12 Responses to Abortion in the Case of Rape?

  1. Timothy Kleiser October 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Dr. Hamilton,

    This is a great way to frame a response! I think this could turn the conversation into a more positive direction. However, I anticipate that abortion advocates would turn your statement around and say something like,

    “For me, it’s also a question of the golden rule. If I was raped and forced to carry an illegitimate child, then I would want my individual freedom to terminate the pregnancy. So, I support other people having the choice.”

    In fact, I’ve been given this response more times than I can count. How would you respond to such a rebuttal?

    • JMH October 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      That child’s right to live takes precedence over your right not to be pregnant. Please carry the child to term, and if you don’t want the child, place the baby for adoption. The child doesn’t deserve to be executed because of the sins of its father.

      • Timothy Kleiser October 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

        I wholeheartedly agree! And I typically respond in a similar way. Unfortunately, my entreaties often fall on apathetic ears because they have either bought the lie that the unborn do not deserve personhood-status or they are willfully ignorant. In either case, I have offered a variation of Pascal’s Wager:

        1. Either life does begin at conception or it does not.
        2. Everyone must wager–it is not optional.
        3. If you choose to abort, you are wagering a child’s life. If you choose to carry the child to term, you are wagering 9 months.
        4. Let us then wager against that which carries the greater risk of loss. If we err, we have erred on the side of life.

        Of course, there is a stronger theological case to be made, but I have found this to be helpful when speaking to those who won’t entertain biblical arguments. What are your thoughts on this formulation? How could it be improved?

      • patricklmitchell October 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

        Dr. Hamilton, I think your response is a good one. I think the follow up raises the issue of the great need for adoptive families and foster families in our churches. My hope is that one day the loudest voices against abortion will be the ones waiting to adopt the babies who are not wanted.

    • steve hays October 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      Timothy Kleiser

      “For me, it’s also a question of the golden rule. If I was raped and forced to carry an illegitimate child, then I would want my individual freedom to terminate the pregnancy. So, I support other people having the choice.”

      Why don’t you apply the golden rule to babies? Keep in mind, too, that the mother was a baby once.

  2. J Poland October 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    We do see this antagonistic question often. You have provided us with a helpful, cogent response. When I have fielded this question I have often replied, “Do you always focus on the 1%?”
    I hadnt thought of our own non-involvement in our creation. Since none of us were personally involved with our conception, shouldn’t we extend basic care and protection to all in the womb.

  3. Dan Phillips October 30, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    My briefer response has been, “For what other crimes would you execute the criminal’s child?”

  4. Austin DeArmond November 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Dr. Hartley, associate professor of Bible and Theology at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham summed it up for me:

    “Why do you believe in abortion in the cases of rape and incest? This caveat of “exceptions” for abortion negates any pro-life stance. How does murdering an unborn baby, as the product of a rape or incest, do justice to the rape victim? How does this not do a terrible injustice to the unborn victim? How does murder of the innocent unborn somehow justify or at least ameliorate a woman’s rape? Do two wrongs make a right? And does the greater wrong, murder, somehow rectify a lesser evil, rape? And how does the murder of an unborn baby carry out justice for the crime of rape by the actual perpetrator? He goes free. Would it be a violation of double-jeopardy to then punish the rapist since the unborn baby has apparently been sentenced to death for the rapist’s crime? And when does rape call for the death penalty anyway? The philosophically vacuous “exceptions” for abortion by [politicians] and others are unacceptable. We need a coherent and consistent statement that respects all innocent life, especially the most vulnerable and, in the case of the “exceptions,” the most politically expendable.”

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