Hank Hanegraaff on the issue of abortion (Part 1)

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism

It is clear that the unborn child feels pain and should be protected from abortion. I am including below this two part series on this subject of abortion from the pro-life point of view. (Notice that some nonbelievers claim that the Bible does not recognize people until they are born, but Hank destroys that view below. My debating opponent Elwood recently made that claim on the Arkansas Times Blog.)

Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice: Annihilating the Abortion Argument

Article ID: DA375

By: Hank Hanegraaff

The following is an excerpt from article DA375 by Hank Hanegraaff. The full article can be found by following the link below the excerpt.

In light of the fact that both science and Scripture corroborate the view that abortion is the painful killing of an innocent human being, it is incumbent upon Christians to do everything in their power to halt the spread of this enormous evil. There are indeed many fronts on which our battle must be waged. Ultimately, however, lasting change only comes when the hearts of people are transformed. For when the heart is transformed, a person’s behavior is revolutionized as well. Because of the transcendent importance of this issue, I’ve developed the acronym A-B-O-R-T-I-O-N as a memorable tool to help believers annihilate abortion arguments.

Remember, however, the goal is not to win an argument but rather to use well-reasoned answers to the arguments of abortion advocates as springboards or opportunities to share a message of life and light.

Pro-Life VS Pro-Choice- A = AD HOMINEM

Attacking people rather than arguing principles, ad hominem arguments are a trick designed to distract attention from the real issue — namely, that abortion is the killing of an innocent human being. Comedienne Whoopi Goldberg used this tactic when she suggested that abortion rights advocates would take pro-lifers more seriously if they were willing to adopt babies slated for abortion.13

What this ad hominem argument is really saying is, “If you won’t adopt my babies, don’t tell me I can’t kill them!” That, of course, makes as much sense as forbidding me from intervening when I see my neighbor physically abusing a child unless I am willing to adopt that child.

The “adoption argument” completely evades the basic morality or immorality of abortion. Instead, it is an attempt to attack character in order to avoid the case against abortion.

Another common ad hominem attack involves the media portrayal of pro-lifers as wild-eyed fanatics. For instance, the death of abortionist Dr. David Gunn has been widely-used to stereotype those who believe in the sanctity of life as “social terrorists.” Senator Edward M. Kennedy has gone so far as to say, “Attacks on clinics are not isolated incidents and health care providers are living in fear for their lives…No doctors should be forced to go to work in a bullet-proof vest.14 Senator Barbara Boxer exudes, “American women have seen their doctors’ offices transformed from safety zones into war zones.15

A final ad hominem attack worth mentioning is the fallacy that pro-lifers are inconsistent because they denounce abortion while supporting capital punishment. In fact, many pro-lifers do not support capital punishment. But for the many others that do, this argument still falls on many counts. The most obvious rebuttal is that abortion involves the killing of an innocent human being while capital punishment involves the killing of someone who has been found guilty of a capital crime.


Using biblical texts out of context as a pretext for abortion, pro-abortionists seek to retain some semblance of religiosity while at the same time espousing the radical planks of the pro-abortion movement. The most common argument in this area is that Scripture nowhere specifically condemns abortion or identifies it as the killing of an innocent human being. Such an argument, however, obscures the fact that the Bible depicts preborn children as living beings who are fully human (see, e.g., Ps. 139:13-16). Furthermore, Scripture clearly denounces the killing of an innocent human being as murder. Thus, abortion is a violation of the Sixth Commandment (Exod. 20:13).

Ironically, one of the most commonly used biblical pretexts for abortion is found only one chapter after God’s explicit command, “Thou shall not murder”: “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined…But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” (Exod. 21:22-25; NASB). The argument goes something like this: If a man strikes a pregnant woman and causes her to have a spontaneous abortion, the penalty is merely a fine. However, if the woman dies, the penalty is death. Thus, no life was taken, according to Exodus 21, unless the woman died.

Thus interpreted, this passage is not being used but abused to support abortion. Let’s take a closer look at what the Hebrew text (as correctly translated by the NIV) really says: “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury [the implication here is that no death is involved], the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life [in other words, if the woman or child should die, the appropriate punishment is death].”

Another biblical pretext, typically referred to as the “argument from breath,” involves Genesis 2:7: “The Lord God formed man from dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”

The “argument from breath” is frequently presented in the following manner: God did not consider Adam to be a “living soul” until He had breathed the “breath of life” into him. Thus a child does not become a human being until he or she begins to breathe.

Dispensing with this argument is a simple matter. Adam was inanimate before God breathed the breath of life into him. Conversely, as science demonstrates, the conceptus or preborn child is alive from the very moment of conception. It is important to note that the breath of life exists in the preborn child from the moment of conception. In reality, it is the form, not the fact, of oxygen transfer (breath) that changes at birth.

Pro-Life VS Pro-Choice- O = OPIUM

As opium dulls the senses chemically, so the term-twisting tactics of pro-abortionists deaden the perception of the human carnage caused by abortion. In 1844, Karl Marx wrote, “Religion … is the opium of the people.16 While history has demonstrated that true religion doesn’t deaden but rather brings life, it may well be said that the terminology of pro-abortionists is specifically designed to mentally dull the senses of an unquestioning public. For example, pro-abortion is called pro-choice; babies are demoted to the status of POCs or products of conception; killing unwanted children is repositioned as exercising freedom of choice; and committed pro-lifers are tagged as political extremists or even social terrorists.

The list of camouflaged terms employed by pro-abortionists is seemingly endless. Unless we learn to unmask the language of the pro-abortion lobby, millions will continue to become morally numb on the opium of clever code words.


1Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” reprinted in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, 5 vols. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1982), 5:293.2Quoted in Policy Review, Spring 1985, 15. This, along with the following four quotes, can be found in Francis J. Beckwith, Politically Correct Death: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 174.3Debate with Francis J. Beckwith on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, December 1989. 4Quoted in Robert Marshall and Charles Donovan, Blessed Are the Barren: The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1991), 182.5Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (New York: Brentano’s, 1920), 63.6AMA Prism, May 1993, 2.7See James C. Dobson, Focus on the Family newsletter, July 1993.8Ibid.9Ibid., 2.10The Human Life Bill , S. 158, Report Together with Additional and Minority Views to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, made by its Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, 97th Congress, 1st Session (1981), 11; quoted in Beckwith, 43.11The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 before the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 97th Congress, 1st Session (1981), as quoted in Norman L. Geisler, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), 149; cited in Beckwith, 42.12The Human Life Bill, S. 158, Report, 9; quoted in Beckwith, 42.13See Beckwith, 88.14Quoted in Michael Ross, “Senate Bans Use of Force against Abortion Clinics,” Los Angeles Times, 17 November 1993, A1.15Ibid., A1, A22.16From Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1843-44).

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