I’m continuing in the Round Table series today. We’ve looked at the two opposing views, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, and the foundation of worldview which establishes the scope and drives the passion behind them. (See Life and the Verbal Volley if you missed it.) I’m writing about all of this in light of the hideous Planned Parenthood “business practices” that hit the media spotlight, but this actually translates to nearly any topic simply because our worldview affects everything we process to understand.
Today I’d like to discuss some of the advocate voices seated at the Round Table. If you’re following along, you know there are two groups in the realm of abortion advocacy: those who have been directly affected by the decision to abort a pre-born life, and those who have not. The haves deserve special attention, so I’m going to focus on the have nots for now. The passion is equally extreme, regardless. Did you ever wonder why? (I did, so I started asking questions and having conversations.)
Four Whys That Motivate
Not an exhaustive list by any means, my conversations proved a few general, deeply-held beliefs and core values galvanized an advocate’s position. What do you think of these four?
The whys are rooted in answers to key questions advocates answer for themselves: What is good? What is right? How does this impact the ability to make decisions freely? What’s in it for me…or others? Each of us answers all these questions for ourselves and others, really. (Selfish or selfless motives are always up for debate.) Depending on how our worldview was formed and informed, the four whys above play out differently. I plan to tackle one of these at a time.
Each of us has a faith of some kind. We place trust in something or various things. The seen and unseen, the known and unknown, are constructed and ordered in our worldview based on where we place trust. How we make sense of the things we cannot see or don’t know is rooted in faith.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Each of us attempts to make sense of the invisible or the unknown; we are generally wired that way internally. Faith includes God, the universe, and everything; and how our faith is informed matters. Believe it or not, it’s possible to find people advocating both positions (Pro-life and Pro-choice) out of their faith. (Believing in the one God, many gods, or no God at all is huge.)
The 1973 Supreme Court decision Doe v. Bolton states that “the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” 1 Whether it is stress, pressure from family, or a simple case of morning sickness, all of these are considered legitimate grounds for an abortion under current U.S. law. Essentially, a woman can have an abortion at any time, for any stated reason, and somehow it can be related to “health.” Studentsforlife.org
The Pro-choice advocate, admittedly, holds a difficult position. Close analysis of the argument leans toward an exchange: a tiny unseen life is sacrificed for short-term emotional comfort or convenience. How do we not land in the realm of life vs. lifestyle under these circumstances? I don’t think we can ignore this reality anymore. While the argument for abortion under the circumstances regarding “health of the mother” and “rape or incest” has been part of the laws for quite some time, that is such a small percentage of scenarios, we can’t ignore the overwhelming majority of “lifestyle” choices being made. I won’t minimize the need for procedures related to life endangerment and honest healthcare situations; they exist. But let’s confuse the two starkly contrasting cases. The have nots go on the offensive on behalf of the haves in hopes of defending abortion under these types of situations. Can we rightly discern what’s happening here? It’s definitely something to think about.
Christians, I’m talking to you now. How is it possible to assume a Pro-choice or neutral position on abortion as it relates to the predominantly lifestyle-based choice? Our worldview is to be informed by the Scriptures, period. I have no evidence supporting a choice to kill children, or worse, a “non-position” when it comes to this. God permitted the choice between life and death, but he gave his people very specific commands (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19). How we work out our faith and salvation isn’t a small thing here. Perhaps your worldview is informed otherwise? Does something else trump your faith in this area? Is there a need to examine and reform your worldview? A little introspection may not be a bad thing here.
How we communicate with others—that’s also a big deal! Can we do it with truth and in love, with gentleness and respect? If we hope to sit at the Round Table for more than a nanosecond before everyone walks away hurt or angry, we’ve got to consider the conversation very carefully. Jesus would have this conversation, and it would be unique to the audience in the moment, but his character is described in “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42:3). Jesus was gentle. There are precious conversations that are had quietly and gently. This is one, depending on who your audience is. Planned Parenthood “business practice” folks and politically motivated advocates will never be the same as a have (I’ll get to that later). Think about this.
I hope to take this part of the discussion in smaller bites. The reason for that is simple: there is nothing more precious to me than the discussion we could have surrounding this topic. Are you willing to jump in and wrestle with it together? Let’s try interacting in comments here or at the Fragrant Grace Facebook page. What do you think about the topic of abortion and Faith? (I’ll get into the other three Whys as we go.)
What do you think?
Thanks for reading along. You bless me when you do.
Questions to Think About
Have you noticed deeply held beliefs coloring this area of debate?
What do you think about the Four Whys listed above? Do any of those motivate you or other people you know? Are there whys you think are missing?
How do you see Faith motivating people? How does it influence the culture? A friend? How does it influence you?
Are there any key points you would add to the Faith discussion?
Scripture sourced from biblestudytools.com.
Cross and Mother images sourced from morguefile.com.
Punishment meme graphic sourced from Abortionquotes.com.