On Being Pro-God’s Choices
From abstinence to adoption, Christians must exemplify pro-life choices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.