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A radical and revealing abortion bill

Andrew T. Walker | Moral anarchy in Congress and moral cowardice in some evangelical circles


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to the press about abortion legislation. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

A radical and revealing abortion bill
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No language can give an adequate description of the moral hideousness of the abortion bill recently passed with a party-line vote in the House of Representatives. The bill is titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” In truth, it is about destroying the health of the unborn.

Specifically, the bill codifies Roe v. Wade, but it goes even beyond what most European nations allow when it comes to abortion rights. It allows for abortion for virtually any reason at any point in a pregnancy. It overrides any state-based law that would regulate abortion. The bill gives incredible leniency to abortion providers to justify abortion. All said and done, the bill would make America one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world.

The bill even erases women as it adopts non-binary gender language. If this is not extreme and radical, what is?

In service to civility and public discourse, “radical” and “extreme” are terms we are told to use only in the rarest of occasions. Now is one of those times. If American citizens are not justified in responding with outrage to this bill, they are not justified to raise outrage at anything.

The legislation represents moral anarchy. The unborn are left to absolute vulnerability. That is the very purpose of the bill.

No peace or rationalization can be made with this legislation. It needs to be named for what it is—high treason against God’s moral order. It reveals not only the moral degradation of one of America’s major parties but it is also an indication of a more basic moral crisis in America.

The bill stands no chance of becoming law—for now. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s vote for the bill (it’s rare for a speaker to cast a vote) communicates her absolute commitment to abortion as public policy. Abortion is now ingrained in the progressive and secular worldview. Moreover, it seems the bill’s architects know the prospects of the bill’s looming failure, signaling that the political theater behind the bill has less to do with serious governance and more with virtue-signaling its loyalties to the most extreme segment of America’s abortion industry. The bill’s passage is more about avoiding the wrath of the abortion regime.

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up a blockbuster abortion case from Mississippi, we should expect every sector of liberal-dominated American culture to turn the heat up on conservative justices. The threat will be clear: Rule in abortion’s favor, or else.

The deadly reality of the bill demands that we speak, but one of the more revealing elements of the response to the Democratic abortion bill has been the relative silence of evangelicalism’s highest-profile leaders in registering protest. Evangelical leaders have been so conditioned by the liberalism intimidation of our day that they now largely fail to raise a hand in serious protest to liberalism’s overreach. That a bill like this could pass is a tragedy. The lack of response from many mainstream evangelicals is an embarrassment.

If you want to understand the divide in evangelicalism, just consider the contrast between the silence of the evangelical left and the outspoken moral outrage of the truly pro-life evangelicals. The evangelical left is increasingly cosmopolitan, and it is often muted in response to anything prized by the cultural elites. We are looking at two patterns: One group responds with a shrug; the other with shock.

Too many evangelicals (or those who call themselves evangelicals) live in fear of elite standards of opinion. It’s a race to the top for cultural acceptance, but a race to the bottom, if measured by faithfulness.

Even still, the moral atrocity of what just occurred calls us to speak. What do we say? Start with this: God is the author of life, and he is not mocked (Acts 3:15; Galatians 6:7).


Andrew T. Walker

Andrew T. Walker is the managing editor of WORLD Opinions and serves as associate professor of Christian ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a fellow with The Ethics and Public Policy Center. He resides with his family in Louisville, Ky.

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