Recommended Reading on Abortion
Arguably the most important moral issue of our day is the wholesale and wanton slaughter of the unborn. With some 100,000 unborn babies killed every year in Australia, and around 45-50 million a year worldwide, this is one of the most important ethical issues which we can and should be involved in.
While there are plenty of books presenting the pro-death side to this debate, all the volumes listed here are clearly pro-life. The great majority of these authors would be Christians, but many of these volumes make the case for life using secular language and non-biblical arguments.
Some of the volumes of course also offer the biblical rational for the sanctity of life and the evil of abortion. With over 60 volumes to choose from here, there is a lot on offer. If I were pressed to recommend what I consider to be the very best books, I would probably go with Alcorn (Pro-Life Answers), Beckwith, and Klusendorf for starters.
The moving story of former abortionist Carol Everett is well worth reading, as is the story of intended abortion victim Gianna Jessen (Shafer). Another big-time former abortionist, Bernard Nathanson, is also well worth reading. For stories of Australian women still grieving over their abortions, see Tankard-Reist.
We all need to be fully informed about this vitally crucial issue. Please do yourself a favour – and do a favour to the unborn – and read some of these books, master their arguments, and stand up for life. We are all under a pressing moral obligation to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
Anderson, John, Cry of the Innocents: Abortion and the Race Towards Judgement. Bridge Publishing,1984.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, The Facts on Abortion. Harvest House Publishers, 1995.
Alcorn, Randy, Is Rescuing Right? InterVarsity Press, 1990.
Alcorn, Randy, Pro Life Answers To Pro Choice Questions. Multnomah Press, 1992, 2000.
Alcorn, Randy, Why Pro-Life? Multnomah Press, 2004.
Bachiochi, Erika, ed., The Cost of “Choice”. Encounter Books, 2004.
Bajema, Clifford, Abortion and the Meaning of Personhood. Baker Books, 1974.
Becker, Daniel, Personhood. TKS, 2011.
Beckwith, Francis, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Beckwith, Francis, Politically Correct Death: Answering Arguments for Abortion Rights. Baker Books, 1993.
Bigliardi, Patricia, Beyond the Hidden Pain of Abortion. Women’s Aglow Fellowship, 1994.
Brown, Harold O.J., Death Before Birth. Thomas Nelson, 1977.
Clowes, Brian, The Facts of Life. Human Life International, 1997.
Davis, John Jefferson, Abortion and the Christian: What Every Believer Should Know. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1984.
Everett, Carol, The Scarlet Lady: Confessions of a Successful Abortionist. Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1991.
Folger, Janet, True to Life. Sisters, Oregon: Loyal Publishing, 2000.
Fowler, Paul, Abortion: Toward an Evangelical Consensus. Multnomah Press, 1987.
Garton, Jean, Who Broke the Baby? Bethany House Publishers, 1979.
George, Robert and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. Doubleday, 2008.
Glessner, Thomas, Achieving an Abortion-Free America. Multnomah, 1990.
Grant, George, Killer Angel: A Biography of Planned Parenthood’s Founder Margaret Sanger. Ars Vitae Press, 1995.
Grant, George, Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood. Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1988.
Grant, George, Immaculate Deception: The Shifting Agenda of Planned Parenthood. Northfield, 1996.
Grant, George, The Quick and the Dead: RU 486 and the New Chemical Warfare Against Your Family. Crossway, 1992.
Grant, George, Third Time Around: A History of the Pro-Life Movement from the First Century to the Present. Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1991.
Hayford, Jack, I’ll Hold You in Heaven. Regal, 1986.
Hensley, Jeff Lane, ed., The Zero People. Servant Books, 1983.
Johnson, Abby, Unplanned. SaltRiver, 2010.
Kaczor, Christopher, The Ethics of Abortion. Routledge, 2011.
Klusendorf, Scott, The Case for Life. Crossway Books, 2009.
Koop, C. Everett, The Right To Live, the Right To Die. Tyndale House, 1976.
Kreeft, Peter, Three Approaches to Abortion. Ignatius Press, 2002.
Kreeft, Peter, The Unaborted Socrates. InterVarsity Press, 1983.
Lee, Patrick, Abortion and the Unborn Human Life. The Catholic University of America Press, 1996.
Marshall, Robert and Charles Donovan, Blessed are the Barren: The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood. Ignatius, 1991.
Mathewes-Green, Frederica, Real Choices: Offering Practical, Life-Affirming Alternatives to Abortion. Multnomah Press, 1994.
Michels, Nancy, Helping Women Recover From Abortion. Bethany House, 1988.
Nathanson, Bernard N., Aborting America. Doubleday and Company, 1979.
Nathanson, Bernard N., The Hand of God. Regnery, 1996.
Odell, Catherine and William, The First Human Right. Our Sunday Visitor Inc., 1983.
Olasky, Marvin, Abortion Rites. Crossway Books, 1992.
Reagan, Ronald, Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984.
Reardon, David C., Aborted Women: Silent No More. Loyola University Press, 1987.
Reardon, David C., Making Abortion Rare. Acorn Books, 1996.
Schlossberg, Terry and Elizabeth Achtemeier, Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church. Eerdmans, 1995.
Schwarz, Stephen, The Moral Question of Abortion. Loyola University Press, 1990.
Shaver, Jessica, Gianna: Aborted…and Lived to Tell About It. Focus on the Family, 1995.
Smith, F. LaGard, When Choice Becomes God. Harvest House Publishers, 1990.
Swindoll, Charles, Sanctity of Life. Word, 1990.
Tankard-Reist, Melinda, Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics. Melbourne: Spinifex Press, 2006.
Tankard-Reist, Melinda, Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief after Abortion. Duffy and Snellgrove, 2000.
Terry, Randall, Accessory to Murder. Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1990.
Terry, Randall, Operation Rescue. Whitaker House, 1988.
Wagner, Teresa, ed., Back to the Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-life Movement. St. Augustine’s Press, 2003.
Willke, Dr. & Mrs. J.C., Abortion, Questions and Answers. Hayes Publishing Company, 1988.
Young, Curt, The Least of These – What Everyone Should Know About Abortion. Moody Press, 1983, 1984.
12 Replies to “Recommended Reading on Abortion”
I agree, Bill !!! We need to articulate more in the policy arena to restore our Pro-Life Culture.
Anna Dominguez Smith
I also found Peter Barnes’ booklet ‘Abortion: open your mouth for the dumb’ very useful (especially as it’s only 64 pages, under $5 and written particularly from an Australian perspective).
In a discussion with a pro-choicer, the statement was made that it is OK for a mother to abort her baby – she will cope because she will never know the child – there are no memories, no knowledge of her child’s individuality, therefore it’s OK. Of course, it’s not OK and the mother who aborts almost always suffers immense pain and loss over her irreplaceable baby.
Imagine what it would be like if you were able to go back in time and due to a change in events, someone you loved was about to be shredded apart in the womb. I guess no one would think you were crazy if you went ballistic outside the abortion clinic, shouting, screaming, smashing your way through doors and protocol.
Although women who abort do often end up painfully grieving for the child they never knew, something my pro-choice friend said is worth noting in a general sense – we often value a person’s worth according to our personal knowledge of them, in other words – knowing them. It’s true. Think of someone you love and imagine them as a developing baby. You would be their protector too. What lengths would you go to to protect them being destroyed? What would you do?
We are all guilty of complacency to varying degrees – if something doesn’t affect us personally, we don’t do anything.
If I could send anyone back in time to speak to the obstetrician who suggested my culling, I would choose someone close to me to argue my case. And what would I personally want to say if I got to join in on the discussion? I guess I could say that he ought to get to know me first before making such a suggestion! In any case – it’s an impossible scenario. Besides that, I had a mother who wouldn’t consider it.
God knows us thoroughly even while we are in our mother’s womb. So how can we as mortal human beings learn to value other people as much as we value our own loved ones? Often what angers us mostly about abortion is the grotesque and macabre methods used to abort babies, but beyond that…? I would think that prayer is the key – to ask God for a heart that treasures and loves people the way that He does. And perhaps we might just start seeing some enraged ‘madmen’ outside the abortion clinics.
Yes it is a quite helpful booklet which could well be added to this list.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
I realize that the word pro-choice is a commonly used term. Now I’m not trying to dictate to anyone how they should describe the position some take on the issue. Personally I choose to call it by its more accurate name “pro abortion”. What choice is ever offered by abortion clinics to a distressed woman who seeks such a procedure? What choice was ever offered to the people of Victoria, after their blood thirsty legislation was introduced, preventing a doctor from acting on his or her conscience regarding referrals? Also, I have been informed that an amendment was offered to the Victorian parliamentarians, that any baby lined up for an abortion should be anesthetized, but the amendment was defeated. If that is true, then I believe the situation is even more callous than I imagined. In relation to the recent controversy on cattle slaughter in Asia, I wonder how many of those who have raised justifiable opposition to this barbarity, do not have a similar opinion towards the much worse barbarity of abortion?
Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld
There is also Mara Hvistendahl’s Unnatural Selection on the selective abortion of the female unborn in non-Western countries.
She has an article on that in Foreign Policy called “Where have all the Girls Gone?”
You’re right Frank – absolutely – but I can’t change my comment now. Only Bill can. He can always change my wording from ‘pro-choicer’ to ‘pro-abortionist’, or perhaps ‘pro-deather’ might better describe this view.
Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet and part of the spirit of the prophets who check carefully for those who write similarly. Thank you for taking up that mantle which in this context also contains a significant lightening rod. Praying for you this day.
Joe Whitchurch, US
Thank you, Damien for the link to Mara’s article on non-Western and other abortion associated issues. I suspect Bill left it off or it is under the list for human genetic engineering, though I’m not sure. This one “The Party of Death” by Ramesh Ponnuru also gives a unique but supportive twist as well, though I understand that its USA political context would make it perhaps not in Bill’s top list here.
Joe Whitchurch, US
Thanks for these articles Bill.
They are a fantastic source for gaining knowledge and equipping ourselves to see the fallacies of what usually spawns from a humanist view.
Was just wondering whether you’d recommend R. C. Sproul’s book: Abortion
I just bought this yesterday from Book Depository and didn’t see it on your list?
I would highly recommend Alcorn’s book (particularly the recently updated version). This book is amazing and covers a vast amount of perceived criticisms in regards to pro-life (it perhaps covers so many that I’m sure it could be attacked for the “straw-man” syndrome).
Resistance Thinking Co-ordinator
When I was a young woman, my mother just happened to mention that when she was in the early stages of her pregnancy (with me), the doctor offered her Thalidomide for morning sickness. My mother declined the offer (being the sort to not take medication) and I often wonder what my life would have been like had my own mother heeded the doctor, or what my life would have been like if the doctor had strongly urged my mother to just take the pills. Thalidomide would have been presented to her at that time as a pill to make her life easier, less complicated. I wonder. I am grateful that my mother took a strong stance on NOT taking pills to alleviate what she saw as a minor inconvenience. I would have liked there to have been someone there to speak for me, had my mother decided to take the Thalidomide after all. Someone to caution her about taking any medication during pregnancy. Of course the facts about Thalidomide came to light between the late 50’s and early 60’s. I was born in late 1959, so the doctor would have been recommending this drug in Feb/Mar of 1959. I had a close shave, but thankfully my mother regarded her body not only as her own instrument, but the instrument by which she could protect that growing life: me.
Many thanks for sharing your story with us Ruth.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch