Tag Archives: Abortion

Abortion: From a Necessary Evil to an Essential Service and a Blessing

 

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, there were many debates about abortion laws.  Some were trying to put limits in place while others argued that regulating abortion in any way was an affront to human rights, especially those of women.  Limiting abortion, they contended, was regression into the dark ages of ignorance and insensitivity toward “women’s healthcare” and the right to self-determination.

Within this spirit of “women’s healthcare,” abortion has again come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many are arguing abortion is an “essential service,” but as I read some of the online rants, one thing is exceptionally clear: No one advocating abortion as an “essential service” mentions or talks about the baby in the womb.  Instead, it is argued that women must continue to have the unrestricted right to do whatever they want with their bodies, especially in the arenas of human sexuality and reproduction.

But herein lies the rub: What is the true identity of the “product of conception” in the womb?  We cannot simply pass over that question in favor of a woman’s “right to choose,” because no one, male or female, has the unrestricted or unregulated right to do things with their bodies that intentionally inflict harm upon another human being.

It’s convenient, of course, to claim this an issue of “women’s healthcare” and call what’s in the womb a “product of conception,” “a ball of cells,” or “a blob of fetal tissue.”  But these labels only subvert and obscure the true nature of what (or better, who) resides within.  Relabeling something or someone does not fundamentally alter its true essence or nature.

From a purely medical standpoint, at six weeks, though no bigger than a pea, the fetus’ arms and legs have already begun to appear, the heart is beating, and brain waves can be detected.  By eleven weeks—less than three months into the pregnancy—the baby is completely formed with its own fingerprints, a fully functioning organ system (including circulating blood), and a nervous system that can and does feel pain.  The second and third trimesters of pregnancy are primarily periods of growth in size, not complexity.

It is deeply ironic that during the COVID-19 pandemic severe limitations have been imposed on nearly everyone planet-wide in order to save human lives, yet the “right” to terminate the life of an unborn child has simultaneously been dubbed an “essential service.”

During his presidency, Bill Clinton, like many of his time, considered abortion a “necessary evil” and hoped it would become “safe, affordable, and rare.”  To be sure, abortion is relatively safe (for the mother) and affordable, but it has never become rare.  While rates of abortion are significantly lower now than they were in the eighties and nineties, every year well over half a million babies are aborted in the United States alone.  And much of the downturn in abortion rates is simply related to a significant decrease in overall pregnancies.  In short, fewer pregnancies means fewer babies to abort.

Sadly, recent rhetoric among some pro-choice advocates has become increasingly shrill and harsh about protecting the unrestricted right of a woman to decide what to do with her “product of conception.”  In fact, a 2018 billboard campaign in downtown Cleveland proclaimed abortion to be “self-care,” “a family value,” “life-saving,” and even “a blessing.”  Rather than a necessary evil, it has become a sacramental right and an “essential” medical service.  As awful as it sounds, this makes sense from a certain point of view.  If what’s inside the womb is just an inconvenience, then who cares what becomes of it?

I would argue, however, that these babies are tragic sacrifices to the spirit of age, one that demands unaccountable sexual freedom and no unplanned and undesired interruptions to one’s self-determined lifestyle.  Somehow, in our moral confusion and hypocrisy, “selfishness” has been transformed into “self-care” instead.

In today’s moral climate, it’s difficult to imagine a publicly funded billboard campaign stating simple truths about abortion: abortion is “big business,” “brutal,” “guilt-inducing,” “traumatic,” “infanticide,” or a host of other more honest and accurate adjectives and nouns.

The fact that an unborn child is small, largely unseen, and even unwanted should never count against it.  This merely means it is doubly weak, vulnerable, and defenseless.  It is therefore an “essential service” to protect, care for, and nurture it in celebration of all God-given life.

 

All Will Be Well: Thoughts on Abortion and Child Sacrifice

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Abortion and child sacrifice are not new practices.  As long as people have been having sex, people have been making babies; and as long as people have been making babies, they have been sacrificing them for one reason or another.

I’ll never forget standing in the jungle at the top of a beautifully criss-crossed pattern of channels carefully carved into a stone hillside in Bolivia, South America.  There, in a bygone era, the blood of countless young virgins had run down into a macabre stone pool at the bottom of the hill, “sacred” sacrifices to their murderous gods.

Although evil, there is a certain understandable reasoning and even twisted nobility in the practice of child sacrifice for sacred purposes.  Horrific as these offerings were, the priests actually believed they were religiously efficacious, providing a divine covering for the community’s greater good—appeasing the gods and bringing blessing.

In his essay, “Myth Became Fact,” C. S. Lewis suggests such sacrifices form a kind of dim mythological “type” or garbled precursor to the one true blood sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Yes, it was a twisted and aberrant distortion of God’s redemptive plan, and yes, their hope and trust were horrendously misplaced, but in another way they were on the right track in affirming the need for propitiatory blood-letting.  And just as people sacrificed their children and their enemy’s children to appease their bloodthirsty gods, God sacrificed His only son, Jesus, so that those who do such things can be rightly redeemed of their bloodguilt.

What is especially tragic and disturbing about the contemporary practice of abortion is that any religious or redemptive motive is largely lost.  The satanic claim is still the same: “Sacrifice your child and all will be well,” but the rationale for doing so has been monstrously modified into an egotistical altar to the almighty self.  Today we do it for personal convenience, to avoid social shame, and to try and eliminate any serious consequences for irresponsible and immoral behavior.

But the demonic spirit of the age to whom we offer up our children is not a forgiving one.  All will not be well; not for the child, not for the self, and not for the society as a whole.  No community lasts long when its people selfishly choose to eradicate future generations for the sordid sake of their own perceived personal interests.

Granted, these are very hard words, especially if you’ve had an abortion or encouraged another to get one.  The great news is this: there is forgiveness and hope in Christ’s blood offering for sin.  He gave His life so that through His incomprehensible, unparalleled love anyone who has taken the life of another can be forgiven and restored to undeserved honor and joy.  This is the power of the cross.  Jesus’ once-for-all true child sacrifice appeases the wrath of God and gloriously redeems all who put their trust and hope in Him.