Yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States. It saddens and amazes me that something like abortion could continue for so long in what we call a civilized society. Diversity of faiths is as high as ever in America yet almost all people still claim to be moral in their natures. You don’t need to be a Christian to see that abortion is just plain wrong. How can we claim morality and still turn a blind eye to such bloodshed? How can so many still defend it? These things have been on my mind this week and so I feel compelled to share some thoughts with those on both sides of the issue.
First of all, some bare facts about unborn children and abortion:
- At 12 weeks, all the major organs have begun to develop in the baby.
- At 8 weeks, brain activity can be detected in the baby.
- At 3.5 weeks, the heart begins to beat.
- At 2 months, a child can hear, move, and feel pain. Most abortions are performed in the first 3 months.
- The original wording of the Hippocratic Oath (400 BC) condemned abortions: “I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such, and especially I will not aid a woman to procure abortions.” The part about abortion was changed in 1964.
- Less than 1% of abortions are performed to save a mother’s life.
Before you condemn these stats as “pro-life talk” seriously consider what these things mean when it comes to defining the beginning of life. If a senior citizen had brain function, a heartbeat, the ability to hear, move, and feel would we call it life? Would they no longer be alive because they needed help to live or because others made the choice that they shouldn’t get the right to live?
A plea to abortion supporters:
To all who continue to fight for abortion: Death is never the solution to a problem. Death is a foreign disease in the world. Arguing that destroying something life, or even the potential for life, is something beneficial is complete foolishness, inherently selfish, and unbelievably wicked. Don’t believe otherwise just because so many consciences in our land are seared.
To those who argue for the liberty of choice: You don’t have to right to murder, plain and simple. It’s true that not everyone agrees on when life begins. But, if there is any possibility of life, even if you don’t consider it life yet, it is still worth defending. If there is the slightest bit of evidence that life begins at conception, and there definitely is, destroying it should be a last resort; and only to protect someone else’s life. This is simple, common sense. Any argument to the contrary degrades the value of human life.
To those who argue for women’s rights: Women have the awesome responsibility of bringing new life into the world. That ability is given to them alone. Part of that responsibility is to protect life. Encouraging women to choose death over life does not empower them or protect their rights. That is not freedom or liberty, but rather slavery to one’s own desires. The only time abortion should ever be considered is when the mother’s health is at risk. Not her goals, not her hobbies, not her desires, but her actual health. Life presents all of us with difficult situations; harming others, especially the innocent, is never a solution to our problems. We need to encourage women to stop looking at childbirth as a burden but rather see it as a blessing. We need to give them options to help them succeed, not immoral ways out of difficult situations. The true measure of maturity is being able to face a problem and get through it, not to ignore it, especially when another’s life is at stake. Part of being a woman is carrying this awesome responsibility in a mature way. It is the same for anyone who has control or power over someone else’s life and well-being.
Even if abortion is an option, it should always be the last option. That’s the only moral path. There are plenty of resources available to help women faced with an unexpected pregnancy. There are plenty of other options. We owe it both to women and to the unborn to exhaust these options before considering abortion.
To those who say that the government should not intrude on this issue: Wake up to reality. It was the government who legalized abortion. Therefore, the government is already involved and has been for some time. Those who say the government shouldn’t get involved only do so because the government has already ruled in their favor. Furthermore, the government also has the obligation to protect the innocent and to punish the wicked. A person’s choice does not determine whether the taking of life is right or wrong. Only the truth of the matter should determine that and the government exists to defend the truth. It’s time to step up and protect life in the womb. Consider our own President who tweeted this in response to gun violence: “If there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save—we’ve got an obligation to try.” I completely agree and I know many abortion supporters do too, when it comes to gun control. Why isn’t it true for unborn babies, too? Why aren’t we trying harder?
To the Christian who supports abortion: In case you don’t think this is relevant, consider this stat: 37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic. 25% of women who obtained an abortion attended a religious service at least once a month (Guttmacher institute).
The Christian who supports abortion needs to seriously reconsider their morals and values in life. And they need to return to God’s Word for guidance and direction. The Bible absolutely condemns the practice of abortion. Christians from the very beginning have spoken against abortion. Yes, there can be extreme cases when abortion must be considered. But that is a far cry from what has been going on in the United States for 43 years. There is absolutely no place for abortion in Christianity but even more importantly, there is always hope for a better path. God values every life, whether the unborn or the morally lost. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).” Christians must stand for this, not for abortion.
A plea to abortion opponents:
To those who feel weakened by the struggle: Keep fighting. Remember Elijah when he felt that he was the only believer left. He was alone, he was on the run, and he felt helpless. But God was always with him. God had a plan. God had others who had not given in. Life can feel very dark but it’s never as bad as we imagine in our despondency. God is still in control. Keep fighting for the truth. Keep fighting for life. Keep sharing the gospel.
To those who are frustrated: Pray. The urgent prayer of the righteous is very powerful in its effect (James 5:16). You are able to accomplish more through a simple prayer of faith than worrying and fretting about life’s problems. But don’t forget to act either. Faith is never void of action. If Christians don’t defend God’s Word and take the difficult positions, who will?
Exercise love and wisdom in your stance. Don’t sink to the level of the radical pro-choice crowd. Understand that abortion destroys the emotions of the women who employ it as well. Be ready to comfort with the Lord’s forgiveness just as much as you are ready with reasons why abortion is wrong. God put His Law in everyone’s heart and it is at work when women feel the guilt and pain of abortion. Let us be ready to help them toward recovery through the gospel.
To those who ask, “What can I do?”: Start small and work your way up. Don’t ever feel that you are wasting your time by standing firm in your faith or speaking out against wickedness. No matter how insignificant it may feel or how little an impact it makes, it is time well spent. Do what you can in the situations that God has placed you. Speak when the time arises. Encourage those who are with you. Love those who are against you. Work at it everyday and after a while you might be surprised by how far you’ve come.
And especially around this time, think about your right to vote. Don’t allow abortion to slink to the background of your political stance. Don’t be silent because your friends might disagree with you. Some things are worth the shame, especially when they defend the cross of Christ and the life He has freely won for all people. At the end of the day, no political issue should be more pressing to Christians than abortion.
Some helpful resources: