Social Justice and Abortion

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I worked for a year as an assistant District Attorney in Ithaca, New York. The D.A. was constantly fighting with the county commission over his budget. When he was faced with yet another budget cut, he announced that he was withdrawing from drug court (a system where a prosecutor would work with a team to determine the treatment/freedom of those convicted of possessing narcotics). His statement was met with protest. He took me to the roof of the courthouse to look out over the protest. Dozens of angry residents raised signs denouncing the D.A. but one person in the rear of the protest held a banner reading, “Living Wages Now!” The D.A. pointed it out to me, laughed and said, “Welcome to the People’s Republic of Ithaca where someone noticed a protest and joined in with the only sign they had on them!’

What’s my point? It easy for those committed to social justice in one form or another to get caught up in the larger “movement” so that they end up endorsing issues they had never imagined they would champion. A person may be driven by righteous anger over racism in the local government and end up protesting against hunters, military action, or whatever!

This brings me to the subject of abortion. Fortunately, studies point to an increase in sympathy for the pro-life cause among those under 40. Unfortunately, as Scot Klusendorf of the Life Training Institute, pointed out to me, these young pro-lifers cannot usually articulate an intelligent reason why they oppose the taking of life in the womb. Thus, they are vulnerable to being seduced by the secular left.

Christians have opposed abortion from the founding of the church. The taking of unborn lives predates the Roman Empire and both Jews and Christians, following the clear Biblical teaching that all life is the direct work of God, have considered the practice an abomination.

Lately, the secular left has attempted to counter the rise of the pro-life movement with works such as “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” by Katha Pollitt and “The War on Choice” by Gloria Feldt. The issue is also on the forefront due to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing.

I’ve read these works and they are completely unconvincing. They skirt rather than directly address the cogent arguments made by pro-life advocates such as Mr. Klusendorf in his important book “The Case for Life.” These pro-abortion tomes do not adequately address the settled medical issue that life indeed begins at conception. Bumper sticker slogans, arguments about “autonomy” and emotional appeals to nightmare scenarios of rape and incest (making up less than 2% of abortions) do not hold water agains the simple medical fact that life begins at conception.

So, if you are a Christian committed to social justice, you need to be wary of buying the whole basket of causes. You also need to understand that the apocalyptic pronouncements of the left about overturning Roe v. Wade is a tempest in a teacup. All Constitutional scholars recognize that if Roe is scrapped by the Supreme Court, it does not outlaw abortion in the United States, it simply returns the issue to the states where it rested from 1789 to 1973 when the leftist Court suddenly “discovered” a right to abortion in the Constitution. Always look beyond slogans produced by media advisors to each political party and read widely about the issue from recognized experts.