Because of sin, abortion has always gone on and always will. No laws will ever stop it altogether. But one of the functions of law is to curb destructive and deadly behavior. How fast would you drive if there was no speed limit? How many babies in the womb will be killed if there are no laws against it? After the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, 63.8 million preborn babies were killed. Now that the Roe v. Wade decision has been overturned, the responsibility bounces back to the States (and perhaps to the US Congress) to decide whether abortion should be legal, and if so, what limits, if any, should there be. For months now, the media has been replete with stories about women who needed an abortion to save their life but could no longer get one, and about girls who became pregnant as a result of rape who couldn’t “terminate the pregnancy.” In reality, these are rather rare and exceptional circumstances. The fact is, most women who abort their babies are in their early twenties, and their reasons for abortion are not their life or even their health. Statistics show that 74% of women who undergo an abortion report they felt pressured to do so by others. Likewise, 74% of women who choose abortion admit thinking that having a baby would interfere with their education, career, or family. Sadly, 92% of babies with a pre-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome are aborted.
Popular opinion would have us believe that without legal abortion many women will die from unregulated “back-alley” abortions. But the fact is, between 1973 and 2007, 400 women died as a result of a legal abortion, not to mention the tremendous emotional trauma and pain that most women experience as a result of having an abortion. Another popular but mistaken opinion is that adoption is often not really an option. While adopting a child can surely be difficult and expensive, giving a child up for adoption is not. When a mother is unable or unwilling to keep her child and so chooses to give the child up for adoption, the child immediately enters into the adoptive family and does not need to enter into foster care. There are far more families waiting to adopt an infant than there are infants available to adopt. Yet another mistaken concern is that there are too many people on the planet already, ruining the environment for the rest of us. The truth is, since 1971 the birth rate in the USA has been consistently below replacement levels. Over 150 countries are predicted to have fewer births than deaths in the next thirty years and, in the next dozen years beyond that, the global population is expected to decline. The fact is people are living longer than ever and having fewer children than ever. At the rate we’re going, in decades to come there will be more elderly to care for than working adults to support them.
Vote Your Christian Conscience
Michigan’s Proposal 3, which you will see on your ballots on November 8, is not the least bit helpful. Even those who might want safe legal abortion available for exceptional situations should find this proposed amendment to our state’s constitution to be far too extreme as it would override every reasonable regulation on abortion that our state’s legislature has worked so hard to achieve over many years, including requiring such things as parental consent, safety inspections of abortion clinics, and banning such things as late-term and partial birth abortions. The 100-word statement that you will see on the ballot is not the actual wording of the constitutional amendment’s reckless content, but even so the wording on the ballot is confusing and dangerous enough. Words like “individual” open the door to children as well as adults, and to boys as well as girls when it comes to such things as “sterilization.” Prohibition against any prosecution might sound merciful but it actually removes any accountability or liability from abortion practitioners who harm or even kill a woman through malpractice and gross negligence. Surely abortion has become a major political issue, but for us as Christians it’s not really a political issue but a moral one. No matter who we are or where we live, God’s clear commands—“you shall not murder” and “love your neighbor as yourself”—always apply. As you complete your ballot this year, you’ll certainly have opportunity to “vote your pocketbook,” as they say, but I pray that you would especially vote your Christian conscience. As St. Paul put it, don’t just look out for your own interests but for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4), especially “the least of these” whom our Lord identifies with Himself. I pray this in the name of the One who was our Savior even from the moment of His conception in His mother’s womb.
1 “Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide. Web.
2 “Facts About Abortion, Protecting Black Life, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, targets African Americans by locating 62% (approx. 2 out of every 3) of their abortion facilities in black communities.” Life Issues Connector, October 2012. Web. Brown, Judie. “Abortion and Racism in America.” June 28, 2013. Web.
3 “Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008.” Guttmacher Institute. Web.
4 “Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).” Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Web.
5 Mansfield C, Hopfer S, Marteau TM. “Termination rates after prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly and Turner and Klinefelter syndromes: a systematic literature review. European Concerted Action: DADA (Decision-making After the Diagnosis of a fetal Abnormality)” Prenatal Diagnosis. 1999 Sep;19(9):808-12. Review. Web.
6 Coleman, Priscilla K. “113 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 22 Number 4 Winter 2017 Women Who Suffered Emotionally from Abortion: A Qualitative Synthesis of Their Experiences.” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, vol. 22, no. 4, 2017, p. 115., www. jpands.org/.
7 “Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture,” Guttmacher Institute, 2008, https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2008/08/abortion-and-women-color-bigger-picture.
8 “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives,” Guttmacher Institute, 2005, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf.
9 “Induced Abortion in the United States,” Guttmacher Institute, 2019, https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states.
10 Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al.v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization et al. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf
Prop 3 Resources
The Michigan District, LCMS has put together a page full of resources to educate people on Prop 3. Click here to access it.
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