for a mother to relinguish care of her unborn child. Does that make it right? No. Does that mean it should be legal? No. But it does mean that we need to come up with sound, convincing arguments for why it is legally okay to require pregnant women to do something with their bodies that we do not require people to do under any other circumstances.

            I think perhaps the reason these analogies make me so uncomfortable is that they are diminishing the significant impact that pregnancy and childbearing have on a woman's life. To compare not having an abortion to not killing your husband is, I think, to trivialize what bearing a child means.

            My third child was a surprise. I found out I was pregnant with him when my second child was just a few months old. And, even though I was in the best possible circumstances for having an unexpected pregnancy--I was a married woman with a loving family and community support and enough money to care for another child--it was still hard. The feelings of fear, loss of control, helplessness, and then guilt on top of that for feeling that way, were just overwhelming. I don't think I stopped crying for a week. And I love my son, and I know he was part of God's plan for our family, but it still didn't make it any easier. So I'm just not willing to say that the experience of a woman--often in much less ideal circumstances than I was in--facing an unexpected pregnancy is somehow akin to the experience of a woman who is really mad at her husband and plans to hire a hitman.

            I guess what I'm hoping to say is that we should not make arguments in favor of the criminalization of abortion that end up alienating the very people we say we want to help. If the pro-life movement is to win the legal battle while losing people's hearts, I'm not sure how desirable that would be. Lots of women resentfully getting illegal abortions would not really be much of a victory. So I do think it's important to be careful with the language used, no matter how passionate we may feel.

            • Nick Missios

              Hi Lori,

              Pregnancy analogies are always strained and will invariably break down at some point. I suppose all analogies do. But pregnancy is something that is, by its very nature, unanalogizable. And yes, I absolutely just made that word up. The very thought of "requir[ing] pregnant women to do something with their bodies that we do not require people to do under any other circumstances" makes us quickly realize that there is no other circumstance in which one could be forced to carry a child. You are either a pregnant woman, or you are not.

              I do find your comments about criminalization and heart change interesting. I absolutely agree that we need to affect change in the hearts (collective and individual) of our society regarding abortion. And I do agree that harsh rhetoric rarely accomplishes much more than alienating and recalcitrating the opposition. However, the assertion that "Lots of women resentfully getting illegal abortions would not really be much of a victory" is one with which I cannot agree (and, to be honest, I would guess, from your other posts that reflecting on it more thoroughly, you might not either). If, indeed, that number of illegal abortions was fewer than the current number of legal abortions, then the increase in lives saved would be worth the effort. Of course, without true heart change, we cannot be sure that such laws would last for posterity. If this is what you were referring to, then I would have to agree.

              Thanks again for your thoughts.

              Nick

      • David

        "The baby in the womb is NOT a part of the woman's own body. And the mother is responsible for that life once it is there, no matter how he/she was conceived."

        The baby is not PART of the woman's body, but it is inside. The rest of my points rest on that truth, and regardless of my Christian viewpoint on abortion being murder, it is not for me to force a woman to carry to term and that IS deciding what a woman does with her body. It is complicated, and I'm sorry my disturbing points are not more simple than that. I pray for women and their children alike, and God is sovereign.

    • John

      Hey David! Thanks for your comment, and I think you're right to point out there's more to the story than the child's life and death. He or she isn't the only human being involved or worth considering in pregnancy and abortion.

      At the same time, I don't think there's less to the story than the child's life and death. To make it only about the child would be oversimplification, I agree with you, but to ignore the child as a human life worth guarding, cherishing, and honoring, would be oversimplification of another kind.

      In the same way, along the same line of reasoning you use, there's more involved with pregnancy and abortion than the mother's body. It's about her, yes, but also about the other body growing inside her own (which just seems incredible to me!), and a loving, holy God, and an earthly father, and grandparents, and communities, and cultures, and whoever else might be connected.

      Our bodies belong to us, but not only to us. I suppose this depends on the worldview we each bring to the table. Within a Christian worldview we believe our bodies are not our own. We our given bodies as a gift by which to love and enjoy God and love and enjoy his creation, including other people. So to say a woman's body belongs only to herself and only to serve her individual purposes, from a Christian perspective, would be, again, another oversimplification.

      Thanks for interacting David!

      Blessings,
      John

      • Lori

        "Within a Christian worldview we believe our bodies are not our own. We our given bodies as a gift by which to love and enjoy God and love and enjoy his creation, including other people. So to say a woman's body belongs only to herself and only to serve her individual purposes, from a Christian perspective, would be, again, another oversimplification."

        This, exactly. It is very easy to argue against abortion from a Christian viewpoint.

        The question is how that translates into law, and I think that is far more complicated, and we do nobody a service when we pretend it isn't.

      • BG

        Hi John,

        You're right about what you say, in an absolute sense, but I wonder where along that spectrum we are and should be. What if you had a scale that went from 0 - 100 where 0 was the 'oversimplification' that abortion was just a women's rights issue, the child has no part to play in the abortion decision and it's okay to just take the life of a child for any imagined reason. Then we can look at the other end, 100, where you have the 'oversimplification' that the child is the only human being involved and we must protect the life of the child and pregnancy at every imagined cost (e.g. an ectopic pregnancy that would definitely end the life of the mother and child).

        Where are we as a country right now on that scale?

        Where _should_ we be?

  • Abe

    I must assume this was written in a sarcastic tone, right? If not, this wouldn't end up in TGC right?

  • Allie

    I really appreciated your new way of looking at this topic. It can be difficult to get the pro-life point across in today's society, and you did it excellently!
    Reminded me of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
    http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

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  • Scott

    Brilliant! Great job Betsy.

  • David LaChance, Jr.

    Clever apologetic, but you can't reason with depravity. The idolatry of ideology can only be penetrated by the grace of God. The cold hard facts of this atrocity are for those who's conscience has not been seared and who are simply falling victim to cultural peer pressure. This sort of argument beats around the bush for the latter individual, the one who urgently matters, and as an apologetic it is merely throwing faux pearls before swine, those who worship their ideology and are eager to feast at the trough of their "enlightened ignorance".

  • Hal

    The parallel between the child in the womb and a 38 year old man is this: if you leave either one alone, they will most likely live on, grow, and mature. The 38 year old will be 39 next year, and the child will be an infant next year.

    And in the case of both, the only way to stop that maturing process (aside from disease) is by intrusive, aggressive, violent means.

    That is murder. In both cases.

  • B

    I think we need to take a step back at how we respond to women who have or who consider having an abortion. There are a multitude of reasons why women consider abortion, and very few of them are cold blooded murder. This article is only serving to shame these women, not bring them to Christ. The Christian response to people that don't follow the Christian standard is horrendous. What happened to showing people Christ through love? Yes you can do this with truthful, hard words. But the tone of the article above and some of the resulting comments do nothing to further the kingdom of Christ.

  • http://strangeherring.com Anthony Sacramone

    The only reason this is not legal is that Medicaid doesn't cover it. Not sure about Obamacare, because the HealthCare.gov site crashed from just Googling it.

  • Paul Jennings

    "If somebody was running down my street screaming that another person was trying to kill them, am I legally obligated to allow that person to shelter in my home? Not letting them in means that I am failing to protect their life. And yet the law allows me to make the choice, regarding my own property, to not let that person in. I am allowed to expel anybody from my own home that I want to, even if doing so puts them in mortal danger."

    This is not true at all. It is true for a stranger, but a mother has a legal responsibility for the welfare of their own child. If you no longer want your own 5 year old, for example, you can relinquish your rights as a parent through the law - that is true. But you cannot choose to either murder this child or neglect them until they die.

    David LeChance Jr. hit the nail on the head. "Clever apologetic, but you can't reason with depravity."

    It is obvious that a fertilized egg is a developing human being. Is it murder to beat a pregnant woman who loses the baby as a result of the assault? Yes. Is this because the woman decided the fetus was a developing human being? No. It is because it IS, in fact, a developing human being.

  • Jeremy Lee

    I appreciate the point the article is trying to make, however, I do feel like it makes a fatal flaw in assuming that a pro-choice individual would agree that on the equivalency of a grown adult and (as Phil wrote), a 2 day embryo. While I'm not arguing against that equivalency, the article assumes it.

    IF everyone was on the same page on that issue, the article would make sense. However, since most pro-choicers would not be on the same page, the real topic that needs to be addressed is the equivalency of human life regardless of developmental stage. Until that point is addressed in more clarity, I think murder comparisons will struggle.

    • http://www.choosinghats.com/ Matthias

      Perhaps before science was able to show us exactly how person-ly and human-ly unborn children were, it may have been forgivable (implying it's still wrong) to suppose they're not "alive." However, recent science has made denial of the "life" of an unborn child only more difficult. Here, of course, is where the idea of "inequivalency" is introduced arbitrarily, and we're told we need to kick the ball between these goalposts, and then these. But why should we accept that any concept of "inequivalency" is meaningful? There is life and there is death. Someone on the verge of death is said to be "clinging to life." It's this third ground - the basis upon which the "equivalency" argument is made - which itself needs to be substantiated. The so-called "Pro-Lifers" have never accepted such ground. So how about some give and take? Starting with those who have introduced the novel concept.

      An argument without foundation is no argument. Until some foundation is established (or acknowledged), agreement is impossible. Of course, in this case, for pro-choicers to acknowledge the foundation means they would have to relinquish their arguments, and so they attempt to create their own. It's quite possible people will become numb to murder of an adult as they have to the murder of unborn children. It's this mythical third ground pro-choicers have wedged between the two that disrupts their view of the comparison. But it stands nonetheless.

  • Joel

    I started reading this article expecting some form of application of the gospel and found it disturbing to see none of it.

    Essentially what I am concluding from the article is that if a woman does not like her marriage or is in danger, she should either divorce or murder her husband. This can be compared to abortion but that should not be the main topic here.

    First of all, wives should live with their husbands in an understanding way, nowhere in Scripture is there a command to murder your husband. In addition, divorce is detested by God. Wives are to submit to their husbands and in doing so they may even be able to bring them to Christ.

    Some counterarguments to that is that the husband may not ever turn to Christ and it is not a lack of effort of the woman's part or anything since it is ultimately God who is at work to save them. Thus, I would not recommend women who are being abused to be silent about it, but it also does not legalize murder in any way. If possible, live in a submissive way as to lead your husband to faith. In cases of physical or verbal abuse, flee. The body of Christ is here to support each of the members.

    Also, who are we to "call a hit" on someone? Are we to judge whether they are to live or die or what they have done has deserved death? All of us deserve death! None of us are good enough to deserve anything but Hell. And yet we don't die, not because of anything we have done but because Christ has died the death, paid the price, that we owed to a holy and righteous God. To seek to murder someone essentially shows you see yourself as God to judge and also that you are unwilling to forgive.

    I am totally surprised by this article and how it is void of the gospel of Christ.

    • Betsy Childs

      Dear Joel,
      I agree with all your comments. This article was meant to be a satire on the arguments used in favor of abortion.

      • Joel

        Ah. Sorry, I must not be up to date with the current arguments and events. Perhaps your view at the end would help to contrast the satirical elements =]

        • BG

          Joel, I think your initial misunderstanding is incredibly helpful. I believe the hope of this article is to help others understand that they should have the same indignation toward abortion as you did toward this murder-for-hire scenario. [For what it's worth, I wasn't tracking at first either, thinking it was going to be an apologetic for not legalizing drugs.]

          I think that what Betsy was going for was the same kind of response Nathan got out of King David in 2 Sam 12 after he had murdered Uriah. David was filled with wrath toward the rich man who took the poor man's only lamb. Only after the indignation was there did Nathan proclaim, "You are the man!" and David was cut to the heart.

          I wish it would have the same effect in our culture today, but I think a key difference is that for the most part, those in the pro-choice movement do not seek after God, while David was a man after God's own heart.

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

    I can see the round blue signs now: "Keep murder safe and legal".

  • Bety Heppner

    We are created for a purpose of a Creator that cares, sees and hears our cry. He can grieve with you when you grieve because He is personal and felt the pain, unbearable pain that he can comfort you if you trust Him. You know who He is. He wants to bring your trouble life and give you truly peace and contentment that only in Him you can find. He is eternal and powerful, our responsibility is to turn our hearts to Him. He is waiting for you, to invite him into your heart. The one that took upon himself the cross for you not to have to bear it because all the mistakes that you made.We all have to acknowledge that. We are all responsible. We need to ask for forgiveness to Him and do what He says for us to do and your life will be different. He is defender of the orphans and protector of the widows. In him the only hope that we have the through salvation. He wants to transform your misery into abundant life. His name in Jesus Christ. Almighty God and your Creator.

  • SamIamHis

    Sadly, even when we compare this "mercy killing" of husbands to abortion, the child in the womb is seldom painlessly put to death. They are burned, dismembered, vacuumed piece by piece, stabbed, poisoned, and literally have their brains sucked out in some instances in order to "mercifully" end their lives. None of it is instantaneous.

    Great article, thought provoking too but not quite the comparison we need to jerk people into realizing how heinous abortion really is.

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  • tom

    It took me a good few minutes to understand that this is satire!

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  • http://jackhudson.wordpress.com Jack

    This insistence on tying dependency to being less worthwhile as a human being is odd. Is a poor person dependent on charity less worthwhile? Is a sick person dependent on medicine less worthwhile? Why would killing a dependent child be less horrible than killing an adult male?

  • Mariam Bell

    Shades of Jonathan Swift - way to go.

  • http://www.christianvagabond.com Christian Vagabond

    The difference between a 38 year old husband and an unborn child is q question of God's POV and man's POV. I think that most people would agree that God loves all souls, including those of the unborn. But man does not, and practically speaking it's unrealistic to create a society that treats the born and unborn with equal value.

    Think of it this way: does a teenager whose father dies before he was born mourn his father's death as much as a teenager whose 38 year old father dies? Of course not. It's psychologically and physiologically impossible. Along the same lines, miscarried children are mourned because of lost possibilities. Grieving family members are projecting personality traits that never existed onto the unborn child, and birthday parties and memories that will never take place. 38 year old men leave behind friends, family, and acquaintances who have memories and know whom they have lost. The deceased has known foibles, charms, unattained goals, and people who depended on him.

    I'm not saying that the parents of miscarried children aren't genuinely grieving. Of course they're grieving deeply. But it's not the same level of grief as losing a 38 year old husband, father, brother, son, and friend. Even the most passionate pro-life people do not want to live in a society where the unborn and born are treated equally. We do not advocate arresting mothers who seek abortions or arresting mothers who miscarry due to irresponsible behavior that directly causes the miscarriage. We do advocate arresting mothers who plot their husband's death.

    • Jon

      Your arguement is based on equating the amount of affinity one has for another person with treating all people with equality. That is absolutely not "man's POV" in any westernized state constitution.

      • David LaChance, Jr.

        Yes, common sense is wrongly being assumed.

      • http://www.christianvagabond.com Christian Vagabond

        I'm not talking about government, Jon. I'm talking about psychology. Another way to think about this is that God loved Ariel Castro (the guy who imprisoned 3 women and tortured them for 10 years) as much as He loves you and I. On an abstract level Christians can agree with that concept. But on a psychological level there's no way any person could truly love Castro as much as their family. And it's unrealistic to expect them to.

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey E

    While I agree with the point of this article, the return argument from the pro-choice side will be that there is a difference between a 10 week old baby/fetus (depending on your worldview), and an adult.

    To argue the pro-life perspective means we need to focus on the science of that life, from the moment of conception.

    • Jon

      Recent arguments by pro-choice proponents are already beginning to concede science proves unique individual humanity at conception. They need to do so to justify partial birth abortion (cutting spinal cord with scissors outside the womb). Which makes the analogy in this article 100% applicable.

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  • Hal

    There's a good discussion of how the Church Fathers felt at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/october-web-only/were-church-fathers-consistently-pro-life.html?paging=off, for anybody who is interested.

  • Wesley

    Although it seems that Phil and I disagree on abortion as well as on the humanness of an embryo, I agree with his pointing out that the whole analogy is based upon a premise that is not agreed upon by the opposing pro-choice side; that premise being that pre-born children have the same status as the hypothetical unwanted husband.

    So, the post can be effective for rallying the troops and getting them hyped up, but it doesn't actually address the logic in the abortion argument. It misses the heart of the matter altogether.

  • Sally

    This is a very good argument against abortion... Thank you for putting it in a very different way...
    I wholeheartedly agree...

  • Zack

    Clever and well-executed. Great job.

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  • Edward

    HAHAHA. Great read. You definitely made my day!

  • http://achapterperday.wordpress.com/ Zak Schmoll

    Well played. I have to admit that your title got me wondering what on earth you might be talking about. It was certainly provocative and powerful.

  • http://mikesnow.org Michael Snow

    Excellent. I do agree with the comment that leaving off the last par. makes it more powerful.

    And Ole agrees with the article, wholeheartedly http://zeitgeistcontext.wordpress.com/

  • http://reallifetitustwo.com Gina @ Real Life Titus Two

    EXCELLENT!

  • Jerry Edmonds

    What I find disingenuous is how on the one hand, it is a woman's choice to keep or destroy a fetus, but on the other hand if a fetus is lost due to a criminal act then the state can charge murder for said fetus - without consulting the mother.

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  • Chris

    Marriages should be contracts for terms of years, renewable, with built in clauses for termination on grounds such as either partner "going to seed", drug taking, alcoholism, adultery or physical abuse of either spouse or children - a pre-nuptial agreement should be included also - satire noted, and assumed to cut both ways!
    Chris

    • Justin

      Chris,

      Isn't that just a lease?

      • Chris Baker

        It can only be a contract if it isn't biblical. Marriage vows are "til death do us part". Per the first amendment the federal government is not allowed to make any rules, pass any laws etc. regarding marriage as such since marriage is a religious rite. They are within their rights to make laws regarding domestic partnership but marriage is between a couple and their religion.

        First amendment says "congress shall pass no laws respective of..." religion is one of the things listed.

        BTW, it also doesn't say the states can't. That would be dependent on the individual state's constitution.

        It is totally different from the wording of the second amendment, which is absolute: "...the right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." There are no exceptions in that wording. First amendment restricts congress, second amendment does not allow any restrictions or infringements. Funny how that works. Think about how the two amendments are treated. Also, think about the tenth amendment which prohibits the federal government from doing anything not specifically it's purview as stated in the constitution. The tenth amendment has been violated almost as badly as the second. Much, much worse than the first amendment.

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  • Melody

    It's funny how someone picked a two week fetus and put that up against a 38 year old man. What is ignored is the devaluing of life. It is easy to dismiss that life when you get everyone thinking of it like a tadpole.
    I was a teenager when Roe vs Wade came into being. We would use it as a debate topic in speech class. For as long as I can remember everyone pictured the fetus as someone under the 12 week age and they looked barely human, not at all like a baby.
    That is how we started the devaluing.

    The reality is that abortion happens at all stages and for all kinds of reasons. It happens because of shame of getting pregnant. Those are not celebrated in the streets or on the media. Women get abortions because they don't want to have a child with the man they are with. It doesn't stop them from participating in the most intimate act that you can with another person. Women want a different sex baby. Or they don't like the timing.
    I recently read an article about a woman that had four abortions. The timing or person was just never right. She didn't regret them though. It was all told proudly like she was some kind of heroine or something.
    Another article was about a woman that found herself pregnant with triplets and decided to abort the identical twins so her career wouldn't be slowed down by a pregnancy.
    I won't even go into how Gosnell was shocked that he was found guilty. He really did not see those small children as human beings with a right to life. They were outside their mothers. They were breathing on their own. They were separate human beings with SOULS made in God's image.

    The most recent story, a 17 year old walking around with a dead baby in her shoplifting booty. A full term baby that she killed and put in a shopping bag. People aren't even shocked anymore. The liberal media insisted on calling the baby a fetus to lessen the impact. Just like presenting coming up with the two week fetus scenario.

    That is what we have come to as a society. And when someone writes a story to show the hypocrisy of a "civilized" society it still gets turned into a debate about a two week fetus that can't survive outside the womb.

    Made in the image of God.

    For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

  • http://trentdejong.com Trent DeJong

    English students at my school had a few things to say about this article if anyone is interested:http://trentdejong.com/legalize-hit-men/

    • Andrew W

      I think your "students' analysis" is too simplistic. Here are a couple of the faulty assumptions:
      - pointing out hypocrisy is counter-productive
      - there is no third party
      - there is no place for rhetoric

      As a counselling tool, the above article is useless. Those who feel guilty don't need to have their guilt re-inforced, they need to understand forgiveness and reconciliation. But that's not the only goal of writing.

      There's a very disingenuous rhetorical technique used by the immoral: "Your argument makes people feel bad, so must be false". An article like this attempts to bypass this by using people's own moral intuitions against them, to show their contradictions. But's it's an argument directed at the "strong", not the weak. And it's also an argument for the benefit of third parties, to show that the seeming compassion of the "strong" is actually about them framing the debate so you don't notice the moral sleight of hand taking place.

      And the true value of the argument is to force people to explain why the analogy doesn't hold, because that shows their true hand. It might not change their mind, but it does force them to be honest, and to declare that (for example), yes, they are willing to go on record a that baby is less human than an adult. If we're too afraid to lay bare what's actually under discussion, then we enable hypocrisy.

      However, one important caveat. Remember that the point of such satire is to lay bare deeper truths. After that, the argument has done its work, and discussion should move on to the deeper discussion, abandoning the initial argument. Continuing to focus on the satire is like treating a scab that has fallen off rather than the wound beneath.

      • http://trentdejong.com Trent DeJong

        Hi Andrew,
        I might start my response by saying that "of course my students are simplistic; they're only 15." But I don't think this concession is necessary.

        Perhaps it is in my inadequacy in reporting the discussion that you heard faulty assumptions where there were none.

        They simply said that for this logical argument to be effective, one must accept the premise that life begins at conception. If one does not accept this premise, the argument collapses instantly.

        One can hope that the pro-choice reader would give pause before walking away, but likely not. They will not be forced to defend their fundamental beliefs as you suppose. They will just say, "the unborn is not the same as the husband." Although, I completely disagree with them, it is not completely irrational. If it were, perhaps, they might be moved to evaluate their fundamental beliefs.

        So I disagree that the article will create any productive angst in the pro-choice ranks. I agree with the students: within the pro-choice ranks there is potential for both harm and for good.

      • http://trentdejong.com Trent DeJong

        I completely agree with you final observation.

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  • Tamar

    What if your husband decides he doesn't like you first?
    What if you had children? It is okay for their mother to kill their father- because she can't avoid a divorce? Because she actually doesn't pull the trigger it is okay?
    What if you had a bad neighbor? Can you kill him too?
    And why are all the comments about abortion?
    Wasn't the actual article about Legalizing murder?
    So if you could hire for murder- only your spouse? What about your boss? What about a politician you don't like?

    • Betsy Childs

      Hi Tamar, this post was meant to be a satire on the arguments that people use to support legalized abortion. I do not actually advocate any woman killing her husband. I'm sorry for the confusion.
      Betsy

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  • Tamar

    Sorry, someone sent this to me and I just reacted, and I never usually comment, and I honestly did not realize it was satire. I must of read it before my morning coffee Lol.

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  • maxblockm

    Don't forget "Post Birth Abortion" as well...Would love to see Betsy write another article along those lines. If you can end their lives in the womb, and right after birth outside the womb, why stop there. If you decide they are an inconvenience and no longer wanted at 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years...

  • Chris Watson

    Sarcasm! Good! Paul used sarcasm to make his point and i think you did a good job here.

    On a more serious note, there are inexpensive (read $100.00) ways to take advantage of the curse of 'no fault' divorce in the US.

  • JEC

    Compassion and Empathy would dictate that I stand with someone who is suffering and learn to put myself in their shoes, rather than writing satirical pieces that minimize the complicated issues they most likely face. It's easy to write what was written here; it is much more difficult to empathize without judgement; to stand for life in every sense of word by bringing life to situations that seem hopeless; by listening to people and respecting the very difficult decisions that they themselves will own for the rest of their lives. Respecting a choice someone makes means that I am willing to enter into their complicated life, and to feel their pain, and love who they are enough to care about them regardless of what they choose. I don't have to agree with their choice. But if I minimize how difficult their reality is, I do a sort of violence to them as well; a violence where a person's life becomes a way for me to support my particular religious or political point of view. That too diminishes another person's humanity. I have no room for a position, and I think it is incredibly misleading to call such a position "biblical" or "gospel".

    • Melody

      JEC

      You have a very romanticized viewpoint of abortion. Maybe you have known one or two people that have gotten one or maybe you contemplated one yourself that brought you to that position. I can understand that but....

      But you cannot decide murder based on that. You cannot walk with someone in their pain while they make the difficult decision to kill another living feeling human being with a soul made in the image of God. A human being that did not ask to be in this situation. A helpless human being that someone will decide to rip apart, chemically burn, or snip their spinal cord because.....his mother regrets having sex with their father, his mother is busy with a career and this is just not a good time, his mother really wanted a girl, not another boy.....the reasons for abortion are numerous. If you research it then you will find out there has been a gradual hardening of the heart towards just how horrific reality of abortion. It's a convenience. We have more kinds of contraception available all over the place than ever before. What is our excuse?

      You can't talk about walking through someone's pain with them when there are three of you in the room and you are ignoring the one in the most pain. You have no right no matter what your religion.

      • NEB

        I don't find the concept of "walking through someone's pain with them" to romanticize abortion at all. Recently, I've begun to think of abortion in similar terms as suicide. If someone is suicidal, walking through their pain with them *of course* does not mean saying "yep! you're in pain! kill yourself!" But it also doesn't mean yelling at them, making jokes out of their situation, or telling them just how illogical and stupid their choice is. Anyone who's worked extensively with suicidal people knows that it's about taking their pain seriously, listening, and trying to meet the unmet needs (medically or otherwise) that have driven them to this situation. We view suicide as murder, but I see far fewer people treating suicidal people nearly as disrespectfully as we view women who are considering an abortion. And it's not because we care any less about the life. It's simply because we've found that we're more likely to save the life if we take a more caring approach.

        • LG

          This is beautiful. Thank you.

      • Chris Baker

        What we can do is understand that for a large number of people today, that baby inside isn't a baby, aka another human being. They either don't know or want to know, or simply don't care as long as it doesn't inconvenience them. They have no conscience except not to get caught and if they do get caught to weasel their way out of any responsibility for their actions. Just like our current "leadership" in the federal government.

        • NEB

          I'll agree that there is a "large number" of people who feel that way, but I'll also mention that I know a number of people who have had abortions, and none of them feel that way. In fact, I'm in a position to interact with some of the most liberal people on the subject daily, and I've yet to find one that "likes" abortion or thinks it's a "good thing." I'm not saying those people don't exist. I'm just saying that the people I know who have had an abortion suffered and might still suffer enormous emotional pain. I've been told, days after, of the decision by someone crying and on the brink of a panic attack. I hate abortion, I believe that it is murder, but I also believe that if we ever want to have any kind of sustained conversation with others on this subject, we need to acknowledge their pain instead of painting them as emotionless and assuming that they have no sense of morality. They have emotions. They have at least some sense of morality, even if we disagree with their end choices. Let's acknowledge that. I think it's a much better starting-point for a conversation.

          • Chris Baker

            I agree. The people who I refer to are the ones who either never had to make the "choice" or those who are completely without empathy for others. I used to be of the first group and now realize what I did, with my first wife. I don't know how she feels about it now either but my views are now filtered through my Christianity and the words of the bible that tell you exactly when the two bits of person become a person. Can't remember the chapter and verse, I think it's in the old testament but I'm not even sure of that. Only found it one time.

  • NEB

    Betsy Childs is a gifted writer, and while I understand the perspective behind this satirical approach, I'm deeply uncomfortable with its tone, especially since I believe the mission of the church on this issue should be reaching out and fixing brokenness. On issues where someone's physical, mental, and/or emotional health is concerned, I think that we should always keep in mind as part of our audience the person who has been most hurt by the issue. Knowing several women who have had abortions, some of whose lives were rather devastated by the decision, I can only imagine how this article might compound that hurt. Knowing others who are pro-choice and view the pro-life movement as insensitive and callous, I can only imagine how it would only reinforce their presuppositions.

    • Chris Baker

      How long before the pro-choice people start advocating "retroactive abortion"? After all, a child is an inconvenience to them which is why they wanted an abortion in the first place.

      In the same light as the satirical piece; why can't a contract killing of an adult be classified as a retroactive abortion?

      In real life terms though, I understand that the commandment against killing was in fact a commandment against murder rather than just killing. So if that's the case, what actually constitutes "murder"? If something is legal is it still murder in God's view? Killing unborn babies is legal but I think it's murder. I also don't think it's murder to execute a criminal but how does God view it? I don't know. How can anyone know for sure? All we can do is pray about it and ask for understanding.

  • Chris Baker

    This article is just fine as far as it goes but it completely avoids the issue of the brow beaten husband who feels completely subjugated by a woman who is mean and wicked to him. The article fails to point out that such a man may also feel that he has no alternative and must find a way out. So, turnabout is fair play. Oh one more point, this one a question, what happens when both people in a marriage decide to take this step and both contracts are fulfilled? Who gets the stuff they leave behind?

  • Andrew Raymond

    A Modest Proposal

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  • Heather

    I wish I'd had an abortion at age 19. I tried my best, worked for 3 more years, but I couldn't finish college. I couldn't manage more than 3 classes a semester, so it took much longer. Then I ran out of money, and couldn't afford both daycare and college tuition on the $6/hr salary I was making (and my parents were already paying my rent).

    I wish I'd had an abortion when my daughter (whom I love now) wasn't quite alive yet, was just a collection of unsensing, unaware cells. But I was too pro-life to consider it. And now I regret my decision.

    • Final_Echelon

      I know you have regrets about the past, you wish you had done things differently. I know that as a result you were dealt(sp?) a difficult hand. Things didn't work out the way you wanted them to and now you're left living with the consequences of your decision to have unprotected sex (presuming it was consensual, if not then ignore the second half of that sentence).

      But really, that can be said to any human alive. Not to seem insensitive, I know that life can let you down, but you sound as though you need to talk with someone about repressed anger. However to say in the same breath that you love your daughter but wish she were dead and you regret her being alive is absolutely amazing. I had no idea people could hold so much resentment and malice towards their own child.

      Honestly if you felt that way about it then I don't know why you didn't just give her up for adoption immediately after birth.

      I am also curious to know how it would make you feel if she were know how you felt then and still do..?

    • Paris

      Heather,

      I hope and pray that you would never share what you just told everyone here with your child. You have no basis to say you love your kid when immediately after you can say that you wish they were never born because they caused financial pressure in your life. You should feel ashamed that for the sake of maintaining an argument, at best, you've essentially said your education and comfort mean more to you than that precious life and the joy that they bring. I could barely stomach reading that.

  • Pietas

    and point to the Bible verse that proves that God says that women who hate their husbands should have them murdered so they can life insurance collect. Wow. I didn't think this would come from a Christian blog. I mean do you know know the story of King David and Bathsheba? Where they conspired to have her husband killed?

    • Betsy Childs

      Hi Pietas,
      This was meant to be a satire on the political arguments used to support abortion. I do not actually believe women should kill their husbands. I'm sorry that was confusing.

    • Andrew Raymond

      @Pietas, He is using satire to address the real horror of abortion. No one is condoning the evil of killing spouse or child.

  • http://textsincontext.wordpress.com Michael Snow

    Another satire that some may find of interest on a sin more within the church. On Ole and Lena and divorce: http://zeitgeistcontext.wordpress.com/

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  • sashi dharan

    I wish to broaden my menu. And I feel that government has no business regulating my menu. If it tries to do so, it is an infringement of my right of choice.

    I want a wholesome nutritious repast – every day. I have determined that a succulent (human) baby fits my requirements to the tee.

    She is easily available. All other resources are scarce. We have, by our tireless efforts, limited the resources available to (and all but eliminated the habitat of) other creatures.

    By opting for this menu, I will really be saving her. Her innocence will not be spoilt; she won’t have the nightmare of a debilitating old age; and she will get the salvation of a charitable exit. No extended sufferings of this world and her sinful existence can mercifully be cut short. Instead of me saying graces, she will thank me and the Lord at the table for quick deliverance.

    O baby, a joy to behold
    She, who plays before my eyes
    You are frolicking in front of me now
    But shortly you will be rollicking inside of me

    I would have done my bit to help control this overarching menace of population explosion threatening to blow out of all sustainable proportions. May be a conservationists award will come in search of me.

    Now, as for nutritional information –whatever a human being requires, it is already presented in a predigested, efficiently packaged form here. Could it get any better ?

    This minor matter of her resembling me too much is the only matter that stands in the way; but I can summon up detachment and shake off irrational prejudices relating to mere superficial physical resemblance, if I want to. Eventually she (and I) would meet the maker any way. I am only advancing her meeting. Hence, my conscience rejoices.

    Any particularly toxic part can be expertly removed and I will settle for the rest. These are the small sacrifices one makes for abetting sustainable lifestyle and switching over to easily renewable resources.

    Disgusted ? yet a lamb is also a baby. An egg, left to run its natural course, would become a cute and active chick and the darling of her mom hen and delight everyone with its frolic and busybody mannerisms. We nip such an active existence in the bud.

    Let us seek our food elsewhere, say algaes and vegetation which resemble us even less and, eating which offends our sensibilities less.

    • Chris Baker

      You would be right except for one little niggling detail. That baby girl has a soul given to her by God at the point of conception. The lamb is an animal, put on the Earth by God for our use.

      • Chris Baker

        Addendum to my previous reply:

        Genesis Chapter 1

        26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

        27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

        28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

        • sashi dharan

          the original post used (a much praised argument) based on an analogy and extending that to another (similar looking) case. i have followed the same method to prove that not all analogies may be applicable, acceptable or palatable to everyone and every situation.

          the original post did not contain any reference to Bible. i am treating this as an ethical debate and not as a religious one.

          if hard pressed to make a religious statement, i would say the following and stop with that -
          you can damn me for not believing in the selective bestowal of soul by God. but i do believe that, we are flattering ourselves by differentiating, in God's eyes, from other species. For God, everyone is equal. He is perfect. he controls the world and he does not need any help in managing any species or subspecies.

          you will not get any response from me for any religion based argument since that is more a matter of belief.

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