Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Abortion is the 'Slavery' of our Time

Slavery is an abominable practice that scars the history of our nation. Sadly there was a time when Americans actually supported the practice of importing and selling human beings as though they were property. Today, perhaps, we have overcome this troubling part of America's past as we witness this week the swearing in of the first African American to the Presidency. Is this then a new and more civilized age, when all persons are treated as equals and each human being is afforded the dignity they deserve as a child of God? Are we now at a time and place when all men are treated as brothers?

Unfortunately, not.

Ironically, President Obama, the man who
to many symbolizes America's triumph over the brutality of slavery and racism, is the current champion of the gruesome practice of abortion. It is difficult to imagine that in this "more civilized" age something as equally cruel and dehumanizing as slavery could exist in our nation and remain protected by our laws. Yet in many respects abortion possesses an uncanny resemblance to the slave trade of more than 150 years ago. We have exchanged one barbaric practice for another. Below I have listed a few arguments frequently used by pro-abortionists today which were also popular among supporters of slavery in years past. The similarities are striking.

1) “It is not really a human being.”
How many times do we hear this line from those who are pro-choice? They produce charts and diagrams and panels of experts that “prove” that the fetus is not a person. It is a "scientific" fact, they tell us.
Similarly the pro-slavery crowd had charts and graphs and expert testimony. There was a whole branch of science that measured skull size, placement of facial features, and other physical attributes to prove that blacks were less than human and therefore not worthy of the same rights as whites. It strikes me as rather frightening that the definition of “human” continues to be up for grabs, even according to the supposed “experts.”

2) “It is better for them this way than to be thrust out into the cruel world.”
Many slave owners genuinely felt they were doing their slaves a favor by keeping them in bondage, shielding them from the harsh cruelty of the outside world. Of course this is ludicrous. The real cruelty is to deny a person the right to experience the world with the freedom that God intended.
Yet abortion advocates argue along much the same line as the slaveholders. “How can I bring a child into this world when there is so much hate and violence and evil?” or “Some birth defects and deformities are simply so severe that the child would not have a good quality of life. It is more merciful to terminate the pregnancy” Just as slave masters pretended that they were protecting slaves from a harsh reality, so too pro-abortionists claim that some babies are just better off not being born.

3) “To end this practice now would devastate the people who so depend on it.”
The end of slavery was a severe blow to white Southerners who profited so greatly from this evil practice. It meant rethinking how their agrarian society operated. It meant reconfiguring Southern social structures and institutions (which took another hundred years and a civil rights movement). With the end of slavery, slaveholders saw their whole world crashing down around them.
With similar fears in mind, the left paints a picture of life without legalized abortion that includes “back alley” procedures with dirty instruments and botched abortions, causing the deaths of countless women and young girls. They also claim abortion benefits society by ridding us of unwanted children and children who would otherwise grow up in poverty or single parent homes. In short abortion supposedly makes our society function better and without it we would all suffer. But in the case of both slavery and abortion, the oppression of a whole race of people and the slaughter of innocent life somehow both fail to persuade me of their benefits.

4) “It is an ancient practice that has served humanity well.”
According to the Planned Parenthood website, “Women have turned to abortion to end unwanted pregnancies throughout the ages. In the U.S., induced abortion was common among Native Americans, and it was legal from colonial times to the middle of the 19th century.” Likewise slavery was an institution that many cultures around the world utilized throughout the centuries.
But this does NOT make either practice morally justifiable! History can teach us a lot of good and valuable lessons. And there are many traditions and longstanding institutions that we would all do well to preserve. But simply appealing to history without giving context to your argument can cause us to falsely justify many evils that are in reality quite barbaric.

5) “My rights are being violated.”
The “Underground Railroad,” that secret network of safe houses created by abolitionists that successfully liberated slaves in the pre-Civil War South by bringing them into the North, was loathed by the white slave masters. They saw the runaway slave as private property and anyone assisting a slave to escape was a common criminal trampling his rights of ownership.
The pro-life protesters of today form a new Underground Railroad of sorts on the sidewalks outside abortion clinics across America. Saving unborn infants and their mothers, they too offer “safe houses” and shelters and roads leading to the freedom of choosing life. And in performing this duty they are accused of infringing on the rights of women, and the rights of the clinic and of its employees. This new Underground Railroad is fighting a whole system that is dependant on more and more women choosing death. It is their "Constitutional right" and the pro-lifers are attacking that "right."
But the right to LIFE of the unborn child is never mentioned, just as the slave’s right to LIBERTY was always ignored.

Now, slavery and abortion are not alike in every way. I do not mean to draw such a bold conclusion. There are many issues that set the two apart. But one thing that makes both so devastating is the permanence of their effects. A slave who has been freed cannot get back the years lost in captivity, nor can we restore the life of a child once torn from her mother’s womb.


  1. Awesome! Brilliant! Wonderfully written! Better than I could ever say it! You amaze me! What a great article and analysis of the situation in our country. Thank you so much for posting this! You seriously need to submit this to the Democrat or a local Catholic paper for publication as an editorial! It is too good to be kept hidden!

  2. I submitted the article to both the Democrat and the Criterion...just as you suggested. We'll see what happens. I had to make a couple of adjustments since it will run after the week of the Inauguration, but otherwise I sent it as-is.
    Thanks for reading...