I've been thinking a lot about being pro-life. If you read this blog regularly you know where I stand on the issue of abortion. (I am against it.) In fact, I try to be completely and consistently pro-life. This has implications for several areas of life and the political world. Pro-life views relate to guns, war, health care, capital punishment. All of these are significant issues that, taken together, can provide a "pro-life worldview."
But this week I have been think especially about abortion. We are less than one week from a presidential election in the USA. There are many people- mostly evangelical Christians and Catholics- who are voting primarily on the issue of abortion. This seems to be a wasted vote, as far as I am concerned. For six of the last eight years there has been a "pro-life" majority in both houses of Congress and the White House, and no substantial movement in this area has been made. Now the biggest concession that I have seen is a movement to allow exceptions to anti-abortion laws.
As outrageous and evil as abortion is, the current mood of the anti-abortion movement is to allow for exceptions. There should be certain cases, the argument goes, when abortions would be allowed. The most common reasons for allowing an abortion include the health and safety of the mother and the instances of rape and incest. That is, that women whose health may be threatened by carrying and delivering a full-term child would be allowed to terminate their pregnancy. Other women, who have conceived through the violent actions of others, would likewise be allowed to abort.
My first problem with these exceptions is that I believe that all humans have sacred value. No matter how small, or how old, every human being is given worth by God. What makes a mother more important than an unborn child? Why is her health more important than the health of a child? Why do we consider her security and mental state more important than that of her child?
But more importantly, and this is where I had a 'eureka' moment this week, if abortion is a sin, it is a sin. There should be no cases where it is not a sin to have an abortion. Is it less sinful if a gossip about a person who hurt my feelings than one who did not? We may justify one as an understandable payback, but both cases are gossip nonetheless.
The fact that a mother is uncomfortable, stressed or in danger does not mean that killing a child is not a sin. The fact that a child may be born with disabilities does not justify killing the child. A sin is a sin. Abortion is a sin.