A woman's right?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which doesn’t seem like all that bad of an option these days), you’ve probably heard about the leak regarding the Supreme Court decision related to Roe v Wade. Most people know exactly what “Roe v Wade” is, but for many who are younger, I will briefly explain.
The abortion rights debate has long been an issue of contention in our country. Back in 1973, there was a watershed court trial, infamously known as “Roe v Wade.” The two parties were Norma McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) and Henry Wade, a Dallas County District Judge. The lawsuit against Wade challenged a state’s individual ability to place restrictions on abortions. The trial judge’s decision made abortion legal on a national level and greatly limited any individual state’s ability to formulate restrictions.
The court ruling was controversial right from the beginning, not truly being rooted in our Constitution. Consider these two sample quotes from legal experts:
“One of the most curious things about Roe is that behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” - Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe
The final decision became the “law of the land” and has stood ever since. Sadly, since the Roe decision, over 63,000,000 babies have been aborted! But, of course, we’re more offended and disgusted by “micro-aggressions” occurring when one person fails to use someone else’s preferred pronouns! God help us! (More like “God judge us!”)
Recently, the Supreme Court has taken up the Roe decision on the grounds the initial ruling has no basis in our Constitution.
As often happens, the media contorts and misrepresents what is actually happening, usually with the goal of furthering their own agenda and promoting whatever narrative they wish to endorse. In this case, many people have the impression that overturning Roe would make abortion illegal nationwide. We have already seen many angry pro-choice advocates protesting across the country, sometimes even violently. (In my own state of Wisconsin, protesters fire-bombed the building where Wisconsin Family Action leases office space. They are widely known for their strong pro-life stance. The perpetrators graffitied the outside with, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”)
The truth? If Roe is overturned, it won’t make abortion illegal for the entire country; it will simply leave it up to each state as to how they handle the issue.
Take Away a Woman’s Rights?
A “woman’s” right? Given the current state of our society, it would be appropriate to ask, “What is a woman?” If we’re debating what a woman’s rights are, that would be an essential question to answer. When Ketanji Brown (soon to be the newest member of the US Supreme Court) was being reviewed for induction into our land’s highest legal authority, she was directly asked this question, which seems very straightforward. You probably heard her response – “Can I define a woman? No… I’m not a biologist.”
Two quick comments:
Ultimately, abortion is wrong because Scripture says so, but let me briefly address two common pro-choice arguments. These may better position you in having discussions with those who are not pro-life.
A woman has a right to choose.
This is an incomplete sentence. A right to choose what? We don’t deny women have rights, so it’s imperative to ask this follow-up question. The response will obviously be, “The right to have an abortion.” At this point it is critical to define exactly what an abortion is; otherwise, there’s no way to judge whether or not it should be permissible.
Without question, abortion ends the life of something that was growing. So, what is it that is growing? The following is a very powerful analogy I gleaned from Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion, by Greg Koukl:
Imagine a mother standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes. Her 5-year-old son walks up behind her and asks, “Mommy, can I kill this?” What is the first question the mom would ask? “What is it?” Before she can even begin to formulate a direct response to the question, she will need to know what her son is referring to. If it’s a cockroach or a spider, the answer will most likely be, “Yes, please do!” If it’s the neighbor’s pet Guinee pig, the answer will be a stern, “No!”
Even most secular scientists and doctors will agree that the debate is over – we know emphatically that life begins at conception. And what is it the life of? An artichoke? An emu? No, it’s a human life! Just like “infant,” “toddler,” and “adolescent,” are terms used to describe various stages of human life, “zygote,” “embryo,” and “fetus,” are used to describe earlier stages. They are all part of the cycle of human life. Abortion brings a catastrophic end to this cycle.
So, while no one would deny that women have rights, these rights come with restrictions and limits.
What about rape and incest?
While this question evokes a high level of emotion, as would be expected, it is not a justification for abortion. I cannot flesh this out adequately in this brief article, but I will share this helpful line of thought. You can ask the pro-choice individual, “Are you saying all of the other instances of abortion are not justified, but rape and incest are?” Their response will more than likely be, “No, I think those others should be allowed as well.” My response would be, “Then the circumstance of rape and incest is really not the issue.” Furthermore, why should the baby be put to death for the crime of the father?
The topic of abortion is an extremely crucial conversation, but all too often, it is not given enough attention within the Christian community. It’s certainly not the easiest or most comfortable topic to discuss, but it’s near and dear to the heart of God. Therefore, it should be extremely important to us as well.