The circumstance in which a baby is conceived may be wicked, but that does not make the unborn baby less valuable. Murdering an unborn baby who is conceived by rape does not righteously fix a situation but only adds crime upon crime. Punish the rapist—not the baby. Justice is getting what you deserve and giving others what they deserve. Murdering an unborn baby is unjust because an unborn baby does not deserve to die.
You don’t have the right to tell my fourteen-year-old daughter she has to carry her rapist’s baby.” That’s what Joe Rogan, the most popular podcaster in the world, recently argued when he interviewed Seth Dillon, owner and CEO of the satire website The Babylon Bee.
How would you respond to that argument? Here are three arguments to consider:
1. Appealing to Rape Is Often a Smokescreen to Justify Abortion on Demand
In their new book Tearing Us Apart: How Abortion Harms Everything and Solves Nothing, Ryan T. Anderson and Alexandra DeSanctis systematically and clinically show why abortion is utterly harmful. In the case of rape, they explain,
The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute’s research has shown that only 1 percent of abortions are obtained in cases of rape—a percentage that holds steady across decades of data. . . . Abortion supporters most often point to pregnancies resulting from rape not because they believe that abortion should be limited to these truly hard cases but to use these difficult examples to justify abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy. (pp. 40, 42)
Some studies estimate that .06 of 1 percent of all abortions occur for cases of rape. You can clear away the smoke by asking, “For the sake of argument, let’s say that abortion is legal in the case of rape. Would you support banning abortions that people choose for other reasons such as socio-economic ones?”
2. What Makes a Human Valuable Is That God Creates Each Human in His Image
Rape is highhanded wickedness, and we should have compassion on women who are the victims of rape. But does it follow that a woman who becomes pregnant from rape may righteously kill the baby in her womb?
No, what makes a human valuable is not one’s size or age or abilities or paternal origin or whether one is wanted. What makes a human valuable is that God creates each human in his image.
What exactly does it mean that God made humans in his image? As I explain in an article on what the Bible teaches about ethnic harmony, Christian theologians hold to one of four basic views of the image of God:
- It is what humans are—characteristics that makes humans like God, such as reason or will or conscience.
- It is what humans do—exercise dominion over creation (cf. Ps. 8:3–8).
- It is how humans relate to God and to others.
- It is some combination of the previous three views.
The fourth view seems most persuasive to me.