Sunday, January 20 is National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Held on the third Sunday in January each year, it offers a chance to revisit some of the most divisive and difficult issues in American culture; abortion and euthanasia.
By far the most common response from people when the issue of abortion is raised is this: “I would never have one, but I think everyone should have the right to choose.” That seems odd, doesn’t it? What if we applied that logic to slavery? I would never own a slave, but I want to stand up for the rights of those who do. Really? What about drunk driving? I would never drive drunk, but I support the rights of those who do. Um, seriously? Yet when it comes to the issue of abortion, perhaps because of its intensely personal nature, people–many of them claiming to know Christ–go for the cop out.
“But abortion is different,” they say next. Not according to the Bible. The whole, “My body, my choice” thing is fine if you don’t know Jesus, but even a casual study of the issue in scripture reveals that abortion is indefensibly wrong. And we can argue about ‘special cases’ at length, but more than a million abortions are performed in America annually, and better than 90% of them are just plain garden-variety pregnancy terminations. We argue vehemently about gun control when 20 children get shot at school, but seem to be fine with the fact that over a thousand were aborted on the same day. Interesting. You can draw your own conclusions to that one. Maybe it’s worth talking about. Maybe its worth doing something about.
In closing, abortion tends to be an emotional subject and it would be inappropriate if a moment wasn’t given to say that regardless of where someone stands on it, or why, they should be treated with dignity, love and respect. Its easy to hold up a Bible and thunder on about sanctity when you’re not the one being stigmatized at school, shunned at home or overwhelmed by responsibility you didn’t ask for and have no idea how to handle. Yelling at pregnant girls in front of clinics isn’t the answer. Abortion may be wrong, but how it is handled by the followers of Christ can be wrong too. Should we fight for the unborn? Absolutely, but we must do so with compassion.