Forty years ago today, the seminal Supreme Court case Roe v Wade was decided. The Court ruled, among other topics, that abortion is legal until 'viability.' This definition has been hotly debated and changed over the years, but the basic concept of abortion is still legal. Before I get into the facts and discussion, let me make one thing abundantly clear (which lies as an undercurrent through this post)-- there is a massive difference between 'women's rights' and abortion. I am not saying women should not have access to family planning care, contraceptives, and other measures to ensure they are having children when they are ready. If anything, I would argue all the more vehemently for contraceptive education and better access to this kind of healthcare. That, however, is an entirely different issue. One prevents pregnancy, the other ends one. Materially different.
This is a human rights issue. Let us stop and examine the facts. According to the National Abortion Federation (who has no reason to be pro-life biased, obviously) reports that half of unplanned pregnancies, which account for roughly half of all pregnancies in the States, end in abortion. How many is that? 1.3 million in 2011. This number varies from source to source, but a reliable source reports 2008 abortions at 1.21 million. For reference, this is about the population of Hawaii.
How about since Roe v Wade? One source has the number estimated at 54,559,615 (through 2011). Granted, this is an estimate, but a number that large starts to boggle the mind. Comparison? Try the entire country of Burma (according to the CIA, and they tend to be accurate). One can rationalize this all they want, but it is removing the life from a life-form. As Kevin DeYoung puts it,
"What shall we call the unborn in the womb? If the entity is a living thing, is it not a life? If your person began as a single cell, how can that fertilized egg be something other than a human being? Isn't it more accurate to say you were an embryo than that you simply came from one?
So when does a human being have a right to life?" (source)Logically, if one does not abort a fetus before it is independently 'viable', it stands to reason most will become independent human beings. The argument that the fetus is not alive or human is simply incorrect, both scientifically and logically. The end result? Put bluntly, if embryos and fetuses are alive, we are experiencing the worst genocide of our time.
And this problem is not an equal-opportunity issue. Consider, once again, some statistics. Some estimate that 90% of fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted. Utterly heartbreaking. Estimates say 25% of African Americans conceived since Roe have been aborted. 57% of abortions in 2000 where performed on women considered 'low-income.' For those of you who are not statistically-minded or cannot grasp the sheer sadness of those stats, please read the words of Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King:
"We have been fueled by the fire of “women’s rights,” so long that we have become deaf to the outcry of the real victims whose rights are being trampled upon, the babies and the mothers. . . . Oh, God, what would Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of having his children judged by the content of their characters do if he’d lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists pits?"
The harshness in Dr. King's tone is hard to take, but it shows the dire problem African American leaders are seeing in the general black population in America. We will never know the talents lost. We will never know the impact this horrible loss of life will have on our culture. As several commentators note, we are witnessing a paradox; In the name of equality and freedom, we have created unequal chances for the unborn, both racially and economically.
Many of you might be clamoring for me to address all the exceptions that get brought up surrounding this issue. What about rape? What about to save the life of the mother? I struggled with if I should go into that in this post, and I have decided not to. It is simple too deep and complex of an issue to cover in the more broad scope this this post. If you want to debate it in the comments section, then please do so. I will write my response if the demand is great enough. In the meantime, read this great article on the topic.
So where do you and I go from here? Most importantly, we go in love. As a Christian, I cannot get angry and nasty to those that disagree with me. Is this an important issue? Sure. But being caustic is only going to lead to hardened hearts, which is the polar opposite of what Paul commands. Stand for what is right, but do not let dogma get in the way of being civil.
When around women who have had abortions, love them with the love Jesus showed to those around Him. I am far from perfect, so who am I to judge them? I have been redeemed by grace (and NOT on my own good works) and I need to show that same grace to anyone who has erred.
This is not arrogance or self-righteousness. It is a singular desire to serve those broken by the sin of the broken Covenant. Go serve at a pregnancy care center. Go assist a single mother who is struggling to see why going through a pregnancy makes sense. Go help. Die to yourself. Die to your pride and your ideology, and go love those who need to see the Author and Protector of life.