2018 is the Year of Justice at Human Coalition, and we’ll spend this year exploring why abortion shouldn’t be framed as some sort of political issue – it is a spiritual issue, a family issue, a justice issue.
I usually hesitate to use the word issue when describing abortion, because it may cause some people to think abortion is somehow morally equal to other “issues” such as taxes, a border wall, or FISA memos.
To accurately describe what abortion in America is, I usually use the term genocide. And, as noted by the quote below, the phrase “abortion genocide” typically isn’t received well by the public:
“When you refer to abortion as ‘genocide,’ you sound like an idiot. And you degrade and demean those people groups who have ACTUALLY been victims of genocide, like Jews, Armenians, and Rwandans.”
I receive comments like this on the Human Coalition blog and in person with some frequency.
Yet I don’t think there is a better descriptor for the 60 million preborn children whose lives have been snuffed out as our culture continues to bow to the god of sex – a god who demands human sacrifice as a fundamental act of worship.
So is it accurate to refer to American abortion as genocide?
The general definition of genocide is “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”
Deliberate killing – elective abortion is most certainly deliberate. Sometimes the mother makes the decision, although oftentimes the baby’s father or another family member coerces the decision. Either way, the killing of the child is premeditated and deliberate.
A large group of people – 60 million dead children since 1973 certainly qualifies as a large group – more so than many genocides in world history. The pro-abortion movement would vehemently disagree with (and, in fact, hang their argument on) the use of the word people in this definition. Pro-abortion advocates claim that human beings inside the womb are not “people” and thus are disqualified from this definition.
I’ve never heard a cogent argument for what a human “non-person” being might be. Regardless, I’ve argued in my previous writings that we have intrinsic and priceless value because we are human – not because of any other criteria. We have value because we are members of the human race regardless of our age, level of development, degree of dependency, size, race, color, physical or mental disability, or whether or not some other human being has assigned us the rather nebulous concept of “personhood.”
Thus, the definition of genocide still aptly applies, since preborn humans are full members of the human race. If you still aren’t sure, then consider why when a pregnant woman is murdered, the murderer is generally accused of double homicide.
Especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation – The idea here is that genocide is carried out by a group in power against a victim group that shares certain characteristics. In the case of preborn children, common characteristics include their size, location (inside their mother’s womb), age, and vulnerability.
Abortion in America is thus quite correctly referred to as the worst genocide in American history.
The challenge is we don’t always allow ourselves to think of abortion in those terms, and our country certainly doesn’t act accordingly.
Why is this?
Because there may be a huge chasm between our pro-life beliefs and our pro-life behaviors.There may be a huge chasm between our pro-life beliefs and our pro-life behaviors. Click To Tweet
When we claim to be “pro-life,” we are claiming that we value human life inside the womb the same as human life outside the womb. The zygote is as valuable as the adult. The fetal human has the same value as the teenager.
This is a foreign concept to many people, even those who may claim to be against abortion.
And that’s because we rarely ask ourselves how we’d act if a 5-year-old’s life were in danger compared to how we act when a baby in the womb is in danger.
If 3,000 kindergartners were being slaughtered on playgrounds across America every day, how would we respond? How would our churches respond? The government?If 3,000 kindergartners were being slaughtered on playgrounds across America every day, how would we respond? How would our churches respond? The government? Click To Tweet
These questions require personal introspection. If we honestly answer that we respond differently to rescuing those two groups, then we must then ask ourselves why. And we must be careful about referring to ourselves as “pro-life.” If we are truly pro-life, our behaviors must align with our beliefs, and our practices must align with our policies.Our behaviors must align with our beliefs, and our practices must align with our policies. Click To Tweet
If we truly believe that human life inside the womb has the same value as human life outside of it, then we must confront the fact that America’s worst genocide continues relentlessly, while “pro-life” governments, churches, and communities remain distracted by issues that are not life-threatening and far less important.