[Originally posted August 2, 2015]
“It’s a woman’s choice.” “It’s my body.” “Don’t tell me what to do.” “Fetuses aren’t babies.”
Such are the cries of the secular humanists (not all, mind you, but most) who support “abortion,” a word which here means, “the murder of unborn children.” And for 42 years, since the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, the cries have been heard, and have been welcomed, and have been accepted without any thought to their gravitas or intellectual integrity. In fact, those people in high places, who would have it that the tax dollars of most Americans go toward a company built around this heinous practice (Planned Parenthood), have remained in power for many, many years. This article has one goal: to convince you of the value of human life, and to lay out the rather disgusting history behind infanticide and its precursor in ancient societies. I will also briefly comment on the rather embarrassing (read: absolutely horrifyingly disgusting) videos involving Planned Parenthood employees describing their own practice of the procurement and sale of aborted baby body parts.
The Ancient Model
Ancient Greece. Herein lies the pinnacle of the art and scientific achievement of the ancient world. Here we see philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Parmenides struggle with the questions of ultimate reality, creation, being, and nature. Here we see poets and playwrights such as Homer and Sophocles construct masterpieces of literature that continue even today to capture the imaginations of many a rabid bibliophile. Here we see science brought to a head as medical practices advance through the work of men such as Hippocrates, and as machinery and mathematics progress through the genius of Archimedes.
But ancient Greece was also the place of much tragedy and destruction. In Sparta, that city most war-like, infants found to be weak and not worthy of raising (that they may become combat ready, of course) were thrown off the side of Mount Taygetus. Those elected to live became the slaves of the state; at age 7, young Spartan boys were taken from their parents to become a part of a military training program, where bravery was cultivated and “any signs of cowardice brought days of disgrace” (Overman). By age 12, the young men were living in barracks on uncomfortable beds made out of reeds from the river bank, and by now they had become used to this terrible condition, having never experienced the comforts of home. “Harsh discipline and physical deprivation were essential parts of training, which was intended to teach men to endure pain and to conquer in battle” (Kishlansky, et al.). Young boys were also often the homosexual objects of the older commanders and trainers (Overman).
But in Athens, unwanted babies were left in earthen jars in the streets, exposing them to the elements so that they would either starve to death, or be picked up by a caring family and adopted. This type of infanticide was common and condoned by both the law and public opinion. But the reasoning behind this practice was different in Athens than it was in Sparta. Whereas in Sparta infants were killed if they showed signs of weakness and were not considered fit to be raised, in Athens infants were killed if they threatened the “good life,” if they threatened the pleasure of the parents. “Infanticide was promoted as a safeguard against overpopulation and depletion of natural resources” (Overman). Beyond this, parents often waited for several days before naming their child, because the mortality rate for infants was so high (ancientathens.org).
Two of the most influential city-states of ancient Greece promoted the death of infants for two very different reasons. And for at least one of these reasons we find mothers willing to commit infanticide in America today. In a rather controversial public statement in March 2008, President Obama stated the following words (emphasis added):
“When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include — which should include abstinence education and teaching the children — teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include — it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.”
Obama, while pushing for proper education, implies that babies are punishments for those who have made a mistake (i.e., had premarital sex). Rather than thinking of children as blessings from God, as the Christian worldview has always claimed, this man says that babies get in the way of his daughters’ “good life,” so the babies should be denied the right to live. This is the Athenian mindset: if it gets in the way of my own pleasure, then it must be bad, and I will get rid of it.
A Modern Day Example
In 2004, Amy Richards, co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation and an abortion rights advocate who has worked with Planned Parenthood, told her story to Amy Barrett at the New York Times. At 34 years old and after having lived with her boyfriend Peter for three years, Amy decided to quit taking contraceptive pills because they made her “moody.” However, the couple both agreed that if she were to become pregnant, they would have the baby.
I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, “Are you sure you didn’t take any fertility drugs?” I said, “I’m positive.” Peter and I were very shocked when she said there were three.
She states further that her response was, “No, I cannot have triplets.” She was not married; she worked freelance, lecturing at colleges, her biggest months being March and April (the months during which she would have to be on bedrest); she would have to give up her main source of income for the rest of the year. “There was part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?”
This last question is vitally important. This is the mindset of those who think that babies impede upon the good life: to baby, or not to baby. That is the question. So she made a very simple inquiry: “Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?”
Now, don’t throw your chair at your computer screen just yet. Listen to her reasoning for why she doesn’t want triplets (which I have kindly put in italics). Here’s what she says next:
Having felt physically fine up to this point, I got on the subway afterward, and all of a sudden, I felt ill. I didn’t want to eat anything. What I was going through seemed like a very unnatural experience. On the subway, Peter asked, ”Shouldn’t we consider having triplets?” And I had this adverse reaction: ‘‘This is why they say it’s the woman’s choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That’s easy for you to say, but I’d have to give up my life.” Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn’t be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It’s not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I’m going to have to move to Staten Island. I’ll never leave my house because I’ll have to care for these children. I’ll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinking about having three, I don’t think that deep down I was ever considering it.
So. What do we see? She did not want triplets because she would have to make some self-sacrificial decisions. For sure, her work was important; she found fulfillment in it; she enjoyed it immensely. And yet here she is, refusing to live with the consequences of her own choice (to participate in sexual acts outside of wedlock), and instead wishing to kill two of her unborn children, all in the name of convenience. Remind you of any ancient civilization?
Long story short, Richards found out that two of the children were twins and that one was a standalone, so she decided, all in the name of the “woman’s choice,” that the twins would go and the other would stay. She had the baby (a boy), and apparently lived happily ever after. An editor’s note at the end of the article explains that Richards felt no regret about her decision.
The Biblical Model
But what does the Bible say about children?
First of all, that all of humanity is created in the image of God, and therefore each human soul has worth. As it is written, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). The Fall did not destroy that image; it merely marred it. Each human being is an image bearer of God, and to abort a baby is to deny that human being the opportunity to bear that image.
Second of all, that children are a blessing from God: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” (Psalm 127:3-5). “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! … Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.” (Psalm 128:1, 3-4). The Psalms are full of references to the blessings that children provide. Many of the Proverbs are addressed to “my son,” that is, the son of the writer of the Proverb, providing a very clear standard for what children were and ought to be taught.
Third of all, God sovereignly oversees every single moment of a woman’s pregnancy. Consider, for example, David’s words, in Psalm 139:13-16, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” God is intimately involved in the creation of children; so intimately involved, that it is said that he knits them together.
What can we deduce from these Scriptures? That children ought not be killed in the womb. That children are blessings. That children have worth because they have been created in the image of God. That abortion is evil.
Planned Parenthood Scandal
Over the past few weeks, several undercover videos, filmed over the course of three years of investigative journalism by the Center for Medical Progress, have been released one by one on YouTube. The first involved paid actors representing a fake fetal tissue procurement company speaking with the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Deborah Nucatola. During the meal over which the meeting was taking place, Dr. Nucatola described several procedures that were used by doctors at Planned Parenthood to ensure that the removal of the baby would not crush the “calvarium” (head), presumably so that the calvarium could then be sold. She also described many of the items that buyers were interested in (hearts, livers, heads, etc.).
In the second video, the actors discussed the pricing of “fetal tissue” (that is, unborn baby parts) with Dr. Mary Gatter, finally settling on a price of about 100 dollars per “specimen” (that is, per unborn baby part).
The third video involved the actors speaking with Dr. Savita Ginde about compensation and techniques, but the most disturbing part of the video was the end. Dr. Ginde took the actors to a room where an 11 week fetus (read: unborn baby) lay in a pie tin, dismembered. “It’s a baby,” Dr. Ginde said, as she poked around at it. “Another boy!” one of the assistants exclaimed as he found its privates. Dr. Ginde and the assistant quite literally poked around at a dead baby like it was nobody’s business, even explaining that sometimes the abortion is done so that the baby isn’t so “war-torn” (read: so that the baby isn’t in so many pieces). It was horrifying.
All of this to say that Planned Parenthood has shown its true colors. It has proven itself to be the Nazi-esque murder farm that everyone has always claimed that it was, and now it makes a profit by selling the unborn on the black market to those interested in procuring fetal tissue for “scientific research.” The consciences of these people went with the wind many decades ago, for abortion has now been legal in the United States for 43 years, ever since the mistake that is called Roe v. Wade (on a side note, Jane Roe [who’s real name is Norma McCorvey] has since converted to Catholicism and is a staunch pro-life advocate).
The United States of America is continuing down the path to destruction. Unless we see widespread revival and the repentance of many in our government, I fear that America will not be great for much longer. In the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” America has not been very good for a very long time; she will not remain great much longer.
In summary, abortion is evil. God condemns it. Humans are created in the image of God. Children are a blessing to their parents. To murder a person who is the image bearer of God is to spit upon the God whose image that person bears. Planned Parenthood ought to be defunded and stripped of its rights. Those involved in the sale of fetal tissue should be brought to justice. And above all, America must bless God before God will ever bless America. Keep our nation in your prayers as the future continues to unfold. I hope this article has been a blessing to you.
Over and out.
“Children in Ancient Athens.” Ancient Athens. 2010. Web. 24 July 2015. <http://www.ancientathens.org/culture/children-ancient-athens>.
Kishlansky, Mark A., Patrick J. Geary, and Patricia O’Brien. “Early Greece.” Civilization in the West. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991. Print.
“Obama: Babies Are a “punishment”” YouTube. YouTube, 31 Mar. 2008. Web. 24 July 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbaig-D5pk>.
Overman, Christian, and Christian Overman. “Who Makes the Snow, God or Mother Nature?” Assumptions That Affect Our Lives: How Worldviews Determine Values That Influence Behavior and Shape Culture. 8th ed. Ablaze Pub., 2011. 38-40. Print.
“Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts.” YouTube. Center for Medical Progress. Web. 2 Aug. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjxwVuozMnU>.
“Planned Parenthood VP Says Fetuses May Come Out Intact, Agrees Payments Specific to the Specimen.” YouTube. Center for Medical Progress. Web. 2 Aug. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQuZMvcFA8>.
“Second Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods.” YouTube. Center for Medical Progress. Web. 2 Aug. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjCs_gvImyw>.