Defending every unborn life
Christians must make the case against abortion now
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Earlier in the month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, a case concerning Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. If Mississippi’s law is upheld, two landmark abortion cases—Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey— could be overturned and the legality of abortion left to the states. The constituents of each state will then have the power to decide if they want abortion to be legal, and if so, for how many weeks into the pregnancy and for what reasons.
The Court will likely hand down its decision next June. In the meantime, Christians must work to clarify and unify our position in the fight against abortion.
First, Christians must acknowledge that there is no legitimate biblical argument that supports abortion. Scripture affirms the humanity and sanctity of life in the womb (Psalm 139:13, Jeremiah 1:5). Thus abortion falls in the biblical category of murder. Like the sacrifice of babies to Moloch, abortion is repugnant to God, even as he offers infinite grace to those who seek forgiveness for participating in abortion.
Then, the church must commit itself to an unqualified pro-life strategy. There are Christians who take on a “personally pro-life, politically pro-choice” approach, which typically means keeping abortion legal while adding social services that aim to make life easier for mothers and their children. That is not an option for Christians who affirm the sanctity of human life.
But criminalizing abortion need not await the arrival of sufficient government subsidies. While it is true that pregnant mothers and families in crisis need care, the availability of resources does not justify the continuation of abortion.
The good news is, Christians already do the work “personally pro-life, politically pro-choice” people say is needed before considering making abortion illegal. Pro-life pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics and, as the New York Times reported, are “largely run by conservative Christians.” These facilities service thousands of mothers and babies every year by providing them with free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, parenting classes, education courses, adoption information, and pregnancy and baby items. Clinics may also help with the immigration process, Medicaid enrollment, and seeking refuge from domestic abuse.
These centers offer real choices, unlike Planned Parenthood, which, in addition to being the number one killer of pre-born children in the United States, lies about fetal development and resists showing the mother her sonogram image. Planned Parenthood and its supporters are pro-abortion, not simply “pro-choice.” They profit from taking babies’ lives.
There may well be policies, such as paid family leave, worth enacting, but the lack of this kind of policy does not preclude anti-abortion advocates from pushing to make abortion illegal.
The mere reduction of abortion rates is not the main goal of the pro-life movement. The central aim is the legal recognition of personhood of unborn babies and the defense of every unborn life. Once personhood is rightly recognized, rightly ordered law would work to prevent any person’s unlawful and violent termination.
If pre-born babies are human, which is scientifically incontrovertible, they are also people. And if they are people, it is not enough merely to lessen the likelihood of their murder. Murder of people outside the womb is illegal because human life has intrinsic value and is worthy of protection. There is no logical, moral, or biblical reason to suspend essential principle prohibiting murder, simply because a person has yet to be born.
Justifying the legality of killing a person for arbitrary reasons such as location, appearance, size, age, dependency, or stage of development is cruel and foolish. This kind of thinking has led to the subjugation of people throughout history, allowing for slavery, genocide, and discrimination. It now leads to the targeted destruction of unborn human lives.
Christians must continue to do everything possible to make abortion unthinkable, but they must also, for the sake of pre-born babies’ human dignity, fight hard to make it illegal. That may be possible if the Supreme Court acts justly in deciding Dobbs. Christians will then enter a new era of anti-abortion advocacy, where the abolition of abortion, at least in some states, may actually be on the horizon. Lord, let it be so.
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