“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Abortion debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 4 (includes the film TRUTH AND HISTORY and editorial cartoon)

I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Abortion is probably the most often debated subject and I have noticed that many pro-life individuals are now surfacing on the Arkansas Times Blog.  Here are some examples. Arhogfan501 asserted: This is the beginning of the end for recreational abortion in Arkansas. Songbird777 noted: Babies have a right to live and not be chopped up for someone else’s convenience. The person using the username “baker” commented: Planned Parenthood (PPA) does not nor cannot provide mammograms, indeed no affiliate has the necessary license. PPA is an abortion provider and at some 900 plus killings a day rather prolific.

Here is another debate I got into recently on the Arkansas Times Blog and I go by the username “Saline Republican”:

The person with the username “the outlier” said on 3-22-13 on the Ark Times Blog:

“You cannot honestly describe yourself as “pro-life”, Saline. You are anti-abortion.”

I responded:

Am I pro-life?
Frank Beckwith put forth a good definition of a pro-life view:

The pro-life position is subject to somewhat varying formulations. The most widely accepted and representative of these can be defined in the following way: The unborn entity is fully human from the moment of conception. Abortion (narrowly defined) results in the intentional death of the unborn entity. Therefore, abortion entails the intentional killing of a human being. This killing is in most cases unjustified, since the unborn human being has a full right to life.

Later I noted:

Special Sanders asserted, “Any person with the slightest intelligence knows that these measures are not going to have the desired effect. If women can’t get abortions in Arkansas, they will get them in other states OR they can and will simply go to the internet and buy abortion methods which while not deemed SAFE, is NOT illegal.
Women in Arkansas simply want access to “safe” abortions with experienced medical professionals in the healthcare field that are skilled in pregnancy terminations.”

_________
Frank Beckwith answers this argument very well concerning the coat hangers:

The chief reason this argument fails is because it commits the fallacy of begging the question. In fact, as we shall see, this fallacy seems to lurk behind a good percentage of the popular arguments for the pro-choice position. One begs the question when one assumes what one is trying to prove. Another way of putting it is to say that the arguer is reasoning in a circle. For example, if one concludes that the Boston Celtics are the best team because no team is as good, one is not giving any reasons for this belief other than the conclusion one is trying to prove, since to claim that a team is the best team is exactly the same as saying that no team is as good. The question-begging nature of the coat-hanger argument is not difficult to discern: only by assuming that the unborn are not fully human does the argument work. If the unborn are not fully human, then the pro-choice advocate has a legitimate concern, just as one would have in overturning a law forbidding appendicitis operations if countless people were needlessly dying of both appendicitis and illegal operations. But if the unborn are fully human, this pro-choice argument is tantamount to saying that because people die or are harmed while killing other people, the state should make it safe for them to do so. Even some pro-choice advocates, who argue for their position in other ways, admit that the coat hanger/back-alley argument is fallacious. For example, pro-choice philosopher Mary Anne Warren clearly recognizes that her position on abortion cannot rest on this argument without it first being demonstrated that the unborn entity is not fully human. She writes that “the fact that restricting access to abortion has tragic side effects does not, in itself, show that the restrictions are unjustified, since murder is wrong regardless of the consequences of prohibiting it…”9 Although it is doubtful whether statistics can establish a particular moral position, it should be pointed out that there has been considerable debate over both the actual number of illegal abortions and the number of women who died as a result of them prior to legalization.10 Prior to Roe, pro-choicers were fond of saying that nearly a million women every year obtained illegal abortions performed with rusty coat hangers in back-alleys that resulted in thousands of fatalities. Given the gravity of the issue at hand, it would go beyond the duty of kindness to call such claims an exaggeration, because several well-attested facts establish that the pro-choice movement was simply lying. First, Dr. Bernard Nathanson — who was one of the original leaders of the American pro-abortion movement and co-founder of N.A.R.A.L. (National Abortion Rights Action League), and who has since become pro-life — admits that he and others in the abortion rights movement intentionally fabricated the number of women who allegedly died as a result of illegal abortions.

How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In N.A.R.A.L. we generally emphasized the drama of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the “morality” of the revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics. The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason which had to be done was permissible.11

Second, Dr. Nathanson’s observation is borne out in the best official statistical studies available. According to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics, there were a mere 39 women who died from illegal abortions in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade.12 Dr. Andre Hellegers, the late Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Hospital, pointed out that there has been a steady decrease of abortion-related deaths since 1942. That year there were 1,231 deaths. Due to improved medical care and the use of penicillin, this number fell to 133 by 1968.13 The year before the first state-legalized abortion, 1966, there were about 120 abortion-related deaths.14 This is not to minimize the undeniable fact that such deaths were significant losses to the families and loved ones of those who died. But one must be willing to admit the equally undeniable fact that if the unborn are fully human, these abortion-related maternal deaths pale in comparison to the 1.5 million preborn humans who die (on the average) every year. And even if we grant that there were more abortion-related deaths than the low number confirmed, there is no doubt that the 5,000 to 10,000 deaths cited by the abortion rights movement is a gross exaggeration.15 Third, it is simply false to claim that there were nearly a million illegal abortions per year prior to legalization. There is no reliable statistical support for this claim.16 In addition, a highly sophisticated recent study has concluded that “a reasonable estimate for the actual number of criminal abortions per year in the prelegalization era [prior to 1967] would be from a low of 39,000 (1950) to a high of 210,000 (1961) and a mean of 98,000 per year.17 Fourth, it is misleading to say that pre-Roe illegal abortions were performed by “back-alley butchers” with rusty coat hangers. While president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderone pointed out in a 1960 American Journal of Health article that Dr. Kinsey showed in 1958 that 84% to 87% of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing. Dr. Calderone herself concluded that “90% of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians.”18 It seems that the vast majority of the alleged “back-alley butchers” eventually became the “reproductive health providers” of our present day.
FOOTNOTES

9Mary Anne Warren “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” in The Problem of Abortion, 2nd ed., ed. Joel Feinberg (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1984), 103. 10 See Daniel Callahan, Abortion: Law, Choice, and Morality (New York: Macmillan, 1970), 132-36; and Stephen Krason, Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984), 301-10. 11 Bernard Nathanson, M.D., Aborting America (New York: Doubleday, 1979), 193. 12 From the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics Center for Disease Control, as cited in Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Wilke, Abortion: Questions and Answers, rev. ed. (Cincinnati: Hayes Publishing, 1988), 101-2. 13 From Dr. Hellegers’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Constitutional Amendments, April 25, 1 1974; cited in John Jefferson Davis, Abortion and the Christian (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1984), 75. 14 From the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics Center for Disease Control, as cited in Wilke, 101-2. 15 See Davis, 75. 16 See note 10; Callahan, 132-36; Krason, 301-10. 17 Barbara J. Syska, Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D., and Dennis O’Hare, “An Objective Model for Estimating Criminal Abortions and Its Implications for Public Policy,” in New Perspectives on Human Abortion, ed. Thomas Hilgers, M.D., Dennis J. Horan, and David Mall (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1981), 78. 18 Mary Calderone, “Illegal Abortion as a Public Health Problem,” in American Journal of Health 50 (July 1960):949.

_____________

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthenasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

___________

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

______________________

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

 

Francis Schaeffer experienced doubts early in his ministry about Christ and the Bible but he worked his way through that.

Compassionate Engagement: A Brief Survey of the Life of Francis Schaeffer, Part 2 – The Early Years

By Derek Brown on January 6, 2012

Read part one here.  

Francis Schaeffer was born on January 30, 1912 in Germantown, Pennsylvania to middle-class parents of German heritage.  After being converted as a young man, Schaeffer felt a calling from God to be a pastor.  After his graduation from college in 1935, Schaeffer married Edith Seville and then entered Westminster Theological Seminary (in Philadelphia) in September of that same year.  As a result of a split within his denomination (PCUSA), Schaeffer soon found himself transferring to a new seminary, Faith Theological, and relocating his membership to a new denomination, the Bible Presbyterian Church.  From this point, it is most helpful to trace Schaeffer’s life in three phases: his time as a separatist pastor, the prelude and development of the work of L’Abri fellowship, and his involvement as a political activist.

Separatist Pastor
After graduation, Francis and Edith would find themselves in three different cities throughout the United States, as Francis would spend the next ten years serving in pastoral ministry.  In the spring of 1947, the Independent Board of Foreign Missions (of the Bible Presbyterian Church) would invite Schaeffer to make a “fact-finding tour” for three months that summer in order to determine how churches in Europe were faring theologically under the destructive influence of neo-orthodoxy.  The impact of this investigative expedition upon Schaeffer cannot be overstated.  Indeed, as biographer and personal friend Colin Duriez observes, “This tour would change his life—and eventually the lives of countless others throughout Europe and the world” (Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life, 63).

When the Schaeffer’s returned to St. Louis, Francis began to receive letters from Europeans, requesting that he return to Europe and help establish the same kind of evangelical work that was being cultivated in America.  The mission agency agreed to these requests and decided to send the Schaeffer’s to Europe permanently so that Francis might help revive European Protestantism.  After six months of preparation in Philadelphia, the Schaeffer’s moved to Switzerland.

While in Europe, Schaeffer delivered an address to the International Council of Christian Churches (an organization of separatist churches).  In the address entitled, “The New Modernism,” Schaeffer, responded to the neo-orthodoxy of Karl Barth.  Schaeffer argued that Barth’s separating of religious truth from the facts of history was both nonsensical and dangerous.  Nevertheless, despite his passionate denunciation of Barth’s teaching, Schaeffer revealed his heart for right use of apologetic reasoning; an approach that would later characterize all of his evangelistic efforts:  “The end of apologetics is not to slay men with our logic, but to lead them to the true Christ, the Christ of the whole Scriptures” (Hankins, 32).  Schaeffer’s address in Geneva would anticipate the direction his thought would begin to take, as he would attempt to wrestle with the writings of prominent thinkers and philosophers and their influence on Christianity; this time would also feature Schaeffer’s break with fundamentalism (Hankins, 40).

Schaeffer was beginning to experience growing doubts about the adequacy of fundamentalism, especially with regard to its focus on strident separatism.  Schaeffer believed the Lord would not bless the efforts of separatist churches if they continued “fight without restraint” against those who differed from their work.  Furthermore, Schaeffer began to grow tired of his old mentor, Carl McIntire’s “insatiable desire to fight against other evangelical Christians and institutions” (Hankins, 46).  By 1954, Schaeffer and McIntire were in open warfare; the feud would eventually lead to Schaeffer’s break from McIntire and separatist churches.  The break, however, would free Schaeffer to pursue what would become his life’s work.

Next: Life at L’Abri

________________

Here is a great pro-life cartoon:

Related

Related posts:

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: