I recently read a new book by Brian Fisher – Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women. Fisher shows how abortion benefits and enables sexually promiscuous men by alleviating them of any sense of personal responsibility for pregnancy. I asked Brian to answer a few questions about his book.
Trevin Wax: Most conversations about abortion frame this issue as a woman’s concern. But you say that rather than empowering women, abortion exploits women and that men are complicit in this exploitation. How does abortion harm women?
Brian Fisher: Men are not only complicit in this exploitation; they lead the charge. For several hundred years in American history, the one thing that kept men’s sexual habits in check was the fear of an unplanned pregnancy. Roe v. Wade removed that last fear in 1973. Thanks to the Sexual Revolution and Roe, men how have complete freedom to sleep with whomever they want without any responsibility whatsoever.
If a man sleeps with a woman and she gets pregnant, the man now has a “get out of jail free card.” Not only does the culture assume men have no say over the unborn child, the law also bars us from having any responsibility for him or her. So the woman is left alone with the heart-wrenching decision to take the life of her own child. And the man goes merrily on his way, continuing his sexual escapades. She has a surgical procedure that ends a baby’s life and often destroys hers, and he just keeps on having sex.
Exploitation is one class of people using another for its own selfish purposes. Abortion in America is an example. And, ironically, women in America often celebrate their own exploitation and call it a right.
Trevin Wax: Who are some of the early feminist leaders who opposed abortion? Why did they not see it as a “woman’s right”?
Brian Fisher: Many of the prominent early feminists vehemently opposed abortion, even while they fought for the right for women to vote and other signs of true equality.
Susan B. Anthony hated abortion, and she clearly recognized that men were primarily responsible. She said,
“I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder…the woman is awfully guilt who commits the deed, but, oh!, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton concluded that the solution for ending abortion is the true empowerment of women.
“But where shall it [the remedy] be found…if not the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women?”
And Alice Paul, the original architect of the Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women” from which this book got its name.
These and other early feminists recognized that the only ones who profited from abortion were men. Thus abortion widens the gender gap – it does not shrink it. Most of today’s feminists view abortion as empowering women but they are sadly mistaken. Abortion empowers men and is an enormous stumbling block to women who are fighting for true equal rights.
Trevin Wax: In recent years, many who are marginally pro-life have said we should partner with pro-choice leaders to “stop unplanned pregnancy” rather than stop abortion. Do you believe this is a good strategy?
Brian Fisher: The cultural root of abortion in America is unplanned pregnancy. 85% of abortions are performed on single moms, so those pregnancies are occurring primarily in the context of non-committed relationships. So any and all efforts to promote biblical marriage, sexual purity, the rejection of pornography, men of integrity, and a God-honoring lifestyle are extremely positive and do prevent unwanted pregnancies and rescue the lives of unborn children.
We must be cautious, however, with those who say they want to “stop unplanned pregnancy,” because they often mean promoting contraception. The proliferation of contraception has clearly not curbed unplanned pregnancy over the last forty years and has not made abortions “safe and rare.” It has, by all accounts, only increased the sexual promiscuity of our culture and leads to more abortions.
So it imperative to determine how one proposes to stop unplanned pregnancy. The only true way to crack that code is to return to a culture that cherishes marriage and honors sexual purity.
Additionally, attempting to stop unplanned pregnancy without stopping abortions is morally and logically deadly. It is akin to focusing all of our resources into cancer research centers and closing down all of the cancer treatment centers, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to die each year from untreated cancer.
Abortion is not a linear problem to be stopped by simply doing preventative work. As Christians, if we have the opportunity to rescue lives from death, it is incumbent on us to do so – right here, right now. Often, the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy is a catalyst for a family to come together, employ selflessness, and mature in positive ways. It is often also a time for spiritual awakening, as we have seen Christ work in miraculous ways during this very vulnerable time.
A baby truly does change everything.
Trevin Wax: How can men join women in putting an end to abortion?
Brian Fisher: I’ve said this numerous times before, but the blood of 55 million dead babies is on the heads of the American Christian man. We have failed women, our communities and our nation, and we must do better.
It starts with how we view the Gospel. I believe a primary reason Christian men do so little to protect their own children is because they don’t clearly understand the gospel of the kingdom.
Perhaps we hold to an eschatology that assumes the world is falling apart, and sees abortion as rampant because it is a sign of things to come. Even if that is true, sitting on the sidelines is unbiblical and unacceptable, especially when babies (made in the image of God) are indiscriminately killed.
Just as the fall of Adam broke four relationships (man and God, man and self, man and others, man and creation), our role as Christians is to be agents of redemption in each of those areas. Abortion is a tragic and deadly consequence of the fall in all four relationships, and it must be addressed as such.
I fear we have allowed the culture to twist and shape our view of the sanctity of life into something that is culturally acceptable but biblically repugnant. In that case, we are weak-kneed and apathetic because we do not allow the Gospel to mold our worldview.
Trevin Wax: So how can we lead the charge to end abortion?
- We must pray the Holy Spirit convict us of our sin. And we must allow our views on the sanctity of life to be molded by Christ, not the culture.
- We must confess our sin and repent. If we are fathers of aborted children, we must seek forgiveness from Christ (which He freely extends) and others for our sin. We must also seek Christ’s healing and then, in response, share our story appropriately to others. A repentant, post-abortive man is a powerful force in the quest to end abortion.
- Do something. The pro-life movement is overwhelmingly populated by women. Even Christian men have bought the lie that abortion is a woman’s issue. Preach the horror of abortion from the pulpit. Lead a small group for those suffering from abortion aftereffects. Get directly involved with your local pro-life pregnancy center. Do sidewalk counseling. Join 40 Days for Life. Allow God to use your specific gifts and talents to minister to others who are contemplating abortion. Your time, energy, and testimony can very literally save lives.
- If you are the father of an aborted child, share your story at www.abortionmemorial.com.
- If you want to pray for those parents who are considering abortion right now, join the national prayer team by downloading the free Online for Life iPhone app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/online-for-life/id580842861?ls=1&mt=8).
- Get educated. I’ve been a Christian my entire life, but didn’t do a thing to help an unborn child until God, in His mercy, started showing me what abortion was, how many people it has impacted, and what could be done for His Kingdom and His glory.