FAQs on the Overturning of Roe v. Wade
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Patrick Miller: Do you? Last Friday on June 24th, the Supreme Court overruled Roe vs Wade, declaring that there is no Constitutional right to abortion. And the public reaction to that has been intense. You've probably been absorbed by it. It's been in the op- ed pages of the newspapers, there have been protests in Washington DC, and most importantly, Facebook arguments.
Keith Simon: Oh, I know our friend, Anthony, said that his family has been arguing about it on Facebook, and they're getting ready to have a family reunion in a few weeks. He's wondering if the Facebook argument will blend into real life fisty cuffs.
Patrick Miller: Terrible way to prepare yourself for a reunion," Let's fight online and say terrible things, and then, I guess, pretend whenever we're in person that it didn't happen."
Keith Simon: But there's been a really divided response. Some pro- life people have been celebrating. They are excited. Their work is finally paid off, and they feel they are able to help babies stay alive. People on the pro- choice side, well, they're upset, they are angry. They say this is a step backward for women. And there's a lot of people in between who aren't sure exactly what to think. I'm sure you've had conversations like that with people in the last week or so. I've talked to people who consider themselves pro- life, but who are hesitant to celebrate this because they're concerned about women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. I've talked to people on the pro- choice side who are wrestling with questions that they're not sure what the answer is to, but they feel they've got to get to the bottom of this to figure out what they really should think about abortion. So, I think it's that group in the middle that we're talking to right now. You and I, we're both pro- life but not blindly so. We're willing to share why we hold the beliefs we do and take on the tough questions from the pro- choice side.
Patrick Miller: And I want to note here, we already did an episode when the leaked opinion came out about what does a Bible say about abortion, and so we're not going to get into those details today. And if you're asking that question, I would say, go back to that episode, because today we want to respond to the questions people are asking in response to the overturning of Roe vs Wade. And like Keith just said, we're both pro- life, but we're not afraid to interact with pro- choice people. In fact, just two weeks ago we had a pro- choice author on the show to talk about the story of Jane Roe, that's not her real name, but how the original Roe vs Wade case came about and what the repercussions were afterwards.
Keith Simon: Yes. So, the episode that Patrick's referring to about abortion where we walked through it in more detail was released on May 18th, and the other episode was the guy Joshua Prager who wrote the book, Family of Roe. Before we dive into this, let's just clarify one thing that drives me crazy. I'm sure there are a lot of things that drive all of us crazy about this issue, but the Supreme Court did not outlaw abortion. No matter what you hear in the media, no matter what anybody tells you, that's not what happened. All that happened was they found that there is no Constitutional right to abortion, and each state legislature gets to decide this issue. So, they didn't take it out of Democracy, they returned it to the democratic process. So, that's why we've all got to wrestle with this because it's going to affect our vote in future years about who we're going to vote for, and a lot of that's going to come down to what we think about abortion.
Patrick Miller: That's absolutely right. So, when Roe versus Wade was overturned, we did a call out on social media asking people, what are the questions you are asking right now? And no surprise, because we have listeners from really a diverse set of political backgrounds, we had pro- lifers who were saying," I don't understand how any Christian could be pro- choice," we had pro- choice who were saying," I don't understand how Christians can be so jubilant right now and not think about women." So, if you're listening to this, we expect that you could fall on any side of this argument.
Keith Simon: One more thing before we dive in, it looks like about half the states are going to have pretty significant restrictions on abortion, maybe even make it illegal, and about half the state's abortion is going to be pretty permissible, you'll be able to get an abortion for almost any reason. Most people say that abortion will be reduced by about 13% because of the overturning of Roe vs Wade. So, it's not as if abortion is going away, we're still going to have to wrestle with his question.
Patrick Miller: So, in the spirit of answering challenging questions, I think Keith and I want to start with the best question we've heard from the pro- choice side pressing against the pro- life side. I think that's the only fair way to address these questions. So, Keith, you came into the office the other day, you had this thought experiment, how did you get the question?
Keith Simon: There's a woman named Kate Greasley who's a lawyer from the University of Cambridge, and she wrote a book called, Abortion Rights For and Against, in which she and another author, Christopher Kaczor, went back and forth on the issue of abortion, and this is a thought experiment that she proposed in the context of that book. This is a thought experiment that the pro- choice side thinks is pretty persuasive.
Patrick Miller: Yeah.
Keith Simon: So, let's just ask it and then respond to it. So, here's the dilemma. You are in a hospital and it has caught fire, you've got to leave immediately. And on your way out, you have a choice. You can save five embryos or you can save one small child. Now, here are the stipulations for this hypothetical dilemma. You are not related or associated any way with this child or the embryos. You have to make a choice. And you can stipulate if you want, she says, that the child is loved and that the embryos are wanted by their parents. You've got to make a decision, what do you do, who do you save on the way out of the hospital? And I think that's a tough question, because what's your natural first response?
Patrick Miller: Yeah. When you asked it to me, my initial response was," Oh, crap, I don't like this question. This is actually kind of hard to answer," because my intuition is so obvious, you save the child, right?
Keith Simon: Right.
Patrick Miller: You find the kid and you take them out. So, we had to say, well, why is that the case?
Keith Simon: Yeah. The reason I like this question is because it's forcing you to wrestle with whether you think those five embryos are people are not. I think the ultimate question that we have to wrestle with is, what is being aborted? Is that fetus a child? So, what this question forces you to do is come down one side or the other. Do you have five children there that you could save, or one child that you could save, or do you not think of those embryos really as children? When the chips are down, you don't really think of them as kids, at least not in the same way as an infant. And it makes you try to figure that out. I think most of us initially say, I asked this at my family dinner table, and most of the people at the table said," I would save that child," and then you could see the wheels start turning in their head and they're thinking," Well, hang on a second, maybe that's not the right answer."
Patrick Miller: I think this question is interesting on two levels, because it operates based on two different ethical systems. The first ethical system is intuitionalism, which is, whatever I intuit to be good and right, that must be what's good and right. And that's her logic. If you say save the kid, your intuitions are telling you that those embryos aren't real children. It's operating on what's called utulitarian ethics.
Keith Simon: Utilitarian.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. I know. Why did I say that wrong? Anyways. Look, I've got a cold right now.
Keith Simon: Patrick has a man cold.
Patrick Miller: Yeah, you can call it a man cold, but I'm a bit under the clouds. So, right now-
Keith Simon: This is very dramatic. Patrick is very dramatic today. He has a cold. Let's all pause and take a moment of silence in honor of Patrick's cold.
Patrick Miller: Look, I'm in a bit of a mental cloud, so I'm operating on your level today.
Keith Simon: Thank you very much, thank you very much. Operating on my level.
Patrick Miller: So, you're" utilitarian". So, there's an old thought experiment that you can go find in a number of different authors where you have someone who has a train and it's going down this track, and the train is headed to kill five people who are standing on the track, and you have the decision, in this scenario, to pull a lever which will redirect the train, but if you redirect the train, it will kill one person. So, the question is, what do you do in that situation? Do you pull the lever and kill one person, or do you let the train go on its way and kill the five people?
Keith Simon: So, let's take those one at a time, and let's go back to the first one about intuition. And I'm not sure that your intuitions are always correct. That's why I said at my family dinner table everybody answered one way, and then they're thinking," Oh, I don't know if that's the right answer or not." And there's this chapter in Huckleberry Finn where there's this big explosion, and they ask," Hey, was anyone hurt," and they say," Oh, nobody was hurt," and then they talk about a Black man, who they used the N- word for, was killed, but nobody was hurt. So, what the point of that is, is that your intuition, at least at that time period, was that Black people weren't really people, and they didn't have human rights, so you could say no one was hurt, but this Black person was killed. But that didn't make it right. Just because that was their intuition to think that way didn't make that a moral decision.
Patrick Miller: Absolutely. Our intuition is slippery. We can intuit a lot of wrong things and we can intuit right things. And that's my first problem with this question is, it's based on the notion that I will, in my own heart, come to the right conclusion. And yet history shows us time and time again, humans come to the wrong conclusions based on their intuitions. Now, let's go to the utilitarian logic. So, let me define this." Utilitarianism" is basically the idea that whatever is good, whatever is right, whatever is just, is whatever does the most good for the most people. So, there's this old sci- fi story by Ursula Kayla Gwen, and in the story there's this paradisal city where everybody lives in peace, everybody loves each other, everyone does what's right, but there's a catch. For the city to live that way, they have to put a child inside of a closet until it dies of malnutrition.
Keith Simon: This is horrible.
Patrick Miller: I know.
Keith Simon: This is what you read in the private school you went to?
Patrick Miller: Well, it's a fascinating story. So, every, I think, so many years, they replaced the child with another child. This is the cost of our piece. Now, that is utilitarian logic. Utilitarian logic would say, yes, it is right to allow that child to die of malnutrition as long as the most people can enjoy the happiest life. Now, that shows the nub of the problem. That's not right. Even if a single child's malnutrition somehow led to a flourishing society, it would not be the right thing to do to allow a child to die of malnutrition. This is why I think Christians should utterly, completely reject totalitarianism as an ethical system.
Keith Simon: If you're wondering if Patrick is mispronouncing that word consistently, yes you are correct. It is utilitarianism.
Patrick Miller: I'm not getting it right.
Keith Simon: Fair enough. Let's keep talking about this. Now, one response I would have to say is that just because you chose to save the child doesn't mean that you deny that the embryos are people, or just because you chose the embryos to save them doesn't mean you deny the child is a person. So, I'm not sure that this moral dilemma, as interesting as it is, really causes you to deny the humanity of either one.
Patrick Miller: And if I could sharpen it, you're not making a choice between who you will save, you are making a choice between who you will kill. That's why the original utilitarian scenario that I laid at where you're deciding am I going to kill the one person with the train or the five people with the train is actually a far better example, and that's a choice that you have to make in the moment. Now, let me change this scenario, and I think people will begin to understand why your intuition and why utilitarian logic doesn't work. Imagine this exact same hospital, it is burning down, but here's the new scenario. You have a choice to save either a child or five comatose patients. And just to round it out, let's say all those comatose patients maybe one day will come back and have some sort of mental life, you don't know for sure though, like any comatose patient, for the most part, you're not exactly sure what's going to happen, who do you save, the child or the five comatose patients?
Keith Simon: Yeah, I think you'd probably, in that situation, want to save the child, right?
Patrick Miller: Yeah, I think you'd want to save the child. And if you ask someone why, you could say a number of things. One, you might say," Well, look, this child still has a lot of life ahead of them." Let's say those comatose patients are all older, they've had a chance to live a life. The other thing you might say is, that child is more sentient than the comatose patients, in other words, that child's going to suffer and experience death by fire, which is a terrible way to die, whereas the comatose patients aren't aware, they won't experience it. This highlights the dynamic that's actually present in the embryo thing and why we might choose the child in the embryo situation. It might have a lot to do with the fact that a child is more sentient than an embryo, but not because I don't think that the embryos are human lives.
Keith Simon: Right. And when you save that child with the comatose patients, you're not denying that the comatose patients are human beings.
Patrick Miller: Exactly.
Keith Simon: Again, the reason that I like this question is it forces you to ask," Do I think that the embryos who turn into fetuses are people, are human beings," because if they are, there are now two people involved in a pregnancy, two people involved in this abortion, the mother and the child. And I think people are beginning to acknowledge this in some, I don't know, initial ways. A guy named Henry Olson who writes for the Washington post, had a column just the other day in which he said," The question is the unborn child. That's the issue here? Is this a healthcare procedure that just involved one person, the woman? If it is, then she should be able to make whatever healthcare decisions that she wants to. But if there are two people involved, then it does become more complicated because it's not just what the mother wants to do, it's what this other person, the unborn child, what's best for that person?"
Patrick Miller: Exactly. And when you think about an embryo, an embryo is a distinct living being. It has its own chromosomal structure, it has a developmental process that it will go through. Now, it's at a particular stage of development. Once someone's out of the womb, no one values, at least in our society, no one values someone based on their stage of development. So, you don't say an infant, for example, is less human than an adult because an infant doesn't have the powers of speech or an infant doesn't have the powers of reason or the infant doesn't understand things that an adult can understand. We all understand that human life, from infant all the way to death, wherever you're at in that developmental place, you are still human, and so what we're trying to say here is that, actually, development doesn't start once you leave the womb, it starts the minute that embryo is formed. That's the beginning of human life.
Keith Simon: Okay. So, you can go back and listen to the episode on May 18th if you want to hear us go through all this stuff. We're not going to repeat ourselves, but just to say, this science shows that an embryo is a distinct living entity. It is not part of the mother's body. It is distinct from the mother, dependent upon the mother at that point of stage of development.
Patrick Miller: The same way, by the way, that an infant that comes out of a mother's womb, if you just leave at be it's going to die. The infant is dependent upon the mother or community to live.
Keith Simon: So, same thing if somebody's in a coma is dependent upon people to care for them while they're in the coma. But science shows that the embryo is a distinct living entity. And we think the Bible is pretty clear in teaching that life begins at conception, that God formed that person inside the womb.
Patrick Miller: So, the main thing here is, if I could flip the tables here for a second, the pro- choice side has to show, this is what they have to show, that an unborn human, at any developmental stage, isn't a human being. They have to give a very clear definition, at which point in human development does someone cease being a non- human and become human. They have to make that argument. You have to explain to me at what point that happens. And if you don't understand that, it's going to be hard to answer the questions that we're about to go through.
Keith Simon: Yeah, I just want to keep pushing on that for just one more second. When does that person become a human being? When does that embryo, that fetus, turn into a human? When does it become a person? You've got to answer that. As you listen to us, you have to answer that question. Is it one month after birth, one day after birth?
Patrick Miller: Yeah. This is what I often do with people, and it sounds really mean, but what I will do is I'll say," Okay, at what point is abortion okay?" I'll say," Is it okay at 39 weeks?" Most people say no." Okay, 35 weeks?"" No."" 30 weeks?"" No."" 25 weeks?"" I don't think so."" 20 weeks?"" Well, now there's a heartbeat and there's a fetus."" Okay. 15?" And they just keep pulling it back. Then, when they draw the line, they say," That's where, that's where you can do the abortion." I ask them," Why? Why is that the point?" And what I discover, from top to bottom, is that no one has a good answer.
Keith Simon: No. Nobody has a good answer because there really is no answer. I've listened to a lot of people talk about this issue, and they have a very hard time defining when that fetus becomes a person, and so they end up saying that it's upon birth. But just passing down the birth canal, just changing the environment that they're in, is that what makes them a person? It's really hard. So, what we think is that life begins at conception. That is a clear line, an easy line to draw both from science and the Bible. So, let's turn to some of the questions that we have received.
Patrick Miller: Okay. Keith, we've gotten a lot of questions, both from people in real life, people texting us, asking us, but also on social media, from you our listeners. So, let's take on some of those questions.
Keith Simon: Yeah. Just walking down the trail the other day and people are stopping me, asking me," What do you think about this abortion decision? What should be our response as Christians?" Everybody is talking about this question. And one of the main questions everybody brings up is, if we outlaw abortion, won't that mean that women pursue illegal abortions? In other words, it's not like abortion is going to stop. There was abortion happening for centuries. So, won't, we just make it unsafe and illegal, and won't women die of unsafe abortions because they've been made illegal?
Patrick Miller: And I think this is a good question because the heart behind it is saying, that woman who is pregnant is a human life. Her life is valuable, and I don't want to do something that jeopardizes her life, her welfare, her wellbeing.
Keith Simon: Yeah, absolutely. The reason people ask this question is because it should appeal to our moral conscience to care about the life of a woman who is pregnant. Every human being is made in the image of God, and we should care a lot that they receive the healthcare that they need. But the question assumes what we just talked about earlier, it assumes that the unborn is not a person and that there's only one life to consider. If there were only one life to consider, if the fetus is not a person, then I do think that the mother's healthcare concerns should take priority over someone who's not a person. But if there are two people involved, then I think that changes the calculus, right?
Patrick Miller: Yeah. And I hesitate to use this as an example because I'm going to start describing moms as criminals, but it does help focus the issue. Look, let's say people often die in bank robberies. You try to rob a bank, you end up getting shot and you end up getting killed. Does that mean that we should legalize bank robberies to make sure that thieves aren't killed? Well, I think anybody would say," No, we shouldn't do that." In the exact same way, if there are two lives, where Keith just said, you have to believe that, we have to ask the question, should we make something legal so that one life can be saved at the cost of that life taking another?
Keith Simon: A lot of people will say, look, you can have all the laws you want, but that's not going to stop abortions. And I'd say," Yeah, that's true." But we can have laws about murder, that doesn't mean it's going to stop murder, or law is about rape, that doesn't mean it's going to stop rape. But that doesn't mean we don't have laws about them. The laws are important, the laws guide behavior, the laws restrict behavior. It's like when people were saying to Dr. King that laws couldn't change the way people felt in their heart about him and racism and that kind of stuff, and he said," Yeah, laws can't make a man love me, but they can keep them from lynching me, and that's a pretty good start." So, laws won't solve this problem. We need to solve it at different levels, but laws are a good place to start.
Patrick Miller: In the example you just gave there, focuses things, and it tells you this, the law in place to protect the life of the unborn child. That's why the law is there. It's not there so that women will go get abortions and end up dying. That's not the goal of the law. The goal of the law is to protect life. And I think everyone would agree, we need to have laws that support and protect life. That's why we have them.
Keith Simon: And let's don't take agency away from pregnant women. Women aren't forced to go have illegal abortions. There are other options available to them. So, let's just be careful that we don't say that this is going to force women to do something. No, not necessarily.
Patrick Miller: Let's move on to another question. Why should pro- life people be able to force their view on others? What do you think Keith?
Keith Simon: Well, I see this all the time, like you see people say," If you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one." It's fine for you to have this ethical preference toward the pro- life position, but don't force that pro- life position on me. And to some extent it's just self- refuting, because pro- choicers say that it's wrong for pro- lifers to force their views on them, and yet that's exactly what the pro- choice people are doing. It turns out, it sounds relativistic in a positive way," Hey, you live, you do your thing, let me do my thing," but it turns out that relativism isn't very tolerant.
Patrick Miller: The nub of the issue is all around choice. If this is just a matter of choice, a healthcare decision that I'm going to make, then of course, again, we should leave it up to the mother. But if there's two lives that are involved, we're in a different situation. Now, if we took the position of the unborn child, if we spoke for that child, we could put it this way, does the mom have the choice to end my life? And why do you force upon me, unborn child, her right to end my life?
Keith Simon: Choice is a bad way of framing this issue. Now, I get why people on the pro- choice side want to frame it that way. Every person with an agenda, all of us, every person with a political agenda, tries to frame an issue in a way that benefits them. There's nothing wrong with that, we all do it. But I'm just not sure that choice is the right way to frame this because this isn't about choice. None of us are against women making all kinds of choices for their life. Are they going to get married or not? Who they're going to marry? Are they gonna go to college? What kind of career are they going to pursue? Are they going to buy a house or rent or buy a car or not or take a vacation or not? We're all pro- choice on those things. And it turns out we're all anti- choice on things. We're anti- choice on first degree murder, we're anti- choice on child abuse, we're anti- choice on corporations carelessly polluting the environment. This really isn't about choice. The real question is whether the unborn is a person. Because imagine if I said this, imagine if I said," Look, I personally think that slavery is wrong, and I don't want to have slaves, but you can have slaves if you want to. It's up to you. You can decide for yourself whether you want to have slave, because it turns out that I'm pro- choice on slavery. Don't force your views of slavery on me." And we'd all say," No, that's ridiculous, that's foolish because that person you're calling a slave is, well, a person." Well, that's the same issue here, is the unborn a person?
Patrick Miller: Okay, let's move on to our next question. What about abortions to save the mother's life? Now, I'm just going to assume that our listeners realize that there are certain circumstances in the course of a pregnancy where a mother's life can be at risk. And in all of these circumstances, it's not just the mother's life that it's at risk, it's also the unborn child. So, you have a lot of people on the internet suggesting that overturning Roe vs Wade is going to make it impossible for mothers whose lives are at risk to receive what they call an abortion. So, there's a lot of things to tease out here, but let me read a post that went super viral on Instagram by a progressive pastor. She said this," The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy..." Let me define ectopic pregnancy really quick. That's when the fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus, it implants in the wrong place inside of the fallopian tube, which can put a mother's life at risk.
Keith Simon: Well, it's very dangerous. No child will survive that and no mother will survive that. That fallopian tube will eventually burst and kill both.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. And I have many friends who have experiences. It's very common.
Keith Simon: Yeah.
Patrick Miller: Okay. So, let's keep going. She says," The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion." So, we have to ask, is that actually a true statement? But let's keep going." The treatment for a septic uterus is abortion." So, the septic uterus is when you have a miscarriage and that child that's inside of the uterus becomes an infection risk for the mother." The treatment for a miscarriage that your body won't release is abortion. If you can't get those abortions, you die, you die."
Keith Simon: She seems to misunderstand, either willfully or unintentionally, what an abortion is, because abortion is the intentional taking of a life, the destruction of that embryo in order to terminate life. An abortion is not an unintended consequence of dealing with the serious health issues of the mother.
Patrick Miller: Here's what I actually think is happening. She is, and a lot of other people, are confusing procedures with ethics.
Keith Simon: That's good.
Patrick Miller: So, when you think about an abortion, you could talk about abortion as a procedure, like here's a list of five things that we call abortion, these are all medical procedures that we do.
Keith Simon: You mean the" how it's done".
Patrick Miller: How it's done. That's a different statement than, ethically, what is an abortion? In other words, in terms of ethics, when is something called an abortion? It's when you terminate or end a viable pregnancy.
Keith Simon: So, it goes to intent. Intent matters here.
Patrick Miller: Intent matters in reality, because in all of these cases, none of these are viable pregnancies. This child cannot be brought to term, the child will not grow and develop. So, you are not ending a child's life, you are not ending a viable pregnancy. And just so you know, I'm actually taking this from a fabulous article by a pro- choice doctor who was arguing against her fellow pro- choice people. She's saying," Stop calling these things abortions. Yes. Some of the procedures are the same as procedures that are done in abortions, so if that's what you're talking about, fine, good enough. But it's medically wrong. Abortion is the termination of a viable pregnancy." And she said," When you start calling these things'abortion', that's what puts women at risk because people will actually believe what you're saying."
Keith Simon: I went through, I can't say all, but a lot of the states that have begun to-
Patrick Miller: I went through all of them, and so this is a true statement what you're about to state.
Keith Simon: Okay. So, if you went through all of them?
Patrick Miller: Yes.
Keith Simon: Okay. Well, I didn't know you were doing that. I should have spent my time doing something else. But I went through them all to look, or most of them, to look at the language they used. And these are the states that are going to be the most restrictive, the ones they have what are called" trigger laws," that as soon as Roe V Wade was overturned, these laws went into effect. And they all mention" ectopic pregnancies". They go through a list of things. This is not this, this is not this, yes, this is not this, and one of them is ectopic pregnancy. In other words, these laws do not prohibit doctors from saving the mother's life in these really hard cases.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. So, I want to make sure we get this. The trigger laws Keith's talking about, these are in the states that will have the most prohibitive abortion laws, because they wrote the law before Roe vs Wade was overturned. Every single one of them has clauses for medical exceptions to protect and save the mother's life, every single one of them. So, first of all, these are not abortions. And I really don't want to say it, because I have friends who have gone through this, and they've had people tell them that you had an abortion. And by the way, these are not pro- life people who tell them they had abortions, it's almost always pro- choice people are saying," Oh, I'm sorry you had to have an abortion," and they're," Wait, I had an abortion?" They've had to say," No, no, no, no, no. That is not an abortion." And when you tell someone that it's an abortion, that's an incredibly unloving, uncaring thing to do to that person because they were not terminating a pregnancy. But number two, this is a false statement. None of these laws will cause someone to die from an ectopic pregnancy. This is a red herring. It's really deceitful. I don't know if these people are uninformed or if they're willfully trying to say something that's false. Either way, these new laws, they do not affect moms who need to have these procedures for medical reasons.
Keith Simon: Yeah, to save their life. So, let's move on to another one, and that is, if you're going to be against abortion, then you've got to care for these kids who come from unwanted pregnancies or unplanned pregnancies, people who grow up in poverty. And this is a way of making the pro- life movement responsible for caring for these children who are born. And I don't know about you, Patrick, there's part of me that agrees with this and there's part of me that doesn't agree with it. I'm split. And a lot of it comes down to motive and what people mean about," Now, you pro- life people, you're responsible to take care of the healthcare and to take care of paying for college and take care for feeding these kids and housing and sheltering them. You're responsible for it because you said they needed to be born, so you better step up and take care of them."
Patrick Miller: Let me be clear why I agree with that statement. It's because I believe in the Sermon on the Mount, I believe in Jesus' teachings about loving those who are in need, loving those who are hurting, loving those who are living on the margins. Because that's part of my ethical system, I agree that Christians who are pro- life should care about these things. Here's what I disagree with. It seems to imply that protecting the life of an unborn child means that I am now responsible for that child's life in perpetuity. That makes absolutely no sense.
Keith Simon: I think I agree with that. So, I think what you're saying is that you are for caring for people's real physical needs because you follow Jesus, and Jesus's Kingdom cares about the whole person.
Patrick Miller: Yes.
Keith Simon: Not because you're pro- life, but because you're pro Jesus, pro Sermon on the Mount, pro- Christian.
Patrick Miller: What I'm saying is, let's say I'm walking down an alley and a guy with a knife comes up and tries to stab the person next to me and I rescue them, I save them from the knifer, am I now responsible for that person's life for the rest of their life because I saved them?
Keith Simon: Yes, you have to make sure they get a good education, they have good retirement and-
Patrick Miller: And here's another example that we pulled from a great blog post. Imagine saying to an organization that was an afterschool program in an impoverished high crime neighborhood that they also, in addition to caring for kids' education, now they're also responsible for reducing and solving poverty, crime, truancy, broken families, drug use, and protecting those kids throughout the night when they're not at the after school program. It would be ridiculous.
Keith Simon: Yeah. The blog post that comes from is by a guy named Scott Klusendorf. I read his book, Case for Life. If you're looking for other resources, that's a great one. He has other books out there. A guy named Randy Alcorn has a bunch of good books available too. Here's something else that bothers me about it is that there are people on the pro- choice side, at least I think they are, who are acting as if Christians haven't been doing this. Who do you think runs all these crisis pregnancy centers? Who do you think has all these shelters for moms? Who's buying the diapers? Who's taking people to doctor's appointments? Who is providing the free sonograms? Who is it that is adopting and fostering kids? It's the Christians who are doing it. So-
Patrick Miller: Get your facts straight.
Keith Simon: ...Stop acting like Christians haven't been doing this. Christians have been doing this for years, for decades. And if you're a Christian and you haven't been doing it, well, okay, that's on you, because you have plenty of opportunities to help women in need. So, instead of accusing your fellow Christians of not doing something that they are doing, by the way, get off your rear end and contribute. Maybe it's financially, maybe it's with some time, maybe it's building a relationship, mentoring. There's lots of ways that you can get involved in this, but quit acting like Christians haven't been doing this. It's driving me nuts.
Patrick Miller: It drives me nuts as well. Big picture of this argument, protecting someone's life does not mean that I am responsible for every aspect of their life in the future. However, other side of this, Christians are called to care for all people. So, I think Christians should be fully pro- life in every possible way. We want to create a pro- life society that deals with the underlying causes of abortion so that people don't want or feel like they need to have abortions. We should be for that. So, we're saying it both and here.
Keith Simon: Yeah, but I just want to stand the underlying causes thing for a second, because we could take something like murder or spousal abuse, let's take that and say, the underlying cause of spousal abuse, or at least one of the underlying causes is trauma in your childhood. So, instead of outlawing spousal abuse, what you should try to do is go around and provide counseling for people who had traumatic childhoods and who therefore might abuse their spouses, or you could do the same thing about murder or any other kind of crime. So, yes, let's address the underlying causes of all kinds of problem, but let's make the laws restrict people's behaviors so that we can live in a safe, just society. It's not one or the other.
Patrick Miller: Let's move on to what I find to be one of the most challenging questions. And by the way, we didn't address this in our previous episode. We very explicitly said that we weren't, but a lot of people asked us about it, so now we will. What about women who get pregnant through rape or incest?
Keith Simon: And just to be clear here, I think we just keep it" rape", because most of the" incest" here would be rape by a family member. And I think there's two ways that people ask this question, and one way is it's a really a genuine question. We live in a broken world where horrible things happen, and it breaks anyone's heart to think that a woman is raped and that a child is conceived in that rape, and then the person who's on the pro- life side but confused, says," Hey, should we really force a woman to carry that baby to term when it came about through rape?"
Patrick Miller: Well, you think about how traumatic that would be. You already have the trauma of rape, and again, in many of these cases it's family members in someone's life, and now they have a child that's developing, and it's a constant sign, signal of this awful thing that happened to them and will be for the rest of their life. It really is heartbreaking. This is, for me, one of the hardest questions. And it's actually one of those areas where my intuition runs almost the opposite direction of where my ethics should.
Keith Simon: Right. Because I think you're saying, and I agree, your intuition says, okay, in that situation, maybe it's okay to abort the child or fetus.
Patrick Miller: Because I care about that woman and I care about her life and the trauma and the pain that she's gone through, and I don't want to extend it. And I understand how having that pregnancy could extend it in some pretty tremendous ways.
Keith Simon: Absolutely. So, we can say all of that a 100%, and yet, at the same time, ask ourselves if it's okay to take the life of a person who reminds us of a painful event, even a traumatic painful event like rape. And let's say that you had a one- year- old who reminded you of something that was absolutely horrible, devastating, just as traumatic as rape. Would it be okay to take the life of a one year old so that you wouldn't be reminded of that anymore? And you start finding yourself going, Well, of course not." You can't kill a one- year- old because it reminds you of a past event, as horrible as that event might be. So, what I find myself doing in this situation is saying that I'd be willing to make a compromise here for rape. It's such a small percentage of abortions are due to rape, I'd be willing to make a political compromise, but morally, what do I think is morally ethical? Well, I don't think it is right to take the life of an unborn child even if that unborn child's life came about through a horrible thing like rape.
Patrick Miller: And I want people to hear, at least from me, I'm trying to be really consistent. If you've listened to this podcast, you know that I'm about as thorough- going an advocate of life in all situations as possible. I believe in Christian nonviolence. So, if you came at me with a gun and threatened me, I wouldn't shoot you. I would let you shoot me in that situation. I've argued in the past, we wrote a piece about this, about gun control measures, I'm very, pro- life. In all situations, you choose life, choose life, choose life, choose life. So, to be consistent in this instance, I think I have to say, look, I know it's traumatic, look, I know it's awful and difficult, and I wish we didn't live in a world where these kinds of things happen, and yet life is the priority. Life is the most important ethical priority that we can consider, and so I think in this circumstance, you have to choose life.
Keith Simon: I think there is another person who asked this question, it's kind of a" gotcha" question, and they take it as something that happens very infrequently in trying to use it as a basis to justify abortion on a much more widespread basis.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. The logic goes like this, because there are women who have been raped and have to have abortions, therefore we should allow all abortions.
Keith Simon: Right. And I think one thing you could ask a person who comes at it from that perspective is, if I agreed that in the case of rape that we would allow abortions, would then you prohibit abortions and all the other circumstances? And they're pretty quickly going to say," Well, no." I say,"Well, okay. So, what you're doing then is just using this extremely sad, heartbreaking situation to justify your own position. You're not really interested in the women who were raped and got pregnant from that. What you're interested in doing is using them as a pawn in your argument."
Patrick Miller: Yeah. So, I would really warn against pro- choice people who do this, because what you just said is exactly right. Using women who have been traumatized to make a political point is, in my opinion, morally reprehensible. Okay, let's go onto the next question. What about contraception?
Keith Simon: I was asked by a woman on social media and then in a follow- up email, here's her question in her words," Are you going to recommend all women to have their IUDs removed moving forward?" An IUD is a kind of contraception that makes a fertilized egg not implant inside the uterus, and therefore-
Patrick Miller: It makes the uterine lining inhospitable to that fertilized egg.
Keith Simon: So, what she's saying is, if you have a fertilized egg, so we have conception, we have a life, and this form of birth control, IUD, is designed to not allow that fertilized egg to attach to the uterus, is that abortion? And are you saying that's morally wrong? What do you think Patrick?
Patrick Miller: Well, I have two thoughts. The first thought is this, that kind of thing, a fertilized egg not attaching to the uterus, that actually happens relatively frequently. For example, if you are pregnant and you and your husband have sex, you could actually fertilize another egg, but at that point, because you already have an embryo or a fetus or whatever else inside of your uterus, that egg will not attach. So, part of this is, I have to wrestle with, does that mean I shouldn't have sex when my wife is pregnant because I could risk this happening? There's a valuable question to be had there. But the other side of this is, I think when it comes to contraception, we need to follow our ethics through. When Emily and I got married, we had very, and people are going to think I'm the weirdest person in the world-
Keith Simon: We're already do.
Patrick Miller: ...we had very serious conversations about how we used contraception. We wanted to be sure that we didn't use any forms of contraception that had any abort- efficient elements or any elements that would prevent, like we just said here, a fertilized egg from implanting.
Keith Simon: There's two kinds of contraception. One kind prevents conception, between the egg and sperm, and prevents fertilization.
Patrick Miller: Yes.
Keith Simon: Another kind of contraception allows that conception to happen and then makes the uterus inhospitable to that. And what you were saying is that you were trying to use contraception that prevented conception from taking place.
Patrick Miller: That's exactly right. That's what we wanted to do. And again, I'm not trying to freak people out, but we took this so seriously, I spent time researching how-
Keith Simon: Private school. The answer to every question is more research.
Patrick Miller: ...I spent time researching how birth control works, because there are some people who argue that there might be some abort- efficient elements in certain forms of birth control, the pill that people take. And I'm not saying this to make people feel guilty. What I am saying is, as Christians, we should be ethically serious people.
Keith Simon: So, the woman who asked this question, I think she intended it, if I read it right-
Patrick Miller: It's a"gotcha."
Keith Simon: Has a" gotcha". But it turns out, no-
Patrick Miller: It's not.
Keith Simon: ...I don't think that we as a podcast or as pastors or churches probably need to have policy positions on something like contraception. But I do think we can say, be careful, be wise, and live out your Christian values and your Christian ethics in every area of your life, which takes us to another question, and that is about in- vitro fertilization.
Patrick Miller: So, let me explain in layman's terms what in- vitro fertilization is. If you're struggling with infertility, one solution is to go to an infertility doctor and you give that doctor eggs and sperm and they-
Keith Simon: Fertilize them outside the womb.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. Then, they'll throw those fertilized eggs into a freezer. And over time they will implant those eggs in the mother's uterine lining with the goal that it will grow into a full born baby.
Keith Simon: But in a lot of places that IVF is used, they make a lot of fertilized eggs, more than they would ever possibly use.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. So, you might go in and they would say," Okay, we're going to create 16 fertilized eggs, and we'll start by implanting two or three at a given time, see which one takes. If it doesn't go, we'll do the next two or three, the next two or three-
Keith Simon: But if they did take, they would just discard, throw out the other fertilized eggs?
Patrick Miller: Well, they might throw them out, they might keep them if the parents wanted to keep them.
Keith Simon: But nobody's going to have 16 children.
Patrick Miller: Well, no. So, this is one of the challenges. So, I know lots of Christians who have used in- vitro fertilization. And how they've navigated this ethically is they've done two things. The first thing they said is, even though it's more expensive, part of it's about price, it's cheaper to do 16 at once than it is to fertilize six eggs at once, for example, or four eggs at once. But what they would do is they'd say," Hey, we're gonna find a doctor who will allow us to fertilize smaller numbers of eggs." So, let's say we fertilize four eggs, and they say," I am committed to implanting all of those eggs over time, and so if the first one doesn't work, I'll go on the second, I'll go onto the third, I'll go onto the fourth. But the first one does work, I'm gonna do the second, and if the second one works, I'm gonna do the second, and so on. And so I might ended up having four kids." So, again, these are people who are ethically serious. They're using technology in an ethically serious way. So, I don't think that this affects IVF, although I would say to the person who is considering IVF, hey, how can you do this ethically? If you believe that fertilized egg is a human, how can you make sure that you are not creating a bunch of humans that you have no intent of taking through the full human developmental process?
Keith Simon: Maybe one more thing on that is that just because medical technology allows us to do something doesn't mean we should do it, and that we don't have to be careful about how we do it. So, medical technology has allowed infertile couples all kinds of opportunities they wouldn't have had 50 years ago, a 100 years ago, and we can be thankful for that. But that doesn't mean that just because you can do it, you should do it. And you have to bring your Christian ethics into that conversation and say," Okay, maybe I am going to use IVF, but I'm going to do it in a Christian responsible way."
Patrick Miller: I've got a bizarre example, but I think it illustrates the ethical complexity here. Let's say you had a child, child gets to three years old and accidentally dies in a drowning accident. If you had the ability, which eventually we will, to clone that child and have that child again, would you do it? Technology allows you to do it. It might be a thing that's possible to do. But is it the right thing to do? I'm just using as an example to say, just because you can doesn't always mean you should.
Keith Simon: Medical advancements are ahead of moral and ethical thinking.
Patrick Miller: Oh, yeah.
Keith Simon: So, we've got a lot of work to do on those issues.
Patrick Miller: Before we move on, I just want to say this, this is another one of these red herrings, people say," See, all these states are gonna ban abortions, which means no more IVF. It's going to end." Again, that is factually false. And we can link to it in the show notes, there's a Washington Post article that points out that there are 83 state bills mentioning abortion in IVF. 45 of those state bills explicitly exempt IVF and assisted reproductive technologies. None of the bills, not a single one of them ban IVF. So, again, someone saying," Oh, you're not gonna be able to use IUDs or you're not going to be able to do IVF," that's not in any of these laws. So, don't get caught by the red herring. It has nothing to do with what we're talking about.
Keith Simon: We'll get back to the show in a second. Hey, when we started this podcast, we had this theory we were going to have a dissents page in which we were going to interact with people who disagreed with this, but we've never been able to get it off the ground. So, could you help us?
Patrick Miller: Yeah. Just tell us how you disagree. I've asked so many people," Hey, here's this page, go tell us how you disagree," and no one will tell us how they disagree even though I know they do. Now, I know it takes a bit of time to write a dissent, but if you do it, we may share that in an upcoming newsletter. So, you can reach all of our listeners, who heard all of the awful things that we said, and tell them all the ways we're wrong. Isn't that fun.
Keith Simon: It's your opportunity to tell everybody what idiots we are. and here's the deal, I promise that I will be charitable. In other words, we don't want to embarrass you or try to dunk on you, we want to interact with you. Now, I don't know what Patrick will do to you, but I promise, I promise I have velvet gloves on.
Patrick Miller: So, click the link in the show notes if you disagree with what we're saying or what we've said in the past and share your dissent.
Keith Simon: Otherwise, we're going to kill this whole dissent thing, so please help revive it. So, our last couple questions are a bit outside of the medical ethics thing, and so the next one is Roe vs Wade was settled law, it was precedent, and should the Supreme Court have overturned precedent that had been around for 50 years. People had organized their life around it. And a couple of quick things on that. One is that when Roe came into being in 1973, it overturned 49 state laws. That doesn't mean that 49 states prohibited abortion, but it does mean that 49 of the states had more restrictive laws than Roe V Wade and their trimester approach to abortion.
Patrick Miller: Which is, by the way, what the court is typically not supposed to do is overturning laws, unless there's a Constitutional reason to do it.
Keith Simon: Right. So, my point is that Roe V Wade overturned state laws. If you're against overturning things, then the original problem started back in 1973, not today when it all got sent back to the states. But even a bigger thing to me is that we are thankful that the Supreme Court has overturned lots of decisions in the past.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. Brown vs Board of Education turned around Plessy versus Ferguson.
Keith Simon: 1954, Brown vs Board of Education, which said that segregated schools were not allowed anymore, that" separate but equal" was unconstitutional, and therefore integrated our school system. That's 1954, Brown vs Board of Education. It overturned the decision called Plessy vs Ferguson, which had established" separate but equal" as constitutional practice. So, look, if we didn't believe in overturning laws, we would still be living in a racially segregated world. So, yes, of course we are for overturning bad laws, of course we are for overturning" constitutional rights" that were never in the Constitution to begin with.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. That's actually the point with the Plessy vs Ferguson and Brown vs Board of Education. What the court found in Brown vs Board of Education was that Plessy versus Ferguson did not honor the Constitution. It got the Constitution wrong.
Keith Simon: Yeah. So, it really wasn't-
Patrick Miller: It was overturning law, it was defending the Constitution. And by the way, that's exactly what's happening in Roe vs Wade, it is defending the Constitution. There is no enumerated constitutional right to an abortion. And that was a problem with Roe vs Wade. Something that's really important to point out here is, there are many pro- choice constitutional experts, lawyers, who point out that the original finding in Roe vs Wade was shoddy legal work. It made no sense.
Keith Simon: Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg-
Patrick Miller: Yes.
Keith Simon: ...who was the icon of the pro- choice movement said that Roe vs Wade was just a bad, badly written decision.
Patrick Miller: And this was one reason why she and others advocated for," Hey, we need to actually write this into law." Because this is a legislative issue, it's a law issue, you need to write it into law, because this case, it's not going to hold water in the end. And of course that's what ended up happening is it didn't hold water. Let's move on to our final question, and which I've seen in multiple places, and it's this." What about my right? What about my constitutional right to have an abortion?" I'll read some online quotes I saw. This was from someone on Instagram. She said," Today I put my daughter to sleep with fewer rights than she woke up with." So, she's saying, look, when she woke up this morning, she had a right to an abortion, now she's going to sleep, she doesn't have that right anymore. Thomas Chatterton Williams, who I really like, wrote this, he said," One of the things I'm most thankful for is that my kids have two passports," so they're citizens in two different nations." Today is a reminder that at any time a given country can roll back your rights, curtail your autonomy." And here's another question I saw online," But if we have rights to guns and if we have rights to gay marriage, and I don't agree with either of those things, why should I stop someone's right to have an abortion?" So, what we're talking about here is, what's a right? What does it mean to say that I have a right to an abortion? What does it mean to say that I have a right to anything?
Keith Simon: Well, let's start with this. The Constitution of the United States does not grant people rights.
Patrick Miller: It protects rights.
Keith Simon: It protects rights that came from God. In the Declaration of Independence it says that we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but those come from God, not from government.
Patrick Miller: Yeah, it's exactly right. And when we start talking about rights, we'll very quickly discover that it's slippery language. Let me just go through some examples. What are all these different kinds of rights? Human rights, constitutional rights, consumer rights, economic rights, medical rights, housing rights. I can just keep going. There's a lot of different kinds of rights out there. And how we think about each of these different forms of rights is a bit different. So, since we're talking about law, I think it's important to start with, what are constitutional rights? And in the world of constitutional rights, there's basically two different forms of rights. There's what's called enumerated rights and un- enumerated rights, which is just a fancy way of saying, some rights are written into the Constitution. Those are enumerated rights.
Keith Simon: Yes. So, these are things like the right to religious Liberty or the right to free speech or property rights, the right to not incriminate yourself in a trial but instead take the 5th.
Patrick Miller: The right to vote. There's a lot of rights that are enumerated, written into the Constitution.
Keith Simon: Both in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Patrick Miller: The Bill of Rights. The amendments are part of the Constitution, so I'll see them through. So, there's another kind, which is called un- enumerated rights. So, these are rights that aren't explicitly written into the Constitution, but they are strongly implied. They can be inferred from the enumerated rights.
Keith Simon: And this is where it gets harder, right?
Patrick Miller: Yeah. This is where things get subjective, and this is why Roe vs Wade was such a bad court decision was because it was based on un- enumerated rights. So, the original decision was based on legal scholarship that suggested that there was a history of abortion rights in the United States. Now, that legal scholarship since 1973 has been roundly disproven. No historian believes what that was based on. Now, that creates a problem because the logic that said," Hey, this is an un- enumerated right," was based on faulty research, which is why it was so easy to overturn in the new-
Keith Simon: Okay, so let me see if I get it right. When Harry Blackman wrote the case in 1973, he drew upon a body of work that said abortion rights have been around for a long time, but it turns out that we all know that's not true.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. That's history.
Keith Simon: 49 states had more restrictive abortion laws than Roe V. Wade allowed. So, it overturned 100s of years of legal precedent in establishing Roe V. Wade. So, there wasn't a historical agreement on abortion rights.
Patrick Miller: Well, yeah. So, to dig in even more, what Roe V Wade said, based on the 14th Amendment, was that those state laws which banned abortion, they were compromising people's constitutional rights. And to say that it was a constitutional right, they had to go back to the 1800s and 1700s and show that the founding fathers up through the modern era actually saw abortion was within the realm of a constitutional right. But all of that body of research, again, has been proven to be false. You will not find at Harvard, Yale, or anywhere else, anyone who affirms this stuff anymore. It was bad research, which is why it was so easy to overturn. So, let's pull back the camera. Someone says," Hey, you've taken away my rights." The bottom line is, you do not have a Constitutional right to an abortion. Now, that doesn't mean that states can't create laws, does not mean that states can't create laws that allow abortion or ban an abortion. It simply means there is no constitutional right to abortion.
Keith Simon: So, instead of this being argued in the courts, it should be argued in the Legislature.
Patrick Miller: Exactly.
Keith Simon: And we should try to persuade our fellow citizens of our view, we should vote for people that represent our view, and then the legislatures get to make that decision, the Legislature that's accountable to the public. It's not for nine Supreme Court justices, who aren't accountable to the public, to make this decision.
Patrick Miller: That's exactly right. Now, this is where the slipperiness of" rights" language really starts going. We live in the age of entitlement where people just love to say anything is a right. I hear this in the funniest ways, I was at Chick- fil- A the other day, and there's this guy who had an expired coupon, and the gal at the register wouldn't take the coupon because it was expired. And I kid you not, he said," I have the right to a free sandwich." I've heard spouses argue and I'll hear the wife say," I have a right to be heard." Okay, that's a little more serious. Or I think about someone at our church who was offended by an illustration I did recently, they said," I have the right to not hear something like that at my church." Now, I'm saying all these things to just point out, when you start getting these conversations about rights, my first question is always this, what is a right?
Keith Simon: Because that's not a legal right they're referring to-
Patrick Miller: No.
Keith Simon: He doesn't have a legal right to a free sandwich, right?
Patrick Miller: No. I'm not even sure he has a legal right if it wasn't expired. I don't know how that works, but he doesn't have the right. Just like a spouse doesn't have a legal right to be heard out, the wife can't go to the police and say," Hey, my husband wasn't listening to me."
Keith Simon: Yeah. And all our rights, even the real legal rights, the Constitutional rights, have limits to them. So, part of what the Supreme Court has to do is figure out how these rights intersect with each other. So, we've all heard the thing over and over about how we have a right to free speech, but that doesn't mean that we have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater if there's not really a fire, because even our right to free speech has certain limits to it.
Patrick Miller: Yes. So, the logic there's really straightforward. It's a dark theater, and all of a sudden, there's no bomb, but you decide," I have the right to free speech. I'm going to yell'bomb'." Well, if you do that, the lights don't come on, people would start running. They might trample each other, they might literally kill each other on their way out by accident. So, why don't I have the right to yell" bomb" when there is no bomb, it's for the very simple reason that someone's right to life supersedes my right to free speech. This is implicit in the notion of all rights, that there is a hierarchy of rights. There are some rights that are more valuable than other rights. And that really comes to bear. Whether we're talking about Constitutional rights or ethical rights, whatever it is, that there's always a hierarchy of rights. There are certain rights which are more important than others. And this matters in abortion. It goes back to where we started this whole episode. If that unborn child is a human being, if that's a human being, their right to life supersedes a mother's rights to make medical decisions. I will defend, to my dying breath, a mother's right to make medical decisions. I don't think that her husband should be able to make them for her, I don't think that her parents, once she's beyond the age of 18, should be able to make any of those kinds of decisions for her, I don't think anyone should. I think that is her right. But there is a higher right at stake, which is that child's right to life.
Keith Simon: So, it brings us back to where we started being able to simplify this issue by just saying, what is being aborted? What is a fetus? Is that fetus a child? Science says it's an independent living entity. The Bible says that God formed that child in the womb, that God has a relationship with that child. Science seems to be telling us that child has feelings, feels pain, all kinds of things earlier and earlier than you would expect. So, you're not going to be able to convince me, at least I haven't been convinced yet, that that fetus does not become a person until it passes through that birth canal.
Patrick Miller: Yeah. You, if you're on the pro- choice side, have to very clearly answer, at what point does an embryo fetus, wherever it's at, become a living, breathing, human being. There's a great project out there called, What Is An Abortion, where this gal goes around to people and she asks them, Are you pro- choice or pro- life?" And they say," I'm pro- choice." She says," Do you know what an abortion is?" And they say," Oh, yeah, I think I know what it is." She goes," Well, can I actually tell you what happens in an abortion? Can I show you some things that happened in an abortion?" And what was fascinating was that the majority of people who went through that process with her changed their mind. In other words, the more information they had, the more they began to say," Oh shoot, I wasn't thinking about that as a person. And I had no idea the physical pain, trauma, everything that fetus was going to have to go through, and I really need to rethink my position based on the facts."
Keith Simon: I have one more question as we start to wrap up, and that is, Shouldn't we err on the side of protecting life? Think about our criminal court system. Our criminal court system is set up so that it takes a unanimous verdict in order to convict someone of a crime. So, the court system is set up to allow a guilty person to go free before it convicts an innocent person and imprisons that innocent person. If just one of 12 jurors thinks that the person is not guilty, that person walks free. It takes all 12 to say guilty in order for that person to go to jail. Why? Well, because we value freedom. And we would rather let a guilty person go than convict an innocent person and imprison them. And when you see someone imprisoned, who's maybe been there for years and years and years, and now it's been revealed that they didn't commit the crime, your heart breaks for that-
Patrick Miller: Oh, it's awful.
Keith Simon: ...It's horrible. They've-
Patrick Miller: That happened here in Columbia with a young guy-
Keith Simon: 10, 20, 30, 50 years, and then it turns out they didn't do it, and your heart breaks for him. So, that's the way our system is set up to protect the rights of the innocent. Well, shouldn't we do that for life? If you're not sure when life begins, you're not exactly sure what week it begins, shouldn't we take extra steps to protect life, to assume that life is there, to build in systems that say," Hey, we're not sure, but we're going to give the benefit of the doubt to life and protecting life"? Isn't that the kind of person you want to be, isn't that the kind of world that you want to live in, that goes the extra mile to protect life? If you had to err, on a side, wouldn't you rather err on the side of protecting life than being cavalier or flippant or not protecting life? I think that's a question that everybody has to wrestle with, when does life begin? Thanks for listening. If you found this podcast helpful, make sure to subscribe and leave a review.
Patrick Miller: And make sure it's at least five stars.
Keith Simon: Stop. No. Just be honest. Reviews help other people find us.
Patrick Miller: Okay, okay. At the very least you can share today's episode, maybe put it on your social, your favorite text chain.
Keith Simon: And if you didn't like this episode, awesome. Tell us why you disagree on Twitter, @ truthovertribe_. We might even share your thoughts in an upcoming newsletter.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights. This decision has generated celebration for pro-lifers, fury for pro-choicers, and confusion for many, including Christians. In today's bonus episode, Patrick and Keith tackle your most challenging questions related to this historic decision. Hear them address FAQs such as: Won't women just pursue illegal abortions now? What about abortions to save women's lives? What about cases of rape and incest? What happens now regarding contraception and IVF? Legally, should SCOTUS really have overturned 50 years of precedent? Listen as they explain why it all really comes down to one question: Is the unborn a person?
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