How I Can Hate Abortion, but Not Want it Illegal

I’m sure many people are going to disagree with my stance here.  Some will say I go too far, some not far enough.  That’s okay.  Give it a chance.

Yes, it’s true.  I really, really hate abortion…but I don’t want it to be illegal.  That seems like kind of a strange thing for someone to say, especially a Christian.  Which I am.  But I’ve thought about it quite a lot, and I think it truly makes sense.  So let me explain.

How can I hate abortion, but not want it illegal?

I do hate abortion.  That’s important to understand.  I’d never choose it.  I think it’s wrong.  I don’t think anyone should ever choose it.  And in a perfect world, maybe no one ever would choose it.  We don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately.

The thing is, making abortion illegal isn’t going to stop it. In most cases, making anything illegal doesn’t actually stop it.  Does no one use drugs?  Please.  Everyone who wants them, gets them.  Are there no prostitutes?  I believe the trade is alive and well.  (Not that I support or agree with these practices in any way.)  I’m just saying, making something against the law does absolutely nothing to stop it.

It does, however, make it more dangerous.  In countries where drugs are legal, there’s no crime surrounding them.  Why would there be?  They’re legal to buy.

If abortions were illegal, women would still get them.  But they’d buy abortion pills over the internet and take them without any medical supervision, possibly severely harming themselves (yes this is already happening).  They’d seek back-alley abortions, which could possibly kill them due to unsterilized equipment.  That’s what used to happen.

And while I don’t condone killing babies, I don’t condone hurting or killing women, either.  Since simply saying “no abortions” does nothing to stop the practice, why do we need to say it?

Think about it.  If you’re scared, alone, and pregnant, and someone says to you, “You can’t have an abortion” and walks away, what do you think?  Maybe, in that case, they just took away the only option you felt you had.  And they didn’t offer you anything.  So your only option would be to seek one illegally.

If we want to stop abortions, there are much better ways.  Instead of just saying “no abortions,” why don’t we reach out to at-risk women?  Why don’t we mentor them and support them?  We can talk them through all of their options and help them to understand the ramifications of each choice.  We can be there for them.  In this case, we’re not saying “no abortions,” we’re saying, “Abortion is not your only option.  Let me help you.  Let me talk to you and be at your side as you go through this.”  Don’t you think that’s going to get a much better response?

We can also donate to different organizations that help women.  In my area, there’s a Christian-based health center called Pregnancy Decision Centers.  We can bring in maternity clothes and baby items for moms who choose to keep their babies (either to give up for adoption or to raise).  Every year they hold a massive “baby shower” for women in need and many baby items are given away.

We also need to support comprehensive sex education programs. I don’t think that either “just say no” or “in case you do, here’s a condom” are effective programs.  Instead, we need honest, open conversation about the physical and emotional consequences of choosing to have sex at a young age.  I’ve heard too many girls say “But I thought he loved me,” after a guy left them right after sleeping with them.  Teens need to be prepared for this.  Teens need to have access to open, honest information about sexuality and sexual health.

And yes…they need to have access to birth control, too.  We cannot make their decisions for them.  I choose not to use birth control.  But I’m married and prepared to accept any baby I might get.  Not everyone is in that position.

As a Christian, I believe it is my job to tell the truth (i.e. I believe abortion is wrong), but to do so gently.  You’d never find me outside a clinic, shouting “Murderer!” and throwing blood around.  I’m also called to be compassionate.  No one is perfect.  And it’s not my place to judge or condemn anyone else’s mistakes.  Someone who’s getting an abortion is already all too aware that they’ve made a mistake.  They wouldn’t be choosing abortion in the first place if they hadn’t made one (in most cases).  Making them feel worse is not the way to handle it.  Being compassionate and loving towards them through a difficult time is important.  Does that mean that you don’t tell them that you disagree?  No.  But you don’t condemn them, either.

We need to have compassion and respect for everyone.  Regardless of the choices they make or how much we may disagree with them.  We do not have pretend that we do agree or stand up for something we don’t believe in.  I believe it’s important to be honest.  I’ve made no bones about the fact that I believe abortion is absolutely wrong as I’ve written this.  But neither have I condemned anyone who has chosen it.

This is why I can feel so strongly against abortion, and yet not want it illegal.  It does nothing to help anyone, it does nothing to stop it, it is in no way compassionate to those in a difficult situation.  There are far better ways to help stop abortion than just saying no.  There are plenty of pro-choice people who wish abortion weren’t used, too and they volunteer in clinics and lobby for better sex education.  These are far better uses of our time.  These are ways we can really make a difference.

What do you think?  Should abortion be illegal or not?

Top image by brains the head

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