Is Abortion Okay?

Well, this is going to be a touchy subject. We challenged our staff to answer the important question: Is abortion a sin? Eight writers (including myself) tackled the subject head on. I highly recommend reading everyone’s pieces as a lot of time and effort was put into each of them. Feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments as we always love to read what our readers have to say.

 

Bryan Conard

The time I spent in high school gave me a front row seat to see a few cases where someone would be desperate enough consider abortion as an option. I saw four different girls have to choose between a harder future for themselves and an entire future for their child. The right to “choose”: that’s what pro-choice supporters are after. They frequently warn about calling them “pro-abortion” because they are not supporting abortion in general, just that it should be an option; but whose option is it?
According to a 2013 study 51% of women obtaining abortions in the U. S. are younger than 25, and a very unsettling fact is that teenagers comprise 18% of all abortions (abort73.com). At such a young age, how could someone even have enough experience and foresight to make such a heavy decision? I believe that girls put in a position to do so will only do what is the more socially acceptable option. Sadly for many of them, what’s more socially acceptable is to have an abortion and then keep it quiet.
There are several arguments around the issue of abortion and many ways to discuss them; but usually it comes down to individual’s morality and the scientific debate on when life actually begins. I was once under the impression that Pro-Life was primarily supported by moral arguments and that Pro-Choice was supported by scientific evidence to a greater degree. I was wrong in my assumption, as there are many credible scientists and physicians who come down on the side of Pro-Life, stating that human life begins at conception. Some of the world’s most prominent scientists and physicians have testified to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception. Some of those respected professionals were:
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni a professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania,
Dr. Jerome LeJeune a professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris,
Professor Hymie Gordon from the Mayo Clinic,
Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth at Harvard University Medical School,
and Dr. Watson A. Bowes at the University of Colorado Medical School.
All of those who I have mentioned brought many compelling arguments and facts supporting Pro-Life views to a committee of the U.S. Senate. (http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/prolife_human_rights/Scientists_Attest_To_Life_Beginning_At_Conception.shtml).
One example of this evidence is development studies showing a fetus being nothing more than a human that has yet to finish developing into a child, much the same as the way a child will continue to develop when puberty is reached. Science shows that the gestational period is just another time of development for humans. No one would say that a child is not a human because it hasn’t gone through the development periods that make it into an adult. So why would we not extend that same logic to the prenatal humans and say that a fetus is a human in an early stage of development?
Yes, I fully understand that children born to parents who are ill-prepared or unable to adequately provide for them will cause much hardship for both the parents and the child. However, if we are arguing that a birth into an unfavorable circumstance will result in difficulty, then we are already considering the fetus to be truly a life.
Ending a life in order to avoid personal hardship would be considered murder in any other situation; and ending a life in order to save that person from hardship would be considered a mercy killing. However, there have been scores of people who have overcome being born under unfavorable circumstances; there have even been more than a few who have achieved great things. Liz Murray came into this world in the Bronx of New York. She was born to drug-addicted parents who later contracted HIV/Aids. By 15, her mother had died, her father was forced to live in a homeless shelter, and she, too, became homeless. Today, Liz is a Harvard graduate, psychologist, and an inspirational speaker. She speaks about determination and that how no matter how hard life is you have to move on and continue to work your way through the battles. A movie was made inspired by the events of her life (Homeless to Harvard).
Oprah Winfrey was born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi. After her birth, the two teenagers ended their relationship and she was left to be raised by her grandmother. For a large portion of her early childhood she was raised on a farm in poverty. In her adult life, she went from a radio host to a news anchor and then to a television host. Today, she has a magazine, has established a television network, built a massive corporation, and has become internationally recognized as one of the most successful people in television.
My name is Bryan Conard. I am 23 years old, and I was born to a 16 year old mother with a father that made it clear that he wasn’t going to be in my life. I’m not saying that my story is as sad or will end as greatly as Oprah’s or Liz’s, but that I almost did not get to choose how it would be written at all. Being born to someone who was still a child at the time, I came to realize that there was an obvious choice made, without my knowledge or consent, that affected the rest of my life quite literally. I believe my mother was right by not choosing abortion, but how she handled the stress of that decision at such a young age I’ll never know. She chose to put her future of schooling, career, and her dreams of going into the air force in jeopardy when she chose not to take the easy way out. 
In 1991, the year I was born, 1,388,937 abortions were reported according to the C.D.C. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). That is more than the entire population of of San Diego (1,355,896 in 2013).
I’m sure that many of the parents of those aborted children chose what they did based off significant reasons which pressured them greatly; they knew that they were not suited for parenthood at the time. However, just like the two stories I shared with you, even someone born into extremely adverse conditions can overcome their circumstances and live a productive life if just given the “choice.” The pro-choice movement has emphasized the right for women to choose what happens to their bodies and their futures, but what about their child’s choice?
Without being terminated as a fetus or some other kind of unforeseen tragedy, what would have grown out of those 1,388,937 pregnancies is 1,388,937 adults. Adults who could function and make their own choices.
The abortion issue is a choice issue.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee …” – God (Jeremiah 1:5)

 

Emily Coleman

Before I begin, I want to first wrestle with the idea of personally knowing if something “is OK” for everyone. While God clearly calls us to be righteous humans, we’ve created for ourselves a lot of gray areas—and despite what many Christian’s think, it is OK to not have all the answers, to wrestle with thoughts, to live in the confusion. I do not believe I have the words or life experience to say if abortion is “OK” or not. I will not decide for you. I believe this is a very personal decision. But I won’t shy away from telling you about my journey.
I went to Catholic middle school. In seventh grade we spent weeks talking about abortions. Before I really knew anything about sex ed, I knew the exact procedure for third term abortions (a scare tactic—only .01% of all abortions occur this late). I’d held rubber fetuses to feel “how big the baby was” (89% of all abortions are in the first trimester) and had a neat little image of the horrible, selfish women who wanted this procedure. My religion teacher sneered about an imaginary woman who aborted her fetus for the sake of “fitting into a bridesmaid’s dress.”
Please do me a favor and strike these images from your mind. There are very, very few women who go into abortions lightly. Most clinics stress the importance of the decision, and our polarized media fills in the gaps for anyone who doesn’t understand the finality of this act. Abortion is a big deal. It should be a big deal. Women who decide to go ahead with the procedure have wrestled with it. They are not flippantly “murdering their babies.” You would do well to remember this. Humanize those you think so little of.
Do I wish we lived in a world where abortions weren’t necessary? Of course. I abhor the idea of them, but I pray every day that I never find myself feeling so hopeless, so out of options, so very lost and scared. I wish we had better sex education (87% of high schools teach abstinence as the most effective form of birth control), that we taught our children about safe, consensual sex, about all the forms of pregnancy prevention. I wish we made it easier for them to get birth control; I wish we would erase the stigmas of sexual safety. And I wish we would all strike the idea from our minds that pregnancy is somehow a punishment for having sex, that those who engage in unsafe, premarital sex deserve what comes to them. How horribly unkind and self-righteous. You do not know anyone else’s story. Do not push your own history onto them.
On top of poor sex ed, having a child in this country is terribly difficult. The average cost of prenatal care (without insurance) is $2,000. C-sections cost $15,800, vaginal births around $10,000 (WebMD) (with insurance most women pay about 30% of this cost, still about $3,000-$4,700). And this is all before the child is even born. Obviously after birth there is food, diapers, clothing, schooling, room and board, health, etc. The average cost of raising a child is $245,000 over the course of their lifetime. Yes, we should all be aware of these things before we have sex. Yes, it would be wonderful if we lived in a world where everyone knew the consequences of their actions.
The cost argument might not be valid for you. But imagine having three children, working two minimum-wage jobs, struggling to make ends meet. Imagine discovering that you are pregnant and must come up with the funds to pay for another child, while struggling to care for those you do have. It would be nice if the father would help, but he doesn’t, because pregnancy is a woman’s problem. It is your burden for having unprotected sex with him in the first place, for not being able to afford birth control, for sleeping with someone you clearly shouldn’t have. You are out of options.
But, wait, what about adoption? Isn’t that a viable option? As of 2013 there are 402,000 children in the foster care system in the US, with 205,000 children added in 2013 alone. Nearly 102,000 of these children are waiting for adoption, averaging over three years before finding a family. While adoption appears to be a noble option at the outset, it is certainly not a kind or easy life.
But it is a life.
Your opinions about abortion should be your own, and they should come to you after really thinking about them. I have wrestled with it for years, and I am still not done thinking. Do I think it should be legal and safe? Yes. No matter your opinion, women will continue to get abortions whether it is legal or not. Illegal abortions are extremely unsafe (accounting for nearly a fifth of all pregnancy-related deaths in 1965). Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, death tolls for women have dropped dramatically. Women’s health is a huge factor in the abortion debate, and it should not be taken lightly. Neither should the abortion itself.
Just do me a favor before you make sweeping statements about the morality of another person’s actions: stop and think. Have grace. And remember that God loves all of us equally, and it is not your place to speak for Him.

Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

9 Comments

  1. Sam Loser2 on January 13, 2015 at 3:50 am

    To me this entire debate come down to one point: is an unborn child a living human being?

    All other points (lack of money, not ready to be a parent, etc.) take on very different weights depending on whether you believe it is alive or not. If God Himself came down and told me that it wasn’t alive, that it was not a human being until whenever, then I couldn’t care less about this topic, do what you will, live your life, blah blah, etc etc.

    But if you believe that it is just as alive as a post-born child, then everything has changed. What kind of person would use those other arguments (lack of money, not ready to be a parent, etc.), for killing their already born child? What sort of reaction would anyone, pro-life or choice, have? They would appear like a monster, arguing that they should be able to kill their own child.

    So I don’t see any point in debating anything other than whether the child is alive pre-birth or not. If not, who cares? But if so, then it is murder and there is no logical reason that it should be treated any differently legally.

  2. Thomas Martin on January 11, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    To address David’s statement quoted below:

    ” I would like to mention that abortion being made illegal in the United States due to Christian beliefs would be completely unviable due to the establishment clause of the 1st amendment of the Constitution (separation of church and state).”

    First, let’s take a look at what the Constitution of the United States says in the actual First Amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    Many colonists came to the place that later became the United States in order to escape the Anglican church, the official religion of England at the time. This segment addressing religion prohibits any particular religion from becoming the official religion of the United States. That means that Congress cannot pass a law stating that the official religion of the country is now Lutheranism (or Southern Baptist, Catholicism, Judaism, etc).

    Second, I must address the “separation of church and state” being found no where in the Constitution. I will, however, admit to it being precedent in some cases.

    Finally, your statement essentially concerning removing Christian beliefs from any type of legislation. This is actually an argument I hear coming from a lot of people who oppose Christianity, so I was surprised to read it from you. Representative Democracy is about electing the official who best represents the personal beliefs of the majority who voted (depending on the office, this could be within the district, state, or entire nation). A representative from California is going to represent different views than a representative from Texas.

    If we are to eliminate Christian beliefs and morals while voting, by what standard do we vote? (The following is satirical) Let’s decriminalize stealing, because that is merely restricted by Christian beliefs and that violates the First Amendment. Homicide shouldn’t be illegal either. Those dirty Christians are taking away all my fun in the name of their beliefs. I thought we lived in a secular nation. I should be able to kill my neighbor’s barking dogs for the sake of my own convenience. (End satire)

    My true response to the question in the above paragraph is that all standards formed by man are fallible and ultimately lead to destruction. I vote and voice my opinion based on God’s standard. It is not illegal to vote based on the morals taken from your religion. An argument like that will lead to a literal downward spiral portrayed in my satirical approach.

    Also, I have just one counterpoint to Emily’s statement:

    “And remember that God loves all of us equally, and it is not your place to speak for Him.”

    No argument from me on the first half of that statement. However, I would like to briefly address the second half.

    “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

    Now with this authority to speak the “very words of God” comes incredible responsibility as well. In numerous places of the Bible, those who claim to speak the “very words of God” yet are lying are called false prophets and rightfully ejected from the church. Upon claiming to speak these “very words of God”, one had better be sure they are not injecting their own musings above those of God.

    That being said, we as Christians ARE called to speak for God. No, not as judge and jury, but as witnesses to the facts God has given us. I’m not condemning anyone who is pro-choice or who has had an abortion. That is not my place. I will, however, strongly proclaim that it is wrong and against God’s will. There is no “gray area” here when it comes to the actual act of abortion. Does that mean I am without sympathy for a pregnant woman whose life is about to change drastically? No. Although that sympathy will not stop me from speaking the words that God has written in the Bible and on my heart.

    One point of agreement with you Emily before I conclude:

    “And I wish we would all strike the idea from our minds that pregnancy is somehow a punishment for having sex, that those who engage in unsafe, premarital sex deserve what comes to them. How horribly unkind and self-righteous.”

    Indeed. Pregnancy is not some punishment that God just throws around at the sinful. It is simply the biologically designed result of the act of sex.

    Wow, that was more than I thought I was going to type. Good collective article, everyone!

    • Emily Coleman on January 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Good thoughts! I don’t really know if I have a rebuttal, but I appreciate the dialogue. And I really appreciate that you acknowledge that there is sympathy in this debate as well. A lot of times it’s easy to paint pro-choice supporters as terrible people, but it really is (personally) a complex issue. So thank you!

    • David Austin Black on January 11, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thomas. I study law, so I am quite aware of the exact wording of the 1st Amendment. I am also aware of the context surrounding it. I was just going to stick with what the Constitution says, but if you want to discuss intent I can do that as well. Thomas Jefferson used the phrase “wall of separation” between church and state when describing what the purpose of the 1st Amendment was. Madison, who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of rights, summarized the 1st Amendment in a statement to Congress as follows:

      “Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.”

      “Establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.” In other words, forcing the belief structure and/or morals of a religion on others. I think it is quite clear that both protection from one religion’s morals being forced on others and separation of church and state are what is meant by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

      I made no statement advocating for the removal of Christian morals from any type of legislation. What I was saying is that abortion could not be made illegal *simply* due to Christian morals if we are going to follow the current condition of our Constitution. There definitely other arguments regarding why abortion should be made illegal other than Christian morality.

      However, your entire response to my section of the article is a red herring. My main argument was that legislating against abortion, for whatever reason, is not the solution. We should be aiming for changing hearts with a higher priority than changing laws.

      Your demeaning sarcasm really does not warrant a response, but I’ll give it one. If you really think that stealing and homicides are deemed devastating to society solely by Christianity, I would look into that subject a bit more. Do not twist my words into a support for moral relativism, because that is most definitely not what they are. I am purely stating that I personally do not believe legislation should be the means by which we combat the atrocity that is abortion.

      • Thomas Martin on January 12, 2015 at 5:31 am

        Good point. Legislation alone would not prevent abortion. It doesn’t stop murder or stealing from those who want to commit those. I can totally agree on changing hearts.

        I just thought you were saying that Christians couldn’t vote with their God-endowed conscience. I still don’t understand what “separation of church and state” has to do with voting yes or no as an individual. Abortion is not an issue of any one particular religion.

        I was actually being really nitpicky on my criticisms of this entire article because everyone did a great job. Thanks for the response. I enjoy a good, hearty debate with someone knowledgeable.

  3. Michael M. on January 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Really great stories from everyone, especially the ladies. I appreciate all your opinions, and learned much from them all (guys included). God bless, and thanks for sharing such deep emotions and statistics/verses to back them.

  4. Steven K. on January 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I am so happy that Geeks Under Grace addressed this topic. This is my new favorite website. We are called to be Holy, like He is Holy and there is nothing holy about abortion. It is murder, hard to hear but still true. We cant justify abortion or murder just because there are not enough credible alternatives to it, we simply, as Gods people have to provide stronger alternatives. Thank you for sharing everyone!

  5. Emily Coleman on January 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Victoria. It took a lot of courage.

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