Friday, January 22, 2010

Would You Consider Abortion in These Four Situations?

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade supreme court decision legalizing abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 45 million legal abortions were performed between 1973 and 2005.

Would you consider abortion in the following situations?

1. There is a preacher and wife who are very, very poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she is pregnant with her 15th. They are living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending abortion?

2. The father is sick with sniffles, the mother has TB. They have 4 children. The first is blind, the second is dead. The third is deaf and the fourth has TB. The mother finds she is pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you recommend abortion?

3. A man abused a 13 year old girl and she is now pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?

4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She is not married. Her fiancee is not the father of the baby, and he is very upset. Would you recommend an abortion?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these situations...

In the first case you would have killed John Wesley, one of the great evangelists of the 18th century.

In the second case, you would have killed Beethoven.

In the third case you would have killed Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer.

In the fourth case you would have recommended the murder of Jesus Christ.



  1. What a great resource!

  2. For every story about great people who we would've lost if they were aborted, you can find a story of how the world would've been improved if certain people were aborted.



    I would never consider abortion as I'm a male and it's not a decision I would ever have to make.

  3. Perry, since, as you implied, any given child could become either a Hitler or a Mother Theresa, I think it's best to postpone the execution until after the crime has been committed.

  4. Who a baby will grow up to be should not even enter into the decision. Is Beethoven's life more valuable than anyone else's? If I fail to adopt a child that is instead aborted am I responsible for it's death? Maybe I could have prevented an abortion from taking place?

  5. I guess I agree that who will grow up to be should not enter into the decision. I've heard many stories like this (cf. proposed Tim Tebow Superbowl commercial) and it's just sad to consider the effect that abortion creates in that so many children never have a chance.

    I think that if I can save a life and I don't, I am in some way partly responsible, in the same way that I would be responsible if I were an expert swimmer and saw a drowning person and walked away because I was late for dinner.

    This would apply to people who suggest that others have an abortion, support abortion "rights," vote to keep abortion legal and "safe" (except for the baby, of course), etc.

  6. "I think that if I can save a life and I don't, I am in some way partly responsible"

    Does this mean that you are responsible for all the people in the world who are currently dying from hunger or other preventable diseases?

    If you are not donating all the extra money you have (not required by you to live)and all the time you have to saving these people, does this mean you are responsible for killing them?

  7. No doubt there are many factors involved in the plight of those who are dying from hunger and preventable diseases. I would not put them in the same category as the drowning swimmer. For example, many people are starving because they have oppressive and corrupt governments who keep them in their condition despite the best efforts of charitable organizations and individuals who do exactly as you suggested.

    Just the same, I think we should assume a certain amount of responsibility for our fellow man's greatest needs.

    I remember when President Bush was severely criticized for his slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. At the time many people held him personally responsible for what he did not do, but could have.

  8. Does the morality of an action depend on the immediacy of the results? And does morality depend on the difficulty of the action? You seem to be implying that it does.

    The example of the world's poor and starving seems more closely applicable to the morality of abortion laws than the example of the drowning swimmer.

    Any action you take on abortion (since you're not a woman) is an indirect action. Similarly, giving away your money to save starving people is an indirect action. Saving a drowning person is a direct action.

    Personally, I don't think there is a moral difference between saving a drowning person and saving a starving person. They are morally equivalent. IMO, convenience and immediacy of results shouldn't affect the morality of an action.

  9. I think the expert swimmer-drowning person analogy directly applies to the feeding starving people and adopting babies. In all three situations you can have a direct affect on the outcome. You can directly go up to a starving person and give them food. You can directly go to the pregnant women and say, "I will adopt your child." You can directly swim out to the drowning person and drag them back to safety.

  10. nice post. thanks.

  11. The problem is that there are millions of babies that need adopting into loving families, without which many turn to violence, drugs and crime. Anti-abortionists should be adopting these children and artificially inseminating themselves with fertilized eggs from clinics (rather than let them be tossed in the trash). Without any sort of direct action, opposing abortion rights seems like an empty belief.

    Additionally, like Perry said, there are millions of starving people, millions needlessly dying from illnesses, millions executed, etc. Most on the Christian Right could care less about these people. Pat Robertson himself would probably say their ailments are deserved for "godlessness". The Christian Left anti-abortion stance is more cogent for this reason. Caring about human life should be independent of political positions, but it's clearly not.

    It's been demonstrated by Perry and myself that caring about life isn't related to morality. After all, how could Christian Leftists and Rightists differ on something like... covering every American with health insurance? Therefore, people that support abortion rights (on the Left and Right) treat it as a political, not a moral issue, which obviates all the religious reasons given in opposition to such rights.

    Then, there are the feminists, which traditionally supported abortion rights but opposed actual abortions. The thought was that people are capable with coming to the "right" choice without a law enforcing it.

  12. Jamesia, you have repeated a common misconception made by many abortion advocates. Anti-abortionists have significant involvement in adoption efforts and in caring for women in crisis pregnancies. I'll take the comparison between pro-life efforts to take care of women and their children against pro-abortion efforts any day.

    There are thousands of couples who desire to have children but cannot. Many of them adopt and many more would like to adopt. Sadly, there are few children available for adoption, especially here in the United States where the abortion rate is high.

    A good percentage of adoptions are of children born outside the United States. Many Chinese girls are available for adoption due to China's one child per family policy, and many of them end up in the United States where couples gladly take them in. There are far fewer American babies available for adoption compared to the number of hopeful parents.

    You are also mistaken about the humanitarian efforts of Christians. There are hundreds of aid organizations, hospitals, and clinics all over the world which are run or were started by Christian missionaries. The lines are blurring now, especially as dependence on government grows, but many such organizations were started with religious, not secular motivations.

    Providing every American with health insurance is both a moral and a political issue, but the current health care debate has precious little to do with covering uninsured Americans. Where does the constitution recognize the right of every American to have health insurance, and that provided by the government?

  13. What does the Constitution have to do with being a Christian?

    They don't even mention God in the entire document.

  14. Perry, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. My only mention of the Constitution was in asking where it recognizes the right of every American to have health insurance. I didn't mention Christianity with respect to the Constitution...but I could have ;-)

    Maybe you are anticipating a future post about the Founding Fathers' belief in God?

  15. Not anticipating. Responding to this quote...

    "Providing every American with health insurance is both a moral and a political issue"

    You seem to be using the Constitution to justify a moral choice. I don't see why a Christian would do that. Doesn't Christianity dictate your morality? If so, what would Christianity have to say about the morality of not helping people unfortunate enough to have health insurance when you have the means to help them?

  16. The continuing health care debate is not a strictly political issue for several reasons, not the least of which is that it touches on the subject of abortion. Abortion is a moral issue, therefore authorizing the expenditure of Federal funds for abortion (the subject of Obama's Executive Order 13535) is also a moral issue. In fact, Obama himself indirectly supported this view when he said, in his statement canceling Bush's restrictions on US aid money for abortion activities in January of this year, “It is time that we end the politicization of [abortion]”. Perhaps he believed people were trying to score political points over the issue, but in any case, he views it as not merely political.

    Make no mistake, the health care bill signed into law yesterday is not all about "helping people unfortunate enough to have health insurance" (a very worthy goal if it is not done by force). According to the NY Times, The Congressional Budget Office "estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 32 million uninsured people, but still leave 23 million uninsured in 2019." There is a lot more going on here than providing health insurance for the uninsured.

    I'm not sure I understand your comment about using the Constitution to justify a moral choice. The Constitution sets limits on what the Federal government can do and I can't find any authorization for government provided (or government mandated) health care in the Constitution.

  17. Curious what you think about this guy's take on the Bible and abortion.