By Bryce Fisher
Recently the Council of Churches, a group representing multiple Protestant faiths, released a statement claiming that being pro-choice was the most Christian thing a person could be. They argue that abortion is a moral necessity for women who are often exploited and victimized, especially through rape.
This statement was and is highly controversial. Christianity has always been undeniably associated with the pro-life position, an association that has been broadly accepted by both sides of the abortion debate. It is only logical that a faith centered around agape love and compassion would also equate to a love for the unborn, the most vulnerable and exploited class of humanity.
Thus it is often difficult for pro-lifers to imagine proponents of the pro-choice ideology being deeply religious, especially profoundly Christian. However, over the past few months, I have encountered several people who consider themselves faithful Christians as well as advocates for a woman’s “right to choose.” The Council of Churches’ statement would be something they would point to.
Since we are motivated by love, let’s examine some the standard arguments and thought processes that characterize pro-choice Christians. So equipped we can effectively engage with and respond to them.
Every pro-choice Christian with whom I have conversed centers their case around the woman who finds herself in the difficult situation of an unplanned pregnancy. They contend the God of the Bible would never be in favor of women risking their lives through back-alley abortions, nor would He deny them their basic human reproductive right to choose when and how they want to bring new life into God’s creation.
In short, pro-choice Christian apologetics focuses on God’s love for mothers, and His commitment to their well-being and overall quality of life.
Our first response would be that of course, God loves women. What Christian would dispute that or want to? We would then gently point out that this ignores the other party to the abortion equation. (For purposes of this discussion, I’ll not talk about a father’s legitimate concerns and rights.)
Emphasis on God’s love for mothers, which is absolutely true, is just another method of avoiding the pivotal question; what (who) is the unborn?
Despite invoking grand spiritual talk of love and compassion, the claim of each pro-choice Christian still relies on the assumption that science alone disproves: that the unborn child is less than human, nothing more than a “parasite” or a “clump of cells” unworthy of God’s attention, let alone His love. They emphasize the difficult circumstances of mothers considering abortion to draw attention away from the unborn child, the one whose life is unjustly taken away.
In short, we emphasize that God’s love also extends to innocent children facing dismemberment and death.
In my experience, no pro-choice Christian will argue that God’s love does not extend to babies. The next step is to help them understand that God also desires to save unborn babies from the hands of abortionists.
For decades pro-lifers have made a case for the equality of unborn children on scientific and philosophic grounds. Once the life and worth of the unborn child have been proven on these grounds—and they have– I have found that pro-choice Christians are often left with two options: change their minds, or conform to the falsehood that their God justifies and condones the eugenics of innocent unborn children.
Thankfully, it is usually the former.
Editor’s note. Bryce (Fish) Fisher is a junior at Michigan State University, studying Political Science. He is the Treasurer of Protect Life at MSU, the pro-life group on campus, and a former intern at National Right to Life. After graduation Fish plans to attend graduate school and continue fighting for the unborn!