Abortion: An Issue of States’ Rights or Human Rights?

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. How does it apply to abortion? This, as always, at least in my lifetime, is a hot-button issue in this year’s election cycle. The recent GOP Debate highlighted it yet again. With Roe rightly now struck down by SCOTUS, the issue has only gotten hotter. Debate Moderator, Martha MacCallum, asked a question which began with a faulty premise: “Abortion has been a losing issue for Republicans since the Dobbs decision.” She then cited the actions of six ridiculously pro-abortion States, while ignoring the twenty-five (25) States that have enacted strong pro-life laws since the Roe reversal. Shame on you, Martha. You know better!


When asked if they would support a Federal ban on abortion, several of the candidates got squishy. Governor Burgum cited the 10th Amendment. It is an issue of States rights, he quipped. While I am a huge supporter of States’ rights and the 10th Amendment, I find this libertarian attempt to skate around the issue of wholesale baby slaughter disingenuous at best, cowardly at worst. Does anyone ever wonder why Doug Burgum and his ilk never cite the 10th Amendment when talking about the monstrosity of the Federal Education Department? Nikki Haley relegated her argument to her prophetic certainty that such a ban would never pass the Senate. Since when do we take moral stands based upon whether we think the majority will stand with us or not? To say I found these answers disappointing is an understatement.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.      

The Preamble to the US Constitution distinctly considers issues of “Justice” and “General Welfare” to be the purview of the Federal Government. Not to mention the “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” clause! Does Governor Burgum seriously think our Founders meant by that that the Federal Government should endorse, support, promote, allow or fund hacking our Posterity to pieces in the womb? There could hardly be a bigger “Justice” issue than abortion!

The misunderstandings and morally vacuous ways so many otherwise conservative and well-meaning people argue about abortion is alarming. The illogical logic of these arguments is often unscientific and non-sensical. And this extends all the way down into our little local town in Southern Indiana.

Recently, in our little local paper, Clarion News (Wednesday, August 2, 2023), on page A8, there was an article titled “Reflecting on Indiana’s near-total abortion ban” by Beth White. Mrs. White is President and CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking. That’s a righteous and noble cause and I commend her for this labor. I have no doubt that she and others in the coalition are working tirelessly to truly end these abominations. I stand with them in this fight.

But Mrs. White felt it necessary to attack Indiana’s near-total abortion ban. Why? Primarily because of the issue of rape and incest. Now again, I abhor rape and incest. I believe Mrs. White has a deep care for victims of these sinful crimes against humanity. I stand with her in wanting to see these sins and crimes cease, and God forbid, when they do occur, I would default to the Law of God, which made both rape and incest crimes deserving capital punishment (Lev 18; 20; Deut 22:25-27).

Now, I realize these matters garner deep emotions. I have deep sympathies toward victims of sexual assaults of any kind. And I can understand in the immediate aftermath of such violence, why victims might feel immense pressure to simply kill the baby that resulted from the rape. Indeed, this is the crux of Mrs. White’s argument: “We believe this law will compound the trauma of sexual violence for vulnerable victims.”

I respectfully disagree. Does Mrs. White think encouraging or allowing a woman to slaughter her unborn baby in the womb will not itself severely traumatize her? Scores of post-abortive women are telling us otherwise, as they live each day with the deep guilt and regret of killing their innocent, helpless baby. Killing a baby is far more traumatic than giving birth to the baby, and potentially giving the baby up for adoption. If the baby were simply located outside the womb, we would all very quickly come to grips with this reality. As Grandma always told us, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Encouraging or allowing a rape victim to become a murderer is not a good solution.

Would you want someone to hack you to pieces for the sin and crime of someone else? Do we seriously think we should go around slaughtering children who might have been born via morally repulsive circumstances? If it’s OK to do it while they’re in the womb, why not outside the womb? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31). “The person who sins shall surely die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son” (Ezek 18:20).

Mrs. White argues from the standard pro-abortion axiom: “Empowerment, choice, and trauma-informed care that is centered on the victim is essential for healing following rape or incest.” So, creating a second victim is the best solution? She continues, “The ability to make confidential healthcare decisions, which includes abortion, is an important step in regaining bodily autonomy.” But even science knows better. Which body has the right to autonomy? Mom? Baby? Or both?  Which person must be afforded the ability to “make confidential healthcare decisions”? The answer, in any morally sane world, is BOTH Mom and baby. We must, we should, we can, love and protect and serve both victims here. Why can otherwise well-meaning people not see the necessity and beauty of caring for everyone victimized by rape or incest? Sure, a victim of rape may well think an abortion is a less traumatic way of managing her own pain, in the immediate aftermath. But good counselors and advocates will patiently lead her to see the fallacy of this emotionalism. God-fearing morality and ethics demand that moms not murder their babies. Period. Responding to wickedness with more wickedness is itself wicked. “Repay no one evil for evil” (Rom 12:17). But giving grace in the face of evil is like Christ (1 Peter 2:23). A rape victim must be led to see that she’s not the only victim in need of love and care. There’s another victim, whose cries and pleas and pain are hidden inside her womb. But in full view of God Almighty, in whose image the baby is made. If the mom could somehow hear the unborn cries, surely she would never “choose” abortion.          

Sadly, we have many legislators and leaders and even evangelical pastors today who think they know better than God. Our arrogance is astounding. The morality of God’s Law is often so simple. So powerful. So logical. So beautiful. Yes, we must care deeply and well for victims. But enabling mothers to commit sin themselves is just foolish. Uncaring. O God, help us return to the logic of Your Law. Give us counselors and lawmakers and pastors who understand true righteousness. Turn the heart of Mrs. White, and others who feel and think as she does. Grant mercy and repentance to her, that she might renounce infanticide as the sadistic practice it is. Abortion solves nothing. It only heaps up sin upon sin. God help our Nation come to her senses. God help America ban abortion.

by Keith McWhorter