Posted by: adventlife | February 10, 2012

Was Ellen White Silent on Abortion? by Nic Samojluk

When the controversy over abortion was still alive among Adventists inNorth America, one of the seemingly strong arguments used by those who were defending the women’s right to choose to kill their unwanted unborn babies was the claim that Ellen White was silent on this issue.

This allegation intrigued me and I decided to do some investigation of my own. I went to references to abortion found in Ellen White’s writings. I found not a single reference. I was ready to give up, but then it occurred to me that perhaps she used some other word or phrase for the killing of the unborn. After several attempts I decided to try the term “murder” and I hit gold. Here is what she stated about the murder of unborn babies:

 “If the father would become acquainted with physical law, he might better understand his obligations and responsibilities. He would see that he had been guilty of almost murdering [8] his children, by suffering so many burdens to come upon the mother, compelling her to labor beyond her strength before their birth, in order to obtain means to leave for them.” [Selected Messages, Vol. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 429-430.]

It is true that Ellen White did not use the word “abortion” in her writings, but she did talk about almost murdering the unborn. If neglecting the health of a pregnant woman is almost murdering the unborn, can we conclude that Ellen was neutral regarding the actual killing of an unborn baby?

Suppose Ellen could come back to life and we asked her about her about the above quoted statement about “almost murdering his children.” Do you think that she would say, “Sure I was against the almost murder of unborn babies, but I was never against the actual murder of them”? Would such an answer make any logical sense?

After I discovered this statement by her against the almost killing of the unborn I did share this finding with a leadingLomaLindaUniversityethicist and theologian and this was his immediate reaction: “This does it! We can no longer argue that Ellen White was silent on abortion.”

Of course, we could add many other statements by Mrs. White where she makes reference to the violation ot the Sixth Commandment. Here is one of them:

“All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life . . . or any passion that leads to injurious acts towards others, or causes us even to wish them harm . . . all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.”[ White. Patriarchs and Prophets (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 316. ]

What can we conclude from this statement by Mrs. White? Does abortion shorten the life of the unborn? If it does, then we have no other alternative but to conclude that abortion was equivalent to murder and the violation of the Decalogue for Ellen White.

More:===> If this topic is of interest to you, I suggest you secure a copy of the book I recently published entitled: From Pro-life to Pro-choice: The Dramatic Shift in Seventh-day Adventists’ Attitudes Towards Abortion from the printer. Here is the link: http://lulu.com. You will need to type my name, Nic Samojluk, in the blank “Search” space to access my book’s web page.

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Responses

  1. Is it that relevant what EGW thought about this? The Bible speaks loud and clear about it and condemns this action!

    • It is relevant for Adventists because when the Adventist Church adopted our current “Guidelines on Abortion” the arguments used to justify our pro-choice/pro-abortion policy was that Ellen White was silent on the abortion issue.


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