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Topics: Cultural Engagement, Current Events, Politics

Calculating the Economics of a Life

October 2, 2013


By Derick Dickens

It is entirely consistent with the Christian faith to look upon the differences between people and rejoice.

We differ in color, size, intellectual ability, physical prowess, and giftings; yet, each of us are humans–image bearers of God. And because we are made in God’s image, we can also marvel in at our differences–even if the difference is an extra chromosome.

Afterall, a Down Syndrome baby girl is made, just like you and me, in the image of God. Like the Psalmist, she too should be able to rejoice in being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

Children with Down Syndrome are often considered a scourge on society, a pain to parents, and a burden resulting in a whopping 92% abortion rate. Fifty states and the District of Columbia allow the abortion of children merely because they are disabled. Every state allows a parent to abort a child merely because of a disability, that is, every state except one–North Dakota.

North Dakota’s prohibition is a newer law that was immediately challenged by the lone North Dakota abortion provider and an abortion rights group. Hand-in-hand, these two organizations, justified their challenge as a way of protecting the rights of women. In a recent decision, two parts of the challenge were dropped from the lawsuit. Those two parts were the provisions that made it illegal to abort a baby due to genetic abnormalities and sex.

While the case itself is not a significant win, it does provide us with insight into the culture of the abortion industry in America. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the case a little closer.

The Judge ruled that the case could be brought up again if the abortion rights group or the abortion provider wanted to, but this seems unlikely. According to these two groups, there is just not enough money in those abortions to warrant a trial.

This seems to be a rather strange response for two groups who believe abortion is a right needing preservation. It becomes apparent this is nothing more than a business enterprise operating like other businesses, using a cost analysis to determine their next move. Basically, the abortion rights groups are treating abortion less as a right and more as economics.

As Christians, we sometimes have to put aside economic arguments and should be a little concerned when a group’s sole concern is economics. While abortion is opposed to what we believe about humans, so is calculating the economics of a life.

In the 1700’s when William Wilberforce worked to rid England of the scourge of slavery, the most ardent opposition he faced were from those who viewed slavery as primarily an economic issue. In fact, at one point it was believed that ridding England of slavery would bankrupt the kingdom. Wilberforce’s supporters believed that rights and human dignity were worth far more than the economics of the issue. Gladly, Wilberforce won the day showing that human worth is more important than the economics of the time.

The abortion groups in the North Dakota case began arguing as though they were preserving a right, but in reality it was about the economics of a human life.

When God looks at each human, He sees us made in His image. Our importance cannot be diminished or added to by economics or because we are a female or disabled.

As Christians, let us be amazed when we look upon others. In every person in the world, we can loudly exclaim that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made–even people with an extra chromosome.


Derick Dickens has an MBA in Leadership, MDiv, and MA in Religion.  He speaks regularly on topics ranging from Christian Worldview issues to business leadership, and he is an Professor of Business and Human Resources.  Married for 15 years to his wife Lacie, they have three children and live in Lynchburg Virginia.  You can follow Derick on Twitter at

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