Christian Ethics - Lesson 16

Abortion (Part 2/2)

You will gain an understanding of the arguments and counterarguments surrounding the issue of abortion. In this lesson, Dr. Nash asserts that caution and conservatism should be exercised in regards to ending any life. The lesson emphasizes the need to balance the right of the mother with the rights of the infant. The lesson briefly touches on the issue of rape and how it complicates the debate on abortion.

Ronald Nash
Christian Ethics
Lesson 16
Watching Now
Abortion (Part 2/2)

Contemporary Moral Issues


I. Abortion (part 2)

A. Introduction

B. John Jefferson Davis, Evangelical Ethics

C. Biblical Evidence


D. Arguments for Abortion and their Rebuttals

1. Beginning of human life?

2. Absolute right of the mother?

3. In the case of rape?

4. Psychological repercussions?

5. Consciousness of the fetus?

6. Right to a meaningful existence?

7. Spare the child the abuse?

E. Libertarians

1. One ethical principle

2. Questions and Answers

F. Feminism

1. Gender feminism

2. Pro-life feminism

a. Men benefit from abortion.

b. Violence is not a solution.

c. Inherent worth of all humans

3. Quotations

  • Gain insights into philosophical ethics and Christian responses, and the Christian role in society regarding the state, justice, economics, and education.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Nash introduces you to the concept of hedonism, which is an example of a consequentialist ethic. He reviews non-hedonistic consequentialist philosophies, psychological hedonism, and ethical hedonism.
  • This lesson introduces you to the theory of deontological ethics and Emmanuel Conte. You will learn that the deontological ethic judges morality by examining the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than goals achieved.
  • In this lesson you will learn about the system of ethics that focuses on virtue and introduces the Four Cardinal Virtues, which are temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage, and emphasizes the importance of being the right kind of person who possesses the traits of character, and C.S. Lewis's book "Christianity" provides an informative treatment of the Four Cardinal Virtues and the Three Theological Virtues.
  • You will gain insight into C.S. Lewis's views on Christian ethics and the morality analogy he presents, where morality is like a fleet of ships that must fulfill three conditions to succeed: every ship must run properly, the relations between ships must be proper and orderly, and the fleet must head to the right destination.
  • You will learn about the importance of distinguishing between society and the state. Society is a voluntary organization of people, while the state is the group of people who claim a monopoly on the use of coercive force within a geographic boundary. By understanding this difference, you can prevent the government from interfering with your voluntary associations.
  • You will gain an understanding of how the professor's theory of the state in Social Justice in the Christian Church aligns with the New Testament. He explains that the state is a God-ordained institution to check against sin, and he is a moderate anti-statist who recognizes the need for government but also the inherent evil in any concentration of human power. The New Testament recognizes constraints upon governmental power, and Revelation 13 is an example of how the state can symbolize anti-Christian government. The lesson also discusses the concept of justice and how it is often invoked without a clear understanding, suggesting that Christians should study ancient Greece for a better comprehension of the term.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the evangelical civil war that happened 20 years ago, learn about its early stages recorded by Clark Penick, understand the harmful effects of left-wing evangelicalism, and see how many evangelicals on the left became enamored with their own self-virtue in what they thought was a crusade to help the poor.
  • By studying this lesson, you will gain insight into the major differences between capitalism, socialism, and interventionism. You will learn that interventionism is often responsible for economic crises that are attributed to capitalism. You will also learn about the overlapping and continuum nature of economic systems and the gray area where an economic system may be viewed as socialism or interventionism.
  • This lesson discusses the decline of old liberation theology and how some of its proponents are now advocating for capitalism and democracy as being what the poor of the third world need, and presents shocking quotations from individuals characterized as evangelical, such as Jose Marquez Bonino, who promotes Marxism and praises tyrants like Castro and Mao Tse tung, as well as material about the three major kinds of Marxism that have existed in the world.
  • This lesson will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of interventionism and its role in the Great Depression, including the fact that blaming capitalism for the depression is based on four myths, and that interventionism actually deepens recessions by disguising the information produced by a market economy.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the crisis facing American education, as highlighted by Alan Blum's book The Closing of the American Heart and the author's complementary book. The focus is on the importance of values, standards, and morality in education, and the need to reopen the American heart to reopen the American mind. The lesson introduces the three kinds of illiteracy currently affecting Americans at every level of the educational process, with a particular emphasis on functional illiteracy, which refers to the inability to read, write, or use numbers well enough to get along in society.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about the incompetency of public school teachers in America, caused by academically weak students being attracted to the profession, lack of content courses in their college curriculum, unimpressive and radical left-winged professional educationists, and the National Education Association being an enemy of America's young people, with four essential steps to improve education, including getting a clear focus on the educational role of the family, increasing local control of education, changing the curriculum to prepare students for life after school, and changing teacher education programs.
  • Gain knowledge of the difference between the biblical ethic and other philosophical systems. Though it may seem simple, it is an underlying system that can lead to complex issues. The divinely revealed scriptures are the starting point for moral reflection, but not a ready-made answer. Some New Testament commandments are archaic or obsolete, and many modern moral problems are not discussed in the Bible.
  • You will gain insight into the pro-life stance and be equipped to inform others. Christians need not be timid about talking about these issues.
  • This lesson explores the arguments and counterarguments surrounding abortion, arguing for caution and conservatism in ending any life, emphasizing the need to balance the right of the mother with the rights of the infant, and briefly touching on the issue of rape and how it complicates the matter.
  • As you go through the lesson, you will learn about infanticide and euthanasia, and how the disrespect for unborn human life has led to an increase in cases of infanticide, along with some suggestions for what Christians should do in the case of children born with life-threatening handicaps.
  • In this lesson, you will explore the five major passages of Scripture related to homosexuality, including different interpretations of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and concludes that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity.
  • This lesson explores the topic of capital punishment in the context of Christian beliefs, arguing for consistency and emphasizing the need to view Old Testament laws in the context of specific situations that are no longer applicable.
  • This lesson discusses the three approaches to war and peace and distinguishes between principled pacifists and hypocritical, unprincipled pacifists, who are members of the political left and denounce American military actions but support violent revolutionary organizations.
  • You will gain an understanding of the growing issue of divorce and remarriage within the church, the responsibilities of Christian leaders in addressing it, and the need for Christians to think through what the Scripture teaches on these matters and formulate principles that will guide their thinking and conduct.
  • This lesson provides insight into how responsible Christians can make ethical decisions about birth control, considering the importance of intention, distinguishing between ethically acceptable and unacceptable forms of birth control, and emphasizing the importance of wise and careful means in achieving family planning goals.

Theoretical and theological basis for Christians  living an ethical life.

Dr. Ronald Nash

Christian Ethics


Abortion (Part 2/2)

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:01] Nobody knows when human life began and because nobody knows when human life begins. All of these arguments that insist that human life begins at conception, which is so essential to the pro-life position, is really a position without any support. All right. So what do we say by response to the people who argue that we don't know when human life begins and this agnosticism sort of compromises or undermines the position of people who who cling to a pro-life position? Neither side knows when life begins. Then the abortionist can hardly get very excited over this because he, he or she certainly hasn't strengthened his own position. If no one knows when human life begins, then the abortionist doesn't know it either. And so now. Now we need to bring in the rest. If we didn't know when life, even if we didn't know when human life began. The burden of proof would always have to rest on the shoulders of those people who are in favor of ending that life where we don't know what we're shooting at. It's incumbent on us to exercise caution. It's incumbent on us to take the conservative position. If I'm not completely sure that that's a deer that my rifle is aimed at, I don't pull the trigger if I'm not completely convinced for good, definitive reasons that this is not a human life. If I'm not completely sure what I'm killing here or if I'm killing, we must we must erred on the side of caution. It's only if we have. It seems to me it's only if we have a good and solid argument that this is not a human being, that we are justified in proceeding to end its life.


[00:02:27] All right. So the point here is this does not help the cause of the of the pro-abortion advocate. All right. Here's another argument. The mother has the absolute right to control her body there. That settles it. You disagree with that? This fetus is a part of the woman's body. It couldn't exist. It couldn't survive without the nurture from that woman's body. Therefore, she has a right to do absolutely anything with it. She want dependents of its own, does not remove the right to live. Even a newborn baby is dependent. The newborn baby can't survive on its own without people who will feed it or care for it. We also, I think, would want to argue that a woman does not have the moral right to mutilate her own body by cutting off a hand or a foot. Nor does she have the right to kill her body by committing suicide. So to move so far, this is a separate living thing. And even if you question that there isn't an unqualified right to to mutilate one's own body to to to do what is implicit in this. What does the word right mean? And who says we have a right to do anything we might want to do with our own body? Which gets us back to that earlier example of cutting off a hand or a foot or committing suicide. Certain situations in life abrogate rights. And what we have here is a situation, even if we granted that a woman had the right to do whatever she will or want to do with her own life. This is a situation where rights clash, for example, the right of the father or the right of the fetus itself. Of course, once again, if the fetus is a human being made in the image of God, then that fetus has rights as much as the mother does.


[00:04:47] And one of the rights that that fetus possesses is the right to life. But now let's let's go to another point, because you raised the issue of the father. Suppose this is a case of rape. All right. Let me get the wording here. Why should a rape victim be forced to bear a child she did not will to have? Let's distinguish between the method by which the. Ception has come about from the results of that conception. Let me back off and start this again. All right. Because this is a really tough issue. This is one of those situations where it is so easy to ceremonies and preach if it is someone else's wife or someone else's daughter who's been raped and become pregnant as a result of this, men in particular have to become much. And I hear I'm not just playing devil's advocate. All right. This is serious business. Some of you may someday be called upon to counsel women who will become pregnant as a result of forced intercourse and or, you know, Lord forbid this. Some of us may face this in our own families and our own situations. What does one do? What would I do if a member of my family were in this situation? Certainly the first thought that would come to most of our minds is that the evil and the coercion and the force and the pain and the suffering that is a consequence of this action would would certainly justify terminating the pregnancy. But then there must be other considerations that enter the picture. There must be other considerations. It's too simple to judge. That's an easy, natural, human way to react to this evil. But the other what? The other considerations include the following. They include the following.


[00:07:14] This child was not a party to this crime. And this is a child. All right. We may despise. We may despise the rapist, but this child is one half at least, of this woman. If you're a father and you're dealing with a rape that has affected, let's say, your daughter, this child is your grandchild, your grandson. I mean, again, you may hate the person who did this, but the child is innocent. Do you punish the child for the crime of the rapist? I am not in the least suggesting that this functions as an easy way out. It doesn't. But what? Under what other circumstances do more people punish the innocent for the crime of the guilty? Do you kill the unborn baby because of the. The evil of the evil of the rapist? Some people here have referred to the famous black singer, Ethel Waters, whose mother was a rape victim at the age of 13. What you may. Some of you may be too young to remember Ethel Waters, a great Broadway star who then became a Christian in the second half of her life and blessed many through her music again. Should Ethel Waters mother have or have have aborted her? Why should we punish the innocent product of a rape? What precisely constitutes justification for terminating the life of that innocent child? But again, let me play devil's advocate. Can't we ease most of that woman's problem by simply encouraging her to get rid of that fetus? All right. So that in that in this case, dislike the psychological problem disease by killing the fetus. The psychological problems would only compound if this woman has to carry this baby to term and then perhaps support this baby for the rest of her life.


[00:09:40] Every time she looks at that baby, she's going to think of this monster. What do you do with that? See, we heard from the audience the sentence, Two wrongs don't make a right. Now, that's a cliche, but it is true. All right. There are times in life when cliches are not only true, but they are non-trivial. The rape was a wrong. It was an evil. But you do not write that wrong by following it with a second wrong. That is terminating the life of the fetus. Unwanted babies can always be given up for adoption. It is possible that the rape victim may suffer psychologically from, you know, the consequences of raising. She may be unable, incapable psychologically of dealing on a day to day basis with this life. But rather than terminate the life, you you you bring the baby to term and you then make it available to some other loving family that knows nothing about the history of this situation, that doesn't carry the psychological baggage of this situation and that can love that child and nurture it and give it give it a decent home. So it is important in counseling that we always advise people that there are other alternatives. Bringing this baby to term. Doesn't mean doesn't mean that you have to live with the consequences of that rape for the next 60 years. You can save that life. You can give life and and allow that life to continue. And a different family should. Should that should that be a psychologically unacceptable situation? Jack Davis in his book cites certain surveys that seem to show that the vast majority of women who have abortions that are medically not necessary suffer enormous psychic damage, psychological damage as a result of this.


[00:12:09] How do we and now your question is, how do we how do we relate this to see Everett Koop public announcement when he was surgeon general that there is no evidence to support this? A lot of people who know see Everett Koop personally, and I do know Koop personally. I knew him before he became surgeon general. I knew him before he became famous. I knew him when he was just probably the United States best pediatric surgeon. A lot of us who know and love and respect see Everett Koop have great difficulty understanding what happened to Chick during his last few years as surgeon general. We have great difficulty understanding some of the some of the things he did as surgeon general, some of the record. Foundations we made. They just don't they don't make a whole lot of sense. If you want some published ruminations about troop changes, get out Old issues of the Society and Religion Report, which our library gets. And this would go back all to the years 8788 Herald O.J. Brown became editor of The Religion and Society Report Harold Brown and see Everett Koop go back a long ways, and Brown makes some statements in print that I would not make on this published tape because I just have too much love and respect for Chick Koop. But the man certainly appears to have changed. Now, I said I wouldn't make any public comment about Chick, and then I just did. All right. But the man certainly appears to have changed. But I'm getting off my subject. I would say that I would challenge Koop on that. As I recall, he was citing one poll, one survey, and I don't think it would be at all difficult to utilize material from the human in light.


[00:14:19] What's the thing that Harold LJ Brown edits The Human Life Report? Harold O.J. Brown teaches at Trinity Seminary. He's editor of The Human Life Report. He also puts a lot of this stuff into the Society and Religion Report. I don't think it would be at all difficult to find surveys that that provide contrary data. So I would simply challenge Cooper on that. Take a look at the source. Whatever it is that Jack Davis cites in his chapter right there, aside from surveys, which, as you know, often are often are slanted in a particular direction, and that slant is apparent in the way in which the question is asked. And also consider this how many women who are asked this question under certain circumstances, let's say, in the presence of public witnesses and so on, are going to tell the truth about this. The better way to determine this is to talk privately with women who have had abortions and notice notice the indisputable guilt that many of them have. And it's not hard to find those cases of women who, ten years after having an abortion, find themselves prone to enormous depression, I killed my baby and they can never recover from that. What would this baby be like today if I had not decided to abort that baby? But let's let's also make one additional point. Even if the fetus had no consciousness, that would not provide justification for denying the humanity of the fetus. There are human beings who suffer severe injuries that deprive them of consciousness. The you and I often lapse into levels of sleep in which there is no consciousness. Do we cease to be human at that time? So there is really no logical or scientific connection between consciousness and humanity.


[00:16:37] You can have the one without the other. You can be deprived of consciousness and still not. You lose your humanity. But equally important is the fact that the fetus does indeed demonstrate signs of consciousness, even signs of brain waves at a very early and at a very early time in pregnancy. But now another argument. Every child has a right to a meaningful life. All right. What are you going to do with obviously handicapped fetuses? We can now predict certain serious handicaps, mental handicaps, Down's syndrome, for example. Isn't it more humane? Isn't it? See, we're getting into the quality of life here. Isn't it more humane to put these things out of their misery before they're born, rather than to let them come into life and suffer physically or suffer the consequences of of mental retardation? For example? Why not just why not just help them out by saving them from all of that pain and suffering? Did you read that letter at the end of Davis chapter? Remember the thalidomide babies and the horrible deformities that followed the pregnancies in which that drug was taken? Here was a letter from, what, three or four thalidomide babies who are now grown up. Remember many of them without limbs. And what they what they all testified was, we're glad we had a chance to live. We did not. We were deprived of things, but healthy babies that healthy human beings had. But we had a chance to live the. And again, who what you see, what we're dealing with here, again, is a situation in which the essential humanity of the fetus is denied. It is claimed that we are not dealing with human beings and then some human being becomes judge and executioner. There's a there's a there's an evangelical lady out there named Virginia Amy Mollenkopf, who says, we feminists who believe in abortion do not devalue the fetus.


[00:19:19] She says this in an article in Christian Scholars Review. You ought to look that article up. It's about two or three years old. Virginia Randy Mollenkopf or Mollenkopf. We don't devalue the fetus. A couple of issues later. Somebody, I guess he's a librarian at Eastern College. He wrote a letter to the editor and said if cutting that fetus to pieces and then dumping it out with the garbage doesn't devalue the fetus. I don't know what the word devaluing mean. What is this? You don't devalue the fetus by deciding to kill it there. All right. It is better to have an aborted child than it is to have an abused child. Oh, there's a doozy. There's a doozy. You see? Suppose you know that here is here is a here's a pregnancy that is occurring within a totally abusive family situation. And, you know, it's absolutely predictable that if this pregnancy comes to term, this poor kid is going to be raised by two people who are utterly without morals. This child will be subject to every kind of horrible abuse in the world. And so what we want to do is spare the child all of that abuse by by aborting it. Well, I guess I guess I guess once you get into this position, it's difficult to recognize that abortion itself is the ultimate form of abuse. All right. Isn't there something bizarre about alleging that you're going to save the fetus from abuse by cutting it into little pieces and dumping it out with the garbage? If we can murder the unborn to avoid potential abuse? Try this on for size. Why not murder the born who are undergoing actual abuse? All right. We could say I don't mean to be laughing here, but we could save all of the all of the presently living children who are suffering abuse by simply aborting them as well.


[00:21:38] All right. Turn now to this question and answer section on abortion. That's this handout that you got for today. I hope you all have a copy of it. Now, remember, and this to me, is mind boggling. All right. This, again, you have to understand how how wild most libertarians are. These are not fighting fundamentalists talking about abortion here. These are. Yeah, these are libertarian. Now, for a libertarian, listen, there is only one moral maxim for a libertarian. Only one ethical principle. And that ethical principle is it is wrong. Always and ever, always and in every case, to transgress against another human being. It is wrong, always in every everywhere to do harm to another human being. That's the only ethical principle that governs the thinking of libertarians. Most libertarians are pro-abortion. But what this article shows is that there is no logical connection. There's no logical reason why being a libertarian obliges one to support abortion on demand. Once you recognize the humanity of the fetus, the fetus is as deserving of libertarian rights and protection as any other living human being. See? Now look at some of these questions. One. Why should libertarians oppose abortions? Answer Just as all persons have the right to be free from aggression, they also have the duty not to aggress against other persons. Pre-Born children are persons. Abortion is aggression. Therefore, abortion is wrong. All right. But two. Doesn't a woman have a right to control her own body? Sure. However, abortion involves the destruction of another person's body, that of the pre-born child biologically. And notice how the arguments here resonate with what Jack Davis says. Biologically, the unborn child is a new and whole individual. The 23 chromosomes of the mother added to the 23 of the mother's egg, added to the 23 chromosomes of the sperm, give you a totally unique individual.


[00:24:34] The unborn child is a new and whole individual different from either parent. Ethically, every new child is a separate and distinct person. Argument number three. But a pre-born child is inside its mother and completely dependent on her. We ran over that one a long time ago. Of course that's true. However, mere physical location and biological dependance do not negate the pre-born child's existence as an individual member of the human species. Number four. But a pre-born child may not be able to live outside of its mother. Listen. These are better arguments in a nutshell, and you'll find in Davis's book then you'll find in most places, of course, the pre-born child may not be able to live outside its mother. Tomorrow, though, science may discover ways to make the preborn viable. All right. We could take I mean, who know we could take this this week old or this month old fetus. And perhaps science will find a technology that would be possible to make to make that fetus viable. Human rights do not change from day to day, depending on how competent or incompetent scientists are. Number five, aren't there borderline cases or gray areas where it might be all right to consider a pre-born child, not a person, but say, let's say this person has an IQ of less than 20 some abortionists would authorize the killing of a of a fetus if if we determine that it has an IQ below 40, for example. Well, here's the libertarian answer. Human life is a continuum from fertilization through gestation and birth to mature maturity and death. The same individual existed every instance in that process. No adult human being ever came into existence without first living for some period of time in a state of complete dependance.


[00:26:37] We know that a person with rights comes out of a woman's body. Isn't it just common sense to presume that a person with rights was there all along? Well, let's begin to skip some of this stuff. I do suggest you read it all. Let's skip to the second page here. What about rape? Yeah. Near the top of the second page. What about rape? This is. This is a libertarian for life answer. Even in the rare case of a pregnancy resulting from rape. And remember, we did talk about the low probabilities there. Even in the rare case of a pregnancy resulting from rape, the pre-born child remains an innocent party. Despite her suffering, the mother has no right to kill the child. Killing the innocent will not redress the injustice the rapist perpetrated. It will simply impose further injustice on the child. Rape should be treated as a serious crime, and rapists are required to provide full financial support to mothers and their children. Is abortion number ten? Is abortion never permissible then? What about when the mother's life is threatened? In these exceptional cases where proper medical attention was enabled, unable to see both mother and child. The Libertarian principles of self-defense. Some self-preservation would apply. In other words, we move to the life of the mother position. What I want to do now is pick up on that and give you an example. Go into detail about what is possibly the most dangerous world view for the unborn that is floating around out there. It is this world view which poses, I suspect, the greatest threat to the unborn, and it is a worldview that I will call gender feminism. Now, let me tell you why we call it gender feminism. We do that in order to distinguish it from another kind of feminism, which we could for the sake of another better term call equity, feminism and equity feminist.


[00:28:56] And I suppose someday I'll think of a better term. An equity feminist is a person, male or female, who is concerned about equality for women, who is concerned about discrimination against people based upon sex. That's a totally separate issue. It seems to me that Christians can, can can squabble or disagree over issues related to equity feminism on totally different grounds. Gender feminism, however, is something totally different. This is the kind of feminism that one sees usually on public display in the evening newscasts. These are people who are sometimes described as radical feminists. Let me give you some examples of beliefs that are connected with gender feminism. And here I quote from Carol McMillan. And I, I want to underline the fact that I am quoting from a female philosopher here. Carol McMillan says in a book called Women Reason and Nature, The gender feminists emphasize that the mere fact of being a woman is an oppressive one. The tyrant the gender feminist despise is not man. It is nature. Men simply take advantage of the situation, which is already weighted in their favor. Let me quote a radical gender feminist named Shulamit Firestone, who draws out one implication of her contempt for her own woman ness. This is the point. I want you to see that when you cut below the surface, what these gender feminists despise the most is that nature or God has made them women. They despise their own gender. And so Shulamit Firestone says the heart of woman's oppression is her childbearing and child rearing role. Now, as we continue to to uncover the nature of this gender feminist world view, we're going to discover that we are dealing with women who hate being, women, who hate the necessary roles that are attached to being a woman such as conception.


[00:32:00] On this view of things, birth control and abortion represent, finally the true means to realize the liberation of women. Women have to be liberated from the shackles of their own biology. That's a quotation. In other words, the freedom to kill the human being growing within her is absolutely indispensable to the radical feminist pursuit of liberation. Menstruation, pregnancy, birthing and child raising are more of the shackles that nature has coerced her with. The freedom to end the life of the fetus is her way of saying no to nature. Now, this is so shocking that many people would say, Surely there aren't people who think this way in the. Surely there aren't women who think this way in the world. Surely the radical feminist is not resentful of the fact that she is a woman. Now, later on, depending on the time when I counter these arguments with arguments from Feminists for Life, you're going to hear a totally different kind of feminist voice saying, I am proud to be a woman. I am pleased that I am privileged to bring new life into the world. I am thrilled to be privileged to sustain and nurture the life of the child. This is a totally different kind of feminist that I will be citing in a few minutes. Who is not alienated from her nature or her child bearing and child nurturing role in the world? As Carole Macmillan goes on to explain gender, feminists believe that the real oppressor of women is nature. The root of the oppression lies in the so-called original division of labor between the sexes for the purposes of procreation. Listen to that. Remember Marx's use of the division of labor? Only now labor means labor. All right, Now, what's the man's role in procreation? Well, we.


[00:34:39] We know what that is. What's the woman's role? She's the one who's got to suffer. Who's got to carry that baby? Who's got to experience that discomfort and pain? Consequently, the demand for birth control, abortion and artificial reproduction is absolutely fundamental to any coherent program for the liberation of women. This is why traditional discussions about the status of the fetus and disputes over abortion have little, if any, relevance to the real issues at hand. For abortion is the cheap weapon against the aggressor and offers the only authentic means of liberation from oppression. This is why this is what the radical feminist than are really after. The only authentic way to secure liberation from oppression turns out to require liberation from being a woman killing that the right to kill the fetus whenever it is convenient for the woman is her way of declaring her liberation from the bonds that bind her. Well, let me plug in here now the counter argument of an interesting organization called Feminists for Life. This interesting organization functions in Kansas City, Missouri. Let me summarize the argument from some of their pamphlets. And a pamphlet titled Abortion Does Not Liberate Women. These feminist pro-life authors argue that the real beneficiaries of abortion are not women, but are men instead of liberating women. Abortion validates the patriarchal worldview which holds that women encumbered as they are by their reproductive capacity, are inferior to men. Now, notice, these are pretty zealous feminists who are saying if you've got if you're a feminist and you're thinking straight, you're going to support life and not death. Women. Even feminists who support abortion are actually surrendering to a male chauvinist worldview. You are not. You are not standing up for women's rights. You are surrendering your rights to self-centered male sex partners.


[00:37:20] The pamphlet continues by arguing. The pamphlet continues by arguing that truly liberated women reject abortion because they reject the male worldview that accepts violence as a legitimate solution to conflict rather than settling for mere equality. Pro-Life feminists seek to transform society to create a world that reflects true feminist ideals. In other words, here's what these feminists are saying. What are men famous for? Answer Killing. That's what men do best. They kill. What do women do best? They give life. Now, when a woman turns against life, she turns against her own femininity. She turns against her own gender. She is subordinating herself to male values. Get that argument. Oh, I think that's great stuff. Feminism is a part of a larger philosophy that values all life. Feminists believe that all human beings have inherent worth and that this worth cannot be confirmed or denied by another. True feminist thinking recognizes the interdependence of all living things and the responsibility we have for one another. Now, there's a powerful argument there. I sort of feel a little uncomfortable that I'm a part of a male gender, that that does best the killing of human beings. All right? That these ladies these ladies have an argument. Abortion is incompatible with this feminist vision, argues the pamphlet. Instead, it insists abortion atomized as women. Abortion pits women against their own children as competitors for the favors of the patriarchy. Women who accept abortion have agreed to sacrifice their children for the convenience of a man's world. I want to send this pamphlet to Gloria Steinem. All right. I want to see what she says about this and what this powerful argument states is that violence and death have historically been the male's contribution to the human race. Women, on the other hand, are and should be the bearers and defenders of life.


[00:39:53] Pro-abortion feminists, therefore, are not defending feminine values. They are repudiating them and thus making their own contribution to the ongoing supremacy of the very patriarchy they profess to despise. Pro-abortion feminists are both anti-life and anti-woman. Now, in one of these pamphlets, there's some quotations from some 19th century feminists. Some interesting stuff. In one of these publications. For example, there's an 1878 letter to Julia Ward, how the famous 19th Century American Lady. The letter was written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Here's what it said when we can. And remember, this was 19th century when women had no right to vote. The quotation When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit. Or here's a quotation from the Wheeling, West Virginia Evening Standard of 1875, in which a lady named Victoria Woodhull argues every woman knows that if she were free, she would never think of murdering her child before its birth. Three women don't kill their own babies. The contemporary American obsession with the supposed right of women to kill their unborn children is a disgraceful, utterly self-centered demand that cannot be reconciled with the demands of a properly understood Christian ethic or with the demands of any proper understanding of feminism. Ron Sider, whose views on some related topics I disagree with, is nonetheless correct when he argues that the problem of abortion results notice I'm agreeing with Ron Sider. The problem of abortion, Sider says results from a secular individualism that makes the self-interest of the individual the highest value by their sexual irresponsibility and failure to share fairly in the burdens of child care and parenting parenting. Many men have placed their individual selfish concerns above the rights of children, women in the larger community.


[00:42:16] What we find in and in the defense of abortion by secular feminists, siders says, is the same destructive, individualistic selfishness set in a context in which they appeal to the very individualism which has long led many men to trample on the needs of children in the larger community. Now, what led me into this, into this whole discussion, was the realization of how gender feminism cannot tolerate any restraint, voluntary or otherwise, upon a woman's reproductive powers. In such a context, there are no arguments or reasons that could possibly persuade a gender feminist to oppose abortion because the fetus carries with it a right to life. Whether extreme Christian feminists think of themselves as gender feminist is less important than the fact that their reasoning about abortion touches all the bases of the gender. The radical feminist position. Cannot Christian feminists feel any moral obligations towards the innocent unborn? Can they not feel the force and power of the feminist pro-life arguments that say that the pro-abortion stance is a betrayal of a true feminism that relieves sexually irresponsible males of the consequences of their behavior and helps perpetuate the very patriarchy that feminists want everyone to believe they oppose. While it may prove impossible to reason with gender feminist ideologues, surely we have a right to expect that evangelical feminists are more sensitive to the moral plight of the most innocent form of human life over which we have control the life of unborn human beings.