By Shawn McMullen
The father ekes out a meager existence tilling drought-plagued farmland. The family lives in a survival paradox—barely able to feed their children, yet desperately needing each of them to help work the soil, tend the livestock, and maintain the home. Each child has a defined set of responsibilities necessary to the family’s survival.
The newcomer to the family is a happy child, but his disabilities will prevent him from helping on the family farm. Not only will he be unable to pull his weight, he will pull others away from their work as they take time to care for him.
Now consider this. Should the parents kill the child to relieve themselves and other family members of this enormous burden?
“That’s outrageous!” you cry. “Only a monster would do such a thing!”
“That’s easy for you to say,” I respond. “But think about the burden—the lifelong inconvenience his existence places on the family. Surely you could not blame them for ridding themselves of this unwanted responsibility.”
“Reasons like that can’t even be considered,” you argue.
“And why not?”
“Because we’re talking about a living child,” you contend. “Not the family, not you—no one has the right to deprive him of life, no matter how inconvenient his life may seem.”
You can see where I’m going. When I think about abortion, one simple principle trumps all arguments. It doesn’t require graphic images of the procedure. It doesn’t depend on heartrending accounts of people whose lives have been traumatized by it. It doesn’t call for mounds of scientific data. It simply needs to answer one question: “Is it wrong—in fact, is it a sin—to destroy innocent human life?” The answer to the question is yes.
The writer of Proverbs listed seven things the Lord hates; among them are “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). Certainly the taking of innocent life in the womb falls into this category.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged in Nazi Germany in 1945. An outspoken opponent of the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews, Bonhoeffer was also an outspoken critic of abortion. Bonhoeffer believed he had a sacred obligation to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Proverbs 31:8). To this end Bonhoeffer observed, “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life . . . and that is nothing but
Let’s not cloud the issue. From the moment of conception, the unborn child has life—a gift from the Creator. Who can argue that God’s intent, even in the smallest embryo, is to fashion a fully developed human being?
And who among us has the right to override the Creator’s plans?
This editorial is adapted from an editorial that first appeared in the January 18, 2004 edition of The Lookout.