NRL News

On “the Unborn,” the Media, and the Conscience

by | May 6, 2011

By Rob Schwarzwalder

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schwarzwalder’s excellent blog at

There are some things in life you just can’t avoid.  Death and taxes come to mind, of course, and the seeming inevitability of the Cubs’ ultimate collapse.

There are others.  One of them is the inescapable reality that abortion involves not a collation of tissue but the destruction of a person, a human being.

This is not just a theological assertion or philosophical rumination: We know from medical science that from conception, the unborn child has the entire DNA of a fully mature adult.  What changes at time of birth is not the humanness of the child but his or her place of residence: For nine months, the womb was home; for the remainder of a person’s life, it is the world around us.

Even the mass media cannot help itself.  In ordinary stories, the personhood of the child pops up in the simple reportage of stories of the day.  However much the pro-abortion movement has sought to shape the language of popular culture and public education, the fact that the little ones in the womb are, in fact, people, keeps intruding itself into public discourse.  For example (bold and italics are mine):

On Monday of this week, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul noted that a “grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Buffalo man with three counts of vehicular homicide after a multi-vehicle crash in Lakeville killing two people and an unborn child.”

On April 28, the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser had this headline: “Family grieves loss of woman, her unborn child.”

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the CBS affiliate told us late last month that a “Kentucky state investigator testified Tuesday that Kathy Michelle Coy, the woman accused of killing a pregnant mother and stealing her baby.”

Yesterday, the Today Show news site reported, “Mom recounts saving unborn child from shooting spree.”

Also yesterday, the Chicago Tribune, one of the nation’s largest papers, informed us that “Cook County Judge James Linn sentenced James Larry, 33, of Madison, Wis., to five natural life sentences on murder charges, two 30-year prison sentences for attempted murder charges and two 45-year prison sentences for charges of intentional homicide of an unborn child.”

These are only a few examples from just the past couple of weeks.

Seminary president Al Mohler has observed that while “The American conscience remains deeply divided over the question of abortion … the truth has a way of working itself into view.”

That view is clearly seen in every ultrasound, but is also known to the “law written on the heart” described by the Apostle Paul (Romans 2:15).  We can euphemize our language, speaking only of “fetus” and “choice.”  We can deflect the demands of intellectual honesty when confronted by medical fact and common reason.  But in the depth of our hearts and minds, we know better.  We know.

Categories: Unborn Children