Falsehood—Abortion is a Woman’s Reproductive Right

Falsehood—Abortion is a Woman’s Reproductive Right

Most Christians born in the last 100 years in America would explain their salvation story like this: “I first had to discover that my real problem was my sin. Then I discovered that Christ died so I could be forgiven and go to heaven; so, I invited Christ into my life.” This is a biblical, accurate description of conversion; but it is an incomplete description of salvation. It describes just two parts of the actual, four-part biblical gospel. What the Bible actually teaches is not so much that WE are inviting Jesus into OUR stories, as that HE is inviting US into HIS STORY. He invites us into HIS GRAND STORY that begins with CREATION---stage 1, creating a kingdom over which his image-bearers are to exercise dominion for him. Stage 2, which we mentioned, is that creation is marred by human rebellion—SIN. Stage 3 is Christ’s REDEMPTION, requiring our response of repentance and faith, which lead to being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, changing OUR story. But SALVATION is SO MUCH BIGGER than just your individual story and mine—God’s bigger story extends to the COSMOS—stage 4 of the Gospel is—KINGDOM RESTORATION. Christ is making all things new. He is setting right everything that sin set WRONG. The true, whole, four-chapter gospel engages every Christian in Adam and Eve’s original calling to shape THE PUBLIC SQUARE for the HIGH KING—spreading the kingdom of righteousness over every square inch of earth.

Tragically, history reveals that Christians shaped by a mere two-chapter gospel withdraw from the public square, privatizing their Christian faith, and blaming “secular people” for corrupting their world. During the 20th century that is what most Bible-believing Christians did. But the loss of biblical values in the culture was not caused by secular forces overcoming kingdom forces; they don’t have the power to stand against the kingdom of Christ.  It was caused by Christians withdrawing from the public square, giving up the fight. This podcast is devoted to leading the men of the church to recover the full, four-chapter gospel, which means intentionally fulfilling our calling to speak into the public square as salt and light. It is for those who would dare to winsomely lift high the light of Biblical truth in their world. This week, we consider how to do that on the subject of abortion.

In June of 2022, when the Supreme Court overruled the earlier Roe v. Wade decision, all of us who believe that Scripture requires us to protect human life in the womb rejoiced over a victory that took 50 years to achieve in the courts. It finally admitted that nine justices in the judicial branch did not have the right to impose their view of abortion but returned this decision to the legislative branch in each state. The good news is that pro-life advocates working through elected representatives are now positioned to legally protect unborn humans in ways that Roe did not allow. But there is sobering bad news. As Scott Klusendorf points out (The Case for Life),

“Since Roe was struck down, pro-lifers have lost every single time the abortion issue has been put directly to the public for a vote. Even in red states like Montana, voters rejected a modest pro-life ballot measure that did not ban abortion outright, but only protected children who survived abortion procedures and are born alive. A larger march for life won’t fix the problem at the ballot box. To win eventual political victory, the kind that results in legal protection for unborn humans, we must engage the public with a persuasive case for life.”

Our stand for God’s truth must be full of grace for women who have had abortions; but we must have the courage to stand for truth at this cultural moment.


Scott Klusendorf is the president of Life Training Institute, where he trains pro-life advocates to persuasively promote the pro-life view. As we will see throughout this episode, the most persuasive way to defend and win others to the pro-life view is to keep coming back to the logic of this syllogism:

Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.


Conclusion: Abortion is morally wrong.


A. There is a clear beginning to this life as an individual.

  • “Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an ooctyte to form a single cell, the zygote. This highly specialized cell, capable of giving rise to any cell type, marks the beginning of each of us as individuals” (Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology).
  •  “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed” (O’Rahilly and Mueller, Human Embryology).

B. Human embryos are members of the species Homo sapiens. A Senate Judiciary committee wrote these words:

  • “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being—a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings” (97th Congress).
  • “Human embryos are not creatures different in kind from human beings (like potatoes, or alligators)…They are, rather, human beings—distinct living members of the species Homo sapiens—at the earliest stage of their natural development. They are different from human beings at later developmental stages not in virtue of the kind of entity they are, but rather the degree of development.” (Robert George, “Another Round,” National Review).

C. A zygote remains the same creature as it changes its form. Living things do not become entirely different creatures in the process of changing their form. Rather, they develop according to a certain physical pattern precisely because of the kind of being they already are.

  • The embryo is completely different from both parents; it has its own unique chromosomal structure.
  • It is clear that the embryo is human, since it comes from human parents
  • It is clear that the embryo is human because of its genetic constituents.  

D. The fact that an embryo is not a fully mature human doesn’t change its continuity as a human. Various points along this process of development have been argued to be the point where life begins—after the fetus has brain waves, after the fetus can experience pain, after the fetus can live on its own outside the womb, after the fetus comes down the birth canal, etc. But every arbitrary point chosen where life is supposed to begin fails, logically, the same way. What is your basis for saying that up until that point the unborn is not a human being? Klusendorf points out, “They’re distinct, living, and whole members of the human species, regardless of their size or location. As is true of infants, toddlers, and teenagers embryos are human individuals at a particular stage of their development, and thus they don’t differ in kind from the mature adults they will one day become.”

E. The amazing embryo, from the start, directs its own internal development. Some argue that the fact that the embryo contains its own distinct genetic code doesn’t mean it is a life, since every cell contains all the genetic code. But other cells are not at all like the embryo. Those cells left alone will NOT develop themselves to the mature stages of human life. But the fertilized egg, the zygote, the embryo DOES develop itself into the future stages of human development.

  • This distinguishes the human embryo from being just a clump of cells. “Embryos are living creatures with all the properties that define an organism as distinct from a group of cells; embryos are capable of growing, maturing, maintaining a physiologic balance between various organ systems, adapting to change and repairing injury. Mere groups of human cells do nothing like this under any circumstance" (Ibid).
  • In fact, this self-organizing capability of the embryo that continues as it becomes a baby, toddler, teen, adult is so central to personhood that when this self-organizing principle ceases we call it death, even though individual cells continue living for a short while after humans die.


Thinking Clearly About What the Abortion Debate is NOT ABOUT

A. It’s not about REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. There is no absolute right of a woman to do with her body whatever she wishes. She may not put her fingers around the neck of her two-year-old, squeezing and strangling him. Every person’s right to his body is limited by the prohibition against harming another. So, the issue is: Does the embryo in the womb have rights that need to be protected? Some may say that embryo is not a life. Fine—but now you can debate the true issue.

B. It is not about LABELS. Don’t let another dismiss your pro-life views because you are religious, or a political conservative. Ask politely, “Are you pro-choice?” Of course, only a religious nut wouldn’t be? “May I ask a question?” Sure. “Why do you favor allowing an unborn child’s life to be taken? Because it’s not a life; it is a fetus. “What makes you say it is not a life?”

C. It’s not about MOTIVES or PERSPECTIVE. An office mate might say, Of course you don’t support reproductive freedom; you are a cisgender, right-wing, woman-hating male. Ask politely, “Do you think a woman has the right to end the life of her two-week-old baby because the father left her and she’s been up three straight nights with a fussing baby?” Of course not. “But you support the right of a mother to take that baby’s life three weeks earlier, while in utero?” Yes. “What is it about the baby OUTSIDE the womb that makes it more human than when it was INSIDE the womb?”

D. It’s not about THE HARM DONE TO WOMEN WHO HAVE ABORTIONS. This is okay to mention; but it is not a sound argument. Trying to persuade someone who is pro-abortion using this argument may backfire. It opens the door to the rejoinder, “I know MORE women who are glad they had abortions than those who regret them. Focus questions on the issue: Is the child in the womb a human?

E. It is not about MORAL NEUTRALITY. Suppose you hear, It’s the woman’s right to choose, not the government’s. It’s HER body. The abortion decision should be between a woman and her doctor. You might respond, “Suppose its 1860 and you and your doctor decide it would be to your benefit to force your slaves to do more labor for you? Should we be MORALLY NEUTRAL about that?” That’s different. “How so?” Slaves were human beings. A fetus is not. What makes you think a human embryo is not a human?”

Recognize Arguments that ASSUME an Unborn Child is Not Human

The most common arguments for abortion violate sound reason through what is called “begging the question.” This argument never proves the premise but just assumes it. Here are examples from The Case for Life, with a possible response:

  • Anti-choicers don’t trust women to make their own personal choices: If parents want to abuse their toddlers in the privacy of their bedroom should society trust them to make their own personal choices?
  • Anti-choicers want to force poor women to bring another child into this world. When human beings get expensive, may we kill them? Can a parent with 10 kids kill the youngest one to help balance the checkbook?
  • Restricting abortion is unfair to poor women who, unlike rich women, can’t afford to travel to places where abortion is legal. Since when is equal opportunity to kill an innocent human being a good thing? The rich can afford to hire assassins; the poor can’t. Should we legalize hiring hit men?
  • Abortion is needed to prevent child abuse. Should we also kill two-year-old victims of abuse to prevent their getting abused again at age five?
  • Abortion prevents unwanted children. The homeless are unwanted; may we kill them?
  • Laws against abortion impose morality. Can’t we say the same thing about laws that prevent killing toddlers?

Many people who surround you and parrot anti-abortion arguments simply ASSUME that the unborn are not human beings. Don’t let them get away with that. Here is a secret from Klusendorf, “Whenever you hear an argument for abortion, stop and ask this question: Would this justification for killing the unborn work for killing a toddler? If not, your critic is assuming the unborn are not human.”


Scott Klusendorf vs Nadine Strossen, former President ACLU at Malone University

“Abortion: Is the Legal Right a Moral Wrong”

“As she often does, Nadine opened with an appeal to reproductive freedom. To paraphrase her case, reproductive freedom means the ability to choose whether or not to have children according to one’s own personal religious beliefs. That freedom is necessary if all people are to live lives of self-determination, opportunity, and human dignity. She repeatedly stressed our need to work together to reduce the high number of abortions, by which she meant pro-lifers should support tax-funded birth control programs. Notice the question-begging nature of her claims. She simply assumes that the unborn are not human beings. Would she make this same claim for human freedom and self-determination if the debate were about killing toddlers instead of fetuses?" Klusendorf spoke:

"Men and women. I agree completely with everything Nadine just said. She is right that abortion is a personal, private matter that should not be restricted in any way. She’s right that we shouldn’t interfere with personal choices. She’s right that pro-lifers should stay out of this decision. Yes, I agree completely….if. If what? If the unborn are not human beings. And if Nadine can demonstrate that the unborn are not members of the human family, I will concede that you win, and so should everyone else who is pro-life."

"Contrary to what some may think, the issue that divides Nadine and me is not that she is pro-choice and I am anti-choice. Truth is that I am vigorously pro-choice when it comes to women choosing a number of moral goods. I support a woman’s right to choose her own health care provider, to choose her own school, to choose her own husband, to choose her own job, to choose her own religion, and to choose her own career, to name a few. These are among the many choices that I fully support for the women of our country."

"But some choices are wrong, like killing innocent human beings simply because they are in the way and cannot defend themselves. No, we shouldn’t be allowed to choose that. So, again the issue that separates Nadine and me is not that she is prochoice and I am anti-choice. The issue that divides us is just one question: What is the unbornLet me be clear: if the unborn is a human being, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. It treats the distinct human being, with his or her own inherent moral worth as nothing more than a disposable instrument. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, killing them through elective abortion requires no more justification than having your tooth pulled" (Ibid).

Looking back, Klusendorf explains, "In short, I was willing to buy her argument for freedom and self-determination—but only if she could demonstrate that the unborn are not human beings. I then argued scientifically, that the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Framing the exchange around the status of the unborn set the tone for the entire evening, and it allowed me to ask good questions later in the debate. For example, during cross-examination, I asked Nadine why the high number of abortions troubled her. After all if abortion does not intentionally take the life of a defenseless human being, why worry about reducing it” (Ibid).

The assault by the demonic host upon human life, those who bear the image of God, is multifaceted and relentless. May the men of Christ’s church stand up and fight wisely for truth, letting our light shine on the portion of the world God has assigned us to influence. May we stay focused on the issue:

Premise 1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

Premise 2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.


Conclusion: Abortion is morally wrong.


For Further Prayerful Thought:

  1. How would you summarize the scientific evidence from Embryology that life begins at conception?
  2. What do you think of the statement, “The most important support for life beginning with conception is that the human embryo is a distinct, living, unique, whole member of the human species, fully capable of directing its development into maturity, regardless of its size, stage of development or location.”
  3. Which are the most common pro-abortion arguments that you hear. You might want to take a moment and think through how you can winsomely challenge that view just by asking a few questions—especially questions directing your friend to explain why the unborn are not human.