The Idea and Implications of Abortion

The Idea and Implications of Abortion


In a landmark decision, the state of New York has adopted as law a bill known as the Reproductive Health Act.  The most controversial aspect of this law is that is has now legalized late term abortions in cases that threaten the life and health of pregnant women.  Essentially, women in New York can now abort their babies right up to the time before the child is born.  This law reflects a culture that is infected with a worldview that has been systematically degrading the value of human life for years and decades, but the most frightening reality is to consider the implications of such laws.

Whenever people or states decide to take a stance on a political issue, or to pass a law like the Reproductive Health Act, it is always good to think about why they passed this law and also to think through the law’s implications.  The idea here is that ideas, political ideas included, come from a worldview, and the ideas derived from every worldview have consequences.  Abortion is not only a matter of political policy, it is a matter of competing worldviews that entail competing consequences.  For the worldview that embraces abortion, the one that passed the Reproductive Health Act in New York, I would ask you to consider the implications of abortion that are outlined by Gordon H. Clark in a short exert from his work, Essays on Ethics and Politics:

“Rejecting God, the abortionists try to justify their cruelty to babies, while at the same time condemning burglary, by an appeal to social consensus.  To this attempt to condemn theft while justifying murder, there is a single answer with two parts.  First, no social consensus has been established.  The Supreme Court alone, nine men out of two hundred million, legalized the killing of babies on its own arbitrary authority.  This is the autocracy of evil dictators.  Then, second, social consensus cannot determine right or wrong.  The social consensus of the Spartans in antiquity and of some Indian tribes in North America condoned theft and even praised it.  Before the Belgians took over the Congo a century or so ago, social consensus approved of cannibalism.  The fact that various societies have considered theft and cannibalism to be right does not prove that theft and cannibalism are right—nor the murder of babies, either.  One can perhaps with relative ease discover what groups of people think is right; but social consensus does not make anything right or wrong.

So far as I can see, the only pertinent difference between the abortionists here and the cannibals in the Congo is that the abortionists do not eat the babies.  They throw them in a garbage can. What a waste of good meat in these times of famine.  Of course, the meat would have to be inspected by the USDA, but I can see no reason, on abortionist principles—or lack of principles—for prohibiting the eating of human flesh.  A nice tender baby might taste better than a Cornish hen.  Of course, if the mothers, for no good reason, do not want to eat their babies, they could at least send them to alleviate starvation in the Third World.”[1]

The worldview which produces abortion is one that rejects God and is therefore a worldview that is plagued with the constant tension of contradiction.  On the one hand, I have never met an abortion advocate who embraces the idea of infant cannibalism, but on the other hand, I do not see why they do not.  Surely, the image and thought of such practices evoke horrid images in one’s mind, but are they not only horrid if the infants are indeed human beings?  If they are indeed human beings, then why is it acceptable to end their life? If they are not human beings, then why is it that abortionists do not use these poor infants to feed themselves or the hungry?  The truth is that abortion comes from a worldview which denies God and is therefore subject to contradiction and wickedness (Ps. 14:1).


[1] Clark, Gordon Haddon. Essays on Ethics and Politics. (Jefferson, Md: Trinity Foundation, 1992), 95-96.