Reposted from The Cripplegate.
In many ways, the modern abortion movement in the United States has historical continuity within American culture. The same culture that promoted chattel slavery is still thriving, only now it is trafficking in the murder of the unborn. It really is astonishing how similar the pro-slavery argument is with the pro-abortion argument.
Consider that United States was ironically founded with an affirmation that liberty and human freedom come from God:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The American experiment began with a bold declaration that many Americans themselves didn’t even believe. By allowing slavery—in fact, allowing is too passive of a word—by institutionalizing slavery, American law declared that if all men are created equal, some people must be less than men. In order to justify the theft, possession, and immoral exploitation of a large swath of our population, Americans decided to view those kidnapped from Africa and their descendants as less than human.
They were not created equal, they did not have the same rights endowed to them by their creator. They did not have the right to liberty nor the right to pursue happiness.
Our nation has its roots in the idea that not all persons are enough of a person to be worthy of having their life or liberty protected.
This is the sin of slavery. Now, in much of the world slavery is and has been the presenting sin. In other words, slavery was the external manifestation of deeper hear sins, namely greed and laziness. It is avarice that compelled the Israelites to sinfully catch people and enslave them. The Israelites wanted bigger houses, and slaves could make them (Jeremiah 5:26-29). Yahweh called this practice “deceitful” and “evil.”
But slavery in the US was different. While certainly avarice was one component, racism was obviously a driving force as well. Americans combined the “Protestant work-ethic” with the notion that Africans did not deserve to work for their own happiness, and the result was the American slave trade.
Of course it was excused in numerous ways. “The economy of the South would crumble were it not for slavery, and thus the North would not be able to successfully cast of British rule.” “You see, ‘tis an economic necessity.” And “slaves are actually better off as slaves; they wouldn’t last long with their own freedom.”
And when abolitionists began to meddle with slavery, the howls of protest were unsurprising: “Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do with my property!”
While American slavery ended with the civil war, when sins like that are woven into a national fabric, they are not so easily untangled. Hence the era of segregation and Jim Crow laws. Today the sin of white supremacy still rears its ugly head. But in terms of scope, the sin of abortion certainly carries on the American legacy of slavery.
The arguments used to defend abortion have a one-to-one correspondence to the justification of slavery. Slavery, it was said, was needed to protect the American markets. Today, studies show that one of the major reasons for abortion is a mother (and/or father) who feels like she simply cannot provide for another child. Slavery was needed to fuel the economy, and abortion is needed to keep a woman’s career options open.
Once institutionalized, slavery was defended as a “state’s rights” issue. “Who are you (the North) to tell us (the South) how to manage our culture?”
This lives on today in the form of “only women are allowed to have an opinion on the reality of abortion.” The fact is, anybody with freedom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries should have been compelled to speak against slavery, and anyone who has been born should be similarly compelled to speak against abortion.
Slave owners were known to respond to abolitionists with, “You have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my property!” And obviously that remains today in the pro-choice world with, “My body, my choice!”
Slaves, it was said, would not have a quality of life sufficient to justify their freedom. They would be left to fend for themselves, and didn’t even know how to read. How could they possibly survive? If they could make it, it wouldn’t be with the quality of life their masters had, and this disparity was used to justify denying their freedom.
Of course that same argument lives on today with those that pursue abortion in the case of birth defects, chromosomal deficiencies, or medical reasons. “If she is born, what kind of life would she have?” The implication being that since the child’s quality of life would be less than the parent’s, its just not worth granting her a first breath.
Both slavery and abortion are rooted in junk science. Slavery was defended with an appeal to an evolutionary understanding of races. The very notion of race as a biological reality was and is bunk, yet it was used to justify the degradation of a whole swath of humanity.
In the same manner, abortion is often justified by the bogus trimester model of pregnancy advanced in the Roe vs. Wade opinion itself. With the ultrasound machine, fetal heartbeat monitors, and in utero surgery, the Supreme Court decision reads like a manifesto from the flat-earth society.
Finally, slavery and Jim Crow laws were defended by pointing to immoral and arbitrary Supreme Court decisions. As long as the government is seen as the one who grants life and human dignity, that life and dignity can be withheld by government. But when it is understood that it is God who forms people in their mother’s womb, that he makes the blind, deaf, and mute, then it has to granted that life comes from God, and not from an irrational and evil legal opinion.
It was in 1857 that the Supreme Court handed down an opinion declaring that constitutional freedoms did not apply to slaves. It took only eleven years before the 14th amendment nullified that ruling. As people march to the Supreme Court today to protest Roe vs. Wade, let’s pray that God will speed the overturning of that verdict.
Photo: Chance Agrella