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Less Than Human?

By Randall A. Bach

Approximately six million people were annihilated during the Holocaust, a deliberate and planned execution of Jews and other enemies of the Nazis. Today, there is a Holocaust museum in Israel, Yad Vashem, that houses a heart-rending exhibit that honors the men, women, and children who were victims of the Holocaust. I have been there; the experience is sobering. The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is also worthy of a visit. Viewing the pictures, videos, stories, and artifacts of families whose lives were exterminated with the effectiveness of a slaughterhouse is a painfully emotional experience. I have walked into a room at the Dachau concentration camp, outside Munich, Germany, that victims were told was a shower room. However, instead of receiving a shower upon entry, victims were gassed to death. I peered into the ovens at Dachau where factory-like cremations of victims took place around the clock, belching black smoke and human ashes into the sky.  

My mind struggled to come to terms with how human beings could be so heartless and calculating as those mass murderers. How could anyone, and especially an entire set of a nation’s leaders, possibly become so demented and depraved, apparently devoid of moral conflict? The perpetrators convinced themselves that their victims were something less than human beings. Nazis considered Jews to be expendable like vermin. If people could convince themselves that some human beings were not actually human, then extermination was but a matter of determining mass efficiency to carry out the act. Once that distortion was established then no evil act was considered too heinous. The term for murder on that scale against a people group is genocide. 

In one hundred nations over one century one billion babies have been aborted.i 

I was stunned when I read that statement. How could this possibly be? One billion? The six million people exterminated in the Holocaust are but 0.6 percent of 1 billion. Mind boggling! Sadly, the genocide of abortion is that much greater in scale than the Holocaust. There may be people who object to the comparison. Frankly, I recoil at doing so until I consider how aborted babies’ lives are calculatedly terminated by hideously painful and tortuous procedures. The Holocaust was engineered by people in Nazi garb and inspired by a maniacal leader whereas abortions are administered by people in medical garb with the permission of often desperate mothers-to-be. The mission of the Holocaust was the mass extermination of an entire ethnicity whereas abortions are individually applied. However, in New York City, more black babies are aborted than are born alive (WSJ, July 18, 2018), indicating a disproportionate ethnic impact. The Holocaust defied international norms and is widely condemned as genocide whereas abortion is widely viewed as a necessity for the health, betterment, and well-being of a mother-to-be. In that view, the health, betterment, and well-being of the unborn infant is not worthy of consideration. 

Abortions hold this in common with the Holocaust: Abortion advocates and providers convince themselves that their victims are something less than human. To an abortionist, fetal tissue becomes a baby, a human being, only when “we” say so and because it is wanted. If the fetal tissue is not wanted, is inconvenient, or deemed unacceptable for some other reason it can be dismembered while alive in the womb. Or as is increasingly finding acceptance, the infant can be terminated at birth, a practice which has historically been considered infanticide. How could we descend to such depravity, to legitimize the termination of innocent life, and on a scale that qualifies as genocide?  

I believe it is important that we approach the matter of abortion on at least three levels: First, to vigorously oppose policies and laws that legitimize abortion as a practice and to help the public realize what a grisly and dehumanizing approach it is to “family planning.” Second, we need to extend compassionate love to women who have undergone abortion. According to Focus on the Family: Professional counselors tell us that many women who have had an abortion are not able to 

  •  process the painful thoughts and emotions—especially guilt, anger and grief – that arise from an abortion experience. 
  • identify, much less grieve, their loss.
  • come to peace with God, themselves and others involved in the pregnancy and abortion decision.2  

Third, we need to make sure women who are considering abortion know there are alternatives. Jessica Francavilla underwent three abortions before experiencing new life in Christ. Jessica vulnerably shared as my guest on a Better Roads podcast about the guilt and pain from her choices and about the wonderfully redemptive forgiveness of God. “I know now, but I did not know then. I know about the long-term effects of abortion,” she states.  

Jessica lovingly and gently speaks to every woman who has had or is contemplating having an abortion. She had opportunity to speak on the steps of the United States Supreme Court about the realities and effects of abortion on women and families. She identifies with women who feel forced to have an abortion because it seems like there is no other option. When she was deciding what to do with her pregnancies, Jessica was aware only of Planned Parenthood as an agency to “help” her. She did not know about the availability of crisis pregnancy centers.  

“You are not alone in your fears and guilt,” Jessica shares with women who are considering abortion. “It is a lifelong decision. Circumstances are temporary, but this type of decision does not leave you.” And to women who have had an abortion she says, “There is grace and forgiveness for you.” 

In Proverbs we are instructed to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (31:8-9, NLT). One person reported that during the Holocaust, people attending church services would sing hymns at the top of their lungs in an attempt to stifle the sound of cries coming from passing trains that were carrying Jews to their death. If we turn away from the abortion issue, are we any better than those worshipers? Whether or not we can hear a baby cry in her mother’s womb, that child’s pain and her death are just as real, and just as sad.

i Abortion Worldwide Report (2018) 

2Reisser, Teri and Paul. “Dealing with the Trauma of a Past Abortion.” Focus on the Family, December 16, 2016, focusonthefamily.com/pro-life/dealing-with-the-trauma-of-a-past-abortion/  

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