Those of us that believe abortion is wrong should also be able to express what we think happens next. Part of the equation is to have a moral argument against abortion, and to try and bring people to a position that sees the human fetus as human. Too often we as Christians stop there. We provide judgement, but we forget about the part where we need to love on people.
This post is a follow-up to my moral arguments against abortion, and a response to common pro-choice arguments. Now that I’ve laid out what I believe is a strong case for siding with life, what do we as Christians do next?
We Need Love, Not Judgement
It’s hard to feel like you’re being loving when you’re detailing a bunch of philosophical arguments against abortion. This is such an emotional subject, and it can feel insensitive to the pregnant mother to focus so much on the unborn baby. That amount of focus on the unborn is justified, at least from my perspective, because that is the life hanging in the balance. It’s not more important than the mother, but its circumstances are more dire. Both lives are important and valuable, and I’d like to present a view opposite of the sign holding fanatics that stand outside abortion clinics.
When a woman chooses abortion, my heart breaks for both lives. My heart breaks for the woman, that she felt she needed to make that choice. Whatever her reasons are, I’m sure for most it’s a heart wrenching decision that can bring all sorts of guilt, shame, and depression. My heart breaks for the unborn baby, whose life and potential has been ended so early. My heart breaks for the life that was cut short, and the relationships and love that could have been.
On the issue of abortion, I want to come from a place of love, not judgement. Those of us on the pro-life side need to speak with compassion, and in a way that invites people to stop and consider the possibilities. To question if the “choice of the mother” is really the end of the discussion. Kindness and compassion should lead us. Imagine what a strong message that can be coming from men. People are so quick to call us judgmental, controlling, and insensitive. Imagine what an impact we can have if women see us speaking with love and selflessly reaching out to help those in need. We need to confront abortion with love.
Alternatives to Abortion
I think it’s only responsible to acknowledge the alternatives to abortion, and the challenges that women face when choosing to keep the baby. These are hard decisions for women to make, and we need to find ways to support them when they do make the courageous decision to go through with their pregnancy.
It’s Your Choice To Keep the Baby
No woman should feel like she has to get an abortion because someone else is pressuring them to. I’m a huge fan of marriage and family, and I know that for a lot of women, abortion comes up because the pregnancy wasn’t planned. Maybe they’re not married, or they’re not ready for a family. In a perfect world the man would be by her side every step of the way, but that’s not always the case. Or worse, the man is pushing abortion because he doesn’t want the baby, the responsibility, and the repercussions of the decisions they have made. In such a difficult time, I’d hope that women can surround themselves with supportive people. We as a church need to be there for women in these situations.
Adoption should definitely be an option for women that decide they’re not ready to raise the baby. What an amazing choice that is to say that you are willing to put your body through nine months of pregnancy and then birth. To value the life growing inside you more than yourself. I don’t want to minimize how big of a decision it is to carry a baby you plan on giving up. Talk about one of the most selfless things you can do. To accept whatever decisions got you to this point, put the selfish nature we all have aside, and determine that the discomfort, the physical pain, and the emotional pain are worth enduring for the sake of the life you carry.
Raise the Child
This might be the scariest choice of all. To interrupt whatever plans you have, to rewrite how you thought life would turn out, and decide to be a mom, now. I also get that the impact of this decision will depend a lot on the family structure in place. When a young girl is still living with both parents, there is financial and parental support readily available. Not all pregnant women have a support system like that, and I bet it’s extra scary when you’d be raising the child on your own.
My response to this would be…has there ever been a mother who kept her child, and thought it was a mistake? I found some responses to that question online, and they are overwhelming “no.” That doesn’t really surprise me, because the decision to have an abortion is usually a short-term crisis fueled by fear. As a father, I had no idea what life was going to be like with my children. All the children we had were more or less planned, but it was still scary (and still is). There’s almost an element of faith involved, where you have to accept that you can’t control how things will turn out. I find it hard to imagine a scenario where a woman has a child, instead of an abortion, and then 18 years later she looks back and regrets that decision.
Legality and Politics are Unavoidable
I don’t want to ignore the fact that abortion and politics are intertwined. The reason I haven’t brought it up yet is because, I don’t think it matters if you can’t establish a moral argument against abortion. There’s no point arguing whether or not it should be legal if you haven’t first argued whether or not it is moral. The government absolutely takes legal stands on moral issues, from harm against other individuals, to even the severity of punishment based on how morally unacceptable we find a crime to be.
My opinion is that I consider abortion the taking of a human life, and it should be against the law. I know not everyone will agree with that, but hopefully you’ll come away from this discussion understanding why I believe what I do. I feel about abortion like you feel about murder. The taking of a life is immoral, and it doesn’t matter how long that life has existed. The killing of a 21 year old person in their prime, a newborn baby, or an unborn human fetus, it’s all the same. The value of a life is not determined by age or geography. A human fetus doesn’t have less value because of it’s relative newness to the world or because it is inside of a woman instead of outside.
I want people on the pro-choice side to understand something. If I believe that the life growing inside a woman is human, and I think it is wrong to kill humans, then I must come to the conclusion that it should be against the law. We believe this about “obvious” moral wrongs like murder and rape, but abortion has one complicating factor: the mother. Abortion is more complicated than every other moral issue is because it doesn’t only affect the baby. When you lay the cards on the table, and you compare what’s at stake for the mother vs what’s at stake for the baby, there’s no contest in my mind.
Change Hearts and Change Minds
In my ideal world, the culture would continue to move to a position that recognizes the value of the unborn baby. We would determine that having an abortion is not simply a choice made by the mother, but the ending of a human life, and we as a society are not going to allow it anymore.
We can’t force the pro-life position on people. For society to change their position on abortion, there must first be heart change. Christians need to give so selflessly that society can’t help but be confronted by their own selfishness. A culture overflowing with love and self-sacrifice would make abortion look utterly out of place. Only then will people be willing to look at our laws, and our treatment of the unborn, and finally start to reconsider the status quo.