On Being Pro-God’s Choices

From abstinence to adoption, Christians must exemplify pro-life choices.

A woman participates in the Dublin March for Choice on September 29, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on June 13, 2017

Choice is a noun we Americans like.

It’s a good word. It means two things. One is that there are options. The other is that we are free to select from among them. This is as true for a supermarket as for a ballot of candidates. 

Sadly, though, “choice” has been stolen by the abortion industry. “Pro-choice” is political code. It means one believes abortion should be legal. And increasingly, it means abortion should be legal through the ninth month of pregnancy. Subsidized by the federal government, to boot.

“Choice” is code because using the word it masks — abortion — still disturbs us. Deep within, something stirs uncomfortably when the term “abortion” is spoken. Our hearts know what our minds want to reject — that abortion destroys a growing little life. A life unable to defend itself. A life developing in the warm comfort of her mother’s womb.

It’s important to remember that to be “pro-choice” is to be pro-abortion. By making abortion legal, we have to admit it will never be rare. Human nature is fallen and weak. Men and women gravitate toward escaping consequences, not accepting them.

So, to say, “I’m against abortion but believe it should be legal” is a dodge, a sop to a nagging conscience. If abortion is readily available, it will be the road often taken. And it is. About 3,000 times a day in the U.S. To be “pro-choice” means you’re pro-abortion, plain and simple.

Pro-Choice, Pro-Abortion

There is another choice, though, that many in our culture dislike talking about. It’s not because it is a bad choice. It’s because it is a choice that defies what society claims is fun, consequence-free, normal, unavoidable.

It is the choice not to be sexually intimate until marriage.

“Women aren’t just baby-growers. Women are humans,” writes Adrienne LaFrance in The Atlantic. LaFrance quotes Emily Bazelon of New York Magazine as saying that abortion is about “our autonomy and our control of our own bodies.”

There you have it: The unborn child is an unintended consequence of the exercise of personal freedom. And she has no value apart from the will of her mother.

In other words, the right to be sexually intimate is greater than the right of the life one has created to exist. Pleasure and, yes, choice triumph over inconvenience and life itself.

Acknowledging that the unborn child is a person distinct from her mother means admitting the pro-abortion argument is a house of cards.

If the unborn child had no more value than a diseased gall bladder, if it were a tumor or an abscessed tooth, of course having it cut out of one’s body would be a matter strictly of personal choice.

That is why advocates of abortion insist on dehumanizing the unborn child. To acknowledge that the unborn child is a person distinct from the woman carrying her is to admit that the whole pro-abortion argument is a house of cards.

But facts don’t deter the abortion lobby. According to the Pro-Choice Action League, “Regardless of whether a fetus is a human being or has rights … the status of a fetus is a matter of subjective opinion, and the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman.”

In other words, facts be damned — the “fetus” is inside of a woman’s body and the woman’s right to control her body outweighs any legitimate right to life that unborn child possesses.

Indisputable Humanity 

Let’s get real: The humanity of the unborn child is indisputable. Science shows that in more ways than readily can be cataloged. 

And despite the best efforts of the feminist Left, we just can’t get around the intuitive understanding that what exists in the womb is not some parasitic growth. It’s a baby, and we all know it! Consider some recent headlines in secular sources:

  • “Serena Williams Writes Touching Note to Her Unborn Baby” — The Telegraph, April 25, 2017
  • “How Stress Can Affect You and Your Unborn Baby” — Newsweek, March 22, 2015
  • “Five Ways to Play and Interact with Your Unborn Baby” — Disney Baby
  • “How to Communicate with An Unborn Baby” — Live Strong, September 3, 2015
  • “Should You Bring Your Unborn Baby to Work?” — The Atlantic, March 2015 issue

Even the federal government has to admit what we all know: The unborn “fetus” is a baby! Consider this statement by the National Institutes of Health from January of this year (emphasis added):

Healthy eating is always important, but it’s even more so during pregnancy. A well-balanced diet can help ensure that you and your baby get all the nutrients you both need. … Since gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy can raise the risk of problems for both you and your baby, talk to your health care provider. … Getting early and regular prenatal care is the best thing you can do to keep yourself and your baby healthy while you’re pregnant.

When two unmarried people choose to have sex, they are choosing to engage in conduct designed to create life. They might claim they are merely having a good time or fulfilling a natural urge. But they know the act is more than that.

Jesus taught that sexual intimacy is unitive. “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two but one flesh” (Matthew 19:4-6).

To reduce sex to a physical act is to deny the humanity of the participants. The bond it creates between a man and a woman can be denied only at the expense of the health of the inner person, the mind and emotions, the soul and the spirit.

Christian Choices

If these things are true, that an unborn child is a person, that we all know it, and that sex is about more than temporary enjoyment, should Christians not model abstinence and chastity before a broken and desperate culture?

Will we support women who are grieving over their wrong “choices?” 

Should we not be exemplars of moral restraint? And should we not affirm the dignity of women and men scarred by sexual promiscuity? The value of women who have aborted their little ones? The free forgiveness Christ offers all who will come to him?

Will we support women who are grieving over their wrong “choices?” Will we open our homes and wallets to help women who have chosen to carry their babies to term yet find themselves in difficult circumstances? Will we adopt children who need homes?

These are the kinds of choices the God we serve would want us to make. 

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  • James

    The humanity of the fetus is not relevant to the pro-choice side. They know exactly what it is, but see women’s autonomy as being more important. Pro-life has been arguing the humanity of the fetus for years, but it’s not a winning argument.

    What is driving this need for autonomy at all costs is not selfishness or cruelty, but fear and pain. The most militant pro-choice women are more often than not either victims of abuse from men or were unwanted (at some level) by their own mothers. They truly believe men want women to be incubators because they have had a relationship with a controlling, abusive man and this is not that far-fetched. They truly believe that women cannot be free if they have have children because their mothers have told them, directly or implicitly, that they would had they never had children.

    • So what is the solution here? Both sides in the debate over abortion seem stubbornly entrenched. Is there a point in pregnancy BEFORE which abortion is acceptable, and AFTER which it is not? Both sides will say no.

      • davidrev17

        The current balance, or perhaps a final compromise, seems to be premised upon what’s called the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” – before our 115th U.S. Congress right now, as H.R.36; whose scientific consensus? is dealing with unborn children’s capability of “feeling pain,” the threshold of which is thought to be around “20-weeks gestation.”

        This is still a hotly-contested paradigm, or framework with which to try and manage politically, even at the state-level though; as such, only 16-states (I believe) right now have formally adopted said “20-week laws” – whose representative language is usually somewhat similar to that of our federal “PCUCPA” designation.

        • If I knew for certain that such a law would put an END to the abortion debate, once and for all, I’d be all for it. After all, the overwhelming number of abortions occur well before 20 weeks gestation.

          • davidrev17

            The figures below are from a recent comprehensive statistical survey (Jan. 18, 2016); whose percentages still seem to remain somewhat consistent ever since the (’73) Roe v. Wade decision.

            And I submit to you that the following facts are of the sort, which continue to elicit, or foment such vehement opposition from WE pro-life individuals, simply because they violate the very judicial requirements, or stipulations mandated by SCOTUS in Roe & its related progeny – i.e., Doe v. Bolton (’73) & Planned Parenthood v. Casey (’92) – namely “rape, incest, or the life and health of the mother.” It’s actually been used as another method for birth-control…period!

            Our government (Planned Parenthood, Alan Guttmacher Institute et al.) works very hard to conceal the fact that STILL TODAY – no less than 98% of the roughly 56-million unborn children that’ve been executed in this country since (’73) Roe v. Wade, have been done for “elective” reasons; meaning, at rock bottom, children continue to be cavalierly murdered for reasons precisely correlative with BIRTH-CONTROL, and nothing else! And the statistics continue to bear this out??

            You see, in any other “context,” this is pure genocidal slaughter – plain & simple! And this madness only exemplifies another facet of this “culture of death,” in which we’ve been living. It’s called “might makes right.” Yet try getting a pro-death proponent, to admit this represents the very foundation, or essence of their “philosophical anthropology.”

            ☆ ☆ ☆

            “About 98.3% of abortions in the United States are elective, including socio-economic reasons or for birth control. This includes perhaps 30% for primarily economic reasons and possibly 0.1% each for sex selection and selective reduction of multifetal pregnancies.”

            — “Reasons Given for Having Abortions in the United States,” by William R. Johnston, (last updated 18 Jan., 2016).

            (This report appears to have been meticulously assembled too, thus legitimately crafted. All I know, is that this “98% elective/birth control” figure for abortions performed in America, has remained somewhat consistent for a very long time.)

          • Well of COURSE the overwhelming number of abortions are elective. What did you think they were, ACCIDENTAL?

      • James

        There is none.

        Most likely, the pro-life side will eventually outbreed the pro-choice side and democratically enshrine their views in law.

    • Ken Abbott

      There is another element to this: the Sexual Revolution’s (false) promise of equality. Some women want to be able to enjoy consequence-free sexual activity just like men. Engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse brings with it the risk of pregnancy for the woman but not for the man–that’s the cold fact of human biology. Some people therefore believe that a woman will never have complete equality with a man until or unless she is able to evade the biological consequences of sexual intercourse. Hence the requirement for contraception and, failing that, complete and unfettered access to a safe and legal means of ending an incipient pregnancy. The new life being formed is not allowed to get in the way of sexual freedom.

      • It IS something worth considering. The most the father will be legally responsible for is child support. For the mother, the ramifications of a full-term pregnancy are much, MUCH more significant than that.

        • Ken Abbott

          Absolutely. Apart from the health risks–even though carrying a child through a full pregnancy and delivery is far safer now than in most of human history–the responsibilities for child care fall almost entirely on the mother. But all that is supposed to induce thought, and preferably a stable family situation, before engaging in intercourse. In other words, one ought to enter into a sexually active relationship knowing and accepting there is the possibility of pregnancy and then dealing responsibly with the consequences of one’s choices and actions with full regard to the rights and responsibilities of all involved.

      • James

        Some, yes, but this is a small minority that exists more in male fantasies and fears than in real life.

        When there is a sex imbalance, the minority sex determines the “rules” of dating. If there are more women than men, women compete for men on men’s terms and you see more casual sex and even de facto polygyny. If there are more men than women, men compete for women on women’s terms and you see more monogamy and stable relationships.

        • Ken Abbott

          It’s more prevalent than you might think. Just look at the range of women’s magazines that promote female sexual freedom as necessary to a fulfilled life. Then there’s the depictions of young women’s sexuality in popular media. Even “Sex in the City” is getting to be Victorian in comparison.

          • James

            The men of Madison Avenue and Hollywood have been trying to sell casual sex to women for decades. Not surprising at all.

            Also, FWIW, the dating pools in NYC and LA are both heavily female.

          • Ken Abbott

            So have the third-wave feminists, at least when they’re not promoting lesbianism.

          • James

            Again, small but vocal minority of women. These views are prominent but not representative.

            Furthermore, while many women will say they support these choices for others, far fewer want it for themselves. I call them “reverse hypocrites” because they live conservative lives while not preaching what they practice.

            But yes, lesbianism (or, more specifically bisexuality) is a big thing among the more radical feminists.

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