The debate about abortion has become acrimonious. Pro-Abortion activists call their opponents privileged old white man making decisions about and for women. The anti-abortion side calls the pro-abortion group murderers. As the debate goes on the acrimony grows. Name calling doesn’t lend itself to listening to learn. The gasoline poured on the fire only makes the fire bigger. The facts and legitimate points of view disappear. Once again our nation becomes polarized.
So what are the facts on abortion? Over six hundred thousand abortions occur each year. There are over two million families looking to adopt and only one in thirty six will be able to adopt each year. Statically there is only a small amount of difference in gender views on abortion. Even along party lines, Republicans are almost equally divided. This is an issue of personal views.
Additionally, there are close to four million live births a year. Which tells us that fifteen percent of pregnancies end in abortion. Only one percent of pregnancies are caused by rape or incest. Suggesting that abortion is a form of birth control.
From a Christian point of view, abortion isn’t specifically dealt with in the Bible. Leaving us to seek verses that require interpretation. For instance, Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Certainly, Genesis 1:27 suggests all humankind is created by God; it says, “So God created humankind in God’s own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” While there are other verses that cite that our creation and birth were the result of God. These two are very direct about our origins, from God.
As a Christian we recognize that God is the source of all things. It is from this point the
discussion of abortion starts for Christians. Is abortion a denial of God’s will?
We will hear from proponents of abortion that it is the women’s body and only she can decide what is best. This statement superficially sounds good and might make sense.
Except for two critical components. The first, if we assume that either birth starts at conception or with the first heart beat, than there is another human involved, the child in the womb. What rights does the child have? Who is the advocate for the child? With any pregnancy it is no longer just the woman’s body, but two individuals. Both needing protection and understanding.
The second consideration that should be considered is the rights of the father in this decision. It is easy to say that it’s my body and it’s my decision. But it makes the unborn child’s father a silent voice. Including the father is essential in this decision. We will hear a common platitude that states fathers don’t care, which is an unfounded statement of bias against men. While we hear from the left that men have no right of say and further some believe, men don’t care.
Neither of these biases has any statistical support. And are just “thrown ins” to support their position that this decision is only the woman’s.
There is also the issue for the woman of post-abortion grief. What we won’t hear from proponents of abortion is the after effect on the woman. From reports of professional counseling centers, many women would love to turn back the clock. They suffer from nightmares and need grief counseling. Many think about the baby every day. Statistically close to two-thirds of woman seek counseling after abortion. There is real residue from abortion, this voice is never mentioned by pro-abortion supporters.
We will hear about the exceptions like rape and incest as reasons to support abortion. These pregnancies account for one percent of all pregnancies. But is always included in ever argument. While tragic and heartbreaking, there are other options like adoption. Certainly, the trauma of rape and incest has to be dealt with and the victim needs support. Real empathy has to exist for these women and perhaps an alternative solution can be devised that protects the viability of ninety nine percent of other children.
Rape and incest victims do need a voice. They need empathy. A critical questions for these victims is what does God want? And what does God want for the unborn child? The violence inflicted on these women needs to be addressed. A universal solution, whether it is for or against abortion ignores these women and the children. This group should be exceptions with any proposed legislation and handled separately. Without this the debate will rage on. Some women also experience life threatening complications arise during pregnancy as well. Leaving both the parents and medical professionals a difficult decision. One that should be handled delicately and on a case by case basis by the parents and doctors.
While proponents will say that an old white man, like myself, should have no say or opinion, this statement is logically false. Regardless of race, age, gender or religion; all Americans have a right to a voice an opinion. None of us have a right to silence any voice. Casting slurs against a persons biology isn’t an appropriate form debate. True dialogue isn’t about name calling, but about listening to learn.
Abortion is a complicated subject and requires open debate. It requires intentional listening and open ears. Dismissing any person argument through name calling or being dismissive, short circuits any debate.
One thing I have learned in this long life, is the weaker the argument the lower the person’s openness to listening and the louder the name calling.
Personally, I disagree with abortion and would encourage the parents to consider other options if the baby is unwanted. All creation is of God and should be viewed in this light. My opinion is formed from a deep faith in God. To that, I found all my opinions.
For Christians, the debate starts with God’s will. As Christians, we will always try to discern God’s desire. Also as Christians, we are required to hear all and love all. Acrimony is not part of our faith, empathy is. With this attitude, we can create a solution for all. This debate needs reason and empathy, both for the parents and the unborn child.