Because of the recent American elections, I’ve had a number of conversations about issues like abortion, and have come to realize that there’s a lot of ‘fuzzy thinking’ out there. This is one of my replies from a recent ‘fuzzy’ discussion:
When it comes to abortion, the issue is often divided into two groups: arguments about how to avoid abortion, and arguments about what to do about unwanted pregnancy. That sometimes causes people to argue badly, because they’re not really communicating about the same thing.
I lean toward the prevention side in most of my arguments…like this:
Can’t afford a baby? Don’t get pregnant. Babies come from having sex, so don’t have sex if you fall into this category. If you can’t afford a baby (and aren’t willing to work hard to afford one) you shouldn’t get pregnant. If working that hard is INCONVENIENT for you, don’t have sex.
See? I lean toward a no-nonsense Prevention argument. If each young woman was as concerned about NOT getting pregnant as about having cute shoes, listening to cool music, or dating that hawt young man, there would be lots fewer abortions to deal with. Instead of chasing the symptom, I go right for the cause.
Have a relationship problem? Don’t get pregnant. Relationships are serious…including being the parent of a new baby. If you’re having serious relationship problems, fix them before having one.
Don’t get me wrong…I know that this is only half of the equation. I’ll get to the other half in a moment.
Too young to have a baby? People object? Don’t get pregnant, or ignore what other people think. If you think you’re ready to have a baby, make sure you’re able to handle the situation without the help of those who disagree.
When it comes to the “before” side of the equation, I don’t play games. This isn’t a matter of asking non-Christians to act like Christians…this is a matter of common sense.
We’re teaching kids in Kindergarten where babies come from, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that sexually active people get pregnant at a higher rate than virgins. Yes, I said it: virgins. Too few people are able to say it with a straight face, but I have no problem saying it to a young teenage boy or a group of college students. Don’t want to get burned? Don’t play with fire. Not ready for a baby? Don’t have sex…period. It’s the only sure-fire way to avoid the problem, and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT.
Now for the second half of the equation: the “after”. How should we handle an unwanted pregnancy? I believe that we should take the same no-nonsense approach. Why? Simple: irresponsibility in one area can’t be fixed by irresponsibility in another.
When someone does what they know they should not, and ends up pregnant, we shouldn’t help them avoid the consequences of their actions. We should help them DEAL with the consequences. When I say “we” I mean everybody in society, but especially Christians.
No, I’m not ignoring or downplaying the fear and uncertainty that comes with an unwanted pregnancy…they’re very real. No matter which ‘convenience’ factor the woman faces, the issues are the same 92% of the time. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 92% of abortions are performed for the convenience of the mother. This info doesn’t come from an anti-abortion position, it comes from one of the most pro-abortion groups in the world:
- She had voluntary sex, and got pregnant
- She doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of her actions because her life would be more difficult as a result.
Loving Caring Respecting Affirming Listening Answering Helping Sharing Laughing Paying Praying and Planning…that’s what a woman with an unwanted pregnancy needs. That’s what we should provide for her instead of government-assisted consequence avoidance.
The issue isn’t just about killing a real human baby. It’s also about the character of the mother. If we help her THROUGH the mistake the first time, she’s less likely to make it again…and more likely to help someone else. Whether she keeps the baby and struggles to make it or gives the baby to someone who can, she’ll be infinitely more mature and responsible than the young woman who learns that she can act as she pleases with no thought for the future.
There’s a third group I haven’t addressed: the “after after”. How should we deal with those who have had abortions? Simple: we love them, accept them, and teach them. That’s what God does for us, right? He doesn’t have to approve of our actions to accept us as we are, and we should do the same for others. That’s grace, and there’s not enough going around these days.