In light of today’s Supreme Court decision, I offer this piece originally written some years ago.
An honest question for my liberal friends: Does the fact that I disagree with you automatically make me a “hater” in your eyes?
So, let’s talk abortion.
I’m totally, thoroughly, decidedly against it.
Now, you have two choices at this point. You can write me off as a misogynist who wants to control women, or you can read on to see why I believe as I do. Your call, and hey, no hard feelings.
Still here? Sweet. So, here we go.
My thanks to Greg Koukl of the organization Stand to Reason for pointing out what I find to be a beautiful piece of common sense. It goes like this: When it comes to abortion, there is really only one question, and that question is…
What is it?
What is it that you are trying to kill? You see, if that is not a human being in there, if it is not an actual living baby, then we have no argument with each other. I mean, you don’t need a “right” to get a bunion removed, or a cyst or a tumor or a polyp or a goiter.
Do they remove goiters? I’m not really sure, but you get my drift.
If that thing in your uterus is not a human life, then no one has the right to tell you what to do with it. If it’s in your way, if it’s annoying, then by all means get rid of it.
if it’s a baby…
We don’t kill babies for the sake of convenience. If we did, few people would make it out of the toddler stage. I’ve helped raise two of the little critters, and I can tell you –they can be really inconvenient at times. Yet no one fights for the right to retroactively abort because their kid drew with crayon on the walls or their teen totalled the car or their “young adult” forgot to take out the trash before you left on vacation and now the house smells of rotting mysteries.
But Michael, there’s a big difference between a fetus and a child.
Really? And what difference would that be? I mean, a fetus doesn’t look fully human, but neither do a lot of the baby pictures I see posted on Facebook. The fetus can’t survive on its own? Neither can an infant. Or a three-year-old. Or most teenagers. The fetus is inside the body, the baby outside? That would mean that we can abort a full term fetus, but a child born prematurely is protected, even though it is younger. I can’t see the sense in that.
But Michael, is it really alive when it’s still in the womb?
Uh…yes. Again, common sense. The DNA doesn’t magically change. From the time sperm hits egg and–SHAZAM–begins to divide, it is genetically identifiable as an itty bitty teeny person, with the same genetic coding it will have when it is old and paunchy and bald and funny-smelling.
But Michael, just being alive doesn’t make you a “person.” You have to be more than a bunch of cells to be a person.
You’re right. There’s more to personhood than just a physical body. But how do we define it? My grandma died of Alzheimer’s. She was bedridden, unable to care for herself, completely unaware of her surroundings. She had lost all of her personality, all of her ability to interact. Had she lost her personhood? Sorry, my friend, but I think it is arrogant in the extreme to assume that we can decide what constitutes personhood. I’m going to stick with life.
But Michael, what about a woman’s right to control her own body? Her right to choose?
I believe a woman has the right to choose. She has the right to choose whether or not she will have sex. If she chooses to have sex, she does so knowing that pregnancy is a possibility. Frankly, I think society is being disrespectful of women when we assume they aren’t capable of rational, cause-and-effect decision making.
But Michael, what about rape?
Rape is a horrible crime. For what it’s worth, I’m open to the death penalty for a rapist. But not for the victims of his crime. A little girl conceived in rape–or incest for that matter–had no choice in her conception. She is a victim, as is her mother. Frankly, I would never counsel a woman to keep and raise a child conceived in rape or incest. I can’t fathom the difficulty and pain involved in that. I would counsel a woman in that situation to give the child up for adoption, where she has a chance to be raised by parents who can look at her and not be daily reminded of the darkest day of her life.
Look, I’m not being frivolous about this. I can’t imagine asking my daughter to spend nine months growing the baby of an evil man who viciously attacked her. To endure the changes–some irreversible–to her body. To go through labor and childbirth just to bring a reminder of humiliation into the world.
But it’s not the baby’s fault.
She doesn’t deserve to die for the sins of her father.
But Michael, what if the life of the mother is in danger?
Here we have the one time that, in my worldview, abortion is a reasonable option. When it is a question of one life or another, I believe that the mother makes that choice. And yet I wonder what percentage of abortions are due to rape of incest or danger to the life of the mother? A very small percentage, I would imagine.
Michael, you are a man. Who are you to decide what happens to my body?
I’m not dictating what happens to your body. If you want to get tattoos, shave your head, pierce your parts, that’s none of my business. I’m discussing what happens to that other body that is in your body. If a stranger attacks a pregnant woman and kills her baby, we call it murder. If a doctor kills the child at her request, we call it choice. How is that rational or moral or good?
We live in a Me First world. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It’s not what the Father designed, nor what his Son taught. We see this attitude reflected throughout our culture, but nowhere more than in the area of abortion. It is the height of selfishness to sentence an innocent to death to avoid inconvenience.
Do my words condemn me as a misogynist? I don’t think so, but I’d love to hear from you. I know I haven’t covered all aspects of this debate–feel free to comment and tell me what I’ve missed, where I’ve gone wrong. But I hope you see that my beliefs have come from careful consideration, and not from fear or hate or a need to control.
I don’t hate women…I just love babies.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.