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January 22, 2009 / beidson

An Old Question Still Relevant: Lincoln’s Logic On “Abortion”

I realize my past few posts have been “borrowed,” but once again, I am compelled to bringlincoln another of John Piper’s commentaries to your attention.  Read below what he posted today on Desiring God.  His example of the imprisoned mother ought to reveal the astounding contradictions currently embraced by our legislators and judges.  In trying to be intelligent and progressive, we have actually become stupid and self-destructive, and President Lincoln had caught on to this contradiction in his own time concerning slavery.

Along the same lines, it is difficult to understand how President Obama, who greatly admires and respects Lincoln, could not, on this point, follow his wisdom and reasoning, and change his own views on abortion rights.

It would be a great thing to see President Obama take some of his own advice and change, so that he looks more like Lincoln, who made Obama’s presidency a possibility, and less like Lincoln’s opponents, who believed slavery was taboo as far as the government was concerned.


Lincoln’s Logic on Slavery Applied to Abortion

January 22, 2009  |  By: John Piper
Category: Commentary

On January 12, 2009 Samantha Heiges, age 23, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for drowning her newborn in Burnsville, Minnesota. If she had arranged for a doctor to kill the child a few weeks earlier she would be a free woman.

What are the differences between this child before and after birth that would justify it’s protection just after birth but not just before? There are none. This is why Abraham Lincoln’s reasoning about slavery is relevant in ways he could not foresee. He wrote:

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.

You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.

But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest; you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you. (“Fragments: On Slavery“)

There are no morally relevant differences between white and black or between child-in-the-womb and child-outside-the-womb that would give a right to either to enslave or kill the other.


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