legal abortion AND pro-life?

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

August 16, 2008

Is it possible to be pro-life and be satisfied with legalized abortion? This is an interesting question that I’ve been pondering since reading a recent article over at The Huffington Post. The article is political in nature, but this is not the main idea that I want to address. The interesting question to me is whether the Christian community can truly be satisfied with legal abortions, and still maintain their pro-life position. Check you the complete article here…

Fetus Sucking Thumb

Will the Real Pro-life Party Please Stand Up?
by Zack Exley

I am amazed at the fact that pushing a pro-life agenda to bring an end to abortions has literally not decreased abortions whatsoever. It seems to raise the question about whether Christians are even doing the right things at all in this fight.

Should the focus of Christians be on changing the laws, therefore forcing others to live according to our moral standards? Or should the Christian response be more one of helping those in need of support.

I’m no expert on this, but it does seem to me that most people that turn to abortion do so because they feel like they do not have any other options. Abortion is usually a cry that they cannot do it on their own.

Now I know that there is the whole rape, incest, and potential risk to the mother’s life issues, but I would think that those are more in the minority compared to the abortions that are being performed because of one’s perceived inability to deal with the “situation” (a.k.a. “the human life that is growing inside her body”). It seems to me that support is the thing that newly expectant mothers need most. They need to know that they are not alone. They need help getting through the pregnancy. They need support afterwards, whether they decide to keep the child or put it up for adoption. They need people to help them.

That’s why I love organizations like Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center. They offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds to women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. They provide the moral support that the women need to get through the pregnancy, and then offer clothing, furniture, and infant supplies for the first year after the birth.

So how should Christians respond when dealing with the issue of abortion? Should our efforts be in forcing our worldviews on others? Or should we be reaching out to people who are breaking inside and feel like there is no way out of their situation?

21 Comments

  1. FishHawk

    It all depends upon what we want to believe. For unto those who do not want to accept that the souls of all aborted babies go straight unto the very bosom of our Heavenly Father, abortion is an abomination that should be stopped at all costs.

    Now, unto those who want to believe otherwise, it should be made clear that making abortions illegal again only exacerbates the problem. For our Heavenly Father does not distinguish between those who directly participate in the committing of an abortion and those who refuse to recognize that natural life begins at conception. For the reason why we want to do something is more important unto Him than what we actually do!

    Therefore, it is the changing of hearts and minds that all Christians should want to be of help with, and this cannot be accomplished through the passing of legislation. For if our Heavenly Father’s own Law is powerless in the flesh to effect righteousness {Hebrews 7:18-19}, what can even a constitutional amendment achieve?

    Yes, it can be argued that preventing abortions from happening would save participants the added shame of having committed murder after they have come unto their senses, and I am quite sure that many would be most grateful. Nonetheless, if just thinking that there is nothing wrong with having an abortion the same as actually having one in the Light of our Heavenly Father’s absolute Truth, what does it really matter?

    Reply
  2. FishHawk

    It all depends upon what we want to believe. For unto those who do not want to accept that the souls of all aborted babies go straight unto the very bosom of our Heavenly Father, abortion is an abomination that should be stopped at all costs.

    Now, unto those who want to believe otherwise, it should be made clear that making abortions illegal again only exacerbates the problem. For our Heavenly Father does not distinguish between those who directly participate in the committing of an abortion and those who refuse to recognize that natural life begins at conception. For the reason why we want to do something is more important unto Him than what we actually do!

    Therefore, it is the changing of hearts and minds that all Christians should want to be of help with, and this cannot be accomplished through the passing of legislation. For if our Heavenly Father’s own Law is powerless in the flesh to effect righteousness {Hebrews 7:18-19}, what can even a constitutional amendment achieve?

    Yes, it can be argued that preventing abortions from happening would save participants the added shame of having committed murder after they have come unto their senses, and I am quite sure that many would be most grateful. Nonetheless, if just thinking that there is nothing wrong with having an abortion the same as actually having one in the Light of our Heavenly Father’s absolute Truth, what does it really matter?

    Reply
  3. FishHawk

    It all depends upon what we want to believe. For unto those who do not want to accept that the souls of all aborted babies go straight unto the very bosom of our Heavenly Father, abortion is an abomination that should be stopped at all costs.

    Now, unto those who want to believe otherwise, it should be made clear that making abortions illegal again only exacerbates the problem. For our Heavenly Father does not distinguish between those who directly participate in the committing of an abortion and those who refuse to recognize that natural life begins at conception. For the reason why we want to do something is more important unto Him than what we actually do!

    Therefore, it is the changing of hearts and minds that all Christians should want to be of help with, and this cannot be accomplished through the passing of legislation. For if our Heavenly Father’s own Law is powerless in the flesh to effect righteousness {Hebrews 7:18-19}, what can even a constitutional amendment achieve?

    Yes, it can be argued that preventing abortions from happening would save participants the added shame of having committed murder after they have come unto their senses, and I am quite sure that many would be most grateful. Nonetheless, if just thinking that there is nothing wrong with having an abortion the same as actually having one in the Light of our Heavenly Father’s absolute Truth, what does it really matter?

    Reply
  4. roger mugs

    i’ve mentioned before that I think it should be the same response we would hope to have if living in germany under the nazi regime
    absolute opposition
    doing whatever it takes to undermine the process so as to stop the holocaust…

    its murder and murder and murder, we cant solve it through more violence, but we cant be silent about it either.

    Reply
  5. roger mugs

    i’ve mentioned before that I think it should be the same response we would hope to have if living in germany under the nazi regime
    absolute opposition
    doing whatever it takes to undermine the process so as to stop the holocaust…

    its murder and murder and murder, we cant solve it through more violence, but we cant be silent about it either.

    Reply
  6. roger mugs

    i’ve mentioned before that I think it should be the same response we would hope to have if living in germany under the nazi regime
    absolute opposition
    doing whatever it takes to undermine the process so as to stop the holocaust…

    its murder and murder and murder, we cant solve it through more violence, but we cant be silent about it either.

    Reply
  7. Dan King

    Jerry (FishHawk) and Roger,
    I totally agree that as Christians we should stand up and fight for what we believe in. However, at the same time I do not know that legislation is the right way to change people’s behavior.

    For example, imagine that young lady that is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and the father of the child wants nothing to do with it. The young lady ends up being completely alone in the situation, and considers an abortion because she knwos that she cannot afford to do it on her own right now. In today’s world she goes to get the abortion…

    However, in a society where abortion is illegal, it probably doesn’t change the situation up until the point where she decides to get the abortion. She still has to deal with the same emotions, but now her stress over the whole thing is exagerated because of the perceived lack of options.

    So… in this light, is it more important for us to spend our efforts fighting for legislation, or to be there for those that are lost and hurting inside. I believe the Christian witness may be stronger when we focus on helping the broken hearted, and supporting them through difficult situations than we do if we fight to force others to live according to our beliefs.

    I completely agree that abortion is murder, which is why we should be doing EVERYTHING in our power to help steer people away from making that decision.

    I guess that I see abortion as a “soft” law. Legal abaortion laws do not cause us to commit a sin. I might feel more strongly if there was a law that required me (and my wife) to have an abortion…

    I think that the message of the Gospel requires us to love people, and not so much to make laws…

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  8. Dan King

    Jerry (FishHawk) and Roger,
    I totally agree that as Christians we should stand up and fight for what we believe in. However, at the same time I do not know that legislation is the right way to change people’s behavior.

    For example, imagine that young lady that is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and the father of the child wants nothing to do with it. The young lady ends up being completely alone in the situation, and considers an abortion because she knwos that she cannot afford to do it on her own right now. In today’s world she goes to get the abortion…

    However, in a society where abortion is illegal, it probably doesn’t change the situation up until the point where she decides to get the abortion. She still has to deal with the same emotions, but now her stress over the whole thing is exagerated because of the perceived lack of options.

    So… in this light, is it more important for us to spend our efforts fighting for legislation, or to be there for those that are lost and hurting inside. I believe the Christian witness may be stronger when we focus on helping the broken hearted, and supporting them through difficult situations than we do if we fight to force others to live according to our beliefs.

    I completely agree that abortion is murder, which is why we should be doing EVERYTHING in our power to help steer people away from making that decision.

    I guess that I see abortion as a “soft” law. Legal abaortion laws do not cause us to commit a sin. I might feel more strongly if there was a law that required me (and my wife) to have an abortion…

    I think that the message of the Gospel requires us to love people, and not so much to make laws…

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  9. Dan King

    Jerry (FishHawk) and Roger,
    I totally agree that as Christians we should stand up and fight for what we believe in. However, at the same time I do not know that legislation is the right way to change people’s behavior.

    For example, imagine that young lady that is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and the father of the child wants nothing to do with it. The young lady ends up being completely alone in the situation, and considers an abortion because she knwos that she cannot afford to do it on her own right now. In today’s world she goes to get the abortion…

    However, in a society where abortion is illegal, it probably doesn’t change the situation up until the point where she decides to get the abortion. She still has to deal with the same emotions, but now her stress over the whole thing is exagerated because of the perceived lack of options.

    So… in this light, is it more important for us to spend our efforts fighting for legislation, or to be there for those that are lost and hurting inside. I believe the Christian witness may be stronger when we focus on helping the broken hearted, and supporting them through difficult situations than we do if we fight to force others to live according to our beliefs.

    I completely agree that abortion is murder, which is why we should be doing EVERYTHING in our power to help steer people away from making that decision.

    I guess that I see abortion as a “soft” law. Legal abaortion laws do not cause us to commit a sin. I might feel more strongly if there was a law that required me (and my wife) to have an abortion…

    I think that the message of the Gospel requires us to love people, and not so much to make laws…

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  10. Peter M. Lopez

    Wonderful but complicated question, almost as complicated as any answer. With such legislative successes as the war on drugs and the like, I fail to see how branding more people criminals and putting them in jail or prison is the answer to an issue as significant as this. If Christians, myself included, would spend as much time and energy trying to change people’s hearts as they/we spend trying to change laws, we would be much better off…and the law would take care of itself.

    Great blog. I’m glad I found it. I would like to link to it from my blog (http://beautyofthebible.com) if you don’t mind. There is certainly no obligation for you to do the same, but please feel free if you choose. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  11. Peter M. Lopez

    Wonderful but complicated question, almost as complicated as any answer. With such legislative successes as the war on drugs and the like, I fail to see how branding more people criminals and putting them in jail or prison is the answer to an issue as significant as this. If Christians, myself included, would spend as much time and energy trying to change people’s hearts as they/we spend trying to change laws, we would be much better off…and the law would take care of itself.

    Great blog. I’m glad I found it. I would like to link to it from my blog (http://beautyofthebible.com) if you don’t mind. There is certainly no obligation for you to do the same, but please feel free if you choose. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  12. roger mugs

    hmm… a soft law as it is… i have a problem with the law that makes prostitution legal in las vegas…
    i understand a “have nothing to do with these people”
    i think it should be fought on the political front, but the more practical fight might be on the ground level at some kind of pregnancy center or something…

    i dont have a good answer… but i definitely have a problem with the law being around at all… and am very saddened that the fight against the law had basically died out.

    Reply
  13. roger mugs

    hmm… a soft law as it is… i have a problem with the law that makes prostitution legal in las vegas…
    i understand a “have nothing to do with these people”
    i think it should be fought on the political front, but the more practical fight might be on the ground level at some kind of pregnancy center or something…

    i dont have a good answer… but i definitely have a problem with the law being around at all… and am very saddened that the fight against the law had basically died out.

    Reply
  14. roger mugs

    hmm… a soft law as it is… i have a problem with the law that makes prostitution legal in las vegas…
    i understand a “have nothing to do with these people”
    i think it should be fought on the political front, but the more practical fight might be on the ground level at some kind of pregnancy center or something…

    i dont have a good answer… but i definitely have a problem with the law being around at all… and am very saddened that the fight against the law had basically died out.

    Reply
  15. Peter M. Lopez

    Wonderful but complicated question, almost as complicated as any answer. With such legislative successes as the war on drugs and the like, I fail to see how branding more people criminals and putting them in jail or prison is the answer to an issue as significant as this. If Christians, myself included, would spend as much time and energy trying to change people’s hearts as they/we spend trying to change laws, we would be much better off…and the law would take care of itself.

    Great blog. I’m glad I found it. I would like to link to it from my blog (http://beautyofthebible.com) if you don’t mind. There is certainly no obligation for you to do the same, but please feel free if you choose. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  16. Dan King

    Roger,
    I agree that the it would be great to see the laws better reflect our values. I guess that I feel like the best approach to make that happen it to get to the heart of the people that the current laws give those “freedoms” to. I think that the same mentality applies to the prostitution example as well. It being legal somewhere does not cause me to sin, but the best way to eliminate the problem may have more to do with getting to the hearts of men to not turn to such activities.

    Peter,
    It’s nice to meet you, and I’ve taken a quick look over at your blog! It looks very interesting, and I’ll have to spend a little more time over there. I agree with you as well. Issues like this are complicated. It seems like “settling for” simply showing the love of Christ is the “easy way out” and is therefore a compromise. Where do we draw the line between sharing the love and fighting for the moral standards.

    I’m wondering which stance would win the most hearts to the Lord…

    Great conversation! Thanks!
    Dan

    Reply
  17. Dan King

    Roger,
    I agree that the it would be great to see the laws better reflect our values. I guess that I feel like the best approach to make that happen it to get to the heart of the people that the current laws give those “freedoms” to. I think that the same mentality applies to the prostitution example as well. It being legal somewhere does not cause me to sin, but the best way to eliminate the problem may have more to do with getting to the hearts of men to not turn to such activities.

    Peter,
    It’s nice to meet you, and I’ve taken a quick look over at your blog! It looks very interesting, and I’ll have to spend a little more time over there. I agree with you as well. Issues like this are complicated. It seems like “settling for” simply showing the love of Christ is the “easy way out” and is therefore a compromise. Where do we draw the line between sharing the love and fighting for the moral standards.

    I’m wondering which stance would win the most hearts to the Lord…

    Great conversation! Thanks!
    Dan

    Reply
  18. Dan King

    Roger,
    I agree that the it would be great to see the laws better reflect our values. I guess that I feel like the best approach to make that happen it to get to the heart of the people that the current laws give those “freedoms” to. I think that the same mentality applies to the prostitution example as well. It being legal somewhere does not cause me to sin, but the best way to eliminate the problem may have more to do with getting to the hearts of men to not turn to such activities.

    Peter,
    It’s nice to meet you, and I’ve taken a quick look over at your blog! It looks very interesting, and I’ll have to spend a little more time over there. I agree with you as well. Issues like this are complicated. It seems like “settling for” simply showing the love of Christ is the “easy way out” and is therefore a compromise. Where do we draw the line between sharing the love and fighting for the moral standards.

    I’m wondering which stance would win the most hearts to the Lord…

    Great conversation! Thanks!
    Dan

    Reply
  19. OneChanceOneLife

    Let me present you with a real life situation and tell me how you would solve it: a woman gets raped and she gets pregnant as well. She doesn't want to keep the baby because the trauma of the rape is too deep for her to live with. She wants to get rid of the pregnancy immediately. Can you be a pro-life and agree with abortion in this situation? My opinion says: YES. And please don't give me answers like: “It was God's will” or “She deserved that”.
    ________________________________________________
    Abortion Clinics

    Reply
  20. BibleDude

    First of all, I really hope that this extreme situation is not being used to justify all abortions, particularly those that happen because of convenience.

    However, my response is this…
    (1) It's not my place to judge someone for their actions. Yes I believe that abortion is murder of a defenseless new life, but God is the judge… not me. So particularly in the situation that you mention here, I am in no place to judge someone for their actions.

    (2) I would also recognize that the ordeal that this woman is going through would be a vry painful one. Not only physically, but emotionally, and SPIRITUALLY as well. As a Christian, I would feel a need to comfort the broken hearted as Jesus did and commanded us to do.

    Note: This comment looks like a spam comment by the user not leaving a name, and leaving a link back to a website. Normally, I delete these without question. However, I did feel that it was important to address this issue with what I believe to be the appropriate Christian response.

    Reply
  21. BibleDude

    First of all, I really hope that this extreme situation is not being used to justify all abortions, particularly those that happen because of convenience.

    However, my response is this…
    (1) It's not my place to judge someone for their actions. Yes I believe that abortion is murder of a defenseless new life, but God is the judge… not me. So particularly in the situation that you mention here, I am in no place to judge someone for their actions.

    (2) I would also recognize that the ordeal that this woman is going through would be a vry painful one. Not only physically, but emotionally, and SPIRITUALLY as well. As a Christian, I would feel a need to comfort the broken hearted as Jesus did and commanded us to do.

    Note: This comment looks like a spam comment by the user not leaving a name, and leaving a link back to a website. Normally, I delete these without question. However, I did feel that it was important to address this issue with what I believe to be the appropriate Christian response.

    Reply

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legal abortion AND pro-life?

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
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