The Gathering at Decatur Heights
As an introduction to this statement on abortion, here are some guiding scriptures as to how we should think about this subject:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27, ESV)
“Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.” (Psalm 71:6, ESV)
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13–16, ESV)
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3–5, ESV)
“Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”” (Matthew 22:19–21, ESV)
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15, ESV)
Abortion is a topic that deserves articulation, but does not deserve nuance. That is to say, there are many questions surrounding the subject that deserve to be answered thoughtfully, but the answers are clear and fixed – even rigid. In this statement, our aim is to briefly answer many of the common questions by applying biblically consistent defense for all life that is made in the image of God.
Almost all of the confusion in the debate dissolves once you answer the question of personhood.
Who gets to define what a human life is?
Scripture puts it this way: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27, ESV)
The essential question surrounding an abortion is this: How many lives are involved? When a woman is pregnant, are there two distinct lives represented? The Bible, and medical science, answers with a resounding, yes. If the answer is that a baby is a person, then what could possibly be a legitimate reason to end a valuable, unique, and vulnerable life?
A human’s value comes from being made in God’s image. Often Pro-life arguments refer to the ‘sanctity of human life’, and that is correct, but it is contingent value. Being made in the image of God means that our value comes from being made in the image of his value. Our attachment to Him is what gives us value. Life is precious because God, the giver of all life, is precious.
If this is not applied to all people, then you are left with arbitrary standards of value by some other means.
Some see the value of life in these ways:
· If a child is wanted
· If there will be two parents
· If the parents have sufficient financial means
· If the child is healthy
· If the child does not have special needs
· If the child is male or female
· If the child was conceived willingly
Value cannot and should not be assigned to the life of a child based on anything other than God’s standard. Unequivocally, all life is precious, valuable, and deserving of full-rights as an image bearer of God.
Here are some common objections to the pro-life position.
What about rape/incest?
Cases where this is involved are heart wrenching, and no one should minimize the trauma or significance of such a wicked sin. But this is also why the question of personhood is so important.
If there are three parties involved and two of them are innocent, why would you execute one of the innocent parties to alleviate from the sin of the guilty party?
Put another way (and this isn’t for shock value), you could ask yourself, “What’s wrong with rape?”
If your answer is something along the lines of “It’s wrong to force your will upon someone’s body without consent” (which is true), then how is it that with an abortion in the case of rape you end up forcing the extermination upon an innocent life without his/her consent?
Rape and incest are unspeakable evils, but so is the killing of a life. Thankfully, God is a redeemer. He takes the complicated and the broken and makes them beautiful and dignified.
Should the government control women’s bodies?
No, government should not ‘control’ anyone’s body. But a government should do their rightfully appointed responsibilities. One of the many legitimate jobs of a governing body is to protect its citizens from a crime. Again, this points us back to the ever-clear question of personhood. If a baby is in fact a person then he/she deserves protection – especially if someone is trying to end their life.
Reproductive Rights And Healthcare
By definition, if you reproduce then you have produced another life. Reproductive rights would be more accurately stated this way: You have reproduced, what you have produced now has rights.
***Abortion is most often a parenting decision, not a healthcare decision.
Why is abortion an important topic when there are other people in our communities who are suffering to survive?
To diminish the grotesque suffering of one group of people because of the difficulty of another group is wicked and nonsensical. A consistent vision for the value of life seeks to get involved when and where it can. Once again, a simple question offers clarity. You could ask yourself, “Why is suffering wrong?” If your answer is anything along the lines of “because people deserve to be taken care of…valuable people are hurting…etc.” then you must also apply that same logic to the most vulnerable among us who are extinguished at a rate of 3,000 lives per day in this country.
[A good example of consistency is the state of Alabama. Not only did they recently pass restrictive access laws in their state regarding abortion, but they also lead the nation in foster care and adoption.]
This list is by no means exhaustive, nor are the answers, but I hope it helps aid conversation around these common objections.