By Lane Noble
I can’t think of a better time to write this message that I have on my mind on the abortion debate. After all, we do seem to be at a crossroads when it comes to the issue of abortion because of the new law that Texas has passed concerning abortions in the state of Texas, and the Supreme Court’s response to that law.
I don’t think that there’s very many people out there with a neutral position on this topic. It’s probably one of the most controversial. One of the difficult aspects of it is that it reaches beyond just politics. Politics is involved because of the legislation involved. However, this is a social justice issue, and both sides of this debate make the claim that the other side has unjust intentions in mind. On the one hand, you have a side who claims that the right to a woman’s autonomy is being threatened. On the others side of the debate you have people claiming that a push for legal infanticide has been occurring since the nineteen-seventies.
Now, as of the time of this writing, I’ve only been around for almost twenty-three years. I wasn’t there when Roe v. Wade was passed. I was only a baby when President Bill Clinton legalized partial birth abortion. I was just learning how to read when President George W. Bush passed a twenty-week abortion ban. I jumped in on this conversation probably when I was about thirteen or fourteen and, from what I’ve seen, this debate hasn’t gained much substance since it first began.
In fact, and I try to avoid this kind of talk because I think it can exhibit too much pride, but I do think this holds true in this case, that many of the most prominent arguments in this debate should not survive a fourth grade education.
For example, one of the pro-life arguments that I’m not a huge fan of is this: “What if we had aborted Einstein, or Mother Theresa, or Thomas Edison, or Martin Luther King Jr.?” However, one could just as easily respond with, “What if we had aborted Hitler or Mussolini?” The argument can go both ways. Our actions have consequences no matter what, both good and bad. It seems a bit irrelevant to the conversation.
Another example on the pro-choice side would be, “You’re a man. You don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant. Therefore, you have no right to tell women what they can’t do with their bodies.” There’s actually a couple of problems with this argument. First, there are so many pro-life women out there that it makes that argument irrelevant. In fact, this is just a small sample of the many pro-life organizations led by and/or founded by women:
Feminists for Life
Democrats for Life of America
Pro-Life San Fransisco
National Coalition for Life and Peace
Crisis Pregnancy Center Online
The Feminism and Nonviolence Studies Association
Florida Right to Life
Students for Life
American Life League
Americans United for Life
Oregon Right to Life
Virginia Society for Human Life
Delaware Pro-Life Coalition
March for Life
South Carolina Citizens for Life1
There’s way more organizations than these that fit into this category, but I don’t have the time nor the room to place them all here. You get the idea.
The third reason that this argument doesn’t work is because most pro-life advocates believe that abortion is murder, and murder is wrong no matter who commits it. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong for men to tell women they shouldn’t murder their own children, it would be wrong if they didn’t.
If you flipped the situation around, and men were capable of getting pregnant but women weren’t, it would still be morally permissible for women to condemn abortion even if they didn’t know what it was like to be pregnant.
It’s odd then, isn’t it, that everyone believes that this topic is so serious, and yet very few people seem not to be taking the time to construct an argument that we can take seriously.
As a biblical Christian, I take it very seriously, because I believe that what we are talking about here is the difference between life and death. It is. We are talking about the murder, emphasis on that word, of a human child.
This post is an attempt to help biblically-minded Christians to take this seriously. We have an opportunity to not just put an end to a particular injustice in the world, but to witness to future generations.
What do I mean by this?
Sit back and think for a moment about the various justice issues that the church, especially in the United States, has had to confront: slavery, racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, etc. etc. In every one of these issues, there were churches that supported these and who didn’t support these.
Yet, our current, unbelieving cohorts in the generations that live today always seem to justify their unbelief based on the churches that did support these injustices. They will say, “Why did God’s people support such injustice?” It happens all the time.
The same thing is happening with abortion. I want future generations to look back and recognize that the church of Jesus Christ does not support abortion. I believe that future generations, both Democrat and Republican, will look back on the abortion industry in horror, and be thankful that the practice is condemned in their day and age, just as many other injustices are in our life time.
I know that some of my readers are going to be upset that I compared abortion to such injustices such as slavery and sexism, as if they were on the same playing field. There’s a difference between somebody who is owned and mistreated their entire lives and somebody who was just killed in the womb. That may be, but that doesn’t mean abortion is not injustice and that future generations won’t look back at it in horror. Surely the fact that women weren’t allowed to vote wasn’t as horrendous as slavery, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t horrendous that they couldn’t.
I fear that our society is so severely miseducated on the topic of abortion, even people within Christ’s church, that we have placed it on the back burner. The fact of the matter is that abortion is murder. It is infanticide, and, for some reason, infanticide only horrifies us when the children are completely outside of the womb.2 This should be evident to anyone who has studied human development.
Make no mistake, I am not saying that there is no forgiveness for those who have had abortions or even those who have worked in the abortion industry. I am saying that this is an injustice that needs to end. Those who have participated in it can and should receive mercy. As biblical Christians, we should love everyone who works in the abortion industry, and we should love those who have had abortions, and we pray that they would all come to Christ for His forgiveness and be saved into His kingdom. 1 John 1:9 says that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God is a God of love and justice. Let us put this on display as we as Christians seek to end the injustice of abortion.
- Some of these organizations, but not all, were found in “Pro-Life Feminist Organizations” Indiana University Northwest https://www.iun.edu/women-and-gender-studies/related-information/pro-life.htm
- In some cases, the baby is killed while it’s being born during what is known as a “partial birth abortion.” This is another aspect of the argument for abortion that I do not understand, as the baby is clearly alive and fully developed enough for life outside of the womb.