Re: Abortion

Women's rights are in the headlines, and deservedly so: women represent half of our population, have historically been discriminated against and disempowered, and many are now standing up against an incoming president who they equate with sexism and misogyny and assault.  An important (although obviously not the only) issue within the women's right movement is abortion, and I scarcely have to tell you how much of a lightning rod issue abortion is.  So I am loathe to jump into such a heated fray.  But I cannot help but feel a need to offer a few musings.

To begin with, let me say that, with apologies to many of my pro-life friends, I think it is not at all clear whether a pro-life stance or a pro-choice stance is better in terms of reducing the number of abortions and particularly the number of poorly done abortions.  Folks on both sides of this argument may disagree with me vehemently, and probably particularly on the pro-life side, but in my mind I can't say that it is certain that the best way to minimize the number of abortions is to make them illegal or to make them legal.  Maybe it is clear to you, but I just don't know. 

But that leads me to a second point, which I'm sure will get me into hot water with many of my pro-choice friends, which is that the main (although not only) concern we should have as relates to the issue of abortions is the fetus' right to live, not the woman's right to have control over her own body.  I'm not arguing that women's reproductive rights aren't important; on the contrary, I believe they are very important and worth fighting for.  I'm simply arguing that more important even than that is the need to protect the lives of those who have been created but not yet born. 

I hope you will find in my stances a desire to be open-minded and yet firm in my convictions, as well as a commitment to the surpassing value of every life.  As a citizen of a pluralistic society, I respect differing opinions and want to be very careful about speaking my opinions in ways that crowd out dissent.  As a man living in a man-centric world, it is incumbent on me to seek to understand and advocate for the rights of women and to not be silent if those rights are being trampled on.  As a father of adopted children, I shudder at the possibility that the thought of abortion surely crossed each birthmother's mind at some point during pregnancy, and wonder who else the world is missing because of abortion.  And, as a Christian, I seek to live out a worldview that says that all life has been created by a good God who makes no mistakes and considers no lives discardable. Above all, I hope that this is a helpful contribution to a sensitive and fraught and yet extremely important topic.

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