I got drawn into a frustrating and likely pointless debate last night on a news story in the Detroit News about recent legislation passed in Michigan to regulate abortion. As usual arguing with pro-abortion people is a futile excercise. For the most rabid pro-abortion advocates, abortion is a sacrament that cannot be questioned or challenged and many of the same tired arguments are rolled out again and again. Here are just a few that I ran into...
1. Abortion is a women's issue and men should have no say. That is like saying that since war is primarily fought by men and historically men make up the overwhelming percentage of combat fatalities, women should have no say in issues that involve warfare. Female Senators and Representatives should therefore abstain from voting on national security issues and women are not allowed to write or express an opinion about the military.
2. Pro-life people only care about children until they are born. This is another tired canard and operates under the assumption that "caring" about children equals supporting a system that fosters depedency and has trapped entire generations of Americans in poverty. Frankly I think the best thing we can do for children is to ensure that they have a chance to be born and that once they are born that they live in an environment where they can achieve and be independent. Many pro-life advocates are engaged in helping to mentor and materially support single mothers who have chosen life. Conversely I wonder how many people who make this argument ever lift a finger to help someone in need.
3. Abortionists like Planned Parenthood provide invaluable services to women that would go away if abortion were outlawed. This is a lesser of two evils argument. Women not having access to preventive care is assumed to be a greater evil than abortion as if we must hold our noses and accept abortion so that breast cancer screenings can move forward. I reject the notion that we must accept the evil to foster the good.
4. If we outlaw abortions those "unwanted" children will grow up to be criminals or other unproductive citizens and fill our prisons and welfare rolls. I am not a statistician but I am willing to be that if we look at the percentage of the American population that is incarcerated pre-Roe v Wade versus after, we will actually find that there is a much higher rate of incarceraton after all of those unwanted children are killed in the womb before they can grow up to be criminals. There is an unspoken but very real prejudice here that sees some people, and especially some racial groups, as breeders of criminals. That is not unsurprising given the racist views of early pro-abortion people like Margaret Sanger.
5. Pro-life people are hypocrites because they oppose abortion but support war and the death penalty. Well that one has some truth to it but there are plenty of pro-life people that support neither war or the death penalty, a position I feel is the only consistent one. Even so, hypocrisy on one issue doesn't negate the argument in favor of life in another area. To be honest there are some people on the left who oppose war and the death penalty but warmly support abortion, so the charges of hyporcisy go both ways.
Trying to have a rational discussion with people about this issue when those people don't have a Biblical view of the sancitity of life and do not see every human being imago dei, made in the image of God, is almost universally futile. Winning arguments isn't going to change hearts which I certainly recognize although I still feel compelled to make the case in the public sqaure.
For those of us who recognize that human life is precious, we should be compelled to do more than say "no" to those considering abortion. We must be willing to support and love those who say "yes" to life. That might take many forms but it absolutely demands that we be visible and loving. I cannot say often enough that it is not enough to be anti-abortion, we must be truly pro-life.