Bioethics


Some claim that abortion is just an ordinary medical procedure – just the removal of some tissue from a woman’s uterus – and thus no more morally significant than getting a tooth pulled. However, I’ve never known anyone who experienced angst when contemplating the decision to remove a tooth. They’ve never talked about how difficult the decision was for them, or wondered whether it was the morally right thing to do. They never experience depression after the procedure, and none of them have ever claimed that it was their biggest regret.

Clearly, there is a moral difference between abortion and other medical procedures, and everyone knows it. Abortion doesn’t remove tissue from a woman’s body – it kills an innocent human being who is developing in a woman’s body. That’s why people struggle with the decision. They understand the moral weight involved.

Abortion is a very simple issue, morally speaking. We should not kill innocent human beings. Abortion kills innocent human beings. Therefore, abortion is wrong. We can do better. Let’s protect the most vulnerable human beings among us. Let’s be pro-life.

 

If humans have value, then abortion must be immoral. Here’s why:

Value is either intrinsic (part of the nature of the thing itself) or extrinsic (conferred on a thing by an external source). If value is intrinsic to human beings, then humans are valuable the moment they come into existence. Since it is a scientific fact that human beings come into being at conception, then unborn humans have the same value that you and I have from the moment of their conception. As such, it would be just as immoral to kill an unborn human as it is a born human. So if you believe humans have intrinsic value, then you should be opposed to abortion.

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“Abortion” is a euphemism. “Abort” means to stop. What are we stopping? The life of a human being. If I kill my neighbor, we would say I murdered him. So why do we have a different term to describe the killing of unborn human beings? It’s simply to disguise what we are doing. Abortion could rightly be called preborn murder, fetal murder, embryonic murder, etc., but it is murder and we should call it such.

The euphemisms for preborn murder don’t stop at “abortion.” The list of euphemisms also includes “choice,” “women’s health,” “reproductive freedom,” etc. Abortion is not about choice, health, or reproductive freedom. Abortion is about the killing of a preborn human being because it is convenient for us to do so.

Abortion is the greatest moral atrocity of our day. One day, future generations will be just as shocked to hear that abortion was legal in this country as we are shocked today to hear that slavery was once legal in this country.

In the abortion debate, pro-choice advocates often argue that no one should have the right to tell a woman what to do with her own body. I agree. No one has that right. But this is a red herring because pro-life advocates are not telling women what to do with their own bodies, but rather what to do with someone else’s body.

While an abortion takes place within a woman’s body, the act of abortion is targeted toward the body of a separate human being. The goal of abortion is to end the life of that human being – often by cutting his/her body into pieces. Since it is morally wrong to take the life of an innocent human being, the act of abortion is morally evil.

The bodily autonomy argument makes as much sense as saying “You don’t have a right to tell me not to murder someone.” All homicide laws aim to take away our right to murder another person. Pro-life advocates are merely applying this same logic to abortion since the object of the abortion is also a human being.

The pro-life argument in a nutshell: It is a scientific fact that a new human being comes into existence at fertilization. It is a moral fact that it is wrong to intentionally take the life of an innocent human being. Abortion intentionally takes the life of an innocent human being. Therefore, abortion is morally wrong.

when-life-beginsWhen someone supports abortion on the basis that “nobody knows when life begins,” my immediate reaction is to immediately correct their misinformation with the facts of biology.  Doing so, however, does not always end up with them becoming pro-life.  People will often move the goalpost, offering another justification for abortion.

To prevent this, you could ask: “Does this mean that if we knew when life began – and we found that it began at conception – that you join me in opposing abortions?”  If they say yes, then they commit themselves to becoming pro-life once you have provided them with the biological evidence.  Of course, they could always say no, in which case you might ask them, “If it’s not our ignorance of when life begins that justifies abortion, then what does?”  While this may prevent you from being able to provide them with the biological evidence to demonstrate their error, at least it will refocus the conversation to the reason(s) they think justifies abortion – which allows you to be more pointed in your apologetic, and provides a better chance of them changing their mind.

biology-denierLiberals love to label those who have ethical objections to cloning, doubts about man-made global warming, and the like as “science deniers” and “climate change deniers.”  Matt Walsh suggests that we start calling those who deny that one’s biological sex determines their actual gender as “biology deniers.”  And in this case, the term is an accurate description rather than a derogatory, non-descriptive insult.  Those who want to normalize transgender thoughts are truly denying biology.  They affirm that someone who is biologically male is actually female.

Transgender advocates aren’t the only biology deniers.  So are abortion advocates.  They deny the biological fact that the unborn are human beings from the moment of conception.

So the next time you meet someone who is arguing for abortion or transgenderism, ask they why they are a biology denier.

defundThose who are opposed to state and federal defunding of Planned Parenthood argue that these dollars are not paying for abortions, but contraception and other female-related health services.  So why would pro-lifers want to defund this?  Do we just hate women?  Do we want to ensure that more women are “punished” for premarital sex by getting pregnant?  Of course not.  What we understand is that the grants Planned Parenthood receives for their non-abortion services indirectly funds their abortion business.  To see why, imagine for a moment that the government provided grants to churches to pay for all of their office supplies, marriage counselors, city permits, and building repairs.  Would the pro-Planned Parenthood-funding crowd agree with the government that this is not supporting religion?  Of course not!  They realize that the money a church saves by not having to pay for those government-funded items will be redirected to evangelistic efforts.  So while the government’s funds would not be directly funding Christian evangelism, they are indirectly funding it.  The same is true of federal funding of Planned Parenthood.  While these funds are not directly responsible for aborting babies, they are indirectly responsible because Planned Parenthood can use all of the money the government saved them and direct it to their abortion business. And when 41% of their revenue comes from government, that’s a lot of money to redirect to their abortion business.

Doctors have found a way to communicate with locked-in patients.  Perhaps surprisingly to some, most report being “happy” despite having what most would considerable to be a miserable existence.  We often think to ourselves that life would not be worth living if we had X debilitating condition, and yet, those in such a condition usually want to go on living.  We need to be very careful about making value judgments considering how worthwhile one’s life is.  While we may not be able to imagine how life would be worth living if we were to experience some major illness like locked-in syndrome, it’s amazing how those who experience such conditions continue to find meaning and value in life.  Every life is valuable, and even those who are experiencing terrible suffering still prefer life over death.  Life is precious.

Some good news! The Guttmacher Institute just released their abortion data from 2013-4.  The number of abortions fell below one million for the first time in 2013 (958,700), and dropped again in 2014 (926,200).  The last time they were this low was in 1975, just a couple of years after Roe. 

The abortion rate has also continued to decline from 29 p/1000 women (aged 15-44) in 1980, to 14.6 p/1000 women in 2014.  This is the lowest it has been since 1973.

While there are many factors that contribute to this decline (better contraception practices, pro-life legislation making it more difficult to obtain an abortion), one of them is most certainly the pro-life message of equal protection for all human beings.  We have a lot more work to do to make abortion a matter for the history books, but I’ll rejoice over each step along the way.

Mark Langedijk was an alcoholic.  He battled his addiction for eight years.  The battle was so difficult for him that he decided he would rather die.  And in the Netherlands – where the logic of euthanasia has run its course – he found a doctor who would make him dead.  And why not?  He was suffering.  It doesn’t matter that his suffering did not involve physical pain or that he was not terminally ill.  All that matters is that he was experiencing suffering and wanted relief.  Euthanasia knows no limits.

And last year, a person suffering from mental illness due to sex abuse as a child was also euthanized.  Euthanasia is an easy way to throw broken people away rather than treat them.  It is abandonment.  These people need our care, not a lethal injection.

nickI applaud Nick Cannon for having the guts to state the obvious: Planned Parenthood is responsible for “real genocide” in the black community, and is a form of “modern eugenics.”  Indeed, more black Americans die from abortion than from anything else.  The abortion rate for black women is three times higher than that of white women.  Black lives truly matter, and that includes in the womb.  And if the Black Lives Matter movement truly believed black lives matter, they would become pro-life because nothing has done more to desecrate the black population than abortion.

voting-hitlerVoting for a pro-abortion candidate?  How is that different from a German voting for Hitler?  Let me explain.

When it comes to voting, our primary concern as Christians should be that we elect a candidate to government office who will fulfill God’s purpose for government.  And what is that purpose?  Justice: rewarding good and punishing evil (Rom 13:1-4).  While it’s true that no government, political party, or political candidate fulfills this purpose perfectly, it’s also true that they don’t fail at it equally.  Some political parties and candidates do more to promote justice and punish evil than others.  Our moral obligation is to cast our vote for the party/candidate we have reason to believe will bring about the greatest amount of good possible.

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Government’s primary purpose is to protect our natural rights. The right to life is the most important right because all other rights depend on it. Any candidate/party who uses their political power to allow some mothers to legally murder their own children in utero is not fit for public office and should never receive our vote. As a form of murder, abortion is the greatest injustice possible, and to vote for a candidate/party who has told you in advance that they will use their political power to ensure that this injustice continues and expands, is morally unconscionable.

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Japanese researchers have successfully taken adult mice skin cells, reverted them to stem cells, and then turned those skin cells into an egg.  That alone would be a huge technological achievement, but they didn’t stop there.  They fertilized and implanted those eggs, resulting in 11 live births (which reflects less than 1% of all attempts, so while the process was inefficient, it is a proof-of-concept).

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slippery-slopeWesley J. Smith reports that the Dutch government is drafting a law that would legalize euthanasia for the perfectly healthy who feel that they have “completed life” and want to die.  This is not surprising given the logic of the pro-suicide position.  The two prongs on which it hangs are self-autonomy and ending suffering.

I’ve long thought that these two rationales would be decoupled, such that justifiable suicide would no longer require that both requirements be met.  In this case, self-autonomy alone is the justification for suicide.  A perfectly medically and mentally healthy person just wants to die.  No more justification is needed.

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Wesley J. Smith writes about the strange ethics afoot in the medical world today. While more and more doctors and bioethicists are advocating the repeal of conscience rights for doctors, insisting that they participate in euthanasia and abortion because the patient’s desires are autonomous and trump the doctor’s conscience.  Ironically, however, many in this crowd also support futile care laws which allow a hospital to determine that due to your quality of life, the healthcare desired by the patient is not worth the cost and can be denied.  Smith ends by saying, “Autonomy rules if you want to die–even over medical conscience. But doctor/bioethicists values rule if you want to live.”  Clearly, this is not about patient autonomy.  It’s about strong-arming an anti-human view on the medical field, forcing everyone who values life out of the business.

Wesley J. Smith notes how prominent “bioethicists” are increasingly advocating that all doctors be required to participate in euthanasia and abortion.  The left is all about coercion, and we are seeing a steady march toward the death of conscience rights and freedom of religion.  If we value freedom, we must speak against this tide.

Oxford University has published a statement signed by prominent bioethicists calling for doctors to yield their moral convictions to their patients’ desires/needs.  They want all doctors to either perform morally contested services or refer patients to those who will.  The direction is clear: you must violate your moral conscience or get out of medicine.  This point of view is gaining wide traction.  It won’t be long before it is legislated and morally sane doctors will find themselves forced out of their professions.

HT: Wesley J. Smith

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching and trying to buy a house.  Obviously, by the dates on my last blog posts, it has prohibited me from doing a lot of blogging.  Here’s some of the major stories from the past month or so that I found disturbing: (more…)

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