Irish politician Lucinda Creighton made a powerful case against abortion on 1st July 2013. The full text of the speech can be read here. Creighton warns of the corrosive power of “group-think”:
It seems that if you do not succumb to the accepted view that abortion is a “liberal issue”, a “women’s rights issue”, a cornerstone of the “progressive agenda”, then you are deemed to be a backward, illiberal, Neanderthal fundamentalist who belongs to a different era. The distinct irony of this prevailing view, is that it is so illiberal in its intolerance of any alternative outlook.”
She then goes on to argue that she is opposed to abortion because she is “very much in favour of women’s rights”
But by that I mean all women. Not just adults or adolescents or children – I mean babies too.The sad reality, as we look around the globe at how women’s rights are advocated, promoted and defended, it is clear to me that abortion is in fact, often a tool for the oppression of women.
This is a well-argued, rational speech – and a courageous one too. It is worth listening to in full.
We have a lengthy, in-depth review of Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen’s “Embryo: A Defence of Human Life” here, which summarises some key pro-life arguments. (It also has a discussion of the relationship between soul and body, but this can be safely skipped for those uninterested in theological technicalities!)
The Westminster Declaration of Christian Conscience, which merely outlines the orthodox Christian view of ethics, states that:
We pledge to work to protect the life of every human being from conception to its natural end and we refuse to comply with any directive that compels us to participate in or facilitate abortion, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any other act that involves intentionally taking innocent human life. We will support those who take the same stand.
However, the case against abortion can be made on secular grounds. John B Londregan makes such a case here. Helen Watt gives an excellent summary of the case against abortion here. Erika Bachiochi dismantles a key pro-choice argument (from the right to bodily autonomy) here, and then goes on to demolish another:
The feminist hope that liberalized abortion would usher in a new era in which women would enjoy sexual and reproductive autonomy akin to that enjoyed by men is simply illusory. While abortion has freed men further from the consequences of the potentially procreative sexual act, women must act affirmatively—and destructively—if they are to imitate male reproductive autonomy. Indeed, coupled with the documented harm of abortion to women, a whole cottage industry of scholarship has arisen of late to document the anti-woman reality of non-marital sex. It’s time for women to recognize that self-respect requires that they disentangle themselves from the culture’s current male-centered mode of sexuality. Just as the men followed us into the woods, they’ll follow us out.
There are good Christian arguments against abortion and I think it is important to use opportunities to contrast the secular view of man with the Biblical view. Touchstone magazine makes a compelling case here ; and a particularly good piece “Abortion and the Voice of Scripture” can be read here. Finally, Ravi Zacharias gives a very brief, very thoughtful, and very Christian response to abortion below: