You may think my title question is absurd. To many, it is incomprehensible that abortion could be a good thing. And yet, at the same time, many millions of Americans believe the exact opposite. They would say, “Of course abortion is a good thing.” The above question exposes a polarizing divide in our nation. And I would like to speak to both sides of that divide.
We All Make Moral Judgments
Some begin with the premise that abortion is good because it preserves the woman’s right to choose. Support of abortion preserves the personal autonomy of a woman, they reason. In doing so, abortion supporters make a moral assertion. I’ll be honest and say I don’t agree, but I hope you will take time to listen to why I disagree.
It is impossible to escape moral judgments. Even in our post-modern, increasingly secular society, where many believe all truth is relative, we cannot escape making moral judgments. Words loaded with moral meaning appear in the headlines over and over again. Reporters write about the “redemption” of Tiger Woods or about the evil of school or church shootings and bombings. Those are moral words.
So we all make moral judgments. And, while some may say truth is relative, we betray the fact that our own truth claims are authoritative by living our lives according to them. We fight for policies that will significantly impact the lives of millions of people. We give money. We spend time. Why? Because we believe in something.
And so we find ourselves divided into two camps at an impasse—abortion is good, or abortion is evil. One camp heralds a secular ideology; the other camp, a sacred one. But both cannot be correct. And one position will come to dominate American life, thinking, and policy. Someone’s morality will rule.
The Real Issue
It comes down to this question, “What is the greatest moral good?” Is it a woman’s absolute right to say what she should do with her body, or the preserving of the life of an innocent, defenseless infant? It is not a secret that we are killing children. The pro-abortion movement agreed to that reality a long time ago, and even now it has begun to promote infanticide. Anyone who would say otherwise is being dishonest with the facts. The argument, rather, is whether a woman’s right to choose is more important than preserving life in the womb.
To that argument I would like to pose a simple question, and then follow it up with several crucial observations.
Who is more vulnerable—a pregnant woman or a child in the womb?
The abortion movement relies heavily on feminist ideology. At its heart, feminism teaches that women are an “oppressed” class of people (by white, old males—two out of three strikes for me). To make women equal with men, they deserve equal rights. They should not be shackled to an unwanted pregnancy. Men don’t have to be. So all women have the “right” to terminate a pregnancy.
I have a number of substantial objections to feminist ideology, but, for the sake of argument, let’s flip that logic around and apply it to the infant in the womb. What about their oppressed status? Scripture clearly teaches oppression is evil (Psalm 94; Isaiah 1:17; Zechariah 7:9-10; Mark 12:31; James 5:4), but it does not teach us to pick and choose what forms of oppression we can tolerate. Abortion is evil because all forms of oppression are evil. In seeking to mitigate oppression, abortionists actually commit it. The most vulnerable person of all is that child in the womb, and abortion crushes that child. This is evil.
Consider 13 more crucial reasons for why abortion is evil.
- It destroys the crown jewel of God’s creation, marring His image. God clearly states that, unlike the rest of creation, we are made in His image (the Imago Dei; Genesis 1:26-27). It is for this reason that God demands life for a life when we shed innocent blood (Genesis 9:5-6). When we murder an unborn baby, we destroy God’s divine, intricately woven knitting process of life (Psalm 139:13-16). This is evil.
- It perverts the beautiful design and purpose of women. God repeatedly paints the act of procreation as a divine blessing (Genesis 1:22, 28; 9:1,7; 17:20; 28:3; 48:4; 1 Samuel 1; Psalm 127:3-5; 128:3; Luke 1; 1 Timothy 2:15). Though all of us, both men and women, experience the affects of a sin-cursed world in work and childbirth (Genesis 3:16-19), God still promises blessing in spite of the pain. It is evil to suggest otherwise.
- It demands men forfeit their responsibility. “No uterus, no opinion” is the popular slogan used to shame men into silence. But consider this Twitter post from Lila Rose.
“Ah,” you say, “but she has bought into the ideology of white, male oppression. She doesn’t even know it!” But let’s once again turn the tables and expose the fallacy. If you will not listen to the men, and if you will not listen to the women, will you listen to the children? Will you listen to the countless testimonies of children who survived failed abortion attempts? Some live without limbs, some live with life-long disabilities, but they all survived as people made in the image of God. They are people worthy of life and worthy of respect. Will those, who claim “experience” as the ultimate trump card, listen to those who truly can speak from experience?
We cannot dismiss an argument simply because we assume someone speaks from a “hidden motive” (power-hungry males or brain-washed females). I am greatly indebted to Neil Shevi’s insights on this point. How can we discern motives in our sin-cursed world? “By their fruits you will know them,” Jesus said (Matthew 7:16, 20). And the fruit of being “pro-choice” is murder. The fruit of women’s health organizations like Planned Parenthood is murder. What evidence do we have? The blood of millions of babies crying out from the ground (Genesis 4:10-11). Men, for the love of the unborn and for the love of your wives, forsake evil and choose life.
- It targets the disabled and minorities. Margaret Sanger, the racist founder of Planned Parenthood, focused on exterminating specific groups of “degenerate” people within the black population and other groups. Just so I am not accused of being inaccurate, I need to clarify her racism took a back seat to her ruthless secularism. She wanted to eliminate supposed burdens to society, whether they were white or black. Her racism then led her to include large numbers of black people in this category. But here is where Christianity infuses life-saving truth. Remember the Imago Dei? Every person is made in the image of God. Margaret Sanger’s opinion, or anyone else’s opinion, of who is “degenerate” and who is not does not matter. Every unborn child has equal value because every God-given life has equal value. As the country of Iceland teaches us, the womb is a very, very dangerous place for a baby with Down syndrome. And in our society still racked with the sin of racism, it is also a very, very dangerous place for minority babies. This is evil.
- It mocks the pain of those who cannot bear children. I know many couples that would give anything to hold their own baby. They appreciate the blessing of children. One of the greatest tragedies of our modern age is the exchange of abortion for adoption. While abortion providers seek free, unparalleled access at every level of our society, adoptions cost thousands of dollars and years of jumping through legal red tape. This is evil.
- It is not done in ignorance. As I said above, we all know that we are killing children. The “right” of a woman to choose now extends to the realms of infanticide. This is evil.
- It exalts the self. We are sacrificing children on the altar of self-autonomy (Ezekiel 16:20-21; 20:31; 23:37). Yet God’s law applies equally to all people, genders, and races. We all are made in his image. If we claim that a woman is self-autonomous, and can thus choose (or be coerced) to have a child murdered in the womb, then we must extend that argument to other individuals. We have no answer for the rapist’s violations or the serial murder’s violence. Yet all of us know the rapist and serial murderer is responsible, especially if the offense is against us.
“Choice” is a dangerous privilege. We all have “choices” available to us, but not all choices are equally valid or morally permissible. And when it comes to the murder of the unborn, personal autonomy must bow to human sanctity. In the Bible, the book of Judges reveals to us what it looks like when people do what they want. It repeats this phrase,
In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6 (see Judges 18:1; 19:1; 21:25)
Judges records some of the most graphic, disgusting, reprehensible, and oppressive stories of human depravity in all the Bible. Left to ourselves, we will destroy ourselves. This is evil.
- It ignores the tragic lessons of history. Haven’t we been here before? Haven’t we heard of the word “eugenics” in school somewhere? Christians, of all people, must speak out against the evil of abortion. Our warning cries, or our inexplicable silence, will forever stand in the history books as a testimony for or against Christ. Will we stand against evil?
- It lies about reality. The abortion movement has purposefully packaged themselves as a champion for “women’s health.” “Health care services” replace murder, the “fetus” replaces the infant, and what was once supposed to be “safe, legal and rare” now must be freely accessed on college campuses at the expense of taxpayer money. This is evil.
- It wipes out current and future generations. Since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973, Americans have aborted over 50 million babies. Here’s a staggering comparison that sobered me. Consider the populations of our 9 largest U.S. cities—New York (8.6 million), Los Angeles (4 million), Chicago (2.7 million), Houston (2.4 million), Phoenix (1.7 million), Philadelphia (1.6 million), San Antonio (1.6 million), San Diego (1.5 million), and Dallas (1.4 million). Now double that amount, and you would have enough city-space to hold all the unborn we have slain in the last 46 years. 50 million lives in our generation will never walk among us because of abortion. Every day that number grows larger. And now we are actively murdering the next generation. This is evil.
- It devalues life. Before President George H.W. Bush was elected, he served as a U.S. Navy pilot in World War II. The Japanese marveled that, after his plane was shot down, the U.S. Navy sent a rescue submarine into dangerous waters to save one American. The character of a culture can be measured by how much it values a single life. Abortion has devalued life in America, and this is evil.
- It promotes the culture of death. Physician assisted suicide among the elderly and infanticide, along with abortion, create a ruthless culture of death. The next logical step after devaluing life is to embrace the culture of death. This may be our future, and this is evil.
- It persecutes the godly. Countless multitudes of godly Christians have been imprisoned and fined for their efforts to oppose the evil of abortion (for an example, see Randy Alcorn’s story, Part 1 and Part 2). This is evil. Yet, thank goodness, God can take what others intend for evil against us and use it for good (Genesis 50:20).
Good in the Face of Evil
So no, I do not think abortion is a good thing. Yet I still have hope. And I’ll tell you why. I serve a suffering Savior. There is no one who understands oppression better than Jesus Christ.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!