There is No Pro-Abortion
This is going to be a quick one sparked by a conversation on the MennoNerds Facebook group. Many took part in this discussion, including some who think abortion is inconsistent with a Christian ethic and some who think the opposite. As usually happens in such discussions, you get some who are very rationally looking for what actually makes the world a better place, and you get some who just want to assert repeatedly that their side is right and your side is wrong. I’m happy to say that MennoNerds – and in my experience, Anabaptists in general – tend to skew toward the former.
Here’s all I want to say in summarizing the conversation, though, and I know I’ve said similar before: there is no such thing as “pro-abortion.” There is no group of people out there who are just eager to have a fetus destroyed inside of a woman. It doesn’t even matter if you think that the fetus is “life” because you still wouldn’t want to make a woman go through that procedure and ending a “potential life.” Nobody wants that to happen; there is just a difference of opinion about whether or not it should at times be allowed to happen (within Christian ethics and/or within the law).
I generally would probably think that an abortion is inconsistent with a Christian ethic. My personal reasoning is simple. I think that all violence is inconsistent with a Christian ethic. Since I do accept the presupposition that life begins at conception – and yes, that is a presupposition, not a fact, because the definition of “life” is hardly an easy one to pin down – then violence against a fetus is inconsistent with a Christian ethic.
So according to many, I am clearly a conservative. I know, it isn’t often you see me write that. At the same time, I acknowledge we live in a broken world and my stance on abortion is much like my stance on violence in general: while I think it is inconsistent with a Christian ethic, I do not think it is fair to expect everyone to live by that ethic. Ultimately, in a broken world, I am thankful for laws allowing abortions within limits. And I firmly believe that the way forward is in both “sides” pooling their resources in order to reduce abortions as best as possible instead of using all our resources to fight each other. I do not think that women who have had abortions should be treated as the lowest of the low, or even the second lowest behind gay people (depending on which conservative church you go to). Wait, so am I a liberal, then?
I just want to scrap the whole language of conservative/liberal, baby-killer/woman-hater, pro-choice/pro-life. Few who think Christians shouldn’t do it and/or laws shouldn’t allow it actually hate women. Few if any who don’t think it should be allowed by Christians and/or the state actually hate and want to kill babies. Nobody is pro-abortion.
Just stop it with the stupid rhetoric. It isn’t accomplishing what we all really want: less hurt women and less abandoned fetuses.
What does accomplish that? Support women in poverty who know they could not afford birth control or the doctors to give birth or to raise a child, a ridiculously expensive task even here in Canada with lots of government support. Support the adoption system, not because you’re obligated to but because those children are just as worthy of love as any other, as we often say when we suggest “oh, just give it up for adoption instead.” Go to those pregnancy centres where women are hurting, get to know them and help them heal, instead of protesting and making them feel like they are incapable of love (and so why have a kid if you can’t love it?). Lots of studies have shown that changing laws doesn’t change abortion rates – just makes it more likely to hurt the mother in the process – but these kind of acts of love consistently do help.
In other words, being vocally anti-abortion-legislation and hating people who disagree with you does not stop abortions; love stops abortions.