In my hand is a plastic model of a 12 week old fetus. As you can see it's fully formed but small. You can even tell it's a boy but you won't be able to see it for a few more weeks on ultrasound. Did you know that all fetuses are fully formed at 12 weeks? They need the rest of gestation to mature and grow larger. This is the stage that most women have abortions.
This week is the unfortunate anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is a time of liberation for some and should be a time for mourning in the church. We in the church have been silent for too long about this issue because we're afraid of offending people. I, for one, am especially guilty of being quiet about this. But I have decided that I shall be silent no longer.
The way I see it is that the two camps, pro-abortion and pro-life are coming at the issue from two different worldviews. Pro abortion people assume that life is a product only of human will and desire. If the the mother doesn't desire it, it is her right to terminate that life. Pro-life people assume that life is a gift from God and that we should accept it whether it comes at a time of convenience or not. If the child isn't wanted by the mother, there are other potential parents that would love to raise it as their own. One side views pregnancy as a punishment (Barack Obama said so in his comment about how he'd feel if his daughters were to get pregnant). The other side views pregnancy as a gift. Even if the circumstances are tragic such as the case of rape or incest, why should the baby be punished by death for a terrible crime? The rapist, not the baby, deserves punishment.
There are even some Christians who either don't regard abortion as a relevant topic for their voting choices or use birth control that can cause abortions. I'm not sure where they are basing their choices because it isn't from scripture. The Bible is very clear that God knows us before we're formed and that He has plans for us(Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:3-16). In that view our mission should be to protect life as much as possible and not allow anything to harm that life that God has created. Many hormonal forms of birth control can allow for conception but impedes implantation. This is against the view of scripture that life begins at conception and that it's God's alone to give or take. If we participate in any other view it's not a truly pro-life one. Some Christians had no problem voting for pro-abortion candidates either. This baffles me. While we are to pray for and respect our leaders we have a moral obligation not to support evil and the freedom to voice our opinion through our votes. Our society will be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable of our citizens.
Many people don't realize that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and largest abortion provider, was a enthusiastic Malthusian Eugenicist. She wanted to get rid of what she called "undesirable races" and abortion and birth control was one way to do it. She was a big supporter of Adolf Hitler too. Did you know that African-Americans make up only 13% of the population but account for 30% of all abortions? I would think that would make people outraged but most just shrug their shoulders. Yes, racism is alive and well in the disguise of women's choice.
The same arguments for slavery are only recycyled now for justifying abortion. They say that the baby isn't human just as they said that slaves weren't fully human. History gives us clear vision that one is wrong but we can't make the connection today that the other is too?
The slogan in favor of abortion was to let every child be a wanted child. Has that really happened? Aren't there still children abandoned, left in garbage cans? Killed? Our society has so devalued life that anything goes now. Another argument was that the baby was just tissue. We now know through the miracle of ultrasound that that is not the case. And anyway does size determine one's humaness? If that was the case I guess short people and dwarfs are less human than tall ones. What about level of development? Because it is less developed it is less human? Are more intelligent people more human that less intelligent ones? What about environment? Being in the womb makes you less human than being out of the womb? Why is it that we can abort one baby at 24 weeks and then work to save another one born premature at the same level of gestation? And what about level of dependency? Are babies less human than children? Children less than teens? Teens less than adults? Of course not. Abortion just doesn't make sense to me.
But I know that if you're reading this you either agree with me or vehemently disagree and I'm not likely to change your mind. I only hope that I've given you something to think about. My own husband was pro-abortion until I became pregnant with our first child. Once he saw her on the ultrasound he knew that it was a baby and has been pro-life ever since. We in the church need to do more than just give lip service to abortion. It might mean mentoring a teen mom. It might mean giving of our time and money to support girls so they don't feel they have to turn to abortion. I know what it's like to have children and not feel family support and I know it's not fun. I'm not kidding myself that at three in the morning blessing isn't a word going through my mind when I'm caring for a baby. But this too shall pass and I couldn't imagine life without any of my children even though some of them came at a time I didn't think was convenient. I'm glad that my feelings changed and that I can see my children daily. I pity women who made another choice and will always wonder what if....?
We in the church should also be reaching out to women who've been victimized by abortion. Shoving posters of aborted babies in their faces isn't exactly a compassionate response. We should love them and be ready to show them God's forgiveness. Remember that sin is sin and we are all guilty of murder on some level. Who knows how many I may have aborted by using birth control pills in ignorance? I'm just as guilty. There is forgiveness through Jesus Christ and for that I'm grateful. Let's go and tell others about it too.