There are possibly no two words more dehumanizing in social and academic speculation than “evolution” and “abortion.” Both terms devalue human existence. If humans simply evolved from a lower life form, then they are ultimately of no more intrinsic worth than other living creatures. When God’s view of the sanctity of each human being is devalued, including the life of an unborn child, then the life of society as a whole can only be diminished.
A recent article by the editorial board of The New York Times related to abortion, rather than affirming a reputation for the Time’s social progressivism, is decidedly retrogressive. The opinion piece discusses the legal ramifications of recognizing the “personhood” of a child within the womb.
“The creation of the legal scaffolding for the idea that the fetus is a person has been the steady work of the anti-abortion movement.… Today, at least 38 states and the federal government have so-called fetal homicide laws, which treat the fetus as a potential crime victim separate and apart from the woman who carries it…. A society that embraces a legal concept of fetal personhood would necessarily compromise existing ideals of individual freedom.”
In brutally simple language, this is an argument for designating a child in the womb as “property” rather than as a person. It should be pointed out that America went down that morally reprehensible road well over 150 years ago when slaves were legally denied the protection of personhood but recognized by the courts as property in an effort to protect the “individual freedom” of slave owners.
Legal arguments denying personhood to slaves (human beings as property) are much the same as denying “personhood” to an unborn child. Like pro-abortion advocates today, the advocates of slavery argued that abolitionists were infringing on the individual rights of those invested in a slave economy when arguing for full personhood of slaves. Prior to secession, courts upheld property rights over human rights. Even though our history provided a correction through war and legislation, we still suffer the consequences of viewing human life as something less than the Creator intended.
William Turner is an adjunct instructor at IBC, along with his wife, Elizabeth. They ministered for 36 years as UPCI missionaries, first in South Korea, and then to the 15 nations of the former Soviet Union where he served as area coordinator under the regional leadership of Robert K. Rodenbush.