A lot has been written lately about abortion advocates dropping the "pro-choice" label.
While I can understand why they don't want to be "pro-abortion," I'm not all that clear on why they're suddenly anti-"choice." It seems they regret not nabbing "pro-life" before we did. Of course, I think "pro-death" seems more appropriate, but I was willing to give them "choice."
This very public shrugging-off of a label (which they, ironically, chose) is like a gawky teenager who can't quite find comfortable clothes. Why are our opponents having such a hard time?
I think it's because they've always been unwilling to come to terms with the consequences of choice. They have habitually wanted to have their cake without calories.
Some do admit abortion ends life, but instead of taking that to heart and saying, "You know what, some choices aren't worth the pain caused" or "This is a bad choice," they persist in upholding the freedom to choose abortion at all costs. In the language of Proverbs, that would be the definition of foolishness.
Religious abortion advocates argue from the free will angle. God made us with a mind and a will, they reason, therefore we have the right to choose.
Well, yes, but from Eden on we've seen where that's taken us. As Isaiah 53:6 shows, we have all exercised freedom of choice and to that God has attached His own label: "iniquity."
The end of choice
So what's the point of abandoning "pro-choice"? Is it an admission that the exercise of choice isn't an end in itself? I don't think they're there yet, but maybe it's an opening. If only they could bring themselves to make a good confession, starting with the words of Jeremiah 8:6 -- "What have I done?" If only they wouldn't continue headlong on a reckless path.
Choices have consequences. They either make God smile or frown. That's Theology 101.
Abortion rights advocates often say, "Although I'd never have one, I'll fight for your right to abortion." But why never have one if abortion is morally neutral? Why are they so like the Fonz, never able to admit, "It's w-w-w-wr-wrong"?
They emphasize the agony of the process of choosing abortion over any physical agony the aborted child might experience. It's as though the pain of the abortion decision will validate its choice, mitigate any "wrongness," and temper any future pangs of remorse the woman might feel.
Abortion advocates say, "Abortion may not be a good choice, but it's less bad than others," (i.e., living in poverty due to having this child, being unable to cope with a disabled child, having less to give my children already born, etc.). Such excuses may help justify abortion to themselves, but can they do so successfully with God? Have they consulted Him or sought His help avoiding abortion? Have they actually found Him wanting, or just assumed He doesn't care and can't help?
When a woman is pregnant, she has three options: give birth and parent, give birth and release the child for adoption, or have the child aborted. Each choice has permanent consequences. No responsible pro-life person would ever say carrying a child and giving birth is without pain and hardship, or that parenting is always joyful. Adoption is its own kind of hard. But abortion is a whole other thing altogether.
Abortion means a child is dead. A unique human life is gone from us into eternity. In more ways than one, abortion is the end of choice.
In an NPR interview Friday, an author identified her book's main character as a "bad choicer." She goes on to describe him:
I don't think he's an irredeemable bad person. I think he's a bad, bad choicer. Part of what's wonderful about writing, and reading too, is you can see yourself on the same continuum, you know, to wonder, 'What would I do, if I were more desperate than I am? Or am I three or four mistakes away from doing something like this, something unimaginable to me right now?'
Some choices are bad; some people choose badly. Abortion is, or ought to be, in the category of "unimaginable choices."
Many women today look back on their abortions with deep regret. Yet, like the character in the book, they are not irredeemably bad. Having examined abortion and the thought-process that led them to it, they've repented before God and accepted His forgiveness in Christ. They now warn others away from the brink.
The consequences of our choice
What about the consequences of being pro-life? Have each of us reckoned with how it obligates us to help pregnant women? Do we expect them to make hard choices without our lending a hand or an ear? Are we trusting God with them for help avoiding temptation?Are we living by the faith we say we have?
Related: A Christian appeals to his pro-choice neighbor