Can a Christian have a compromising view when it comes to abortion?
[NOTE: This first appeared on Medium.com on May 8, 2022, as I was testing a new platform]
In light of the recent SCOTUS leak, I wanted to put my thoughts together and share what is on my heart. In advance of reading, I just want to say Thank You! I recognize that I am just a dude that many will say “You are a man, you have no say in this discussion.” I also recognize that I’m a Christian and that many of my Christian brothers and sisters may disagree with my thoughts.
SCOTUS Leak Summary
On May 2nd, Politico published a story after receiving a leaked February draft version of the potential SCOTUS ruling on abortion rights, what is known as Roe vs. Wade. The byline with summary:
In draft form, there were four justices that appear to side with Justice Alito — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. This sets the stage for a 5-to-4 or 6-to-3 ruling that abortion rights are not inherent in the United States Constitution; therefore, a people and state’s rights issue.
Note: It is currently unknown how Chief Justice John Roberts will side with the decision. Speculation is that he will write his own opinion (not siding with either side) but that doesn’t tell us exactly how he will vote.
The Unfolding Drama and Potential Dysfunction
Since the leak, there has been much concern and drama that women will lose their rights by being a woman and not having the right to choose what they deem is right for their healthcare and their bodies if they get pregnant. The predominate view is that this is basically banning abortion in the United States. Some of the rhetoric includes:
- Based on this decision, what is next? Interracial Marriage, Same-Sex Marriage? Right to privacy?
- All women must conduct sex strikes.
- We must march and storm the Catholic Churches on Mother’s Day.
- We must protest in front of the six Justices’ homes. Peaceful protests, of course.
- All men should have a vasectomy unless they get a reversal court order to have kids.
- If you care about children so much, how many unwanted kids are you going to adopt and care for?
There is a lot of emotion; understandably so. However, what is being presented is not exactly correct as the potential SCOTUS decision doesn’t ban abortion in the United States. Since there is no federal law, it will put the issue squarely in the voter’s hands for the states to decide how to handle abortion. This sets up varying degrees of abortion rights depending on the state, the elected official’s stance on policy, and the laws that get passed within the state. Some states have old laws that do ban abortion including rape or incest known as zombie laws. Michigan’s 1931 abortion law that would go into effect immediately is a perfect example. Some states have passed restrictions that only allow for abortion up until 6 weeks (known as the heartbeat bill), some states at 15 or 24 weeks, while other states are at full-term and post-birth, botched abortions — i.e., Ralph Northam controversy over making the baby comfortable as mother and doctors decide ultimate fate (2 min video).
In the event the draft SCOTUS ruling does reverse course on abortion, many states have created trigger laws that will result in approximately 23 states that have some form of ban or restriction. Some states have gone ahead and codified abortion into their state law such as California, Washington, Oregon, and New York.
What this clearly creates is confusion and a dysfunction as there will potentially be 50 different laws and ways to handle abortion in the United States.
A Christian Perspective
Based on the SCOTUS leak, many Christians are rejoicing in the streets that abortion will be banned. The only disappointment is that it isn’t a ban across the United States but is a potential ban in majority red states governed by Republicans. Some conservatives are just happy that this is a state’s rights issue and that the constituents will get to decide locally.
I want to be very clear in my overall perspective. I am a Pro-Life Christian that believes in the sanctity of life from conception. I believe that it is not a fetus, but a developing baby. A baby that God has blessed the mother.
Although I agree that abortion is an evil, I don’t think you can legislate evil. There are still murders, thieves, liars, abused children, etc. that happen on a daily basis. I worry that leaving abortion to the states will cause a greater harm that is currently unrealized. I worry that some states will legislate third trimester abortions, partial birth abortions, or botched abortions that won’t require our healthcare professionals to save life. I also worry that this will cause a greater divide across the nation and may have unattended consequences as the progressive liberals try to create an aggressive abortion law through legislation. Could there become a national law that allows for abortion up until birth, or post-birth abortions?
So, what is a Christian to think or do? It is my opinion that both sides of Congress should come together and legislate a reasonable, national abortion law that would govern all 50 states and that Christians would create a movement based on love and understanding that would encourage a mother to choose life.
The hateful rhetoric by many Christians needs to stop. Period!
When a woman is initially thinking abortion is her only option, is it better to be outside of Planned Parenthood screaming “You are a murderer, a sinner, and you are going to Hell” or create a support structure with messaging such as “We love you, we love your unborn child, and we are here to come alongside you on your journey?”
King for a Day
In a perfect world, my desire is that no baby is ever aborted and that every child is raised in a loving and caring home. But, until Jesus returns, I recognize that we live in an imperfect, broken world where evil is celebrated.
As such, if I was King for a Day, I would like to see Congress come together and pass a comprehensive abortion law that addresses the following:
- Abortion — Abortions are allowed until 15 weeks. I would prefer the law to be 12 or 6, but I am thinking about Congressional compromise.
- Adoption — We need to encourage adoption and provide better protection to adoptive parents. There are too many stories of babies being ripped from an adoptive parent’s arms because the birth mother has changed her mind (even 2 to 3 years later). Adoption should be final, and the birth mother (and father) loses any legal standing to claim the child that was legally adopted.
- Men Accountability — There needs to be more legal accountability towards men that father a baby. A parental test can help confirm the father. Men should be financially responsible from the moment of conception to help care for the mother and the baby. If the father isn’t pulling his weight, there should be a law for early childcare financial support. The days of any man impregnating 5 to 10+ women with no responsibility need to end, including jail time for negligent men.
- Joint Agreement — Congress needs to figure out how to ensure that the father has a say in the process. At this time, if the mother wants to abort the baby but the father doesn’t, the father has no say in the decision. Yet, if the mother wants to have the baby but the father does not, the father will be on the hook for child support. Again, a legal framework should be able to take care of these situations.
- Funding — There needs to be additional funding that would support a young mother that is in financial need but has chosen life over abortion.
A Christian Response and Duty
Obviously, this will not end abortion. Although many Christians believe, like I, that abortion is a great evil in this nation and the world, I don’t think creating the environment for back alley, coat hanger abortions or the “you made your bed, lie in it” is the right approach.
Many women have had abortions. They need our compassion and our love and to know that God loves them and is a forgiving God. They don’t need me or you to judge them and hold them in a lifetime of contempt. As a Christian, I believe there are some fundamental things that we all must do depending on how the Lord has blessed each of us:
- Pray — Spend time in earnest prayer that the women that are making this difficult decision choose life. Pray that these women find the support and care through their family, their friends, or a loving and supportive organization.
- Love — Truly love the women that are making this decision. Love the women that have already made the decision and had an abortion in their past. They are no less a child of God. God is the ultimate judge, and he will deal with each person accordingly (including me and you) based on their heart, their repentance, and their future deeds.
- Support — Find a Pro-Life organization that you can support. My wife and I support an organization that is a come alongside organization that looks to assist women that have made the decision and chose life. They provide prenatal care, ultrasounds, and ongoing early care through diapers, formula, clothes, and therapy.
- Adopt — If you have the means and the Lord has put it on your heart, adopt a child. There are currently 400,000+ children in the Foster Care System. My wife and I chose to adopt two 6-yr-old boys from an orphanage in another country and we became legal guardians of our 15-year-old niece. It wasn’t easy going from zero to three kids in four months and the road was extremely hard with one of the adopted boys. But we wouldn’t change it for the world.
I believe in the power of Prayer and through the will of our Lord, we can eradicate abortion through love and his guiding grace.
Mother’s Day and the Greatest Gift
Being a mother is both exhausting and rewarding. It has its ups and downs. I am grateful that my mom’s birth mother gave my mom up for adoption. I am grateful that the mothers of the two boys that we adopted chose life. I am grateful that my daughter’s mom and dad realized they didn’t have the means and let my daughter’s grandmother raise her until her passing which is when my wife and I became her mom and dad at the age of fifteen.
For this special Mother’s Day, I want to leave you with an excerpt from the book Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God’s Good Gifts in Motherhood by Laura Booz (pages 12–14).
I will open the blinds to let the sunshine in
I will hug my child
and fill a hungry belly.
I will clean a little bottom,
wash a little face
and hold two little hands.
I will dress someone,
and walk alongside.
I will teach,
I will repeat myself a dozen times
and answer a dozen questions.
I will calm chaos,
I will look for growth
and treasure it.
Someone will yell for help passionately — urgently.
I will run to the rescue.
Sometimes I’ll discover a legitimate emergency,
but most of the time, it will be the smallest complaint that will melt with a kiss.
I will clean up spills,
fix something that’s broken,
find something that’s lost,
and buy something that’s needed.
I will uphold boundaries and keep schedules.
I will wake someone who is sleeping
and help someone sleep who is wakeful.
I’ll notice more reasons to smile
and stumble upon reasons to cry.
I will wrestle irritability,
spar with self-pity,
sprint from temptation,
and win (sometimes).
When I fall, I’ll fall on grace
I will say, “I am sorry,”
and “I forgive you,”
and “I choose you.”
My work as a mother will resemble God’s work as our heavenly father.
My occupation is His occupation;
my mission, His own.
if this is all I accomplish,
I will fall asleep feeling quite satisfied indeed.
I will do these anticipated tasks because God Himself wakes me up in the morning, feeds me with the Living Bread, cheers me on, and runs to my rescue when I call for help.
If you are reading this today, Mother’s Day, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to you all. Heck, it should be Mother’s Day everyday!
In and With Love!