Gendercide

This article in the Economist breaks my heart.

Al Mohler’s commentary on it:

The reality has been known for years now, though the Western media have generally resisted any direct coverage of the horror. That changed this week when The Economist published its stunning cover story — “Gendercide — What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?”

In many nations of the world, there is an all-out war on baby girls. In 1990, economist Amartya Sen estimated that 100 million baby girls were missing — sacrificed by parents who desired a son.  Two decades later, multiple millions of missing baby girls must be added to that total, victims of abortion, infanticide, or fatal neglect.

The murder of girls is especially common in China and northern India, where a preference for sons produces a situation that is nothing less than critical for baby girls. In these regions, there are 120 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls. As The Economist explains, “Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys’ greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale.”

Read the rest of the commentary.

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Objective Truth

Have you ever seen the “Against abortion?  Then don’t have one.” bumper stickers?

I find those bumper stickers and similar statements a bit maddening.  They make it clear that that abortion supporter has not taken the time to understand the pro-life position.  In Scott Klusendorf’s words, “When pro-life advocates claim that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being, they are not saying they dislike abortion.  They are saying it’s objectively wrong, regardless of how one feels about it” (91).

Those who claim that one can be personally opposed to abortion but shouldn’t force that view on someone else, are acting as if the statement that abortion is wrong is a subjective truth.  A subjective truths are personal in nature.  I say, “It’s better to lose an hour of sleep and enjoy Daylight Savings Time than not have it.”  This truth applies to me, but it might not for you.  And that’s okay.  It’s a subjective truth.

On the other hand, are objective truths.  Objective truths are ones that correspond to reality.  I say, “Daylight Savings Time started this year in the USA on March 14, and in the Czech Republic on March 28.”  You might not have known this is the case, and you might not care, but it is still true.

The claim that abortion is morally wrong is not a statement of preference, it is an objective truth claim.  Let no one mistake that.

Abortion and the New Health Care Bill

a couple links:

Abortion Compromise Doesn’t Satisfy Critics
Statement by the National Right to Life Committee on Abortion “Deal” on Health Care Legislation

Why no one should dismiss the pro-life position as “just religious”

Some people may dismiss pro-life arguments on the ground that they are “religious.”  Scott Klusendorf gives seven reasons why that response is not acceptable:

1) “A non-believer can recognize that human embryos have value in virtue of the kind of thing they are rather than some function they perform” (57).

2) “Second, just because the pro-life view is consistent with a particular religious viewpoint does not mean it can only be defended with arguments exclusive to that viewpoint” (57).  Consider the toddler. . .

3) “Third, the claim that an embryo has value is no more religious than saying an infant or toddler does. . . Indeed, can a thoroughly materialistic (secular) worldview tell us why anything has value or a right to life?” (58).

4) “Fourth, even if we assume the pro-life view is essentially religious why should anyone suppose that religious truth claims don’t count as real knowledge?” (58).

5)  “Fifth, not all faith is bind.  Christianity, for example, teaches trust (knowledge) based on evidence” (59).

6) “Sixth, the “imposing religion” objection is not really an argument, but a ramrod used to silence opposition to abortion” (59).

7) “Finally, I could turn the tables on my secular critic and say, ‘Show me an argument for abortion rights that doesn’t assume some transcendent ground point.’  Here’s the problem for the strict secularist: where does the right to an abortion come from? . . . Most abortion-choice advocates think the right to abortion is fundamental. . .  Yet how can fundamental rights of any kind exist without a transcendent source of authority that grants them?” (60).

An Amusing Paradox

Hi VFLers,

A contact at CareNet is wondering if you VFLers would be interested in giving out client cards for CareNet which describe their services along with their website url.  The idea is to carry a few cards with you when you go off-campus and then leave one or two on a table or bulletin board.  Please email me (include your cpo) if you are interested, so I can get the cards and distribution info to you.

And now here’s a paragraph from Scott Klusendorf’s book:

Secular liberals insist that abortion is a fundamental human right upon which the state should not infridge.  In reply, I once again ask, where did that right to an abortion come from?  In other words, is it a natural right that springs from our nature as human beings, or is it a positive (legal) right granted by government?  If the latter, the abortion-choice advocate cannot really complain that she is wronged if the estate does not permit her to abort.  As stated above, the same government that grants rights can take them away.  On the other hand, if the right to an abortion is a natural right – a right one has in virtue of being human – then the abortion-choice advocate had that right from the moment she came to be, that is, from conception!  Thus, we are left with this amusing paradox: According to the logic of many abortion-choice advocates, unborn women do not have the right to life but they do have a right to an abortion!  Absurd!  In short, secular liberals have difficulty telling us where rights come from or why anyone should have them.  As Hadley Arkes points out, they have talked themselves out of the very natural rights upon which their own freedoms are built.

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, Scott Klusendorf.  p. 63.

Take care.

In honor of President’s Day, here’s an argument from Abraham Lincoln against slavery with clear applicability to the abortion debate:

You say “A” is white and “B” is black.  It is color, then: the lighter having the right to enslave the darker?  Take care.  By this rule, you are a slave to the first man you meet with a fairer skin than you own.

You do not mean color exactly – You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and therefore have the right to enslave them?  Take care again: By this rule you are to be a slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own.

But you say it is a question of interest, and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another.  Very well.  And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. 2 (Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 222.

Tim Tebow’s Pro-Life Ad

It’s hard for me to believe the amount of fuss there was about those 30 seconds. The National Organization for Women deemed the theme Celebrate Family; Celebrate Life “extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.”  This seems to be further bleak evidence of the culture of death that surrounds us.  Somewhat encouraging is the poll that says that Americans, having not yet seen the ad, favored it by a 2-1 margin.  I’m curious to find out the general populace’s opinion having now seen the ad.

You can learn more about the Tebow family’s story here.

Here’s an article by a pro-choice journalist who says that the Tim Tebow ad isn’t intolerant; its critics are.

Development in Utero

Last week, I wrote a little about the embryo so I thought it would be fun this week to share some facts about the development of the baby in utero.  Feel free to add facts that you know in the comments section.

From the moment of conception, the single cell that forms (called a zygote) contains the genetic information for every detail of that new life – the gender, hair and eye color, fingerprints, etc.

By 21 days after fertilization, the baby’s heart (which is then about the size of a poppy seed) begins beating, and early signs of brain development are evident.

At 7 weeks, the baby is 1/3 of an inch long and is making its own blood.  A week later, it is half an inch long and has recognizable elbows and fingers.  Taste buds are forming on the tongue.

At ten weeks, the baby’s brain produces 250,000 new neurons every minute, and can make the baby’s muscles move voluntarily.

At eleven weeks, the baby is obviously recognizable as a human being with distinct body parts and major organ systems developed, though only 2 inches long.  At this point, the baby is known as a fetus, which is Latin for “young one.”

At fourteen weeks, the “young one” can suck his or her thumb.

According to some studies, the baby can feel pain at 18 weeks.

At 24 weeks, the baby ways about 1.5 pounds and can recognize the voice, breathing, and heartbeat of his or her mother.  Babies of this age mayexhibit rapid eye movement, an indication that they are dreaming.

A baby born at 28 weeks is capable of breathing air with the support of intensive care.  Some babies born at only 24 weeks of development have survived.

40 weeks is the due date. . . but only 4% of babies are born on the due date.

On the Embryo

I’ve written quite a few of these weekly posts about arguing for the unborn as human persons and thus deserving the right to life.   I come back to that because everything I read comes to back to that.  Today I want to backtrack a little bit and write about the scientific evidence that shows the unborn to be human beings. (I know, obvious, right?)

“Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species.  There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countess medical, biological, and scientific writings.”*

Scott Klusendorf puts it simply, “In short, you didn’t come from an embryo.  You once were an embryo.  At no point in your prenatal development did you undergo a substantial change or change of nature.”  He then goes onto to argue that the embryo is distinct, living, and whole.  It is distinct in the sense that it is a completely different entity from its parents.  Clearly the embryo is living because it is growing, and it also reacts to stimuli and converts food to energy.  The embryo is a complete or whole human organism rather than a part of one (as some argue), and this is clear because it develops into more mature stages of the human being.   Those who won’t admit that the embryo is human, are put in the awkward situation of having to argue that two humans produce offspring that isn’t human but eventually becomes so.

. . . . .

There is also a new post on the blog with links to various pro-life articles and short videos that I came upon this last week.

* Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981.

Again, this information comes from chapter 2 of the Case for Life by Scott Klusendorf.

More good links.

Sanctity of Human Life week always brings a whole host of good posts in the Christian blogosphere.  I haven’t read everything yet, but I’m passing on these links in good faith:

March for Life 2010 – pictures of pro-lifers in Washington D.C. this past Friday.

Overturning and Undermining Roe v. Wade: An Interview with Clark Forsythe – I found this a very interesting and informative post.  I encourage you to check it out.

Accusing and Excusing for 37 Years is a list of many states’ fetal homicide laws – a sobering reminder of the inconsistency of our nation’s laws regarding the unborn.

Mugged by Ultrasound – an article on why so many abortion workers have turned pro-life

Probably the Most Abortion Targeted Neighborhood in America – “There are so many abortion clinics here that people stand here often times and hand out ten percent discount coupons if they’ll come into their abortion clinic rather than another one.”  Please watch this short video on abortion targeted inner city Los Angeles and Heartbeat International’s initiative to start a pregnancy help clinic on the same street as four abortion clinics.

And I posted the short talk that Esther and I gave in chapel in October, and the short speech from this past Friday on the blog here.