If you stop abortion – so what? The article starts off: The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved controversial legislation banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. My question is, even if it gets approved, so what? Specifically for Christians pushing anti-abortion bills – what have you accomplished?
Ohio isn’t alone either. “The Hill” article continues: Nineteen states adopted a total of 63 restrictions to abortion last year, the highest number since 2013, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And still, I have to ask, exactly what has been accomplished?
If you stop abortion …
Of course, that’s a big if. Even what’s been done so far only places restrictions on getting an abortion. It doesn’t stop them completely.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
If you stop abortion – so what?
We’re here to talk about the “so what” part. Let’s assume that all the big if’s line up perfectly. Total bans on abortion are passed for the entire country. But even that’s not good enough. There’s Mexico. Canada. If you’re rich enough, some country on some other continent. Or there’s old illegal, and probably much less safe, option of doing it in secret.
But even if all of that could somehow be stopped – So What?
Here’s a more serious question for Christians, myself included. If all that did happen, if all abortions could be stopped, would you be happy? Would you consider it mission accomplished? No more abortions. None. Zero.
If you stop abortion – is the mission accomplished?
Would you be happy? Is the mission accomplished?
If you said yes, I hope you’re sitting down.
Because I think you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
Not your death.
But the death of the mother that had the baby she wanted to abort.
I tried to help you get the correct answer by asking is the mission accomplished. Get it? Mission. As in mission trip?
And no – the mission was not accomplished.
Did Jesus heal people before they sinned?
Do you remember any instance where Jesus healed someone before they sinned? No? That’s because He didn’t.
How often do we read things like:
Mt 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.
Mt 12:15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16 warning them not to tell who he was.
Mt 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
And I invite you to find more, if you need to. The point is, Jesus healed people, not before they sinned – but after. Put in the abortion context, that would be after an abortion – not before.
Did God know we were going to have an abortion crisis?
Another tough question. Did God know we were going to be having so many abortions? If you’re a Christian – I certainly hope your answer to this one is yes, He absolutely knew.
In that regard, Jesus died on the cross for all sins. Past, present and future. The time we’re now in – that’s the future from the perspective of Jesus hanging on the cross. So yes, Jesus died for all those who have, are having, and will have an abortion.
However – guess who’s supposed to be Jesus’ representative here on earth – in this time – to prevent those abortions?
If you’re a Christian – it’s us. Sure – we’re not all called to solve all the problems. But some are called to work on this abortion issue.
Another question. If Jesus was alive today – can you even imagine Him going to the Roman authorities and trying to have them institute a law banning abortions? And He didn’t need to go to the Jewish leaders, since it was already against the Jewish law.
So WWJD – what would Jesus (have) done?
Lk 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
How about have someone who’s already gone through an abortion help someone who’s thinking of having one?
Not by protesting. Certainly not by blowing up a building or throwing blood on them. We never read of Jesus doing anything like that. So why do we think that it’s OK for us to do it? And worse yet, do it in His name?
There’s another little thing in what I just said. Someone who’s thinking of having an abortion. Before they have one. Can you imagine a caring Christian talking to a woman in crisis? Instead of cursing her, telling her she’s going to Hell, throwing things at her, someone repeats Jesus’ words and explains them to her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.”
What about after the abortion is done?
So what if the scenario above doesn’t work? Someone talks to the mother, in loving terms. But it doesn’t stop the abortion. Is the mother doomed to Hell?
Well, she very well might be if all she gets afterwards is hate from the very Christians who could have saved her. And I mean saved her after the abortion.
Let’s get real here. When we talk pro-life, do we mean life on this earth – or are we pro-eternal life? Shouldn’t the latter be the most important?
Jn 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Really? Jesus’ death covers someone who had an abortion?
Well – yes, it does.
Again, imagine if some Christian, in a loving way, had that conversation with a woman, post abortion.
Can God deal with an aborted baby?
This is another question that may be tough, but the answer shouldn’t be all that hard.
As a Christian, we (should) believe God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Among other things. As such, not a single abortion is a surprise to Him.
Is abortion a sin? Absolutely.
Is abortion forgivable? Again, absolutely.
Maybe you ask, what about the baby?
Again – do you, as a Christian, believe it’s beyond God’s power to deliver an aborted baby into Heaven?
Forgive a mother who had an abortion?
Uh – yes. Why not?
Remember when Jesus said this to His disciples. While you’re reading, also remember that if you’re calling yourself a Christian – you’re also one of Jesus disciples.
Sin, Faith, Duty
Lk 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
Conclusion – Since we can’t stop abortion …
Let’s face it. We’re not going to stop all abortions.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We should. But in a loving way. In what should be the Christian way. Not by appealing to the government – which Jesus didn’t do. But by being loving, and remembering that Jesus’ died for everyone who sins.
But after we try, and the abortion still happens, we have another example from Jesus. And it’s not hate. It’s still love. And forgiveness.
What about the aborted baby? The baby is beyond our control after an abortion happens. But have faith. That baby is in God’s hands.
Does that mean I’m saying go ahead and have as many abortions as you want? No. Not at all. If I may borrow some words from Paul, he answers that question quite nicely.
Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
Ro 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
We love to say that something is someone else’s fault. And to some extent, it’s true when we sin. To a very small extent. Not because everyone does it, but because Adam and Eve did it. Through their actions in the Garden of Eden, now we all sin. Please see Why were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden? for a much more detailed look at exactly what happened there, and the blame that went around.
However, just because they did it, and everyone does it, that doesn’t mean it’s OK. There’s still a price to pay. But the thing to notice from this is that we all commit sins. It’s part of our life, ever since the incident in the Garden.
So who are we, any one of us, to look at someone else’s sin and come away thinking they shouldn’t be saved?
Ro 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Paul goes on to show how Jesus’ death on the cross, even though He was but one man, was the sacrifice for all of us. Yes – all of us. Again, there’s the idea that Jesus died for all of us – and for all our sins. Including having an abortion.
Ro 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
And because Jesus’ sacrifice was for all sinners, then we can all be made righteous in God’s eyes through what Jesus did. All of us.
Ro 5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, we see that the law was added so that we’d recognize just how many things we do that are against what God wants from us. Without some guidelines, we can easily ignore things, or convince ourselves that it was OK in our case. We can justify a lot of wrong things if we try hard enough.
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
Ro 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Here. Paul answers my question. Not just for abortion, but for all sins. Just because we’re forgiven, we shouldn’t take that as permission or justification to go on a sinning spree.
Ro 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Yes, even the person who had an abortion can – and should be – freed from sin. But that’s not likely to happen unless some Christian is willing to talk to her. To explain the kinds of things you’re reading now.
Hatred isn’t going to do it. Governmental laws aren’t going to do it. And passing the law, then putting someone in jail isn’t going to do it either. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever say we should do those things. He told us to love others. Even people we hate – and people who hate us. Oops. That means we shouldn’t hate. Not even the mother who had an abortion.
Ro 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Now, instead of physical death leading to spiritual death, if someone explains the love of Jesus, and His sacrifice so that we may be forgiven and live, then that mother can also live with Jesus for eternity.
Ro 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
One more time – do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. That includes our desire to hate other people who have committed a sin. Especially the sins that we decide are the really awful ones. As if we actually had the power to make that kind of decision. After all, the Bible teaches in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. All sins. Not just the ones we’d choose to be “special”.
Conclusion – If we did stop an abortion …
Maybe a tougher question is what about the baby who wasn’t aborted. In love, someone successfully prevented an abortion. But then what? What kind of environment is the baby in? Does the mother, and hopefully the father, have a sudden 180 degree turnaround? Is everything going to be fine?
Honestly, probably not. A different support system is probably needed. A job might be needed. Even just plain money might be needed for a while, since a new mother really shouldn’t have to go to work the very next day.
Maybe that’s part of what we could / should learn from this parable:
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10:25-28 pp — Mt 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-31
Lk 10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Lk 10:26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
Lk 10:27 He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’’”
Lk 10:28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Lk 10:29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Lk 10:30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
Lk 10:36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
Lk 10:37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
And therein lies the problem. Problems. Doing the right thing takes time. It can take money. It takes effort. It takes caring. For a different look at a possible issue when trying to care for someone, please see The problem of caring.
Just like even a major change in abortion laws wouldn’t be the end of our mission for Jesus, preventing any abortion isn’t really the end of the mission for the mother. Or for the child.
It seems like a lot to ask. And yet, if all the money and effort that currently goes into lobbying for new laws, protesting, and various other tactics – would it really take that much more to take the path of love outlined above? Especially since, from a Christian point of view, we’re working for God when we go forth in love – as opposed to working against God when we go forth in hate. How much more could / would God multiply the efforts of those who do His will and try to love each other?
I hope this has made you think. No matter which side of the issue you’re on. And especially if you’re someone who has gone through this. Someone who could help, in love. Or someone who needs help, in love.