(approximate read time: 8 minutes)
When a man’s sperm comes in contact with a woman’s egg, something incredibly divine transpires. There is a spark set off that ignites the universe, a non-Euclidean wonderment unleashed, the very lifeblood of humanity exploding once more in the vibrancy of new existence. Far from idolized independence, indeed bereft of nearly all shape and form, this colossal collision can only do one thing. Grow. Because that’s what living things do. They grow. And if we permit this tiny miracle to keep on growing, it will- one day- resemble one of us. It will one day be able to contribute to the functionally human aspect of society. It will get to determine who lives… and who dies.
Abortion is the intentionally premature ending of this process. If a man were to execute the woman bearing this precious life in its earliest stages, he would be charged with a double homicide. Yet, if the woman decides that her life would be significantly better by ending this life, she is hailed as a hero who had to make a difficult choice. We love the woman, who we can see, and so are instinctively compelled to comfort her and- falling prey to the damnation of falling out of mind’s sight- the life terminated is disregarded.
Now let me interject here. I fully comprehend the medical reasons behind abortion- and there are hundreds others that people will bring up- but my question is… when is it NOT okay to kill an unborn baby? There’s no answer for that. They have no voice. No power. They’re expendable.
Frequently the attempt at a fix-all retort comes congealed in the highly lauded “No one should be able to tell a woman what to do with her body.” Wellllll that’s not entirely true is it? Women are told that they can’t use their bodies to commit homicides. They’re told they can’t use their bodies to defecate in public spaces, they can’t expose their intimate body parts in public, their bodies may not inhabit living spaces without paying rent. There are tons of rules governing what women can and cannot do with their bodies. Tis the nature of government.
Stepping slightly past that then, let’s parse the logic further. The idea suggests that autonomy is intrinsically linked to individuality. But a pregnant woman is no longer an individual. She has become a self contained duo (or, in some cases, trio), which divides the choice for life between her and the additional life she carries. Except… the unborn child cannot lend their voice to the occasion. Yes the man can withdraw from a pregnancy… and no it isn’t right. At all. But it’s not the same as the woman withdrawing from the pregnancy, considering the life of the baby literally depends on her.
The child cannot speak for itself. The mother will not speak for the child. The public can make arguments, but, in truth, cannot actually speak on behalf of the child. This then boils down to the value of a life, in non-medically extreme scenarios. And what we have shown is that whoever has the greater power, the louder voice, the most physical prominence… has the most important life. The baby loses.
Some make the argument that, well, the abortions are going to happen anyway, so we might as well legalize it and then offer alternative resources in hopes they make a different choice. Firmly attached to that argument is the straw hat query “Well who’s going to take care of these babies?” Suggesting that their lives are less valuable, because their lives might be subject to less than adequate living conditions.
… but we don’t approach any other crime with that type of gratuity, now do we? Especially kill crimes. Any other homicide is illegal- despite the social programs and therapy and whatnot made available to help those with a mental illness compelling them to justify killing someone. We don’t just give up and say “Well people are gonna kill people, so let’s legalize homicide, but make provision for those who may want to make a different choice.” Nor do we endorse genocide- nobody’s solution to countries suffering extremely desolate living conditions is to exterminate that entire population. It’s a horror to even suggest it.
No. Murder is illegal. Period. And there’s a consequence. However, there are resources to help so that one doesn’t drown in that lethal desire. And we fight to increase the quality of life for the desperately austere, despite it being a monumental (admittedly sometimes intimidating and overwhelming) task. The only murder that’s fighting to be legalized is against the one citizen of population that cannot defend itself. The only life being counted as not worth fighting to save, because it might have a tough existence is the one who cannot cry out for at least a chance.
That’s a little weird is it not?
I’m so with anyone vehemently intent on providing healthcare and resources and everything else to encourage mothers not to kill their kids, but we’ve got to be careful not to create other twisted evils along the way. Let’s promote health in its entirety. Not hand someone a torch in a cave and then spin them around, so that they can’t see the dragon hungrily lurking in the ominous quiet.
Now, let’s circle round to the elephant in the room. What if it’s come down to unus erit tantum? The mother or the child? It’s a terrible position to be trapped in… but medical reasons to preserve the mother’s life falls in the same space as killing in self defense. Making the best of a terrible choice that must be made. In some cases the child’s life is chosen. In others, the life of the mother. Sometimes the victim chooses to cross the line and become a killer to prevent being killed. In other cases, they just can’t bring themselves to make that choice and end up being killed as a result. Neither of those calamitous scenarios fall within the parameters on why laws for or against murder/abortion even exist. The clarity of this is inescapable.
What if the fetus is already dead and they’re trying to remove it?
Removing a dead fetus isn’t abortion. That’s just surgery. Baby is already dead.
As to rape- which is a horrid tragedy, lest passersby should dare misconstrue I believe otherwise- how does murder solve the problem? That doesn’t undo the violation, or even punish the rapist. It’s a vain attempt to solve a wrong with another wrong. Now, in addition to rape victim, we have heaped upon the head of the poor child or woman the merciless title of baby killer… from which there is no deliverance. At least, as per numerous testimonies around the world, the title of mother bears the powers of redemption, of love, of hope.
But here in America… homicide is illegal. You can’t just kill people. The person with zero political connections, who gets caught killing someone in cold blood by law enforcement is going directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars.
Crimes in general are illegal… that’s why they’re called crimes. It’s not just open season because “people are gonna do it anyway.”
This exposition of mine does not fancy itself the arbiter benefactor of simplicity upon the scattered layers of this phenomenon. I agree wholeheartedly that it is more complex than the murder of a baby… I just don’t agree that because of said complexities, the murder should be overlooked. If it became socially convenient for black people to be killed, there would be an uproar from black people everywhere. Unborn babies cannot defend themselves, and thus, are taken advantage of.
We get to dictate what level of humanity qualifies as real life. Are they conscious? Are they functioning? No and no? Then they are expendable. But where have we permitted ourselves be dragged away to when the mere existence of being human no longer earns us the right to life? We decry President Trump’s wanting to deport Mexicans for (as he says) stealing jobs and dragging down the economy… yet we endorse the same type of thing with abortion. Those lobbying for that right are literally saying- It makes society better to be able to kill unborn babies.
Again pointing to black people… we understand what “Black Lives Matters” means and what it does NOT mean. And thus we get why All Lives Matter is detestable. Yet, it’s nearly impossible to stand against abortion without someone making an offhanded comment about false sincerity, supposed self righteousness, and the disposing of “nasty women” as a secondary consolation prize (meaning the celebration of women dying during childbirth). What? How does the desire for one life negate the value of another? Makes no sense.
But again. Black folks are here to speak up for themselves. Unborn babies are not. And even if they could speak to us…. I wonder if it would matter. Because we, the outspoken majority, have the power.
However, I do recognize that it’s an endless source of conflict. Even though it shouldn’t be for Christians, I understand why it is. At core, mankind is made in God’s image. Babies are the purest form of that. How do we have license to kill God’s babies? (Selah) But on the other side is the fuzzy context of love and freedom, which has more to do with the individual than the conglomerate. The Christian conflict arises from the world. It is the world who has twisted the Christians’ non-compliance around into a statement of non-love. It is the unbelievers who’ve laid claim to what the Christian love ought to look and feel like. It is the hurt, the wounded, the disillusioned, who have distilled Christianity down to their unshakable negative experience… whose summation of God and His love is the scalding chasm in their soul, tormenting their lives. Christians feel compelled to fix this (as rightly they should), but have been baited into leaving God out of it. You cannot love without God, just as you cannot shine without light.
There is a measure of God in everyone- everyone is capable of love. But there are certain realities, just as there are certain darknesses, where a deeper love and a deeper light are required. You cannot tap into that without a deeper ascent into the personhood and nature of God. Only in Him can the Christian’s conflict be resolved. The God kind of love involves all of humanity (see John 3:16, 17). Can any Christian love which does not do the same really be associated with the God upon which Christianity stakes its claim?
I do think that- in regards to the natural guilt arising vis-a-vis at the synonymical association between abortion and murder- messes with folks’ mental capacity to deal. And that’s precisely where proper education should begin. Like rearing children. “Hey- this is definitely off limits, but here’s the path and resources to being a whole and healthy person.” It’s what Jesus was/is about. He exposed love as the main point of life. There are rules, but rules are boundaries. Guidelines. Indicators that you’re not in the vein where love leads. But the point of life was never about rules. It was about the love.
As the ones un-aborted and holding both voice and power, we get the luxury of living in the paradox. We can claim “conception,” yet deny that anything has actually been conceived. That a new life has begun. In the face of Baby’s Lives Matter, we get to counter with All Lives Matter- to the detriment of none but the babies.
I hate no one, and have great love for everybody. I have damned no one, nor accused any person of any foul thing. There has not been the degradation of name calling, nor has there been the promotion of my ego. Abortion is not wrong because of any one thing- it is the conglomeration. The whole of the thing contains the inexcusability of it. I encourage you to not to contest a single aspect with which you take issue, but to fully digest it all and birth your response from that place. This has, on the whole, been a labor of love to right and I truly believe that we can heal this world. We can fix this problem. We just need to identify it as a problem first.
If further discussion compels you, I happily extend the invite of a very civilized discourse via the comments section.
Otherwise, good day and God bless you all. 😊
Joshua Evans is a prolific writer and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast who believes story is central to everything and that mythology can change the world. He currently hosts two youtube shows- The Truth About Superheroes and Comic of the Week, as well as runs a short story blogsite on medium as The Story Junkie. If you would like to further be a part of his cosmic psyche, you can join him on Twitter and Instagram or simply subscribe to this blog… and remember- sharing is caring! Cheers!