The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child. Those making the case for the legalization…
In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson stated the matter bluntly: “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with…
Abortion is now one of America’s most common surgical procedures performed on adults. As many as one out of three women will have at least…
If we will not defend life in the womb, eventually the dignity of every single human life is thrown over the fence.
In the name of personal preference and for social reasons, some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want.
Crisis pregnancy centers deserve the support of all who cherish the sanctity of life, the defense of the unborn, and the right of free speech.
How can Ms. muster any genuine outrage about sex-selection abortions in India when it has demanded unfettered abortion access in our own country? It cannot, and it does not.
The President’s statement included not one word that indicated any recognition that abortion is in any case or in any sense a tragedy.
Once we buy into the logic of abortion, there is no end to the trail of tears.
Americans generally know that abortions happen, but the reality of abortion is kept out of sight and, for most, largely out of mind. To acknowledge that abortions do occur does not require any actual knowledge of the numbers of abortions performed and the scale of the catastrophe. News reports that emerged in recent days will make that evasion harder to justify.
The New York Times reported on January 6, 2011 that the abortion rate in New York City is about 40 percent of all pregnancies. That means that no less than four out of every ten pregnancies in that city are terminated by abortion. That statistic is horrific, leading a group of New York religious leaders to describe the abortion rate as “chilling.”
Of even greater magnitude is the abortion rate among African-Americans in New York City — a rate of almost 60 percent. This means, of course, that far more black babies are aborted than are born. How is it that black church leaders are so silent on this murderous assault on unborn African-American babies?
The Guttmacher Institute recently reported that the national abortion rate is 22 percent. Two out of every ten pregnancies in America end in abortion.
The enormity of the abortion rate in America underlines the fact that abortion is anything but rare. Over 1.2 million abortions were performed in the United States in 2008, the last year with full numbers reported.
This means that abortion is taking place in your neighborhood and in mine. The abortion rate in New York City staggers the moral imagination, but the abortion rate nationwide is itself “chilling.”
We are a murderous people, and the blood of the innocent cries out for justice.
Thus says the Lord: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15
Paul Vitello, “Religious Leaders Call for New Efforts to Lower the City’s ‘Chilling’ Abortion Rate,” The New York Times, Thursday, January 6, 2011.
“Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,” The Guttmacher Institute, January 2011.
The Wall Street Journal blows the cover off the international trade in babies and reproductive technologies this week, as reporters Tamara Audi and Arlene Chang tell of the emergence of a market that assembles the “global baby.”
Just consider the shocking introduction to their report:
In a hospital room on the Greek island of Crete with views of a sapphire sea lapping at ancient fortress walls, a Bulgarian woman plans to deliver a baby whose biological mother is an anonymous European egg donor, whose father is Italian, and whose birth is being orchestrated from Los Angeles.
The Bulgarian woman is a surrogate hired by an infertile Italian couple. The business arrangements are very much for-profit, and are negotiated by PlanetHospital.com, described by the Journal as “a California company that searches the world to find the components of its business line.” Audi and Chang then add: “The business, in this case, is creating babies.”
The desire for a child can be overwhelming, as the clients who go to PlanetHospital can attest. Some now turn to these international brokers who, often skirting the laws of respective nations, go around traditional means of adoption and fertility treatments. These companies do their business on a global scale, “often using an egg donor from one country, a sperm donor from another, and a surrogate who will deliver in a third country to make what some industry participants call ‘a world baby.'”
Our Ethics are Agnostic
The report candidly acknowledges the fact that many unborn babies are aborted by means of “selective reductions” – a procedure chillingly detailed in the article. Rudy Rupak, CEO of Planet Hospital, denies ethical responsibility in amazingly candid terms: “Our ethics are agnostic,” he told the paper. “How do you prevent a pedophile from having a baby? If they’re a pedophile then I will leave that to the U.S. government to decide, not me.” These firms are increasingly popular with homosexual male couples, who can arrange to have babies born that will include the DNA of both partners, so long as a common source of donor eggs is used.
The Wall Street Journal deserves credit for this important exposé of the ‘Wild Wild West” of reproductive technologies that is now operating across the globe. Made clear in this article is the fact that there is no adequate means of regulating this business.
Christians must recognize that these technologies are fraught with moral complications — and many of them dramatically so. These technologies, marketed through a global business in babies, threaten to redefine the vary nature of reproduction and the definition of family and parenthood.
On matters of such importance, it is simply evil to say, “Our ethics are agnostic.”
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Tamara Audi and Arlene Chang, “Assembling the Global Baby,” The Wall Street Journal, Sunday, December 10, 2010.
One of America’s most brilliant voices on behalf of the unborn is now silent. Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first black woman to graduate from the Harvard Medical School, died on October 15 at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
When the infamous Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973, Dr. Jefferson was stunned and outraged. She saw the decision not only as a direct assault upon the unborn, but also upon the ethics of her cherished profession. She later told the U.S. Congress that the decision “gave my profession an almost unlimited license to kill.”
Throughout her long life, Dr. Jefferson remained a stalwart defender of the unborn, and she was a sworn enemy of the Culture of Death. A surgeon, she dedicated her life to preserving and extending the lives of others. She was bracingly honest about what abortion meant for the medical profession:
“With the obstetrician and mother becoming the worst enemy of the child and the pediatrician becoming the assassin for the family,” Dr. Jefferson told Congress, “the state must be enabled to protect the life of the child, born and unborn.”
She once summarized her sense of urgency with these words: “I am at once a physician, a citizen and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”
Rarely do we encounter such moral clarity matched to such personal courage.
Dennis Hevesi, “Mildred Jefferson, 84, Anti-Abortion Activist, Is Dead,” The New York Times, Monday, October 18, 2010.
The front cover of the magazine asks the question: “Is this the new front in the abortion wars?” If the magazine’s editors did not believe that indeed this is the next front in this long war, they would never have asked the question. Now, thanks to Emily Bazelon and this report, we all know the answer to that question.
“If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” That statement, published for all the world to see, perfectly distills the inescapable logic of the abortion rights argument. It is based on a willingness to kill — and on the horrifying audacity to call this killing “the lesser evil.”
One might think that the most welcome place in the world for an unborn child would be the womb of a mother who would be so intent on getting pregnant that she would seek and undergo IVF fertility treatment. It turns out that in a significant number of cases, that assumption is proved wrong. How do we take the measure of that tragedy?
NARAL’s daughters are not where their mothers (and even grandmothers) were on the issue of abortion. That is a sign of hope — and a sign that the conscience of a culture can indeed be changed.
The vision of sexuality glorified by Playboy is no longer on the cutting edge of moral change. Playboy won the battle and can now leave the battlefield commercially wounded but culturally victorious.
As Solomon warned, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecc 12:12). There is no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read. I say that in order to confront the notion that anyone, anywhere, can master all that could be read with profit. I read a great deal, and a large portion of my waking hours are devoted to reading.
We must speak the truth in love and seek to be good neighbors to all, but we cannot abandon the faith just because we are told that we are now on the wrong side of history.
Presidents of the United States are usually awful as theologians. In far too many cases, the closer they get to anything theological, the bigger the…