I say this all with grace and love and a deep appreciation that we are all people, every one of us worthwhile and deserving of the same rights, with the same responsibility to be decent, respectable people to each other.
In case that’s not clear enough, it is code for, ‘I expect you to act like an adult’.
My background is evangelical Christian; I know how much we Christians like stories. Parables. Anecdotes and narratives to give us a compass of what God wants us to do or be or act or respond to situations in our lives.
Way back when I was a young adult, I went to bible college for a year; as you would expect, I got a husband and a few office calls regarding my attitude (not in that order).
Anyway, I remember in class one day a professor told a hypothetical story of a robber breaking into his house and holding a gun to the professors wife’s head, and *blah blah I maybe was falling asleep in this class the professor had a really low, lullaby-like voice*… anyway, the important part in the hypothetical scenario: the choice the professor would make if he had to choose between the robber dying or his wife dying. And the professor said he’d choose his wife to die, as she is saved and would go to heaven to be with Jesus whereas the robber is presumably not and needed to hear the gospel still and believe so he could also go to heaven. It is more important that the unsaved robber remain alive to possibly still hear the gospel and believe – the professor’s wife is already saved and her eternity is secure.
Makes sense, right?
So let’s talk abortion.
And I’m sure you can tell already where I’m going with this and you’re slamming your walls RIGHT up..
Breathe in. I have not yet even begun to offend you.
First off, you are correct, abortion is not good. Most people believe that, actually. It’s the pet narrative we Christians have that is off in regards to what kind of woman would get an abortion; we imagine they all are awful, selfish women lacking conscience who get multiple abortions because that’s their method of birth control. I’m sure there are some that do this, but not all.
The only sure thing is there will always be women who, because of their circumstances, feel they have no other choice. Real life is not as cut and dry and clear as a one-size-fits-all storyline.
Jesus loves the little children. I don’t have to remind you that babies aren’t in need of salvation yet; they are safe with Him already.
It’s the mothers and presumably the fathers, too, who are in need of grace, and love, and mercy at a time when they most expect judgement. Not that you’re accepting what they’re doing or have done, but are reaching out to them as they are: imperfect humans in need of a Savior, same as you.
Rather than raining anger and hatred on them, do you think that maybe it would honor God more if you chose the infinitely more difficult path? To instead say, “I don’t understand wanting to have an abortion, but I do understand feeling scared. And desperate. And ashamed. And needing somebody to tell me that they care about me.”
Yeah, that would be difficult. Standing back and demanding laws to protect the rights of the innocent unborn would work just as well and is a lot easier for us to do. Yeah! Righteous anger!
So let’s unpack that narrative, too, because when you do some research it doesn’t hold up.
Quotes from The Lancet, July 2016, Abortion Incidence between 1990 and 2014: Global, Regional, and Subregional Levels and Trends –
“We did not observe an association between the abortion rates for 2010–14 and the grounds under which abortion is legally allowed: The rate was 37 abortions per 1000 women where abortion is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life, and 34 where it is available on request.”
“Abortion rates have declined significantly since 1990 in the developed world but not in the developing world. Ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care could help millions of women avoid unintended pregnancies and ensure access to safe abortion.”
It’s a very long article and quite interesting (you’d be surprised how many married women get abortions). The important takeaway here, though, is that to prevent abortions we need to focus on preventing unwanted pregnancies; laws restricting abortions have proven to be mostly ineffective.
Remember Newsflash #3? The obvious, black-and-white answer is often not the correct one.
So really, Moral of the Story: What if we do the hard thing, and we see people as… people? Same as us. Needing the same grace and mercy as everybody else. What if our job as Christians is to say, ‘I don’t believe abortion is right, but I care about you no matter what you choose. I, too, am an imperfect ball of flaws and I see and respect your humanity as well as your baby’s. But it is your choice. Regardless, please come for supper with my family on Friday.’
Could you do that?
For God so loved the world.
The entire world.
Allllll of us.
And we’re all flawed and destitute, selfish assholes and He loved us, anyway.
The unborn baby is hanging out with Him already. No matter which way it goes, that baby is taken care of. It’s his mama, his parents, that need you to show Jesus’ love.