BreakPoint: Zombie Abortion Arguments


John Stonestreet

Some arguments for abortion we hear over and over again. They’re easy to refute, and I’ll tell you how.

In the 1940 movie, “The Ghost Breakers,” Bob Hope’s character asks an expert on the supernatural, played by Richard Carlson, about zombies.

Carlson’s character explains that “a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes, walking around blindly with dead eyes—following orders—not knowing what they do, not caring.”

To which Hope replies: “You mean like Democrats?”

Hope’s political zinger was written long before Democrats became the party of legal abortion, but “zombie” is still a good word to describe the many arguments used by pro-choice activists to defend the destruction of life in the womb. These arguments have already been dispatched and buried, but somehow they keep getting back up and shambling around.

I recently received a critical letter from a BreakPoint listener who resurrected some of these zombie arguments for abortion. The letter claimed that abortion must remain “safe, legal, and rare,” because there is simply no alternative.

Let me respond: abortion is never “safe.” If it’s successful, someone dies: namely, the child in the womb. And, it frequently leaves the mother with medical and psychological consequences. One study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that between 40 and 60 percent of women reported having negative reactions to their abortions, including guilt, nervous disorders, sleep disturbances, and regrets.

And the idea that abortion can be legal and remain rare is also a myth. In many parts of the country, the so-called “right to choose” is used like birth control. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just in New York City, one in three babies is aborted. In total, over half a million babies are aborted annually in the United States alone. If we’re talking about the taking of innocent life, how rare is rare?

Another zombie abortion argument brought up in the letter we received is that financial hardship or the immaturity of the parents justifies the termination of a pregnancy. In other words, a baby born into tough circumstances would be better off dead.

But as my friend Scott Klusendorf points out, if financial hardship or immaturity of the parents are sufficient reasons to kill a child in the womb, wouldn’t they also be sufficient reasons to kill a child ouside of the womb? Nobody thinks parents can dispose of their two-year-old because they can’t afford her!

That’s why the central question when it comes to abortion would be the same one you should ask if your ten-year old son yells from outside “Hey, can I kill this?” Wouldn’t your answer be, “wait, what is ‘this’?”

If the answer is indeed a human, then no circumstance, no matter how tough, justifies that killing.

The most persistent zombie argument for abortion is that pro-lifers only care about babies when they’re still in the womb—that we preach from our ivory towers but we won’t get our hands dirty taking care of those little lives. Folks, that’s nonsense.

Pro-life pregnancy care centers provide mothers (and fathers) with counseling, training, financial support, baby supplies, and other help. These centers now outnumber abortion clinics at least two-to-one, maybe more.

And Christians are more than twice as likely to adopt as their secular neighbors. According to research published in the Almanac of American Philanthropy, religious Americans are significantly more likely to give to both religious and nonreligious charities than their secular counterparts. And their favorite charities are those that provide basic social services and healthcare.

Look, is there more that we can do? Of course there is. But this idea that pro-lifers don’t care about or seek to help children who are born into tough circumstances—that we won’t put our money or our time where our mouths are—it’s just not true. I’m always grateful to hear from our listeners, but it’s time to put these zombie arguments for abortion to rest—hopefully this time permanently.


Zombie Abortion Arguments: Pro-Death Ideas that Never Die

As John highlighted, pro-lifers are more than able to refute the oft-resurrected abortion arguments. For books that deal specifically with this issue, check out the resources linked below. They’re all available in the online bookstore.


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