Rape, Incest, Abortion, and the Law

“Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Rescue the weak and needy;
Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 82:3-4

Here in Georgia, our governor is on the brink of signing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation into law. According to The Christian Index, “the The LIFE Act, introduced by Rep. Setzler of Acworth, outlaws most abortions after a heartbeat is detected, typically at six weeks’ gestation.” Given that many women are not even aware that they are pregnant at such an early stage of pregnancy, the law should serve to nearly put abortion providers in Georgia out of business. Within the state of Georgia, Democrats are rallying against the law. From outside the state, Hollywood celebrities are threatening an economic boycott of Georgia’s thriving film industry. Neverthesless, it looks as though abortion will soon be effectively outlawed in Georgia…except in the case of rape and incest. The LIFE Act makes exceptions to the heartbeat limitation if an unborn child was conceived through rape or incest.

Given that a Christian ethic drives the the pro-life movement, Georgians and other observers should be left wondering why the LIFE Act does not protect the most vulnerable of the unborn from the abortionist’s vacuum by this law. Babies conceived by rape and incest are made in the image of God as much as any other child. God knits the product of rape in his mother’s womb as carefully as he does the product of the marriage bed. Why should the heartbeats of certain babies, who have done no wrong themselves, be allowed to be snuffed out? Do the hearts of these unwanted children not beat just as true as wanted ones? Is it simply easier to pass the law without arguing about it protecting babies conceived in rape and incest?

Both Billy Graham and Jimmy Carter have opposed abortion generally but supported the right of mothers to abort unborn children conceived in rape and incest. Carter explained his position on a abortion as follows:

I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president having to uphold Roe v. Wade and I did everything I could to minimize the need for abortions. I made it easy to adopt children for instance who were unwanted and also initiated the program called Women and Infant Children or WIC program that’s still in existence now. But except for the times when a mother’s life is in danger or when a pregnancy is caused by rape or incest I would certainly not or never have approved of any abortions.

If Georgia’s most popular preachers and politicians won’t act to protect the vulnerable from murder, who will? God demands that Christians defend the cause of the fatherless and the weak. Why won’t Georgians do this for that small percentage of babies conceived by rape and incest.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.



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Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant