The Inevitable Abortion Post

In truth, I wasn’t going to write anything about abortion. Frankly, I did not think there was much to say on the topic that hadn’t already been said. At least by me anyway. Reading through postings (always dangerous) with some personal interactions with those I know only through the pixel tainted view of the internet, but also with those I know personally, I have been convinced otherwise. If you happen to be pro-choice, have no fear, I am not going to make any attempt to change your mind, but I do want to share a part of mine with you. Why do you ask? The answer is that I am now up to ten people. Ten people I have known for many years, some of whom I ministered with, who suddenly wanted nothing to do with me for nothing that I did or said. No one is really just one thing, but over night suddenly I was.

I guess that I would like to begin by saying that pro-life isn’t a monolith any more than pro-choice is. What I have seen described as the pro-life position doesn’t describe me in nearly any tangible way. My favorite things have been the “if you were really pro-life you would support {fill in the government program or law here}. I have never vandalized or firebombed an abortion clinic, nor have I assaulted an abortion provider. I have not called anyone a baby killer, though please forgive some youthful, teenage indiscretions when I was a bit of a jerk. I haven’t demonized women who chose to get an abortion, nor do I claim anyone is worshiping Molech (with the possible exception of Bohemian Grove, but that is a different topic not related to abortion.) Just wanted to cover the basics right off the bat.

Here are some things that God has been able to do through me. I have supported crisis pregnancy centers financially, through churches, and with my presence when it could be helpful. I’ve even helped more than one abused pregnant woman get to them by putting myself physically in the way of their abusers. I’ve prayed with women, and a few couples, before, and after, abortion procedures. I regularly pray for God’s wisdom to be instilled in all branches of our government-not my wisdom or what I want, but His. Recently my family has been able to help a grandmother raising her grandson. I try to speak reasonably and avoid hyperbole when speaking about the subject. I understand that emotions run hot on the topic, but reasoned discussion and decisions are nearly always better than emotion driven spur of the moment decisions. Much like Saint Paul, I do not boast in myself, only in what God has enabled and put me in a position to do.

So yes, I am pro-life, but why? The first influence on this for me is the Non Aggression Principle.   I am comfortable expanding that too, in the language of Roe V Wade, potential human life as well. This comfort stems from the fact that we have federal, as well as many state level, laws that provide protection to the potential human life from assault. Because I believe in equal protections under the law, I believe that protection should be expanded to include assault by choice and consent of the mother (abortion). To use an absurd argument to illustrate the point, a mother crossing the street on her way to the abortion clinic is hit by a car and the potential human life is extinguished. If the driver is found negligent, he may be charged with manslaughter for the death of the potential human life. If he does not hit the mother, the potential life is still extinguished and there is no charge. I do not believe any one person (or government for that matter) should hold the power over life and death, including potential human life. This is a part of my general pro-life ethic that also opposes the death penalty. The last general reason is that I believe that any law in order to be just, and ethical, must lean toward, and favor, life, even potential life.

What then does that look like played out practically? It’s a more than fair question. I think that it is vitally important to make a distinction between elective abortion and medically necessary abortion. I will never support a l will never support a law that denies any medically necessary procedure for any one who needs it. I would include in this children who can be shown to not be viable for live birth. That is a huge part of my general pro-life ethic. I will also not support laws that call for medically impossible procedures such as transplanting an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus, or a law that forces unwanted surgery in general.

For elective abortion, there are two basic categories, though I recognize that there are many individual reasons that women seek an elective abortion. For the rare cases of rape (1% of reported abortions*) and incest (0.5% of reported abortions*) I am amiable to carving out an exception, though there will need to be safeguards to insure that it is not abused, and that hopefully there can be prosecution of those responsible for such things. (Note, here in Ohio where I currently live, incest is somehow not criminal, unless it is between a parent and child, but in all other states it is.) For other elective abortions, it is functionally birth control and I can not support that.

I guess the point of all of this is that if what you know of a person, any person, can fit in a hashtag or on a meme, you probably don’t know that person. If you are making broad sweeping generalizations about a person based upon a caricature of a group, you probably don’t know them either. If you think the pro-life movement is a bunch of old guys, you probably don’t know about Feminists for life, or Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America (and likely more). If you think pro-life is just conservative Christians, you don’t know, Secular Pro-Life, and others. If you talked to some people though, I think that while you may find some jerks, you;d find many more individuals that you would likely get along with.

So yes, I am pro-life. Yes I want to end the death penalty, support pregnancy help for women, though I am not convinced government is the best way to accomplish it, care deeply for children after they are born, support legal civil same sex marriage, have zero desire to take birth control away from anyone, and don’t have any desire to see an end to legal interracial marriage. I didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t vote for Biden either. I am against American involvement in foreign wars, think we should end energy and farm subsidies, end the war on drugs, and make immigration easier so that people can actually navigate the process. I am pro second amendment, but am willing to make some concessions on legislation. I believe that broken window policing unfairly targets poor and impoverished neighborhoods, which are predominately black and brown, resulting in a racial bias in how we ask police to do their jobs. Yes, I believe the numerous studies that show black and brown individuals are pulled over for “traffic violations” than Caucasians and results in unnecessary police interactions and sows mistrust. I believe that no knock raids are an anathema to the republic except in the more extreme of circumstances. I think that the federal debt is a national security issue, that printing money causes inflation, that the FED is the worst scam propagated on the American financial system in history. I believe that the founding fathers, like much of western civilization, was influenced by a judeo-christian ethic, but that no, the constitution is not a Christian document and not divinely inspired.  I believe that the “religious right” is dangerous politically and am also a Wesleyan evangelical. After all, no one is just one thing.

*Statistics from The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice organization.

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