are ongoing state battles involving abortion, including fights
over parental notice and parental consent laws. And there’s
proposed protection for unborn children under state criminal and
civil laws outside the abortion context as in the Laci Peterson
case, for example, where unborn children are the victims of crime.
Two pro-abortion groups (the Center for Reproductive Rights and
the American Civil Liberties Union) filed suit to stop the partial-birth
abortion legislation from becoming law even before President Bush
signed it in November.
Partial-birth abortion is really infanticide.
idea that abortion is going to go away is wishful thinking.
PE: What pending
legislation should Christians know about?
A lot of state legislation is designed to stop cloning from happening.
Related to that are efforts to create cross species or hybrids
in which partial human genes and animal genes are mixed to try
to get something that works. There are military and scientific
implications. Anytime there is potential, there is a market ready
to exploit it.
There are two competing cloning bills. The Brownback bill (which
has passed the House, but not the Senate) prohibits human cloning.
The Feinstein bill allows cloning for stem-cell research purposes.
This could be a big issue in the not-too- distant future.
There are lots of sources of human stem cells: human bone marrow,
fat and other tissues. One source that is controversial is taking
human embryos themselves and harvesting their stem cells at the
beginning of life. The problem is that it kills them. No one yet
has been helped medically in any way by embryonic stem cells.
Meanwhile, in vitro fertilization creates the problem of hundreds
of thousands of “leftover” stem cells sitting someplace.
What are permissible ways to respond to this “refrigerator
surplus”? I hope measures will be taken to try to prevent
the problem from expanding further. It’s still routine for
in vitro fertilization practitioners to produce more offspring
than they can possibly implant in a woman. They do that to increase
their margin of success, but it leaves leftover children lying
around frozen — souls on ice.
Another battleground is the Laci Peterson type of legislation
in terms of prosecuting those who do harm to unborn children.
Anyone who kills a pregnant woman or causes the death of her unborn
child could be charged with murder.
There are pieces of pro-life state legislation that would regulate
abortion clinics. If we can mandate ultrasound and informed consent
before a woman chooses to terminate a life it would be a great
With improved technology that has extended life, both for premature
babies and the very old, why doesn’t this country have a
stronger ethic valuing all life?
The sanctity of life principle is only found in the Judeo-Christian
ethic. It’s not in any other religion or philosophy. But
since the 1950s there has been a loss of the Judeo-Christian ethic,
which affects how people think about life. The general media and
public schools no longer hold to the idea that people are created
by God. This philosophy, which is in the Declaration of Independence,
for example, is denied on a daily basis in the public schools
of America. What people are taught — or not taught —
they act out later in life. If we buy into the theory of evolution
— that we’re just animals anyway — it’s
easy to do away with not only unborn children, but also those
who become “obsolete.”
have bought into the mind-set that life is simply a progressive
survival of the fittest, a very Darwinian view. We’ve made
a philosophical shift and now define life in terms of quality:
Let’s do an economic, convenient, functional analysis rather
than protecting life as an inalienable right. If we have an evolutionary
theory we will never have an absolute ethic. We can always gerrymander
the circumstances to allow for the destruction of life. This country
must recapture the reality that life is a true gift of the Creator.
Americans in their hearts and minds took a position on abortion
long before sonograms and other technological advances came along
to allow us to see the fetus during the different stages of development.
The next generation will be more pro-life because they will know
more about the development of the fetus in the womb.
If technology continues to advance we could see the average life
span increase to 120 years. But there will be a tremendous movement
to suppress longevity because of the economic problems it would
bring. The same goes for babies that weigh less than 1,000 grams.
The policy in most hospitals is to throw them away. The reasons
I think this country does have a strong ethic on valuing life.
A big problem is with euphemisms spread by people who have a vested
financial or political interest. I’m hopeful that
what ultimately dooms the abortion industry is the testimony of
women who have had an abortion. If women come forward and say,
“This is the worst mistake I ever made in my life; no one
else should have to suffer this kind of misery,” then it
wouldn’t keep going.
Why are so many organizations seemingly bent on shortening or
ending the lives of some people?
These organizations really are against everything the Judeo-Christian
ethic stands for. There’s one issue to resolve: Are we God
or is God really God? If God is God, then we ought to allow Him
to determine when life begins and ends. When we have questions,
we ought to revert to Scripture, not technology.
There is a huge financial interest in maintaining the legality
of abortion. When people do something they feel bad about they
want to justify it, and one of the ways they do that is to get
other people to do it. Another reason is that it’s in a
lot of people’s interest for a woman to have an abortion:
the boyfriend who doesn’t want to take responsibility for
the child; parents who are embarrassed by their teenage daughter’s
pregnancy; the employer who says, “If you want to keep your
job you better not be pregnant.”
People who hate God hate His image. Millions of dollars are being
made from abortion.
T. Burton Pierce
to Integrity, Student
to Integrity, Leader
here or call
PE: What is encouraging
on the sanctity of life front?
More and more women are standing up and speaking with authority
in the public sphere about their abortions. When a woman gets
up and says, “I’ve had an abortion and it put me through
hell; no one should go through this,” it’s extremely
The most encouraging thing is this generational shift of attitudes.
It’s amazing to see how this younger generation is tired
of the morality of convenience that their parents have. Polls
show at least 70 percent of Americans oppose partial-birth abortion,
and we’ve been able to shine a spotlight on exactly what
that procedure entails. When Americans understand the reality
of “regular” abortion they’ll be equally appalled.
30 years of legalized abortion we can now definitely say that
abortion harms women physically, mentally and emotionally. Thousands
of women are saying they regret their abortions.
there’s not a lot that’s encouraging. There is virtually
no pro-life movement anymore. In the early 1980s there was activism
and picketing of clinics. The pro-life movement was a moving target.
But the pro-life movement now is largely confined to fund-raising
banquets. Crisis pregnancy centers do good things, but it’s
a shadow of what the movement used to be. No longer do you regularly
see 30 or 40 Christians protesting in front of an abortion clinic.
As a result of the Clinton era, people retreated and gave up.
Today, a lot of people who had been enthusiastic pro-lifers have
gone into semi-hiding. It’s a sad thing to see.
PE: What can Christians
do to help on all these issues?
Christians need to become better educated on the emerging sanctity
of life issues, primarily stem-cell research and cloning. What
grieves me is that it took years for Christians to really catch
on to what was happening with abortion and by then it had already
been decided. We can’t allow that to happen in the cloning
and stem cell areas.
We need to expose abortionists by picketing their offices and
homes to let others know that they murder children. I encourage
pastors and Sunday School teachers to show pictures of children
in the mid trimester, pictures that are banned in abortion facilities
now. Students aren’t going to be taught about it in public
One of the most important things people can do is inform themselves.
People don’t realize to what extent the abortion industry
has entrenched itself in this country. People don’t realize
how many politicians are beholden to the abortion industry. There
is much powerful documentary evidence available about pro-abortion
myths from groups such as the Elliot Institute (www.afterabortion.org).
need to teach children their First Amendment right to picket legally.
That gets the issue out in public, where the pro-choice movement
doesn’t want it. Children need to understand the ramification
of where our pro-death culture is headed. There will be no sanctity
of human life at all. Our children need to be taught not to compromise
their values, as many Christians do when they gain political power.
Also we need to pray for and work hard for elected representatives
and judges who will see this as the most important moral issue
facing our society. If judges are vehemently against the sanctity
of life I pray that God removes them from office.
a lot of apathy in the church. Life issues are much broader than
abortion. Christians need to be prayerful about affirming a culture
of life. Christians must be engaged in the culture, vote on critical
issues and fund those who are in the battle. We lost most of the
earlier battles because Christians didn’t show up. We abdicated
our responsibility. Now that we have lawyers who are trained in
these areas we need to maintain momentum. God’s people need
to repent of their nonchalance and apathy. After they give to
their church, Christians should give to organizations involved
in this battle.
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