Trojan Horses

In The Iliad, the Greek poet Homer described how the ancient Greeks, seeking to conquer Troy, constructed a huge wooden horse and left it outside Troy’s gates. The Trojans, believing the horse to be a parting gift, pulled it inside their gates. But as darkness fell, Greek soldiers hiding inside the horse climbed out, opened the gates, and let the Greek army inside to conquer Troy. The story is a warning to beware of people who appear to be bearing gifts, and Christians ought to keep this story in mind as the Senate begins debating the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Pro-abortion senators are bringing what appears to be a prolife gift to the Senate floor. But look a little closer, and you’ll see that this "gift" is nothing but a modern-day Trojan horse—one that would hand the victory to abortionists. For example, Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota has led the fight to kill the ban on partial-birth abortion. But in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece, Daschle said he was planning to offer what appears to be prolife gift: He’s proposing an alternative to the ban that would, he claims, ban not only partial-birth abortions but other methods of late-term abortion as well. Daschle says that his proposal will ban partial-birth abortions in the third trimester. But his bill would allow unrestricted partial-birth abortions in the second trimester—a time when the vast majority of partial-birth abortions are performed on fully viable fetuses. Daschle says he will offer restrictions on partial-birth abortion after the fetus reaches "viability." But as National Right to Life points out, comments Daschle has made suggest "that he will give the abortionist complete authority to declare if a baby is ‘viable’—and at what stage in the pregnancy this occurs." Even if Daschle revises his bill to define "viability" in objective terms, his proposal would still place no real restriction on abortion. That’s because his amendment will also contain a broad health-of-the-mother clause—one that would give the abortionist the absolute legal authority to decide when this provision applies. In effect, Daschle’s bill is a license from Congress to abortionists—one that would allow them to perform partial-birth abortions and third-trimester abortions with complete impunity. Sometimes Christians ask me why I keep revisiting the abortion issue on BreakPoint. "What’s the big deal?" these folks ask. Abortion is a big deal because essential to the Christian view of life is the notion that the power over life and death belongs to God alone. Abortion is an egregious rebellion against God because it turns pregnant women into gods themselves. And once you define liberty as the right to take a life, you unravel not just the Christian world view but also America’s social contract. Where do you stop? The House of Representatives has already passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act by a veto-proof margin. The Senate is within a handful of votes of achieving the same victory. Please, call your senators and tell them: Vote for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. And tell them not to be fooled by the Daschle proposal. It’s a proposal that leaves loopholes big enough to drive a Trojan horse through. The Daschle proposal was defeated 64-36. On May 20, the Senate passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act 64-36, three votes short of a veto-proof majority. Mr. Daschle ultimately voted to support the bill.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary