Last Wednesday, during a new segment on the BreakPoint Podcast in which Shane Morris and I field questions from listeners, we tackled the following question / lecture: “If abortion is so evil then why does God abort millions of fertilized eggs every day? With you folks, almost everything is black and white. No nuance. If a Fetus has deformities to prevent it from living a few hours after birth, then why put the mother through this trauma?”
Questions like this, especially in light of the incredibly strategic cultural moment we are in right now when it comes to defending innocent preborn life, is why we called an audible for the next Colson Center Short Course. Four Tuesday nights in a row, beginning September 8, you can be trained to be a pro-life advocate by the best. The course is called “Champion Life: How to Oppose Abortion and Defend the Unborn,” by Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Institute, you will leave each week’s teaching prepared to do just what the subtitle says: oppose abortion and defend the unborn.
In fact, the first week’s class will enable you to navigate conversations we often find ourselves in, not dissimilar to what Shane and I heard from our listener: A flurry of questions mixed with an accusation or two. We have to start by defining exactly what abortion is.
My friend Greg Koukl often will use the following helpful scenario to do just that: Imagine your 10-year-old son walks up behind you, and asks, “Hey, Mom! Hey, Dad! Can I kill this?” Every parent knows that the only right response is a question: “What is this?” If it’s a cockroach, sure. If he’s holding his little brother by the neck, he’s going to need counseling.
Medical science, embryology, and technologies like ultrasound have settled, beyond a doubt, that abortion takes a human life. Neither a male sperm cell nor a female egg cell are human beings, but once they unite, there is a different kind of entity: a distinct human life.
From this starting point, we can tackle our listener’s first question: Why is abortion wrong when embryos naturally die by miscarriage every day? The answer is found by applying the same rules to these preborn humans as we would to humans outside the womb. Millions of people die every day, so why should we be so against murder?
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The difference between millions of people dying every day by natural causes and those who die by murder is intent. It is wrong to take an innocent human life… any innocent human life. Fertilized eggs, embryos, fetuses, newborns, teenagers, and adults are all human beings.
Assuming that different rules apply as long as the human is in utero is a category mistake.
On this same foundation, we can address the question of fetuses with life-threatening diseases or deformities. Suppose Grandpa is found to have a terminal illness and will die in weeks. He’s suffering and his medical expenses will place enormous financial burdens on his family. Should we kill him? Should we, as in the case of abortion, kill him without his consent?
Of course not. Why? Because it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Of course, when pro-abortion advocates offer this scenario, it’s often a red herring, a distraction that’s offered as an argument. Consider that about 70 percent of American children diagnosed before birth with the non-life-threatening condition Down Syndrome are killed in the womb. Even if we were to grant that it’s OK to abort babies in rare cases where deformities are life threatening (and I won’t grant that), would our listener be for protecting those babies with non-life threatening deformities?
Or consider those who argue abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. Again, it is wrong to take any innocent human life, but the vast majority of babies are not conceived this way. The extremely rare exceptions of rape, incest, and life-threatening deformities have nothing to do with taking the life of babies that are simply not wanted.
We shouldn’t be stumped by these kinds of questions. We must know how to define terms, how to ask the right questions back, and how to identify category errors. This is why the upcoming short course is so very important. Every Christian needs to be prepared to oppose abortion and defend the preborn.
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned at the Supreme Court, the legal battle for life would shift to the states. So, I repeat, every Christian needs to be equipped to oppose abortion and defend the unborn. Please, sign up for our Champion Life Short Course at BreakPoint.org. And again, it starts Tuesday, September 8.
If you can’t join us on a particular week, we record each session, so you won’t miss a thing. Week 1 we will teach you how to defend life in one minute or less. Week 2 we will talk about the wrong ways to talk about abortion. Week 3 we will equip you to answer the common pro-abortion arguments. And week 4, we will enable you to launch a plan to join the pro-life movement.
Oh, and don’t forget to listen to our weekly question and answer session each week on the BreakPoint Podcast. You can listen in wherever you get your podcasts.