I feel I have offered an adequate (though certainly not comprehensive) explanation of why abortion is not only unethical, but should also be considered illegal. I have also done this through nonreligious arguments in an attempt to show that even someone under a secular point of view can and should reject abortion (with medical reasons being the exception). This article, however, will attempt to show Christians how to properly respond to the issue of abortion.
First, there are some “do nots” in the area of abortion:
1) Do not continue to protest abortion clinics.
Though this was a fad that occurred during the 90’s (many Christians have moved on to protesting gay pride parades), there are still times where protests occur at abortion clinics or certain events. People break out signs of aborted babies, signs saying abortion is murder, and fail to show compassion.
It is extremely difficult to show these mothers that we love them when we are shouting at them. What human being understands, “I am loved” when being yelled at? Often times these mothers are under extreme duress and feel that an abortion is their only option – yelling at them merely perpetuates the stressful situation, which leads to worse decisions (or following through on an already bad decision).
2) Do not support extremists who are anti-abortion.
I believe it was while watching Richard Dawkin’s Root of All Evil? that I saw a Christian stand up for a man who bombed an abortion clinic. I have also heard multiple people ask the question, “Why would it have been okay to blow up Hitler, but it’s not okay to blow up an abortion clinic?” The answer is simple – democracy.
In the United States we live in a Democracy. If a neo-Nazi commits a crime over here, he will be handed over to the judicial system and dealt with. This means we have no need of enacting our own form of “civil justice.”
Likewise, when there are rules on the books we have the power to change these rules. Abortion is one of these rules – the law can be changed (via a Constitutional amendment) if we press hard enough. There is no need to turn to violence when democracy can handle the situation.
Furthermore, Christians are called to be at peace and trust in God; blowing up an abortion clinic shows a distinct lack of trust in the power of God and an inability to be at peace with fellow humans. Christians should condemn these extremists for violating the Will of God and for failing to live peacefully.
3) Do not rely on the government to change the situation.
The biggest problem the pro-life crowd has run into is that they relied on the government to enact change. The American government has been a highly immoral and inefficient government for quite some time. In the future Historians will look to the 20th century as the beginning of America’s collapse (barring some miracle in the next few years) and the 21st and 22nd centuries being the culmination of this collapse. The reason for this is that the government – whether run by Democrats or Republicans – is bankrupt.
It makes no sense for pro-life advocates to rely on a corrupt government to enact a law that is ethical. There simply aren’t enough special interests groups advocating pro-life that can actually sway the votes in Washington.
Christians are called to rely on God, not the government. Christians are called to change society through community and personal interaction, not through broad sweeping legislation.
4) Do not treat abortion as though it’s a non-issue.
Unfortunately, many Christians are treating abortion as a non-issue. They say there are bigger things to worry about (see my first post on the abortion issue to a bigger explanation of this problem). Christians, however, should realize that abortion is an extremely big issue. Abortion is the government allowed killing of innocent human beings – one of the greatest moral tragedies, outside of sinning against God, is sinning against the image of God. Though we are called to protect the environment, we are called upon even more to protect God’s image.
The abortion issue should be a big issue for Christians, along with any other issue that devalues the image of God (this means Bible believing Christians need to start looking at the Sudan issue, free trade, and other policies that might harm America, but help humanity – we are Christians first, Americans second). We cannot hope to keep a straight face saying that we care about humanity if we belittle the abortion issue and ignore it.
5) Do not underscore the severity of abortion.
A society that is willing to kill its own children is a society that is completely bankrupt. American society allows for the murder of children, but this merely serves as a window to see just how depraved American society is.
A society that sees no problem declaring children within the womb as “not-quite-human” will also have no problem declaring that handicapped, elderly, and those who cannot contribute to society are also “not-quite-human.” An elderly person is no longer a human, but instead a “geriatric.” Terms are created to define how a person isn’t really a person and, therefore, can be liquidated.
For those who believe this is an extreme view, merely look at Europe or even here in America where people are beginning to abort babies that have defects. The parents are saying, “A child with a defect is a child not worth having. A child with a defect doesn’t deserve to live.” In Europe, many severely ill patients that are elderly often face euthanasia, even if they don’t desire it.
Where do such actions cease? In Hitler’s Germany anyone that was considered non-Aryan was also non-human and qualified for liquidation. In Stalin’s Russia anyone who opposed Communism was seen as less than human. Where will we in America stop?
A Christian Response
With the above in mind, I think there is one major thing that Christians should be doing to counteract much of what is occurring above: share and live the Gospel. We should be reaching out to women we know are considering abortion and share the Gospel with them. We should help them find adoption agencies. We should offer to let the church help them financially should they decide to keep the baby. We should be doing absolutely everything we can to help these mothers.
What sense does it make to build a three million dollar sanctuary, spend thousands of dollars on television programming, and give the pastor a six figure income when we cannot help these pregnant girls? The church needs to be helping these mothers, finding their children homes (if the mothers don’t want the kids), paying for their medical bills if needed (even if the mother is ungrateful, we are dealing with a human being inside of her and we want that human to survive – we should do all that we can), and doing absolutely all we can to help her. She sinned, but we should do all we can to lower the ramifications of that sin so it doesn’t reflect negatively on her child.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate cure to the social woes of abortion, not the US Government. Even if abortion were outlawed, women would still seek an abortion. The only way to counter this is through the message of the Gospel and through living it – that is how Christians should respond to this issue.