I’ve read a couple of articles about abortion lately. (I’ll link all of them right here: Why Progressive Christians Should Care About Abortion by Rachel Held Evans, A Voice for the Voiceless by Sarah Bessey and How We Talk About Life- and Death on Sojourners and I’d highly recommend you read them because they’re all fantastic in my opinion). The articles got me thinking about what I really believe about abortion. Truthfully, I’ve always had a one-track mind when it comes to abortion. I have forced myself to be pro-life because I am… in the most basic definition of the phrase. I am in favor of life in more ways than just unborn babies. I think that every person on the planet deserves life. I don’t care who you are. You have enough worth to live because God created you in His image and for a purpose. But recently instead of embracing my pro-lifeness, abortion has become something that I’ve consistently pushed out of my mind because it started to give me a sense of cognitive dissonance. My feminist side made me think I should be pro-choice while my Christian side told me to be pro-life. Like I said I’ve always made the choice to go with my Christian side and considered myself a pro-lifer. But in thinking about it, I realized that I’m not really either. I’ll explain myself more clearly later on, but I’ll start by saying that I think there should be a third option. A third option that I could one-hundred percent be behind. An option where the pro-lifers join forces with pro-choicers to tackle the actual concern rather than each other. *Spoiler* the actual concern isn’t just the woman involved and isn’t just the child involved. It’s both.
The problem with the pro-life movement is that it completely disregards the woman and places the child in a position of higher importance, and the problem with the pro-choice movement is that it completely disregards the life inside the woman and places the woman in a position of higher importance.
Personally, I don’t buy into either of those. I believe that life begins at conception. I believe that life is precious. So naturally, I believe that the woman AND the child inside of her is important. Equally important. So what do I do about that? Because like I said before, there are only two options offered.
That’s why I think there should be a third option. This third option should focus on the underlying problems instead of focusing on the one life that matters the most. It should focus on why women want abortions. It should work to eliminate the reasons for abortions instead of abortions themselves. Because the truth is, if we made abortions illegal, they would still happen. If we made them illegal, they would still happen but instead of in safe and controlled environments, they would occur in dangerous and unclean environments. So if we can’t make abortions illegal, what can we do? We can work to eliminate the reasons for abortions. We can do this in practical and easy ways such as bringing awareness to alternatives like adoption, educating people about sexual assault and rape, and talking about and supporting birth control. We can also dig deeper and search for ways to assist women who may not be able to properly take care of a child if they were to have it whether that be because of income, jobs, addictions, etc. If we helped to address these underlying issues, less women would feel like they need abortions.
As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t really mentioned anything about cases of rape or cases where the woman has a high likelihood of dying. That’s because I truly believe that in those types of cases, it’s on a case-by-case and person-by-person basis. Depending on the situation, an abortion may or may not be a good idea. There is no possible way to make a general rule for every situation because every situation is different, and that’s all I have to say about that.
I’ll end by saying we must love, really love, the woman and the unborn baby. We cannot place one life above the other. Then we have to extend this love to the women who have already had abortions. We shouldn’t look at them as despicable because of a decision they’ve made. Abortion is a horrific enough experience for the women who have done it. We shouldn’t make it worse for them by hating them. Finally, we need to work together on this. Everyone- no matter what your belief is on the subject.
Feel free to comment your thoughts on the subject. I’d absolutely love to hear them!