There are times when I don’t enter into conversations on topics because I feel it would be unproductive or because I need to learn more about them. But the arguments that I have been seeing and hearing lately for abortion have literally been making me feel sick to my stomach, and I can no longer stay silent. I may not change anyone’s mind. But the babies need people to speak up for their lives – truth needs to be said – and I am willing to say it.
Not a New Fight – the Echoes of Arguments for Slavery
Recently I’ve been reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin which is a difficult story to swallow. It’s hard to read about the realities of slavery and the way that black people were treated – and yet it is necessary to not forget. If we forget how truly awful slavery in America was – if we are tempted to minimize it – then we are likely to repeat some of the same ideas.
“Nobody would consider holding black people as slaves anymore!” someone might say in shock to that statement. “Haven’t you been paying attention to the anti-racist movement across America?”
Correct. The thought would be unthinkable in our day and age, thankfully. But the very same ideas that slaveholders and pro-slavery people had in the 1850s are the ones surfacing in the arguments for abortion.
There was a time when black people weren’t considered human here in America based on the color of their skin. And now we live in a time when tiny, unborn people aren’t considered human based on their stage of development.
A slaveowner’s philosophy was, “They are my property; I can do with them whatever I want.” Unfortunately, I hear eerie echoes of this in the chants of women fighting for abortion – “It’s my body; I can do with it whatever I want” – including killing the unwanted child growing inside of her.
Then at one point in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a “genteel woman” sat talking to another one, saying, “‘I’ve been south, and I must say I think the Negroes are better off than they would be to be free.’”
Isn’t this very much like the argument that people make that an unborn baby would be better off dead than to be born into poor or disadvantaged circumstances?
And finally, in speaking of a trader who sold off the child of a black woman without telling her –
“The trader had arrived at that stage of Christian and political perfection which has been recommended by some preachers and politicians of the north, lately, in which he had completely overcome every humane weakness and prejudice. His heart was exactly where yours, sir, and mine could be brought, with proper effort and cultivation. The wild look of anguish and utter despair that the woman cast on him might have disturbed one less practiced; but he was used to it. He had seen that same look hundreds of times. You can get used to such things, too, my friend; and it is the great object of recent efforts to make our whole northern community used to them, for the glory of the Union.”
Is this not what is happening to our country? Aren’t we ignoring the looks of anguish from women who have had an abortion by telling them to “shout it” and be proud of it? Aren’t we “overcoming every humane weakness” by refusing to call fetuses babies and refusing to call abortion killing them? Aren’t we telling people to just get used to abortions for the sake of free choice in America? All while innocent, helpless lives who can’t choose at all are being snuffed out.
We have to stop looking the other way. We have to stop pretending like this is okay. We must fight against abortion just like so many fought against slavery long ago, no matter how unpopular it is.
Both the Mother’s and the Baby’s Lives Matter
Every argument I’ve heard for abortion centers around the mother. Obviously. There is no argument for abortion that features a positive outcome for the baby. The arguments all center around the circumstances in which the baby was conceived, most of the time not by choice.
But how the baby was conceived was not his or her fault – so why are we punishing him or her?
The argument might go – well, you have no idea how hard it would be to raise a child in this circumstance or that circumstance. And there have been so many arguments that Christian conservatives are “pro-birth” not “pro-life” after the birth.
I can’t speak for all the rest. But I do know what it’s like – maybe not firsthand, but as close as I can get. I have walked with my sister through an unplanned pregnancy, as did my parents. I have watched her be a single mom and seen how tough it was – but I’ve also seen how she never gave up on her child because she loved him and wanted the best for him. My parents and I both believed in the sanctity of life, and we were committed to supporting it in our own family on a daily basis. And as a result, I have a nephew who is very loved and who I could not imagine life without.
The circumstances may be tough. But there are so many resources out there to help (most of them run by Christians, I might add) if we only promote them and make them accessible for all women facing unexpected life choices.
Furthermore, how can we look at an abortion procedure and willingly convince ourselves that it isn’t what it is – which is murder? How can we convince ourselves that the baby is “just” a fetus – a clump of cells that doesn’t feel anything and can be removed with as little harm as a tumor?
I once worked with a child that had a lot of mental health and behavioral issues, acting out in aggression both towards staff and himself. Come to find out, his adoptive mother told me that his birth mom had attempted to have him aborted. Don’t you dare try to tell me that such a traumatic experience in the womb doesn’t have long-lasting effects.
From the time we are conceived, we have instincts against pain and towards belonging to the mother who is carrying us – and if that mother tries to have us killed, don’t you think there will be residual feelings of rejection and pain for the rest of our lives?
We have to stop ignoring the very real pain (and eventual death) that abortion has on babies because their lives are just as important as the ones who are wanted. If it had been your mother considering an abortion when she was pregnant with you, wouldn’t you have wanted someone to plead with her not to get one? Of course you would have, otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now.
Just a Few Questions
If you are for abortion, I would love to hear your answers to these questions – and I’d love to hear your actual answers, not answering with a question about another topic:
- How come when a woman has a miscarriage, we mourn for her, but when a woman has an abortion, we are supposed to celebrate her “brave choice”? Is being wanted what makes a baby a human or not?
- At what point do you believe a baby “becomes” a human? What are the criteria for being a human and why do people seem to think there’s a difference between a baby who’s been born and a baby in utero?
We must not deceive ourselves with the fine-sounding language of “reproductive health” and “constitutional liberties.” The Constitution is there to protect the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And when we deny the right to life for an unborn child, that is far worse than “denying” a woman a life without the inconvenience of an unwanted child.
The woman – and the man who got her pregnant – do have a choice. A choice to take a life or to nurture a life. A choice to kill or to encourage growth and love. A choice to punish an innocent life or to grieve the difficulty and then do the hard thing which is lean into being that child’s parents for better or for worse.
The babies need us to see them for who they are: innocent humans who want a chance to survive and thrive. We need to be the voice for the voiceless. Because if we aren’t, then who will be?
Image from Google Images.
5 thoughts on “The Fight to be Called a Human”
Thank you for writing this.
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Thank you for reading it!
I think, if our priorities are off, everything else is too. All the money, wealth, material, popularity, but miserable inside because of forgetting the most important thing: love thy neighbor.
It breaks my heart as I think of how we have fallen, that we care so little for life, all life, mother and baby, that we would be ok with abortion and even celebrate it. I’ve been memorizing 1 Corinthians 15:58 recently and I want to encourage you with it “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” We may never see it, but God uses our faithfulness for his glory.
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Thank you, Nick! That is very encouraging.