The Sexual, Social & Scientific Dimensions to Abortion

You may notice that we have made some changes to the format of Salvo in this issue. Primarily, we are no longer dividing the middle section of the magazine into three separate sections devoted respectively to Society, Sex, and Science. Instead, the space will be used for all of the feature articles, regardless of topic (pages 26-39 in this issue).

We've done this to give us more flexibility in planning and layout. Also, you will find our usual Ammo and Shrapnel departments at the front, and not divided into the three categories. The book and film Blips have been moved to the back section, along with Archives.

The new format allows our regular columnists (such as Michael Cook, who writes Foreign Intel) to write about any topic appropriate for Salvo instead of being limited to the section in which their columns used to appear. You will now find the columns right before and after the feature articles, with our usual departments flanking the columns in turn, both front and back.

The departments have more space available to them in this new format and will remain for the most part topic-oriented, such as Paige Cunningham's Biohazards on bioethics or Cameron Wybrow's Archives on older books. Terrell Clemmons's Surveillance continues as a profile of a person or organization to be wary of.

A new department, Casualty Report, presents statistics reflecting the negative features of modern secularized society. A Casualty Report, for example, might list and quantify the negative health consequences of sexual promiscuity or the rising human costs of drug addiction or pornography.

Abortion in Three Dimensions

Our inaugural Casualty Report (pages 10-11) compares the number of abortions worldwide to the death tolls of other events in history. It is eye-opening.

Abortion is also a good example of a topic about which articles can be written that don't fall into just one of our traditional categories of Sex, Society, or Science.

Abortion is obviously about sex in that its purpose is to destroy a natural consequence of sex—a newly conceived baby. Insofar as the promotion of sex without consequences is an integral aspect of the sexual revolution, abortion may be said to be the indispensable safety net underpinning that revolution. As such, it is fiercely protected by the political powers and secular elites who have embraced the sexual revolution.

Abortion has social dimensions, too. On the one hand, the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 brought a new force into society: the pro-life movement. On the other, the decision made it possible for many people to avoid taking responsibility for the consequences of their sexual activities by turning parenthood into a choice that could be made after procreating a child, not before. Moreover, both those who provided abortion and those who resorted to it (the latter now numbering in the tens of millions) have had to suppress their consciences, a situation having wide-ranging social ramifications. Then there are the former abortionists and clients who now deeply regret what they did. Guilt, too, is a social (and spiritual) issue.

The abortion issue involves science as well. In 1973, the Supreme Court Justices pretended that no one, not even scientists, really knew when a new human life began. Even some doctors said the aborted fetus was mere "tissue" or an indeterminate "clump of cells." Subsequent advances in embryology, microbiology, and genetics have made it abundantly clear that the proper scientific answer to the question, "When is a new human being created?" is, "At conception." Science has exposed the lie told to justify abortion.

Thus, as with so many other things in life, abortion can be seen to have sexual, social, and scientific dimensions. Affecting the bodies, minds, and hearts of human beings, it is ultimately a moral and spiritual issue as well. For we are made in the image of God at conception, and what we do with our bodies, sexually and otherwise, matters not only to us but also to God. This is what inspires us to publish Salvo, and wehope you are helped by this new issue.

is the executive editor of Salvo and Touchstone magazines.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #34, Winter 2018 Copyright © 2019 Salvo |