What Abortion Has Taught Me About the Nature of Evil

By Guest Contributor

Growing up in the 1990s, my understanding of evil was based mainly on Disney movies. The nemeses in those films all recognized that they were up to no good, yet pressed on anyway. It was as if they relished the opportunity to be wicked and would never consider turning back, and they kept this love for evil until the bitter end.

However, I now understand that this account of evil is largely fictional. This has been demonstrated by the abortion industry, specifically in the United States.

Abortion is indeed the single greatest evil that has ever occurred on American soil. It has produced over 50 million deaths since 1973. Yet those behind it do not see it as evil. Instead, they market abortion by calling it a health service, by employing the language of “choice” and “rights” and “women” and by taking offense at anyone who believes it should be abolished. Many of those participating in abortion or who otherwise support it, at the voting booth, for example, genuinely believe that they are doing something good for others.

Only when one examines what abortion actually is – only when one sees the pictures and videos of aborted children, of lives equal to yours and mine twisted, warped, sucked through a tube and lost – are they able to overcome the propaganda that acts as though those lives do not exist; the propaganda that calls this a “right.”

The circumstances surrounding abortion have given me insight into how evil grows and takes entire nations captive. Evil is at its most successful when its proponents passionately argue that such evil is actually good. Take the 20th century as an example. Leaders advocating for the worst atrocities of this period rose to power not because those who voted them in or supported them were necessarily evil, but because they came to believe that these atrocities were both appropriate and necessary, a fundamental good for their country and their people. They accepted the euphemisms that disguised the true nature of these mass killings. Likewise, those advancing abortion today whitewash the practice by calling it “healthcare” and a “choice.” And that is how over 50 million humans, voiceless and helpless to resist, have been killed in the United States since 1973. Once evil is legalized, it is difficult to stop.

Ultimately, the lies cannot continue forever, and evils reach their end. The terrors of the last century seem alien and distant to us, and we rightly wonder how anyone could have supported those actions. But given the history of abortion in the United States, we now know. The success of this particular evil and so many others is a matter of marketing. The worst evils succeed when they are called “rights” and “necessities,” and when the targets of those evils are dehumanized and seen as objects that can be slaughtered without guilt. Killing someone else becomes far easier when it is denied that they are a person.

My challenge to you, then, is to recognize the evil of abortion for what it is and to join me in speaking out against it. I can assure you that, soon enough, we as a country will indeed condemn abortion and our descendants will wonder how this evil could ever have happened. I want you to be on the right side of history. My plea is simple: support life.

KENNETH BURCHFIEL ’13 is from McLean, Va.