Culture

“Pro-Life: Except in Cases of…”

Jan Weaver

As I study candidates in the 2024 election cycle, of the many issues I consider, life is foundational. The war of words is already raging around the issue of abortion, inflamed by the scope of new state laws. It becomes a minefield when discussion turns to the “exceptions” of rape and incest.  

I’m already hearing some of the same arguments from 2020 that persuaded some of our brothers and sisters that a presidential candidate’s stand on abortion was inconsequential.  Many were swayed by a Holy Post video from October 2020, “What About Abortion? Should this one issue determine how Christians vote?” 

The basic argument of the original video was that in the presidential election, the impact of being a “one issue voter” (Pro-Life) probably wouldn’t be significant enough to change the number of abortions.  In answer to his critics, Skye Jethani, the main contributor in the original video, says, “I never called for Christians to vote for a Democrat or ignore the party’s increasingly extreme stance on abortion. What I do believe is that Christians owe neither their vote nor their allegiance to a presidential candidate simply because he or she claims to be against abortion.”

Pragmatism

The video and its follow-up absolved Christians of guilt over voting for a platform with a deliberately nailed plank of death, as long as enough of the other planks were acceptable.  That sounds harsh, but many Holy Post videos pointed out the reasons not to vote for Trump, even though he was pro-life. So who did they want us to vote for?

Jethani has been criticized for taking an “incremental” pro-life stand, and for minimizing the impact of passing laws that would make abortion illegal. The following statements were made by Jethani in response to the video’s critics.   

“Having a law on the books in all 50 states declaring abortion is murder means nothing if we fail to create a culture of life that dramatically reduces the number of abortions. 

“Some have accused me of being a pragmatist on an issue in which there can be no compromise. When it comes to the issue of abortion, yes, I am guilty of putting pragmatism ahead of idealism. I’ve taken this posture because I believe God will judge a nation for its actions rather than for its image. I believe in strategies that will reduce abortions, help women, and support families—not in symbolic gestures that present a façade of righteousness but will do little to help the least and the vulnerable.”

From “Safe, Legal, and Rare” to “My Body, My Choice”

Some context may be necessary in this discussion because I agree, God will judge our nation for its actions that have left over 65 million children dead. In the ever-changing abortion playbook, Democrats initially claimed that their fight for abortion rights was to make abortion “safe and rare”. Then the argument parked for a while at “wanting every child to be a planned and wanted child”.

This was when viability was the battleground we fought on, but as medical science made great strides in life-saving breakthroughs for younger and younger fetuses, coupled with the light that new technologies shed on the mysteries of fetal development, the left saw the writing on the wall. They could not convince rational people that what was growing inside the human mother’s womb was anything other than a unique human being.  At that point, the whole argument changed from who was being carried and became an argument of rights – the right of a stronger person to exercise their will over the rights, even the right to life, of another weaker, defenseless human being.

The rallying cry became “My body, my choice.” A terrible line was crossed when they welcomed the NY passage of the most radical and comprehensive abortion legislation ever with a standing ovation. If the cheers for the right to kill more of our children were not enough to sicken us, this spectacle broke through the façade of abortion being a somber and difficult decision. Those who cheered abortion in NY began proudly calling abortion “Reproductive Justice”. This depravity led to “Celebrating Your Abortion” and now we clearly see what they were trying to hide. Some of today’s pro-abortion crowd hold abortion in the highest reverence as a Sacrament in the worship of self. The radical left thinks the right to kill our unborn at any time, for any reason, is a holy and beautiful thing.

“Except in Cases of Rape or Incest”

In stark contrast, most Christians agree that abortion for reasons of social convenience is wrong, but some still feel that the 1% of abortions performed on victims of rape or incest are compassionate, justifiable exceptions. I felt this way, too, until I was told this story.

It was about a 15-year-old girl named Anna. Anna’s 17-year-old ex-boyfriend parked in front of Anna’s school one afternoon and motioned her to his car.  As Anna leaned into the passenger window, she was pulled into the car by her hair, and the driver sped off.  Witnesses called the police.  Anna was found the next day, bruised and disheveled. The boy was arrested for assault on a minor female, but Anna never told the police that in addition to a brutal beating, she had been violently raped. She refused to press charges because she was terrified of the boy.

Months passed before she suspected she was carrying his child.  Out of fear and revulsion, she tried to hide the pregnancy.  This would ruin her whole life.  She finally broke down and told her parents and her father visited the home of the boy – with a shotgun. In that stormy meeting, the boy denied that he was the father. In 1955, it was worse to have a pregnant, unwed daughter than to force that daughter to marry the boy who brutally raped her. Anna’s father told the boy that to avoid the scandal, he was marrying Anna in a few days.

The boy didn’t want to marry Anna or be a father. Anna was horrified at the thought. Privately, the boy’s father offered Anna a way of escape.  He knew someone who would perform a, then illegal, abortion and he would pay for it.  Anna desperately wanted NOT to be pregnant.  She didn’t have any strong religious or moral feelings about abortion.  She didn’t even know what an abortion involved.  She just knew that if she had one, she wouldn’t have to be pregnant anymore.

She says the one thing that kept running through her mind was, “Abortion is illegal, so it must be wrong”. Anna decided to carry this hated and unwanted child.  Anna’s story doesn’t end there.  After giving birth, Anna fell in love with her child. The boy’s father adored this grandchild, who looked exactly like his son and was the only grandchild he ever had.  Anna’s child was conceived in violence, carried in shame and born unwanted.  But that child did have a Heavenly Father who wanted and loved her.  

Anna is my mother and I am that child.

Hearing this shocking truth as a 32-year-old woman threw me into an emotional nosedive.  In a moment I forgot about my identity in Christ.  None of that seemed to apply to me. All I heard were the accusations of the enemy repeating in my head.

“You aren’t like other people.”

“You aren’t even supposed to be here.”

“You were a mistake.”

“You’re dirty.”

“You shouldn’t have been born.”

I was so embarrassed that I didn’t tell anyone except my husband.  While I was questioning the legitimacy of my very existence, God, in His great mercy and with the utmost patience kept bringing me back to Truth in Psalm 139:13-16:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Completely Pro-Life

I knit, and you don’t just throw yarn and knitting needles on the floor and get a sweater.  Knitting is a very deliberate, careful, methodical process.  God’s hand knit me together.  God is the author and giver of life, or He isn’t.

My mother told me that God took the absolute worst thing that had ever happened to her and turned it into her biggest blessing.  Mom never had another child. I cared for her until she died.

To all of the Christians who say they are pro-life, acknowledge that conception after rape is a very hard situation, but come to the conclusion that there should be exceptions to abortion bans in these cases, I have to be honest. You may as well slap me. You are saying that you will stand and fight for SOME children, but not someone like me. I’m not worthy of your protection or compassion. You are saying that I should have been given the death penalty for my father’s crime. 

The pro-abortion apologists use the tragic and emotionally charged issue of rape and incest to garner sympathy to justify aborting the exceptions because if we justify the exceptions, there are a million justifications for aborting all of the other unwanted children. Christians, we are called to defend the orphan.  A child in the womb of a woman who will walk into a clinic and slap $600 on a counter to have that child dismembered IS MOST CERTAINLY AN ORPHAN.  That child has no mother. What will you do to come to their defense?

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