(Celebrate.) There is no doubt that this is a highly charged moment in history. June is typically the month when SCOTUS hands down decisions and this is surely to be a hot one. Overturning Roe and Casey would not outlaw abortion nationwide but require states to craft their own legislation. Several states already have “trigger” laws that will go into effect immediately if Roe is overturned. These laws will make their own restrictions on abortion. Other states like New York and California will be taking steps to legalize all the killing of the unborn—perhaps even after birth (“Sanctuary States” for abortion they call it; disgusting).
First, we recognize why this is so charged.
Death and taxes aren’t the only givens in society: a stiff resistance to being told what to do against our will is just as certain. In our time, being told “No” isn’t taken well at all. “No” doesn’t mean “No” any more. Now it means something like “I hate you” or “You’re worthless” or “I’m better than you.” At least that’s how it is received. Take the radically overblown response of some teachers in Florida about being told what can and cannot be taught in their classrooms: Florida says, “No” and some teachers scream at their screens and show up on @LibsofTikTok’s Twitter feed.
What do Christians do? This is such a big deal because many who refuse to be told “No” may be about to be told “No.” We know what that’s like, right? Which of us is truly content with God’s frowning providence? When His word tell us “No”? We are more like the people who will go apoplectic about Roe and Casey being overturned than we’re not. It will serve us well to remember.
Second, we understand why there is a market for abortion.
Abortions happen in part because we no longer believe the main reason for sex is to make babies. Again: biblically, the main reason for sex is to make babies. That’s why God gave it to us. A (wonderful) by-product of the effort is companionship and pleasure. But the purpose of sex is procreation (the Catholics have had this right for a long time). The modern view has been building for a long time: sex is recreational now. It is disconnected from any responsibilities by birth control and…abortion. Have sex, get pregnant? Inconvenient? How about RU-486 or Planned Parenthood? It’s just money and it’s just cells. (Hogwash.)
Abortions happen in part because too many Christians are afraid to teach our children that some things are sacred and, until they’re ready for them, the answer has to be “No.” It has to be “No” because you don’t get in Dad’s car until you can reach the pedals. (Reminds me of the first Star Trek remake (with Chris Pine) when rebellious (and too young) Jim Kirk is driving his step dad’s Mustang flying down the country road. He drives it to the end of a cliff and jumps right before it goes over the side.) We take what doesn’t belong to us before it does and bad things happen. You just don’t get to have sex until you reach the marriage bed.
Third, as Christians we start reminding each other that sex is for making babies. That’s its purpose. Right? So, Christian, what’s your view of the purpose of sex? Is it companionship, intimacy, bonding or whatnot? Or is it making babies with your spouse? Seems like we could use a revival of the telos of sex: procreation.
Many times we don’t even mention that sex is for procreation to say nothing of making that its purpose. Look back at Genesis 1-2. What was the Mandate? “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Again, to Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Sound like license for pleasure or a call to action? You want to have pleasure? Eat some ice cream. Instead, we must teach Children’s Sunday school, youth group, young adult Bible studies that sex is for making babies. It is a gift God has given to us so that He may see more image-bearers on the earth.
You know, if the pregnancy is unplanned, it’s only 9 months of a young woman’s life: 9 months. Abortion trades in nine months of inconvenience for a lifetime of guilt. It is written into the human conscience that killing unborn babies is wrong–not just Christians reading their Ten Commandments know this. Everyone knows. Guilt after abortion is inevitable. Some of the circumstances that create an unplanned pregnancy can be heart-breaking, grievous or terrifying. A woman need not add to that guilt over an action that cannot ever be taken back. It’s 9 months.
Fourth, we use our opportunities as citizens to push for local legislation that makes abortion illegal—all of it. Yes: even in the cases of rape and incest—why should an unborn child be the victim of life-ending violence even if that was how he was conceived? If an abortion is needed to save the mother’s life, we’re talking about a different category (a medical category not a convenience one). Rape and incest are horrid, truly, but they are not as bad as murder. Abortion is murder. (In addition to using the rights we have as citizens to push for life-protecting legislation, perhaps we also need to revive our courage to tell the truth about abortion: it is murder.) We have the freedom to petition our elected officials or elect some who will protect the truly defenseless. If Roe goes and election season comes, we should keep that in mind.
Lastly, we act as the Christians did during the Roman era. Instead, let us be compassionate on mothers in distress, on babies that aren’t wanted, on kids born with birth defects, on single mothers struggling make ends meet, on single dads who experience isolation. Let’s do a better job connecting infants with adoptive families or foster families. In Rome, a Christian would walk down the street and see an infant in the gutter, pick him up and raise him as her own. Are we as prepared to die to self in such a way if needed?