A defense for pro-choice in Christianity

by Abby Nye | Opinions Editor

The argument against the pro-choice stance on abortion is largely carried out by Christians with conservative beliefs. This view is justified by one of the ten commandments which mandates that murdering another person is a sin. Those who follow and adhere to Christian beliefs would argue that abortion is an act of killing another human, and therefore a sin.

As a devout Christian, I have wrestled with the differences between being pro-choice and pro-life. The pro-life argument aligns most closely with my belief that killing another human is a sin. However, I’ve come to believe that the difference between the pro-choice and the pro-life argument is not about abortion, but about choice.

I believe taking legal action against abortion is an incredibly ignorant and naive way to try and eliminate the medical procedure. The legal war on abortion and access to other forms of contraceptives intentionally ignores a choice that is crucial and belongs solely to women.

Addressing abortion from a legal standpoint does not mean it will end, it will only become more dangerous. According to the National Abortion Federation, from the 1880s to 1973 before Roe v. Wade, illegal abortions ranged to as many as 1.2 million per year. Thousands of women died or were seriously injured from self-inducing abortions without a trained medical professional or a sanitary environment.

In a surveillance study done by the Center for Disease Control, 652,639 abortions were reported nationwide in 2014. Since the legalization of abortion, less abortions have occurred, possibly due to the development of facilities like Planned Parenthood and other women’s clinics that provide free, accessible and effective reproductive health care.

Since the Roe v. Wade lawsuit, backlash against practitioners and clinics that supported abortion increased drastically. According to the National Abortion Federation, the backlash from pro-life supporters included harassment of patients trying to enter a clinic, bombings of certain clinics, and even personally-directed murder of those who support the pro-choice argument. This is an ironic sentiment considering that people who support pro-life have intentionally chosen to take away others’ lives.

The legal war against abortion is an absurdly ignorant and malicious movement. More women have died from having to perform unsafe illegal abortions than there were abortions in the recent years, yet Christians will justify that the abortion of an unborn child is far worse. I firmly believe there is no possible way to stop all abortions, but there are ways to contribute to them decreasing.

Providing free, accessible and effective contraceptive options must occur for all people. I believe that if anyone works to take away this opportunity for people, they cannot support any pro-life movement. Similarly, since the government does not provide free reproductive health care for pregnant women, free child healthcare for unplanned children, or free childcare for those parents and mothers who are not able to provide and take care of an unplanned child, they cannot argue against abortion.

I believe Christians must look past the argument of supporting abortions or not and look at the bigger picture. Women have died en masse because of illegal abortions when they were not given fair opportunities of contraceptive measures. Women deserve to know that they are in control of their own decisions, and what they choose will not come with the threat of harassment, violence, murder or social shaming.

Instead of fighting against abortion, fight for the women who feel as though this choice is the right one. We cannot expect all people to be aligned with our personal and religious beliefs. It is not the Lord’s work to protest and shame others. It is the Lord’s work to develop causes that provide child support, child healthcare, and prenatal care for mothers. Do not look past the humanity and spirit of mothers and the difficult decisions they deliberate.

I believe Jesus would not have been the one standing outside medical clinics with shameful signs, yelling at innocent and scared women. He would have entered into that clinic and talked with each of the patients inside. The question is not whether God determines the pro-choice decision as right or wrong. It’s about how we can respond as Christians to those who most desperately need our help, support, and love. 

2 Replies to “A defense for pro-choice in Christianity”

  1. The authors makes several interesting points here that I’d like to refute. To begin with, the pro-life movement condemns violence and harassment against post-abortive women. To threaten murder to a women is absolutely horrific and should not be tolerated, regardless of circumstances. Anyone who practices such acts is not, as the author points out, pro-life at all. True pro-lifers would never encourage or condone such acts. Furthermore, the author points out that thousands of women die from unsafe abortions every year. This is a sad, terrible thing, and should never be taken lightly. However, the means women will resort to in order to get an abortion does not justify its legality. There is no other crime that is legalized on the basis of making it safer for the perpetrator. We would never change the laws regarding murder involving adults just so that the murder can be perfomed in a sterile, safe environment. The pro-life movement seeks not simply to make abortion illegal, but to make it unthinkable. What if we created a culture in which women could find the support they need to be mothers, instead of one which encourages abortion as the alternative? We are failing women-but not by limiting abortion access. The culture we live in tells women that they are not capable of surviving difficult circumstances such as an unplanned pregnancy. The goal of the pro-life movement is to put this myth to its end. The idea that a women’s "right" to kill her child is somehow more important than the life of the baby should be the first indication that there is something deeply flawed in our society.

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