Editorial: Killing a child for the father's crime?

Editorial: Killing a child for the father's crime?

By Harlan Brown
April 23, 2010

In a recent debate among three candidates for the U.S. House seat for North Carolina's Fourth Congressional District two of the candidates took the position that abortion should be allowed in the case of risk of death to the mother or in cases of rape or incest. One of the candidates, David Burnett, took the position that "for rape and incest to allow the destruction of the unborn child would be just to commit another crime."

This controversy is not just an NC-4 issue. It is relevant to the abortion debate whenever exceptions are discussed. For example, in 2006 President George W. Bush opposed South Dakota's ban on abortion because it did not include exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

Other authors have written more eloquently than I about the sound reasons for not using rape or incest as an excuse for an abortion. Some examples follow:

Of the three people involved in a pregnancy resulting from rape, if one has to die, who would you say it should be? Common sense should tell us that it's not the baby. An innocent human being should not be put to death because his or her father is a criminal (a rapist).

For Christians, the truth should be crystal clear:

  • God says, "Do not murder." (Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17, quoted by Jesus in Matthew 5:21 and 19:18, Mark 10:19, and Luke 18:20)
  • God says, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." (Deuteronomy 24:16)

Just as the Nazis declared certain categories of people to be nonpersons or subhuman before beginning to exterminate them, Justice Blackmun in Roe vs. Wade assumed preborn babies to be nonpersons. He added, "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

I pray for the day when the culture of life will replace the culture of death, not just partially but fully. It's time to recognize the personhood of the preborn and their God-given inalienable right to life. May God speed that day.

Morality trumps politics because obedience to God trumps everything.

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