Annihilating Arguments for Abortion
by Hank Hanegraaff
"The most merciful thing a large family can do for one of its infants is to kill
it." (Margaret Sanger, Founder, Planned Parenthood)
"We have yet to beat our drums for birth control in the way we beat them
for polio vaccine, we are still unable to put babies in the class of dangerous
epidemics, even though this is the exact truth." (Dr. Mary S. Calderone, Sex
Information and Education Council of the United States -- SIECUS)
Make no mistake -- "pro-choice" advocates are not friends of women or babies.
America's unthinking submission to the lies and twisted arguments of the so-called
pro-choice movement will move us inexorably toward social genocide of a
magnitude eclipsing that of Hitler, Stalin, Somalia, the Serb-Croate conflict, or any
other massacre openly denounced in our media.
The movement's own label -- "pro-choice" -- is a twisted deception, covering up
for a social genocide where the "right" to choose to kill one's preborn baby reigns
supreme over that baby's human rights; over the rights of the mother to receive
accurate information about fetal development and the dangerous consequences to
herself from abortion; over the rights of the parents of a pregnant minor; over the
rights of the preborn's father; and over the rights of a human society to protect all
its members -- no matter what their social status, economic independence,
physical limitations, or acceptance by their families. Those who continue to fight
legislation restricting abortion are not "pro-choice," they are "pro-abortion," or
more accurately, "pro-murder."
Abortion is in reality the painful killing of an innocent human being. It is painful
because the methods employed to snuff the life involve burning, smothering,
dismembering, or crushing. There's no doubt that it is killing because the zygote --
which fulfills the criteria needed to establish the existence of biological life (including
metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and cell reproduction) -- is
terminated. The life taken is innocent simply because he or she has done nothing
worthy of capital punishment. Finally, being a product of human parents and having
a unique genetic code makes the unborn life unquestionably human. In fact, Dr.
Micheline Matthew-Roth, a principal research associate in the Department of
Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated, "It is scientifically correct to say that an
individual human life begins at conception, when egg and sperm join to form the
zygote, and this developing human always is a member of our species in all stages
of its life."
Recently on the Bible Answer Man program, I interviewed Dr. Francis J. Beckwith
in order to demolish some of the most common pro-abortion arguments. Dr.
Beckwith is the author of what I consider to be one of the best Christian resources
responding to the pro-abortion movement, Politically Correct Death: Answering
Arguments for Abortion Rights (Baker, 1993).
To help equip you to annihilate the arguments of pro-abortion advocates, I've
developed the acronym A-B-O-R-T-I-O-N.
A = Ad Hominem. Ad hominem arguments (i.e., arguments that appeal to
the personal rather than to reason) are a trick designed to distract you
from the real issue -- namely, that abortion is the killing of an innocent
human being. Comedienne Whoopie Goldberg, a master of the ad hominem
attack, recently said she would take pro-lifers' arguments more seriously if
they were willing to adopt the babies they tried to save from abortion. What
her argument amounts to is, if you won't adopt a baby, you can't tell me
not to kill one! That, of course, makes as much sense as protesting an
abolitionist because he doesn't hire all ex-slaves, or forbidding me from
intervening when I see my neighbor sexually abusing a child unless I am
willing to adopt that child. The argument about adoption has nothing to do
with the basic morality or immorality of abortion.
B = Biblical Pretexts. Biblical pretexts are used by pro-abortionists who
want to retain some semblance of religiosity while they espouse the radical
planks of the abortion movement. The most common argument is that the
Bible nowhere specifically condemns abortion or identifies it as the killing of
an innocent human life. Such an argument, however, hides the real biblical
position, which is that the preborn are fully human and alive (Ps. 139:13-16) and that killing an innocent human being (murder) is sin -- a violation of
the Seventh Commandment (Exod. 20:13).
O = Opium. Opium dulls the senses chemically. In much the same way, the
term-twisting tactics of the pro-abortionists are an "opium of the masses"
designed to mentally dull the senses of an unquestioning public that would
otherwise reject legalized murder. Pro-abortion is repositioned as pro-choice; babies become products of conception; killing an unwanted child
becomes exercising freedom of choice; and committed pro-lifers become
social terrorists. The list of terms camouflaged by the pro-abortionists is
seemingly endless. Unless we scale the language barrier of the pro-abortion
lobby, the masses will continue to overdose on the opium of clever code
R = Rape and Incest. Rape and incest are the hard-case "what-ifs" pro-abortionists raise in almost every public forum: "How can you deny a hurting
young girl safe medical care and freedom from the terror of rape or incest
by forcing her to maintain a pregnancy resulting from the cruel and criminal
invasion of her body?" The emotion of the argument often deflects serious
examination of its merits, or how it is used as a pretext for unlimited
abortion for any woman, for any reason, and at any time throughout the
entire nine months of pregnancy, and regardless of the condition under
which she became pregnant.
It is important to note that the incidence of pregnancy as a result of rape is
extremely small (one study put it at 0.06 percent). If we had legislation restricting
abortion for all reasons other than rape or incest, we would still save the vast
majority of the 1.8 million preborn babies who die annually in America through
It should be patently obvious that one does not obviate the real pain of rape or
incest by compounding it with the murder of an innocent preborn child. Moreover,
as Dr. Beckwith points out, "To argue for abortion on demand from the hard cases
of rape and incest is like trying to argue for the elimination of traffic laws from the
fact that one might have to violate some of them in rare instances, such as when
one's spouse or child needs to be rushed to the hospital."
T = Toleration. Toleration is the "great commandment" the pro-abortion
movement levels against its opponents. "We're not making you have an
abortion; just be tolerant of those who choose to." Frequently, this false
tolerance commandment is supported by an appeal to religious pluralism, the
American separation of church and state, or the alleged impropriety of
imposing one's morality on another.
Ironically, the pro-abortionists fail to perceive their own violation of this ridiculous
standard -- they're intolerant of those of us who think tolerance is less important
than preserving innocent human lives! One of the characteristics inherent in every
society is the obligation to impose universal morals on its members. Toleration
works in the world of expressing opinions, not in a crowded movie theater when
someone chooses to yell "Fire!" We may be tolerant of one's religious views, but
not if they include enslaving grandmothers or cannibalizing teenagers. Toleration
between church and state does not extend to divorcing all moral values from the
state, else we would need to eliminate all legislation that has anything in common
with any religious viewpoint -- including the very idea of social law itself.
I = Inequality. Inequality between the sexes is one of the most bizarre
arguments put forth by the pro-abortion movement. "Women who are
forced to be pregnant," they say, "can't compete in employment with men
and so cannot be truly equal unless they have an escape from unwanted
pregnancy." Translation: Women can't be equal to men without surgery!
How much more sexist can an argument become? This false equality could
be stretched to include custody of born children (women usually have
custody) so that a woman "encumbered" by her born children could
abandon them with impunity. It could extend to government subsidies for
addictive drugs so even poor addicts have equal access to them. Women will
not truly be "equal" in society to men until they are accepted fully as
women, with all their female potentials and attributes, not simply as an
imitation of surgically constructed men.
O = Operation Rescue. Operation Rescue, the most tenaciously visible
faction of the pro-life movement, has been unfairly condemned for using the
same lines of argument and social protest popularized by the much-applauded civil rights movement. Moreover, it has been grossly
misrepresented to dismiss any pro-life argument or activity as "extremist."
Just as abolitionists harbored escaped slaves in defiance of the laws before
the Civil War; compassionate Europeans hid Jews from the legally
sanctioned extermination of the Nazis; and civil rights marchers violated
segregation laws; so Operation Rescue members believe their nonviolent,
peaceful interventions to protect preborn babies are "obeying God rather
N = Nonpersonhood. Nonpersonhood is perhaps the trickiest of the
contemporary pro-abortion arguments. Pro-abortionists once argued that
the preborn baby was not fully human, or not human life. Now most
concede that the "product of conception" is human life. Their argument,
however, has become more sophisticated: "It may be human life, but it
doesn't possess personhood." Even President Clinton has argued that, since
learned theologians and scientists can't agree on when "personhood"
begins, abortion should remain unrestricted.
Dr. Beckwith exploded this myth when he wrote, "From a strictly scientific point of
view, there is no doubt that the development of an individual human life begins at
conception. Consequently, it is vital that the reader understand that she did not
come from a zygote, she once was a zygote; she did not come from an embryo,
she once was an embryo; she did not come from a fetus, she once was a fetus;
she did not come from an adolescent, she once was an adolescent."
Abortion, rampant in America today, is the tragic consequence of a society that no
longer values individual human worth, that worships at the feet of the idol Self, and
that replaces the Word of God with social relativism. One-third of the children
conceived in America this year will be murdered before they are born. And yet this
brutal, widespread slaughter can be stopped if those of us who value human life,
who worship the true God, and who obey His Word become informed, committed,
Editor's Note: Hank has an audiotape and small booklet that provides a
more comprehensive discussion of the abortion issue. Contact CRI for
Taken from the President column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 6: Number 4,
1993. Copyright © 1994 by the Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 7000, Rancho Santa
Margarita, CA 92688-7000. The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron
Rhodes. Faith and Reason Forum would like to thank CRI for graciously allowing us to put this
testimony on our website. This data may not be used without the sole permission of the Christian
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End of document, CRN0055A.TXT (original CRI file name), "Annihilating Arguments for Abortion"
release A, July 15, 1994 R. Poll, CRI. A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help
in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.