There’s a lot being written about the leak from the Supreme Court, and the hopeful news that Roe v Wade might be finally falling. Let’s pray it is so!
I read this article from Christianity Today and now want to write something for my church because the article displays an attitude about abortion that some professing Christians believe is correct. I don’t. His larger point in the article is that trust in institutions has eroded terribly. This includes trust in the institution that is the Supreme Court, and that’s why someone leaked the draft.
However, he connects that mistrust in institutions to the practice of abortion, and his reason that abortion exists at all is so disappointing to hear. I couldn’t disagree more. Let me quote it, and then give two reasons why I believe it’s wrong.
“Moreover, the reason we have abortion at all is because of the loss of the sort of social trust that would enable communities and governments and religious bodies to care for women in crisis and for children, born or unborn.”
Why disagree with that?
First, and less importantly, this argument reinforces the idea that there is no social trust because we’re not doing enough. As though there are no options in society for women in crisis or for children. There’s a popular argument right now that Christians do nothing to actually care for women, and just want to deny their right to abortion.
But if you dig deeper and look where the action is happening, that falls apart. And where things ought to improve, I doubt they will as long as abortion is an easy option. There are so many more pregnancy centers than abortion centers (though they might share similar names). I know of so many people, in various cities all over the country, who are THERE to tell women that they will adopt, or help them through this time. Some have bought houses for these women to live in while they get on their feet, and cars for them to drive, if they’d only take them up on the offer. I know couples who have offered countless times to adopt, and some have actually been able to do that. I have personally offered to help women, invited them to come just down the street for a free ultrasound and check up, get free medical care.
And been told no. An abortion is preferable.
Over and over again, the people who are in the pregnancy centers, who are counseling women, who are standing in love outside abortion centers (because most of them are there out of love) watch as women and/or the men who bring them end up saying no. And as long as abortion is legal, they will continue to say no.
Setting aside pregnancies for rape or sexual abuse for a moment, most of the pregnancies are simply unwanted or are a result of bad choices. So is this really the argument- society should pay for my bad choice, my unwanted child, or else I am justified in killing this baby? Because of “social trust?”
And picking back up the terrible situations of rape and sexual abuse, it would still be killing a child, and making another horrible victim in a situation where the mother is also a victim herself. That’s also true when a man is behind the woman, forcing her to get an abortion. It doesn’t justify the action.
There are people who are willing to help if that help would be taken. The problem has to be deeper than women not trusting societal institutions when they are pregnant and don’t want the child. That argument places the responsibility only on society.
Second, and more importantly, this is an absolute statement about abortion. He says “the reason we have abortion at all.” He doesn’t say, “one of the other factors that drives abortion” or something like that. No, apparently this is the reason we have abortion at all. That puts this on a level that, for a Christian, demands that it must agree with Scripture.
But if we define abortion as the killing of the child while it’s in the womb, then how could that statement be true, Biblically speaking?
The killing of a child.
This is the problem when we call it abortion, and then go on to define abortion as a political issue. Political issues have political causes and political solutions. Some people would prefer to define it that way.
But abortion is the killing of a child while that child is still in his or her mother’s womb. You’d think this would be a definition Christians agree on.
And killing children is a practice that’s been around for thousands of years. I wonder if those who sacrificed children to their gods argued that it was because their communities couldn’t take care of them?
What is the reason that child-killing happens at all? Because humans are sinners, so tragically and wretchedly so that some in our day could even justify killing their children because they think no one else will take care of them. Or they do it simply because those babies are inconvenient, unwanted, shameful, or not the perfect child they wanted. Or, tragically, because they’re frightened and overwhelmed and they are turning where their hearts tell them to turn.
But people’s hearts are deceitful above all things, according to Scripture. People have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and do not worship, or trust the Creator for all things, including their sin, or their shame, or their mistakes.
What’s worse is that people love darkness rather than light, according to Jesus.
Could we do more to help those in need in our society? The answer to that question always will be: always. But that’s not the reason abortions happen.
Apart from a supernatural grace, a divine forgiveness, and a spiritual rebirth, we will sin terribly. Because we are sinners. That’s the reason we have abortion at all.
The hope we have to offer is one that Jesus said many in the world will mock, but be that as it may, it’s the hope that redeems the darkest things in life. And that hope is Jesus, but we have to call the problem what it is if we want to understand the hope God gives.
That hope brings light to even the heaviest, most broken and sinful heart if Jesus breaks in with grace and redemption. And hearts that have been changed that way bear the fruit of compassion, caring, and hope.
Abortion exists because of the sinfulness of the human heart, but there’s life changing good news to be found in the Gospel of Jesus.