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“How much is a little girl worth?”

Rachael Denhollander asked this in an Ingham County courtroom last year when sharing her impact statement during Larry Nassar’s sentencing hearing. (See her deliver it here. Read her whole impact statement here.)

“How much is a little girl worth?” ~Rachael Denhollander

Sixteen years after Nassar first sexually abused her, Denhollander’s brave action opened the floodgate for hundreds of other victims to speak out against the USA Gymnastics team doctor. Their compelling testimonies led to Nassar’s conviction on seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual contact. He was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

Denholander’s compelling question begs for an answer. How much IS a little girl worth?

Is it any wonder, that in our topsy-turvy world of moral relativism, the answer to this question is not clear cut? It seems to depend on the situation. In this three-part series, I will explore this question, How much is a little girl worth?, from three angles.

The Cheapening of Life

If the mother of said little girl chooses to get rid of her, according to abortion costs, her worth depends on the age of said little girl.

If this little girl is ten weeks old or younger—with brain, spine and heart clearly formed, along with her limbs, digestive and respiratory system—then she’s worth about $500. That’s the average cost for an abortion by medication or suction for a fetus an inch long or less, weighing 35 grams.

But, if this little girl is between nine and 20 weeks, her value increases, so that in order to extract her, a mother will have to expend upwards of $3,000, depending on whether she’d like to have premium anesthesia and a private experience with no one else in the clinic. She may only be worth $500 if her mother decides to have a dilation and evacuation abortion before the little girl’s toenails and hearing are formed at 12 to 15 weeks.

The point at which this little girl could easily survive outside her mother’s womb, at 26 weeks when she is about 15 inches and 3 pounds, her value skyrockets. Maybe this mother discovered her baby has a life-limiting defect or genetic anomaly. Said little girl is now valued at $8,000 to $15,000. (credit, for fetal development facts, Mark A Curran, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. @

In New York Magazine’s online web magazine The Cut, Charlotte Cowles writes How Much Does an Abortion Cost? Learn the Facts:

“After 16 to 24 weeks, abortions require more nuanced protocols. In some cases, a labor induction procedure — which involves a cocktail of medications to terminate the pregnancy and cause contractions to expel the contents of your uterus — is a common method. However, sometimes labor induction doesn’t work or isn’t recommended for certain patients, in which case a modified D&E procedure is better. More often, physicians will combine elements of both D&E and labor induction for patients in this phase of pregnancy, particularly because cases need to be approached on an individual basis. The whole process usually takes several days.”

Nuanced protocols and contents of your uterus are thinly veiled euphemisms. “In a late-term abortion, the baby is injected with a poison to stop its heart. Labor is then induced. This takes between two and four days. The purpose of an abortion is to produce a dead baby,” say Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action and Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Read their article “Abortion is Never Medically Necessary”.)

In his article The Magical Birth Canal, Tim Barnett writes:

“Abortion advocates divide human beings into two groups: valuable humans and non-valuable humans. Valuable humans have rights. Non-valuable humans have no rights and can be killed with impunity. We must ask the question, what makes some humans valuable and some not valuable? What’s the difference that would allow you to kill the latter but not the former?”

Location, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, economic status, and age don’t determine our worth. So what does? Is there an objective answer to Denhollander’s question, “How much is a little girl worth?”

"We must ask the question, what makes some humans valuable and some not valuable? What’s the difference that would allow you to kill the latter but not the former?" ~Tim Barnett

Absolutely. Renowned philosophy professor Paul Copan states succinctly: “Truth can’t be relative. It if is relative, it’s not truth.”

And the truth is, EVERY little girl and boy has inestimable worth. Why? Because, says Denhollander, “she’s made in the image of God, she has eternal and immeasurable value.”

The imago Dei, Latin for image of God, is rooted in the fact and purpose of our existence. From

“To say that humans are in the image of God is to recognize the special qualities of human nature which allow God to be made manifest in humans. In other words, for humans to have the conscious recognition of their being in the image of God means that they are the creature through whom God's plans and purposes can be made known and actualized; humans, in this way, can be seen as co-creators with God. The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God.”

Humans that love other humans protect them. Abortion is never good and it can never be “safe”, as it always results in a death. It is also deeply harmful to the women who experience it.

“Abortion is a trauma devastating body and soul,” says Kendra Dahl, a writer, wife, and mom of three living in Escondido, California. “It takes a knife to our image-bearing nature as life-givers—and no one walks away from a knife fight without being at least a little mangled. It requires not only repentance, but also healing.”

Read her powerful story here.

Consider her life-giving advice here.

"Abortion is a trauma devastating body and soul." ~ Kendra Dahl
Rachael Denhollander has published a new book for children

Find Denhollander's new book here.

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