Abortion: What Can We Do About It?
Dr. Jerry E. McKeehan, D.Min.
We all saw the pictures: police scuffling with pro-life "rescuers" at abortion clinics.
Then came the spin: "anti-abortionists are extremists who create an atmosphere for violence."
The result? Backlash. A toned-down pro-life polemic. The militant message is muted. Abortion is no longer a major media topic. Public apathy.
But the issue has not gone away. The abortion industry continues its butchery, victimizing both the preborn and their mothers. The U.S. Supreme Court has made every preborn baby in America legally fatherless. Many people do not care whether abortion is murder or not. Worse, a hard core believes that it is but still wants it legal. Our society as declared an entire class of human beings as "non-persons" for one purpose--to kill them.
Why is abortion-on-demand so vigorously defended? Because this is an "adulterous and sinful generation" (Mark 8:38). The "health" of the woman is only a side issue. People who pursue sexual gratification will oppose anything that stands in the way. They want sex without responsibility and without consequences.
The degrading of human sexuality results in the degrading of its product. When the man is through with the woman, he discards her; when an unwanted baby is in the way, he wants her to kill it.
Abortion is a concession to immorality. Lust demands it.
By abandoning the firm principle of the sanctity of human life for a vague notion of the "quality" of life, we have made human beings expendable. In the process we are becoming a pro-death culture, babbling mindless and meaningless slogans. It is said that we have traded reality for words; then we talk about the words.
"No unwanted children"--because the unwanted ones have been destroyed.
"Keep your laws off my body"--sounds like something the cannibals might have said to the missionaries! Anyway, it is not just her body; that baby has its own genetic code.
"Keep abortion safe"--for whom? not the little human beings who are burned or cut to pieces alive.
"Let's not return to the back alleys and coat hangers"--no moral woman would go there anyway, unless forced to; and force is unacceptable whether legal or not.
"A woman's right to choose"--what freedom of choice does a girl or woman have who is under pressure from a scared boy-friend, a bullying husband, panicky parents, and worldly counselors?
So, how do we handle the abortion issue? What principles should guide us, and what course of action should we take?
First, we must realize that, so far as the law is concerned, we are in this "for the long haul." The eventual correction of the horrible mistake made in Roe vs. Wade must remain a goal. However, it will not happen immediately. Nor should it be our single focus. More important than even that is the awakening of the public mind. A strong substratum of Judeo-Christian decency in America will assert itself when it is moved by the truth.
We must continue to affirm the personhood of the preborn. Psalm 139 is very clear that the human womb is the workshop of God, and therefore we must be careful what we do in there. In this inspired passage the psalmist referred to himself in his prenatal state by personal pronouns: "I" and "my"--terms of personhood. The human embryo and fetus are stages of personal development.
We must regard seriously what God says about the shedding of innocent blood (Deuteronomy 2:25; Psalm 106:38; Proverbs 6:17).
The trite terminology of abortionism needs to be rejected. Paul wrote, "Let no one deceive you with empty words" (Ephesians 5:6 NIV).
Let us stop using the words that abortion supporters have monopolized. They won an immense verbal victory when they gained a virtual copyright on the word "choice." As a word, "choice" means nothing in itself. Choice to do what? Let us refuse to use the slogan "pro-choice," except in exposing it.
"Abortion rights" is another slogan we must stop using. Abortion is not a moral right apart from its mere legalization.
Also, we must reject the misinterpretation of the "breath of life" passage (Genesis 2:7). That was a one-time direct act of God that brought the first human being into existence. It has nothing to do with the newborn drawing its first breath.
We must insist on the father's obvious role in the preborn's existence. Nothing in the process of birth relates that man to that baby. That happened in the process of conception.
Here are some other steps that we can take:
- Categorically reject, denounce, and dissociate ourselves from every act of violence against abortion clinics and abortion doctors. Such acts violate the pro-life principle.
- Work persistently to inform and educate the public mind--to refute error with truth and misperceptions with facts. New technology that enables parents to view their unborn child in three-dimensional color provides powerful "reality therapy."
- Work for incremental legal victories: victims' rights for the preborn; outlawing the killing of babies while they are being born; the legal recognition of the rights of the father; elimination of all tax-funding for abortions; possible "truth-in-abortion" laws to require abortion clinics to tell women (and men) the truth about the process; rock-solid support for the confirmation of judges who will uphold the sanctity of human life. Vote!
- Use public witness opportunities: observe Sanctity Of Human Life Sunday; remonstrate against and correct misinformation and bias; participate in prayer vigils and peaceful demonstrations, avoiding angry outbursts (angry people look terrible on TV).
- Support effective pro-life ministries, such as those that provide abortion alternative counseling and resources, assistance for girls and women who choose not to abort, and help for those suffering post-abortion trauma. Become personally involved.
Above everything and in everything, pray! Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but "the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). This is a spiritual battle, and we must remember who our real enemy is. We are not fighting people; we are fighting for people. Our weapons are spiritual and they are powerful (2 Corinthians 10:4). In this confidence let us continue to offer life to our pro-death society, in the name of Him who declared, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).