Abortion and Christianity: a Definitive, Biblical Discussion

Pause and imagine for a second if he encountered a woman leaving an abortion clinic facing the vitriol of pro-lifers hurling judgments and insults at her… would he be punitive or merciful?

I am anti-abortion. Please, as you’re reading this don’t forget this first statement. The author is against abortion. No one wins as a result of this procedure, the best solution is to avoid it at all costs. 

Let’s have a deep dive into scripture and what Jesus would want his followers to do about abortion in 2020. I want to begin with this verse: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-2). In other words, I’m really going to focus on the words of Jesus and dabble a bit in what Paul wrote in making my arguments. 

1. A Metaphor for Abortion: Adultery 

I hope it’s clear that Jesus never spoke about abortion. In the absence of any commands on the subject, let’s reference something he did talk about, adultery: He didn’t like it (Matt 19:5-6, Matt 5:27-28). 

A bunch of religious folks were holding stones trying to kill a woman caught in the act: stoning her would have been lawful (Deut 22:22.). Remember what he did? Brush up here: John 8:1-11

He was flexible. He was merciful. He protected the woman who had made a mistake, simultaneously rebuking the religious establishment. He then changed the world by graciously pointing her in the right direction: “go and leave your life of sin.”

Pause and imagine for a second if he encountered a woman leaving an abortion clinic facing the vitriol of pro-lifers hurling judgments and insults at her… would he be punitive or merciful?  

2. Let’s say Abortion was Actually Jesus’ #1 Issue

It’s a stretch to say Jesus would care about abortion more than taking care of the poor or religious hypocrisy, but for the sake of argument let’s assume he held the unborn higher than any subject. What Would Jesus Do about it? 

Let’s play a drinking game, one shot for each WWJD bracelet you’ve ever worn!

Let me phrase the answer in the form of a question: Do you think he would 

A. Go to the Roman Empire and demand that they punish anyone who has had an abortion? Or… 

B. Would he sell his sandals and outer clothing and raise the would-be aborted children himself? 

The message of the cross is “B”: Help others in a jam at great personal sacrifice (John 15:13). The concept of “A” is simply not in Jesus’ vocabulary, rather in the Pharisees who murdered him. 

Even if Jesus is all in about abortion, the Republican approach is therefore ALL WRONG. We shouldn’t be demanding a secular government force girls to have children they don’t want, we should be handling this within the church: setting up free clinics, paying for healthcare for young moms to be, and finding adoptive Christian parents for unwanted children. 

And the church is indeed doing all three of those above, I went to a Christian Free clinic with my newly-pregnant-uninsured-immigrant-partner, got a free ultrasound, babyblanket, and lecture about keeping the baby. I personally know Christians working for rad agencies that connect foster children with permanent Christian homes.

These options are not only more Christ-like, criminalizing abortion is simply ineffectual.

3. Liberal Policy Cut the Abortion Rate in Half

Liberals don’t like abortion too, calling them “baby killers” shows how ridiculous the discussion has become. In fact, abortion rates in the US had one of the most precipitous drops in history… under Obama. 

Closing abortion clinics or criminalizing it did not cause the drop. The study linked above (and many others) point to increased access to contraceptives as the leading cause. 

In 1 Cor 9 Paul writes “To the Jews I became like a Jew… to the Gentile I became like a gentile… to the weak I became weak.” (paraphrased, vv. 20-22)

Paul was practical and spoke the language that worked for the audience. In today’s case, his goal being fewer abortions, he would push free contraception on the masses (and maybe abstinence on the faithful). 

If anyone is curious why the graph starts at 1973, that’s the year of Roe v. Wade

4. What About Living Children?

Jesus was clear on this subject: Kids are awesome. He spoke numerous times on the subject, but in Matthew 18 he’s particularly stern, saying anyone who harms kids would be better off drowned. 

Don’t hate, this is the brownest Jesus I could find 

But those who want to protect the unborn at all costs seem to think the lives of living children can be one of those costs. Here are three ways where Republicans have flagrantly worked against the interest of children: 

  1. Refusal to regulate firearms. It took a pandemic to slow the rate of school shootings, but every day 21 children are still shot in the US. 
  2. Children of asylum seekers are being separated from their parents and siblings, held in cages at our border. Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler…. There’s a short list of people who punish the children of their enemies. The Republican Party joins that list. 

As the father of a young daughter, I can’t look at this without crying, tears of rage

  1. The most recent reckless endangering of our kids’ lives was over reopening schools in August. For the sake of the economy, in the middle of a highly infectious pandemic, the US president demanded schools reopen without masks or social distancing. 
    1. “May cut off funding if not open!” -Donald Trump

Simple question: Is it Christ-like to support a party so reckless with the lives of living children, in the name of the unborn?

A Fervent Plea For Single Issue ProLife Voters

Addressing pro-lifers directly I would say this: 

“I applaud your love of the unborn child, and I would venture to guess that your passion for the subject must flow from the spirit of Christ within you. But you must be open to the possibility that, if it’s the love of Christ being the fuel in your engine, your path getting there may have been corrupted by the flesh and the snake-oil silky words of people who have untoward intentions. 

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ -2 Tim 4:3

I am simply asking you to do one thing. Please, pause and consider if it may be possible that this verse might be applicable to you. Since we are all weak, malleable sinners, perhaps you may have been among those who have gone the way of your ‘itching ears’ rather than ‘sound doctrine’. 

Please reconsider how much weight you put on this subject, and look at the big picture. Weigh in your mind that decisions of faith are not necessarily binary, and often we are tasked with the weight of tempering judgment with mercy, and often choosing the lesser of evils (as both Paul and Jesus did on the subject of divorce). 

I ask you to think about why Jesus never spoke about abortion, and if it were so important how he would want us to go about dealing with it: what about what’s merciful? What about what is effective?

Let’s reduce the abortion rate using practical methods, and err on the side of mercy and redemption rather than judgment. And let us Christians never sacrifice our morality for the sake of a single subject. 

Jesus would want the same.” 

Author: Kaiping Liu

Professional educator, musician, world traveler.

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