Women and Their Unborn: Two Overwhelming Realities

John C. Rankin

There are two overwhelming realities to the debate over human abortion.

First, biologically discrete human life begins the moment a haploid spermatozoon fertilizes a haploid ovum, and a diploid one-celled zygote is formed. We all started this way, and there has never been a change in our DNA from that moment of fertilization.

Thus, human abortion destroys human life.

Second, and crucially, legalized human abortion is a quintessentially male chauvinistic prerogative. According to the Alan Guttmacher research arm of Planned Parenthood, International, a consistent 82 percent of all abortions in the United States since 1973 are performed upon unmarried women. According to data well known to the thousands of pregnancy resource centers in the United States, of the remaining 18 percent of abortions where the woman is married, in three-fourths of the instances the pregnancy is through adultery. Of the remaining one-quarter, the man is almost always on his way out of the marriage.

In other words, when the man refuses responsibility for his sexual intimacies, the woman too often feels no choice but abortion. His license, not her freedom. If the man were to be faithfully married to the woman, the consideration of abortion would be quite rare.

Thus, human abortion assaults women’s dignity.

Also, this means that the protection of the unborn cannot happen apart from responsible men honoring women as their equals and complements, and this means chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within. We all know brokenness from one angle or another, but what is the healthy norm for which we aim?

This also means that women are as equally vulnerable as their unborn children, and their equal dignity must always be affirmed.


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.