The horror of abortion seems to appear daily and in ever deadlier form in the nation’s headlines as states across the country pledge their support for late-term abortion laws. These laws would essentially allow for abortion right up until the moment a child is born. New laws in New York and Rhode Island, as well as proposed legislation in Virginia and Illinois, represent a new chapter in the pro-abortion movement, which endeavors to make the womb the most unsafe place for any baby in the United States. The totality of the English language fails to describe the utterly chilling and abhorrent barbarity of the pro-abortion movement’s agenda.
Pro-choice advocates have typically not openly defended abortion rights during the third-trimester. Nevertheless, the truth was revealed when the pro-abortion movement vociferously opposed even a ban on partial-birth abortion. Most Americans – even most who say they favor some form of abortion rights -- maintained that if a baby could survive outside the mother’s womb, protection should be granted.
That has changed. The inevitable outcome of the pro-abortion worldview leads to abortion on demand at any moment of the pregnancy. States should, according to this radical dogma, protect a woman’s right to abort at any time for any reason of her health—health being defined not only as life and death, but emotional and mental. The deadly logic of the pro-abortion movement took an even deadlier turn these past weeks.
The story, however, does not end there. As we will see, the insanity of these new late-term abortion laws has left in their wake moral confusion and degeneracy in the criminal justice system.
In 2004, a jury convicted Scott Peterson for not one, but two murders. Peterson murdered his pregnant wife that also led to the death of his unborn son, Conner. The indictment and subsequent conviction for two murders meant that, in the public’s eye, the unborn child also counted as a life worthy of the justice system’s protection. The unborn child had been murdered even as his mother was murdered.
Before the ink could dry on New York’s “Reproductive Health Act,” a story appeared in the New York Times that reported, “As Democrats in New York last month celebrated Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s signing of a law expanding abortion rights in the state, anti-abortion campaigners predicted it would eliminate criminal penalties for violence that ends women’s pregnancies. The debate resurfaced over the weekend after the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, cited the new law… as the reason for dropping an abortion charge against a man who the police say fatally stabbed his former girlfriend when she was 14 weeks pregnant.”
The speed of the moral revolution is dizzying—days after the passage of this comprehensive abortion law, the criminal justice system dropped its case to protect the life of the unborn. This culture of death, in the matter of days, has radically redefined the moral compass of the nation.
The “Reproductive Health Act” effectively removed abortion from the state’s penal code. The law, therefore, secures abortion virtually on demand at any moment of pregnancy when it is claimed that the woman’s health is at risk. In other words, a woman can demand an abortion when she fells that the child would disrupt her emotional or mental state.
Furthermore, when New York expunged abortion from the state’s criminal code, it consequently denied the personhood of any human not yet born. No crime could now conceivably exist for killing an unborn baby because New York has revoked humanness from the unborn. Unborn babies are non-persons according to New York. Non-persons can be murdered without any legal consequences, even if the death resulted from the murder of the baby’s own pregnant mother.
The sponsors of the New York legislation attempted to assuage their opponents by assuring them that, under current law, “physical attacks that end pregnancies can be prosecuted as first-degree assault which carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years.” That kind of argument deliberately avoids the crux of the issue and still denies the dignity of an unborn human life. Only the life of the mother matters in New York. Only an assault on her person is of consequence to the moral order of the pro-abortion agenda. An unborn child is not a human and as such, is undeserving of any legal protection.
This in no way detracts from the importance of laws that protect women from violence and assault. The issue is the diabolical avoidance on the matter of the unborn. The moral scheme of the pro-abortion movement has swept the rights of the unborn under the rug—unborn babies are not persons; their lives can be terminated, even up to their due date, without any legal ramifications. The new law was passed in New York, its passage was cheered with loud commotion, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it proudly into law – and all with deadly deliberateness.
The Christian worldview asserts the sinfulness of all abortion at any point during the pregnancy. The Scriptures proclaim the sanctity of life from fertilization, to birth, and through every phase of life until natural death. Human life is an extension of God’s glorious grace—he has made every single human being in his own image according to the purpose of his will. As the Scriptures say, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14).
The pro-abortion movement has sown a culture of death. It attempts to destroy and to deny the sanctity of life and the consequences are now clear to see. This is what happens when a society jettisons the moral code enshrined in every human as an extension of God’s common grace. The news in recent days reveals the inevitable outcome of this culture of death. Unless this march to death is reversed, the headlines will only become more horrifying and even deadlier.
This article draws from the February 13th edition of The Briefing. To listen to the full episode, click here. To subscribe to The Briefing–Dr. Mohler’s daily podcast that serves as an analysis of news and events–click here.