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the Rev. Tom Eckstein, Published March 27 2013

Letter: The truth trumps slogans

I am proud to be a resident of North Dakota. One of the primary reasons is that pro-life bills passed into law in North Dakota, will make our state the one that most clearly articulates the self-evident truth asserted in our nation’s Declaration of Independence: that all humans “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The right to life for all humans comes from our Creator who, in Holy Scripture, clearly teaches that human life exists from the moment of conception.

Sadly, more and more people in our nation – including those who claim the name “Christian” – no longer submit to the teaching of Holy Scripture regarding what we are to believe and how we are to live. Therefore, we need to address the issue of abortion by appealing to arguments from reason and common sense. The question is whether people are willing to listen.

One of the bills would prohibit an abortion if the reason for ending the child’s life is its gender or that it has a physical disability. Those who promote abortion as a way of affirming “women’s rights” should be concerned about the rights of women whose lives can be ended in the womb simply because they are women. In addition, as a parent whose daughter has autism, I am concerned that our nation allows a child to be killed in the womb simply because he or she has a disability. Of course, those in favor of abortion could avoid the limitations of this pro-life bill simply by asserting that they do not want the child – and then giving no particular reason for why they do not want the child. But what kind of nation have we become when we can justify ending the lives of humans in the womb simply because they are not wanted by us?

Another slogan used to justify the practice of ending the life of children in the womb is: “I support the right of women to choose.” This slogan sounds so American. What could be more American than the right to choose? But the fact is that we do not have the right to choose many things if those choices include the physical harm or death of another human being.

When a man and a woman freely engage in sexual intercourse, they should be prepared to take responsibility for the human life that may be created by their freely chosen behavior. But ending the life of another human being is a choice that should not be allowed in any civilized society – even if that human life happens to reside in the womb.

When people consider the fact that this nation currently allows parents to hire someone to kill their child while he or she is in the womb, they should ask themselves: “When is it permissible to kill a baby?” When we consider the evil fact of abortion on those terms we begin to realize that all almost all our arguments – many of them simply selfish – for killing children while they are in the womb go against reason and common sense.

I noted that more and more people in our nation do not submit to what Holy Scripture teaches about many things – including the sacredness of human life from the point of conception. However, my prayer is that more and more people will be willing to submit to what Scripture teaches about the sacredness of the lives of infant boys and girls in their mother’s wombs – and then speak out for them because they can’t speak out for themselves. Many of our legislators in North Dakota are doing just that! God bless their efforts.


Eckstein is pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.D.