Abortion Quiz

Special Focus:
Culture of Death?

This month marks the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand in all 50 states. Perhaps this is an appropriate moment to reflect upon the significance of this most famous and controversial of modern constitutional cases. The road from Roe has been long, complicated and emotional. What revealing cultural signs may we view today as symbols of its now quarter-century-long legacy? Consider the following: 1) The federal government refuses any restrictions on abortion, even at the moment of birth; 2) Regular news accounts tell us of incidents in which mothers abandon or even kill their own newborns; 3) On the other side of the spectrum, a certain doctor cannot be convicted of murder in any degree as he proudly ends the life of his patients. Do we in fact live in what some have designated as the "Culture of Death"? We have put together a special focus on this issue.

Categories for this Feature:

  • Feature Articles
  • Abortion (Medical)
  • Abortion (Legal/Historical)
  • Abortion (Moral/Activism)
  • Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia
  • Bio-Ethical (General)


    Roe v. McCorvey
    Norma McCorvey with Gary Thomas
    Norma McCorvey was the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade. This 1973 Supreme Court decision in her favor effectively struck down any restrictions on abortion. She used her status symbol role in the Feminist movement to promote the Pro-Choice cause and to work in the abortion industry. More recently, she changed her mind and heart regarding the issue of abortion. This is her story.

    Roe: Twenty-Five Years Later
    First Things
    The editors of First Things make a well-informed, even dramatic, statement against the tide of Roe v. Wade. They firmly defy the "culture of death" legacy that the Supreme Court spawned with this most infamous decision.

    ABORTION (Medical):

    Medicalizing Abortion Decisions
    Thomas Murpy Goodwin
    The author, a physician himself, argues that the medical community has a crucial bias with regard to the abortion issue. More specifically, this bias consists in bringing political aspects of the abortion issue into the medical decision-making process. To build his case, he points out the scarcity of cases in which pregnancy poses a genuine health risk to the mother. He also uses five case studies, taken from his own experience, in which abortions were unnecessarily recommended by other doctors as a therapeutic procedure.

    The Abortion Cocktail
    Bernard N Nathanson
    A former abortionist (who is now a pro-life doctor) reviews the history of chemical abortafacients. He also describes a current drug that is used for the same purpose. Will the removal of surgery from this procedure ultimately bring about the end of the political and legal battle over abortion?

    Picture Perfect: The Politics of Prenatal Testing
    Elizabeth Kristol
    This article addresses the issues involved in prenatal screening.

    Abortion, Breast Cancer, and Ideology
    Joel Brind
    Many studies over the decades have linked induced abortion to an increased risk of breast cancer in women. In spite of their substantial statistical evidence, however, these studies have been ignored and criticized by the medical establishment. On what basis do they attempt to undermine these consistent research findings?

    ABORTION (Legal/Historical):

    Infanticide for Beginners
    James Nuechterlein
    Pro-lifers have long argued that the line between abortion and infanticide is merely an arbitrary one--the moment of birth. This essay reviews an article, recently appearing in a well-known publication, in which an abortion proponent makes an argument along these same lines. In an ironic twist of rhetoric, that author turns the concern of the abortion/infanticide distinction into an argument to exclude newborns from the protection of murder laws.

    The Public Policy of Casey v. Planned Parenthood
    Michael G. Smith
    This article considers the abortion issue by examining the central argument in the Supreme Court's 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision. Points of consideration in this examination include: feminism, abortion as murder, sexual revolution, and violence in society. The author's argument, written from a legal point of view, rejects the notion that abortion is simply a matter of individual choice.

    Inconvenient Lives
    Robert Bork
    Robert Bork re-examines the abortion question in this sweeping biological and philosophical discussion. He expresses concern with the current protected status of abortion on demand, as well as the broader cultural implications of such acceptance.

    Abortion Before Roe
    Russell Hittinger
    Would abortion soon have become legalized across the board in state legislatures if Roe v. Wade had left the questions to the states? The author answers this question by considering the political and legal climate regarding abortion prior to this landmark decision.

    The America We Seek: A Statement of Pro-Life Principle and Concern
    A group of authors, professors and organization leaders state their united concern in this document for America's unborn children. They describe the many problems with the current status of abortion on demand. They also address possible solutions to this tragedy.

    Doing What Can Be Done
    Clarke D. Forsythe
    An attorney argues against the partial-birth abortion procedure.

    ABORTION (Moral/Activism):

    Arguments Against Abortion
    Kerby Anderson
    Biblical, medical, legal and philosophical arguments against abortion are offered.

    College Right-to-Life Handbook
    Andrew A. Siicree
    This handbook is intended to serve as a resource for college students working to bring the right-to-life movement to their campuses. It is meant to be a practical, working manual - with a smattering of pro-life theory for good measure.

    Sue Bohlin
    A woman's look at abortion from a biblical position. This essay explores the reason abortion is such an emotionally volatile subject, as well as biblical and medical reasons why it is wrong, concluding with some personal stories dealing with handicaps.

    Facing Up to Infanticide
    J. Bottum
    Even abortion advocates are beginning to admit that abortion, although it should remain legal, is actually the killing of a child. The attempt to reconcile a belief in legalized killing with liberal "compassion" is most difficult. The author describes the philosophical framework of both pro-life and pro-choice positions.


    Killing As Caring
    Richard Rotondi
    Richard Rotondi discusses the false charity of euthanasia. Along with the growing acceptance, even welcoming, of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, have come increasingly dire warnings about the practice from ethicists and thinkers. The "mercy" offered by euthanasia can only be offered by those who, logically and emotionally, hold to a conception of the human person radically different from that of traditional medicine: the price of accepting euthanasia's "compassion" is denying that humans have any inherent worth apart from their productivity or utility.

    Debriefing the Philosophers
    J. Bottum
    There is only one genuine school of philosophy that is distinctlyAmerican. Its pedigree consists of empiricist, utilitarian, pragmatist and liberal philosophical traditions. The preeminent heirs to this school of thought recently issued a brief to the Supreme Court in favor of constitutional protection for physician-assisted suicide. This "Philosopher's Brief" advocates legalization of the procedure based on the Supreme Court's Casey decision which strongly reaffirmed abortion rights.

    Seduced by Death: Doctors, Patients, and the Dutch Cure
    Eric Chevlen
    Unlike the United States, Holland has legal avenues for euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS). A report commissioned by the Dutch government found that successful PAS procedures were completed without the patient's consent in half of the cases. Would the same be true if PAS was legally availabe in the U.S.? Such concerns are expressed in the book "Seduced by Death: Doctors, Patients, and the Dutch Cure" by Herbert Hendin. Eric Chevlen provides this review.

    Euthanasia: a Biblical Appraisal
    Kerby Anderson
    Looks at euthanasia in the Netherlands as well as attempts to legalize euthanasia. Also describes various forms of euthanasia and provides a biblical perspective.

    Euthanasia: The Battle for Life
    Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin
    A discussion of four kinds of euthanasia: voluntary passive, voluntary active, involuntary passive, and involuntary active, from a biblical perspective.

    The Legal Logic of Euthanasia
    Michael M. Uhlmann
    Critics of abortion on demand have long maintained that the logic justifying this heinous procedure could also be used to rationlize other forms of medical killing. Abortion advocates, on the other hand, have dismissed this assertion as an example of demagoguery. But in March 1996, the opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Compassion in Dying v. State of Washington hinged explicitly on the matter of abortion and assisted suicide sharing a common rationale.

    Mock Medicine, Mock Law
    Eric M. Chevlen
    The author discusses different points regarding the recent career of the infamous Jack Kevorkian. He asserts that most of this doctor's "patients" needed treatment for pain or depression, not assisted suicide. Further, he contends the cases brought against Kevorkian have been tried in a manner that made a mockery of justice.

    Dehumanization Triumphant
    Leon R. Kass
    What effect would the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia really have on America? The author claims that it would essentially give doctors a license to kill patients even without their consent. Holland has already has legalized assisted suicide. What have been the effects there? A recent study by the Dutch goverment is most revealing on this matter.

    BIO-ETHICAL (General):

    The Sanctity of Human Life: Harvesting Human Fetal Parts
    Dr. Ray Bohlin
    Once a sanctity of human life standard is abandoned for a quality of life ethic, a slippery ethical slope leads to horrors undreamed of even 20 years ago. Legalized abortion has led to the sale of fetal tissue and eventually to legalized euthanasia.

    BioMedical Ethics
    Paul Cox
    In this Monograph Paul Cox will do three things: (1) place biomedicalethics within the more general discipline of ethics; (2) give the reader an idea of how biomedical ethics developed as a separate discipline under the rubric of ethics and; (3) survey some of the current concerns of biomedical ethics and within that survey explicate the central issues involved in each of those concerns.

    Human Cloning: Have Human Beings Been Cloned?
    Dr. Ray Bohlin
    Recent claims to have cloned human beings are exaggerated. George Washington University researchers Stillman and Hale more correctly achieved artificial twinning of human embryos. True human cloning is still a far-off possibility with many ethical pitfalls.

    Population and the Wealth of Nations
    William McGurn
    In the 1950's and 1960's there was a trend in academia to write and speak out against the dangers of overpopulation. The power of this argument was rooted in the alleged scarcity of resources, particularly in the Third World. There are, however, events in recent history which may be used to challenge these widely held assertions.

    Swearing to Life
    John Rodden
    Justice Harry Blackmun found it necessary to render the verbiage of the Hippocratice Oath an historical artifact as he launched the modern abortion age. Shortly thereafter, this traditional physician's oath was either significantly altered or completely abandoned by medical schools. Attempts to build a consensus on an alternative ethical standard for the medical profession have proven to be less than successful.

    What Happened at Beijing
    Mary Ann Glendon
    The UN's 1994 Conference on Population and Development was not supposed to have been fertile ground for abortion and population control proponents. And yet, feminists and anti-Catholics cleverly sought to advance their radical sexual and abortion agendas throughtout the duration of the conference. They even tried to remove the concepts of motherhood, traditional family and parental rights from UN documents.

    The Sanctity of Life Seduced: A Symposium on Medical Ethics
    Various authors discuss Medical Ethics.

    The Inhuman Use of Human Beings
    A group of scientists and ethicists address the issue of using human embryos in scientific research.

    Babies and Body Parts
    Paul C. Fox
    Killing a baby for the purpose of an organ transplant is the chilling story behind the scenario the author describes.

    We would love to get your feedback on this special focus. Please tell us what you think.

    Go here to see our past Special Focus features.