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Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female”
Exodus 21:22-25: “When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.”
Psalm 139:13-16: “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.”
Psalm 127:3: “Children are indeed a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward.”
Isaiah 44:24: “This is what the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says: I am the Lord, who made everything; who stretched out the heavens by myself; who alone spread out the earth.”
Jeremiah 1:5: “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Ephesians 1:7: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
The Christian approaches the issue of abortion as one whose life is lived in light of the Scripture (see the previous section). We seek to follow a call to selflessness and sacrifice for others. We believe in the need to protect the vulnerable. Justin Taylor connects these basic threads of the Christian faith to a more robust analysis of the issue of abortion in the audio below.
It is important to understand the reasons people choose to have an abortion in order to cultivate a heart that genuinely cares for them. The Guttmacher Institute found that the three most common reasons are:
These reasons are real-life challenges. They are legitimate challenges that women face every day, and they are issues that the church must step in and address. We must view these women through a lens of grace just as God sees us. Let’s work toward a time when women see Christians as a people group who will rally around them and provide a life for both them and the unborn child.
We cannot ignore the fact that women have turned to organizations like Planned Parenthood because they often do not feel comfortable going to the church for help. Churches must evaluate why women in their community don’t feel comfortable seeking them out, but rather turn to other alternatives. Many times, women fear churches as places of judgement and shame when they need help and support the most.
Garrett Kell explains what he would say to someone who has had an abortion.
Andrew Wood helps us understand how we ought to think about women who are seeking abortions.
Many times, the rhetoric of those who support life can become caustic and unattractive to those who may be considering an abortion or hold a pro-choice outlook. The value of healthy discussion and helpful questions are all the more important in the midst of cultures that don’t adopt a Christian worldview. The video below is an excellent example of the right kind of dialogue with those who hold a post-Christian worldview. Joe Carter’s analysis of Gray’s method of developing common ground with her audience adds significant insights into how believers can extend positive discussion in this difficult area.
A Socratic discussion on the topic of abortion at Google.
How do we live as Christians in an abortion culture? Russell Moore argues from Hebrews 2:9–18 that we can only do so by keeping the cross of Christ at the forefront. Karen Swallow Prior highlights the need to address issues related to end of life care. Several of the additional resources bring out other nuances of a holistic approach that values life. As you interact with these resources, consider ways you may fail to be consistent in valuing life and seek a change of heart by the power of the Spirit.
Karen Swallow Prior
The end of legal abortion in the U.S. gives Christians only two options:
Not everyone is called to adopt, but James 1:27 says pure religion is to look after orphans and widows in their distress. There is a clear calling for every Christian. The end of legal abortion would mean the lives of every Christian in every church have to change. We can no longer justify not taking care of the least of these by saying we don’t have enough time or money.
Orphan care must become deeply rooted in the gospel for all churches and all Christians and not just seen as a “good cause” that only some are called to serve in. We don’t need the government to ban abortion or defund Planned Parenthood in order to show women that abortion is not their only option. We can work toward a day that abortion may still be legal but people are less likely to choose it because the church has rallied around women and showed them that Christians will give a better life for them and their child.
If we look at this responsibility from the world’s perspective, it seems overwhelming. But if we allow fear to keep us from loving people, then that fear will keep us from loving God. We must remember that God saves us from our fear so we can love freely with a bold kindness toward others.
Collin Hansen talks with bioethicist Jennifer Lahl about the ethics surrounding Planned Parenthood and tissue donation.
Kelly Rosati, vice president at Focus on the Family, exhorts the church to address our pro-abortion culture with the love of Christ.
In his book, Adopted for Life, Russell Moore said, “The most important step in orphan care is to keep biological families together.” Adoption or foster care is an alternative once a biological family has been broken. There are many ways, other than adoption, to fight against broken families that anyone can be involved in, such as providing for single mothers or mentoring families in crisis situations.
Not all Christians are called to adopt, but we should all care for orphans. First John 3:17-18 says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” The pro-life movement has done a good job of spreading the truth that abortion is wrong, so now let’s start showing people by our actions that Christians are ready to stand in the place of abortion and be the solution to difficult pregnancies. Let’s support mothers and provide for children regardless of whether abortion policies change or not.