Why not Choose Life?

15 Sep

     For several months I have been hearing that within one of our major parties, a Pro-Life group has been lobying for the platform to be adapted to state that while they believe in a woman’s right to choose they also believe that efforts should be made to prevent abortions, thus supporting a woman’s decision to have a baby. The actual wording (without naming the party due to my status as a minister in a tax exempt church) is as follows with italics emphasizing the portion that appears to directly relate to the Pro-Life groups efforts.  



[This Party] strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. [This Party] also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.[This Party] also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.


     Though this wording obviously is not as strong as I would like for it to be, this effort on the part of the Pro-Life group amazes me. I am overjoyed that they were even allowed a seat at the table, much less to actually see a major party’s established policy adapted to reflect some form of traditional Christian values. My prayer is that this party will live up to its new commitment and encourage women to choose life.

    In some ways I also am encouraged by the recent trend in the celebrity elite among singers and actresses who prior to our day may have considered aborion as the only option. Jamie Lynn Spears and Ashley Simpson chose to have the babies they carried even marrying the fellows who are the fathers. Though in my mind they got the order of the process backwards, they still chose life over the prevailing winds of generations past when abortion was considered the best option. Even in more recent news as we discovered the other party’s vice presidential candidate. It became clear that this woman not only chose life for her own Down’s Syndrome baby, but supported her teenage daughter’s right to choose life for an unplanned pregnancy.

      I myself have been dealing with this issue as one of the youth from our former youth group in NC recently contacted us with the news that his girlfriend was pregnant. In stunned silence I held the phone, saying a quick prayer that the next words out of his mouth would be that she was planning to have the child. As he confirmed that she had chosen life, I breathed a sigh of relief and then prayed that my next words would both speak the truth, but also display my love for him. I told him something to this effect, “A baby is always a blessing. The timing may cause you stress and definately will have consequences, and Christ is not pleased that you did not trust him to wait for marriage. But choosing life is a decision you will never regret because it pleases God and blesses you.”

     For so many years the mantra of a woman’s a right to choose had an unwritten subtext that the woman should have an abortion. Unfortunately, many in my profession have mislabled the vast majority of those who sincerly believe in a woman’s right to choose as advocates of “abortion on demand” becasue of this subtext. Legitimately though, those in my profession should take issue with this subtext because the actual debate leaves open a crucial dimension. We take issue issue due the de-emphasis in the debate of a woman’s right to choose life!

     In our Declaration we address grievances to King George due to infringement on the co-equal truths of liberty (or right to choose for yourself), life (or responsibility to protect life) and pursuit of happiness (or legitimate effort towards obtaining lasting happiness) . If we apply this to the current debate, I think it demands that we err on the side of life – even in a party that affirms the right for a woman to choose. For me personally, I believe the only way to preserve true liberty, life, and a pursuit of happiness is to choose life. This allows the woman liberty to choose when to engage in sexual relations with full knowledge that sexual intercourse has consequences. This allows the woman the right to choose to preserve not only her own life, but the life of her unborn child. Finally it allows the woman to choose a path that may be difficult at times (as if aborting a baby has no difficulties), but in the end has the benefit of someone to share happiness and joy with for the rest of life. As a believer this choice is one God will honor for eternity.


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Posted by on September 15, 2008 in Ministry of the Word, Shepherding


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