A Most Tragic Anniversary
Yesterday marked the 42 anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in all 50 states. What followed is perhaps the greatest tragedy in American history. Almost 55 million babies have been aborted in the US since 1973. Given that there are about 65 million Gen-Exers, we have in essence aborted an entire generation of Americans.
As a follower of Christ, I believe that all life has intrinsic value, because all life is created by God. Humans in particular are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This means we matter to Him. He loves us, thus we should love each other. He loves us, thus we should consider all human life as precious. He loves us, and means for us to live.
It’s easy as a believer to be passionate about the abortion debate. It’s easy to get angry. It’s FAR too easy to put our faith in government, politicians, and social activists to do what only God and His Gospel can do, that is change hearts and lives. So with that in mind, I thought I’d respond to 5 common arguments given in favor of abortion. My desire is not for heated debate. It’s not for political or religious rhetoric. I simply want those who hold to a pro-choice mindset to honestly consider my responses.
Finally, I want to put all my cards on the table. I am a pastor who believes that God created mankind and thus gives all mankind (man, woman, or child) intrinsic, holy value. This is not about politics for me. It’s about life. What’s more, our family has suffered the loss of a child. Our first child passed away in utero. I held her. It was awful, but it strengthened my resolve to care for and protect the lives of those who do not have to die. What I’m saying is that this is personal. I cannot distance myself from that, nor do I wish to. Without further ado. Here are 5 common arguments in favor of abortion, and my best responses according to Scripture and logic.
- It’s not a human, it’s just a bunch of cells.
What exactly are we saying here, that human life is dependent on a particular stage of development? What stage is that? Is there some sort of imaginary timeline that marks the journey from nonhuman to human? When does that happen? Or are we talking about development? Are you saying that its our development that makes us human? Exactly how developed does a person have to be in order to qualify as a person? At what stage of maturity does one become human? And what do you say when the baby develops past a “bunch of cells?” And if it’s just a bunch of cells, then why do you argue so vehemently AGAINST mandatory ultrasounds? Aren’t you just looking at a picture of cells?
- It’s not a human because it isn’t able to survive on its own.
Are you saying that we judge whether someone is a person or not based on their ability to care for themselves? What about my 10 month old? She can’t take care of herself. She’s still dependent on me or her mother. Does that mean she’s not really a person? What about the elderly? What about the physically disabled? If they can’t care for themselves are they not human? If so, when did they stop being human? When did my grandmother stop being human? Was it when she had to be placed in a nursing home? When she developed dementia? Do our veterans lose their humanity when they’re injured in battle? And exactly how much do we need to be able to do for ourselves in order to still qualify as human? When do we become human in terms of our own development?
- A woman has the right to choose what is done to her own body.
Do you really believe the baby is just a part of you, like an appendix or spleen? Studies have shown that babies can feel pain as early as 20 weeks, independent of the mother. In other words, your baby could experience pain while you felt fine. Your appendix can’t do that, can it? Speaking of freedom and the right to choose, didn’t you have the right to abstain from having sex? Couldn’t you have told you partner, “not tonight dear?” Couldn’t you have kept track of when you ovulate and refrained from sexual activity during that time? Didn’t you have the freedom to use contraceptives? Don’t you have the right to buy the pill, condoms, IUDs, or even have sterilization surgery? If you were free to choose sex, then you were free not to choose sex. You chose sex and now don’t want to deal with the natural consequences.
- I’m worried about the baby’s quality of life.
How exactly does one gauge “quality of life?” By all rubrics, people here in the US are wealthier, healthier, and have more freedom than those in 3rd world countries. Does that mean American lives matter more than those in the 3rd world? How do you know that a higher quality life equals a better life? How do you know that a longer life equals a better life? Isn’t some life better than no life? Aren’t you really saying you’re worried about your quality of life?
- What about rape or incest?
There’s no denying that this one is tough. Both are terrible crimes and those committing said crimes deserve the full force of justice. But there are all kinds of crimes for which remuneration/justice isn’t possible. Thieves can’t always pay back what they took. Murderers can’t bring their dead victims back to life. A crime can’t be undone, so how does taking an innocent life make the situation better? As a believer, the gift of life, even out of something so awful, is a reminder that we have a redeeming God who makes joy out of sadness.
Let me close with these few thoughts…
If you’re considering having an abortion, would you please contact a local church? I know SO MANY families that would love to care for you and take care of you during this difficult time. I know SO MANY families that would love to have children but can’t, and would love to adopt a child. Is 9 months really too much to ask to give new life?
If you’ve already had an abortion, please don’t think that I hate you or vilify you. I want you to know that your life is JUST AS VALUABLE to God as anyone else’s. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. He came to earth to die for your sins and make you one of his children. If you’d like more information about that, would you contact me?