Slavery and Abortion: Moral Relatives

No, I’m not talking about moral RELATIVISM, but the relationship that those of us who believe in absolutes of right and wrong see between slavery and abortion.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this because I’m editing a book written by a man who is a descendant of a slave and a slave owner. He is writing the book as fiction because, of course, he doesn’t know the details of what transpired several generations ago. In his research, he determined who his ancestors were and some things about them, but he can only imagine emotions and thoughts.

His writing is powerful, and I identify strongly with his great-grandmother, the slave. I cry with the mother and daughter when the young girl is torn apart from her mother and sent to another plantation far away. I feel with her when her master shows up at her door.

Slavery is abhorrent in many ways; one human being “owning” another is incomprehensible to me. But of all the evils of slavery, what I find the most difficult to understand is slave owners fathering children that they then considered less than human. The children were slaves – forced to work in the fields or the house, subject to being sold on the whim of the master, and in some cases physically abused, even killed.

How can one human being do that to another? How can one human being do that to his own child – flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood?

Then I realized that thousands of mothers are killing their babies every day. Nearly 49 million abortions have occurred in the US since 1973.

Thanks be to God that the number of abortions is decreasing, and the Supreme Court has upheld the partial birth abortion ban, but millions of babies are still dying around the world.

Abortion is justified by saying the aborted fetus is not a human being, just a blob of tissue. Slavery was justified was saying that the slave was not a human being, but something less than human.

We all recognize that the people who were enslaved in the United States and Europe a couple of hundred years ago were human beings. We recognize that the people in modern day slavery, especially sex slavery, are human beings.

Why do so many women not recognize that the life conceived and trusted to their body for nurturing until birth is a human being?

The National Right to Life Committee says:

Abortion ends a pregnancy by destroying and removing the developing child. That baby’s heart has already begun to beat by the time the mother misses her period and begins to wonder if she might be pregnant …

The Bible says:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16, NIV Version)


This is what the LORD says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you. (Isaiah 44:2, NIV)

Other Scriptures about the sanctity of human life can be found at the Life Issues Institute.

May the Lord bless and keep each and every one of His people — born and unborn, healthy and sick, rich and poor, free and slave. And may we pray and work for the day when all slaves are free and all babies are allowed to be born.

[tags]slavery, abortion, morality, right to life[/tags]

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