Have you ever been asked a question where the answer changed your life? An audience member once told me about a time she applied to work at a chastity missionary organization in America. During the interview she was asked, “If we don’t accept you for this position, what else would you do?” Without skipping a beat she answered, “I’d go to Africa and work with the poor.” Later that day she couldn’t get that question—and her answer—out of her mind. She realized what her true heart’s desire was, she withdrew her application, and went to Africa to serve the poor. Just as how answering one question led this young woman down a path very different from her original plan, I believe applying the power of questions to the abortion debate can help those who answer realize that Roe v. Wade, far from being a good legal decision, is actually against reason.
Here are questions we can ask:
1. From what point are we measuring viability?
When discussing Roe v. Wade, people often talk about viability, some arguing that abortion is acceptable if the child cannot survive outside the womb. It is generally considered that a pre-born child is viable around 24 weeks. But consider the label 24 weeks—and what that implies: To get to 24 weeks implies we started counting the passage of time 24 weeks prior. So what happened then? Sperm-egg fusion, otherwise known as fertilization. Since we are counting time from there, that is actually a concession that life does not begin at 24 weeks but rather 24 weeks prior.
2. If abortion is allowed for a woman’s life after viability, why not bring the child out alive rather than dead?
Abortion supporters will often point out that abortion after viability sometimes “needs” to happen because a pregnant woman will die without an abortion. Since, at such later stages of pregnancy, the child could survive outside the womb, why kill the child? Why not remove the living child and place him or her in an incubator?
3. Does a negative pregnancy test result ever lead to an abortion?
We know the answer is “obviously not.” So what is it that a positive test is telling a woman? It is indicating that the pregnant woman’s body is not the only body present; rather, that there is another individual present. And just who is that individual? A child. And not just any child. Her child. So a related question we must ask is this: What do civil societies expect of parents? Don’t we expect parents to care for their offspring, not kill their offspring?
4. If abortion is about a woman’s right to her own body, when does the right begin?
Several years ago, The Economist magazine had a cover story about 100 million women missing from the world as a result of sex-selective abortion and infanticide. Isn’t it interesting that abortion is often touted as being pro-female and yet so many females are being destroyed in the womb precisely because their sex chromosomes are xx? Don’t pre-born females have a right to their bodies?
5. What is the legal standard when a woman sentenced to death is pregnant?
Every American state in which the death penalty is legal prohibits the execution of pregnant women. Moreover, the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Sentence of death shall not …be carried out on pregnant women.” People sometimes debate whether guilty individuals should get the death penalty, but people always agree that innocent individuals should not get the death penalty. To withhold capital punishment from a guilty woman for the sole reason that she is pregnant is to make a concession that within her body is an innocent child.
6. What do abortion procedures and promoters tell us about abortion?
In the National Abortion Federation’s textbook on abortion (“A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion”) in chapter 10 (co-authored by abortionist Martin Haskell) it refers to “Fetocidal Techniques.” What is the meaning of the root word “cide”? It means to kill. We do not kill that which is not living. So to speak of killing the fetus is yet another admission about the pre-born child: Namely, that she is living.
That chapter on D & E abortions after 12 weeks also refers to “some pregnancy elements” such as “the spinal cord and calvarium.” Spinal cord and calvarium of who? Clearly not the pregnant woman. Those are the body parts of the child. If we acknowledge these major parts of the child, all the more shouldn’t we acknowledge the child to whom they belong?
Next, while Planned Parenthood is known for committing abortions, interestingly even they, several decades ago, made a startling admission: In a 1952 brochure of theirs on birth control they answered the question, “Is [birth control] abortion?” by saying, “Definitely not…An abortion… kills the life of a baby after it has begun.”
7. What became of Roe in Roe v. Wade?
Most people are unaware that the very woman, Norma McCorvey, who is represented as the Roe in Roe v. Wade, never had the abortion that brought her case to the Supreme Court to begin with. Moreover, she later became pro-life and wanted the decision reversed.
8. What is the greatest love—and its opposite?
These are questions asked over at abort73. From a Christian perspective, the greatest love is seen in the person of Jesus Christ: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13) and “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19). Even the non-religious accept this standard; citing, for example, the firefighters who ran into the burning buildings on 9-11. Their actions were also an example of the greatest love. If the greatest love says, “This is my body given for you” then the opposite of the greatest love says, “This is your body given for me.” Whereas motherhood selflessly declares, “This is my body given for you,” its opposite, reflected in abortion, selfishly demands, “This is your body given for me.”