In the last two posts, which you can find here and here, I talked about how we are not free to choose everything just because it is a choice and that we cannot allow exceptions to taking innocent human life. But all of this discussion assumes we can sit down and discuss this issue. However, too many times the abortion supporter silences the pro-life position by challenging their right to speak on this issue. When a person voices their opposition to murdering unborn humans, they are asked whether they have ever had an unwanted pregnancy, or if they have ever lived in poverty with children to care for, or if they are even capable of having children at all. Somehow they have managed to silence pro-life people by telling them they don’t get to weigh in on this issue unless they can answer “yes” to one of those questions. They are insisting that a person is not allowed to offer an opinion on abortion because of a demographic – either economic status, age, race, or even gender. This tactic is most often applied to men. The abortion supporter reasons that men can’t birth babies so they are not allowed to take a stance on an issue involving babies (well in all honesty, men are only forbidden from offering their opinion if it is the pro-life position...).
Should our demographic preclude us from speaking out against atrocities?
But do we apply that logic to any other issue we discuss? Are only those who have been enslaved qualified to comment on the evils of slavery? Are only people who have served in combat able to decry wartime atrocities? Is it only black people who are able to speak out against racism? Of course not! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been a slave yourself, you can still state that slavery if wrong. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never served in combat, you can still identify, be appalled by, and protest war crimes. It doesn’t matter what your race is, you can still speak out against racism. Your demographic does not disqualify you from speaking out on something that is wicked, immoral, and depraved. Likewise, just because you are not an impoverished, unwed, teen facing an unwanted pregnancy does not mean that you do not get to speak out against murdering babies.
Another way abortion supporters use this logic is to vilify Congress and any lawmaker for making laws to end abortion (although lawmakers are not vilified when they pass laws to legalize abortion…). The rally cry is “why should old, white men” be able to legislate abortion. In fact there was an article in 2019 with that very headline: 25 White Republican Men Just Voted to Ban Abortion in Alabama, as if their age, race, or gender has anything to do with wanting to make murdering unborn humans illegal. It also willfully ignores all of the women fighting to ban abortion. The article claims that these old, white men are not faced with the difficult situation of an unwanted pregnancy, so they should not be able to make abortion illegal. In reality, it is precisely because they are not currently in that position that they should weigh in on this. When a person is in a difficult situation, their judgment is often blurred. They can only see the immediate need to “fix” their situation. And because their judgment is blurred, they are not always going to make the moral decision. It takes someone outside of that situation to see more clearly, and make rules and laws that we are supposed to abide by – even when we are in those difficult situations.
Who gets to determine the law - those in the situation or those outside of it?
For example, as a teacher, I would not want the student who did not study for the test to make the rules about cheating. He is in the difficult situation of taking a test for which he is not prepared. He is going to be tempted to cheat because that seems like the easiest way to “fix” his situation. So if the rules of the classroom were up to him, he would say that it is acceptable to use your books, your notes, and your classmate’s answers for the test. But is that the moral decision? Is that the rule we want established for all students? Or do we want to have someone removed from that temptation make the rule that says you must take the test without the assistance of other people? That does make it more difficult for the student, but it is the moral action that must be taken.
Do we want the parent desperate to get her child into an elite college to make the rules about fraud (Ahem, Lori Laughlin)? Do we want the CEO embezzling in his company to make the laws about corporate finances? Those examples may seem petty and insignificant compared to the woman facing an unwanted pregnancy. But the logic is still the same for even bigger moral dilemmas. Do we want the person who has just murdered someone to determine what the punishment for murder should be? Of course not. We have people who stand outside of our personal situations to determine the laws and punishments for our actions. We even make sure the judge and jury have no connection to the defendant or the victim so their judgments are not biased to the situation. The laws in this nation are there in the hopes of preventing us from making tragic decisions that harm ourselves and other people simply because we are in a tough situation, responding emotionally instead of morally. This means that it doesn’t matter what gender, age, race, background, or whatever we have for lawmakers. They are supposed to rule so that we do not harm other people – including those who are inside the womb.
Men can no longer be silent on abortion
So I want to take this moment to encourage any man who may be reading this. NEVER let someone tell you that you are not qualified to speak out against the evils of abortion simply because you cannot get pregnant. It is true that you will never know the overwhelming feeling of being responsible for growing another human being inside of you. You don’t have to experience your body change in ways you never could imagine, the unrelenting nausea, or the swollen feet, or back pain, or sleepless nights, or uncomfortable clothes, or unwelcomed comments on the size of your belly due to pregnancy. But you also don’t get the joy of having a human being grow inside of you, feeling them move, even feeling them hiccup. You don’t get that instant bond with a newborn for whom you provided safe housing and food for nine months. But none of that matters when it comes to your ability to identify the wickedness of destroying that human life by plucking him limb from limb, or by poisoning him so he dissolves inside the womb, or by crushing his head with forceps until his brains ooze out. No matter your gender, age, social status, ethnicity, or religion, you should be appalled at such things.
In reality, the exact opinion we need on this issue is the man’s opinion. Men, we need you to step up and defend all precious innocent life. God made you with strength and courage to defend the defenseless and protect the innocent. Yet too often men are standing idly by while the most defenseless and most innocent lives are being destroyed. We need men to stand up for those precious little lives in the womb, to protect those children who are being slaughtered for daring to exist. We need men to stand up for motherhood by encouraging frightened women facing unwanted pregnancies that they will have your support, and by reminding them that motherhood is a beautiful thing. We need men to stand up for fatherhood by encouraging men to take responsibility for their children – born and unborn. Just think of all the millions of men who have been denied the chance to raise a son or a daughter because of abortion. We need men – especially pastors – to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. This is what you were made to do, and we need you now more than ever.
What should our conversation on abortion look like?
The right to speak out against abortion is the same for all people, no matter one’s demographic. But not every conversation about abortion should be the same. In this series of blogs, I have been addressing abortion from an intellectual perspective, looking at the reality and the facts of abortion. These posts have discussed abortion as it should be discussed in the political arena. But this issue so much more than a topic for political debate or for down-selecting candidates at the ballot box. This is a very personal issue, therefore the conversation must be personalized. The topic of abortion deals with people from all different life experiences. That doesn’t change the stance on abortion but it changes how abortion is discussed. The discussion in a political debate about abortion is very different from discussing it with a post-abortive woman. And even that conversation can vary depending on how the woman feels about her abortion. Is she proudly shouting her abortion, as many feminists have done? Then she first needs to come to terms with the gravity and the terrible reality of what she has done. She has not made a “choice” for women’s freedom but she has destroyed an innocent life for her own selfish reasons. Is the post-abortive woman grieving her abortion as a terrible decision made in a moment of crisis or maybe even as a result of pressure from someone else? Then she needs to be reminded that God has forgiven even that through the work of Jesus on the cross, if she will seek after Him for His mercy and forgiveness.
The conversation would be different still if it is with a woman is currently pregnant. And even that conversation would vary based on where the woman is in facing her pregnancy. Is she walking into a crisis pregnancy center seeking help? Is she your friend standing in front of you asking what she should do? Is she walking into an abortion clinic already determined to end her baby’s life? Each of those situations will require a different conversation, a different tone, and a different approach. But one common thing for each of those situations is to begin the conversation with a celebration of life. So often we approach a woman who is facing an unwanted pregnancy with sadness and disappointment, or maybe even judgment and shame. But that response only adds more pressure for a woman to make a terrible decision to simply avoid that judgment and shame. That negative attitude towards pregnancy is what causes many women to think abortion is the better option, rather than have a baby in this way. We know this pregnancy was not part of her plan, but at this point the circumstances leading up to her pregnancy are in the past. They cannot be changed or undone. What can be changed is how we respond to an unplanned pregnancy. And I think the response should be more like the following, much like I had with a dear friend of mine recently: