Faithful Politics

Being faithful with our politics, not political with our faith.

The Most Worthy Issue: Why Your Vote on Abortion Matters

This article is for the .5%.  They have no voice because it was taken before they could use it.  This article is for the 1.5 million children that are never born each year because of abortion.

Many Christians struggle with the label “single-issue voter.”  It is a disparaging term applied to voters that are seemingly too consumed with one issue to examine all the others.  These people are deemed parochial, ignorant, anti-choice, anti-women’s rights, anti-women’s health, and holding America back.  Unfortunately these descriptions are bigoted and short-sighted because they underestimate the gravity of the issue. Abortion is the most worthy ethical issue.  We are voting for the perseverance of life.

Your vote matters immensely on this issue.  First, it is a matter of ethics.  It is not a requirement to be religious to care about living an ethical life.  The pro-lifers, as we’re called, do not all follow the same religion.  Even many atheists believe in natural rights for humanity and have no issue voting to protect those rights.  The fundamental natural right is the right to life.

Our culture has adjusted our attention from the right of life to tangential issues.  People always raise hypotheticals to try and create a valid reason for abortion.  What if a mother is raped?  What if the mother wouldn’t survive child birth?  While these are legitimate questions, it ignores the ethical question of ‘Is abortion morally wrong?’  If a mother drowned her child, we would all condemn her and cry out for justice. Think Casey Anthony.  Why can’t this ethical outrage be applied to a child just months younger inside a womb?  The reason is ageism.  Ageism is discrimination against someone because of their age.  People think children that we can hold in our arms are more important than ones not yet born.  No matter how the baby comes to be in this world, nor what it turns out to be, it deserves a chance to live.

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.  He wrote that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Truths that are self-evident and endowed by a Creator comprise natural law.  These truths are fundamental to understanding reality.  Jefferson was not a religious man, but understood that the creator of humanity installed a natural law which provides founding and guidance for our legal rights.

Many people, Christians included, feel that nothing can be done about abortion at this point.  They say “Roe v. Wade will never be overturned.  What’s the point?”  The assertion that nothing can be done is remarkably false.  In 2003, George W. Bush signed into law the “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act” which outlawed abortions during the 2nd trimester of a pregnancy.  Congress’s findings in this matter noted that “ A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion… is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.”  A very similar bill was passed by Congress in both 1995 and 1997.  Both bills were vetoed by Bill Clinton.  Your vote matters.

Barack Obama’s first act as President was to lift a ban on using U.S. taxpayer money for abortion clinics overseas.  Ronald Reagan instituted this ban in 1984 for ethical reasons.  Obama decided it was more important to use our money to pay for abortions in other countries.  The President has a heavy influence on this issue.  None may be bigger than the appointment of Supreme Court justices.  Christians hope and pray that Roe v. Wade will one day be overturned and the only chance of this is five conservatives on the bench.  Certainly five conservatives does not guarantee a reversal, but it’s the only possibility.  I’ve noted the significant contributions to this issue by four of our last five presidents.  Your vote matters!

As Christians, we struggle with political candidates.  Some seem friendly, but do not share our values on this issue.  Others that share our values can be brash.  The question arises: Should I vote for a jerk that is pro-life?  The answer is yes.  The issue is too important.  A woman that I went to college with told me recently that she was raped and had an abortion.  I was stunned.  I did not pretend to be able to comprehend her situation.  The depth of such a tragic act is unexplainable.  But, to explain her decision, she asked why she should have to live a life with a daily reminder of what was done to her.  This is a very complex, but fair question.  I never responded out of respect to her.  But the issue is this: our quality of life is not more important than the actual life of another!  First degree murder is wrong.  My life, income, and happiness are all second to the living.  If one accepts that their quality of life comes before that of their unborn baby, then the ethical precedent is set for allowing a mother to kill a child of any age to preserve the life she desires.

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17 Comments

  1. Can I ask some questions?
    Why do you believe that making abortion illegal in the United States will make it less frequent?
    What have you done personally, besides voting, to protect the life of the unborn in your community?

    I’ll leave it at that for now.

    • Those are some great questions. While the legality of an action doesn’t change someone’s character, the law is a powerful tool to motivate the citizenry against wrongful actions. If swift penalties were levied against abortionists, it would drastically curtail the number happening. People always worry about the ‘back alley abortions’ if it were to ever be made illegal, but the mass effect is more important. The issue, which I hoped to address in my article, is the preservation of life. We have murder laws to protect life and these should extend to ALL people.
      As far as personal actions, I have financially supported organizations that counsel women to not have these. My uncle has worked for women’s health organizations for decades and has seen a lot of good being done by women deciding not to have them after counsel and support.
      This is a hypersensitive issue for many people and my hope is that people who are considering such a procedure would think about the ethical issues of preserving life.

      • You make it sound like that ‘back alley abortions’ are an anomaly and the mass effect would be less abortions. Do you have any evidence of that?

        As to your reference regarding murder laws, don’t we also have a handful of circumstances where we make exceptions? Police, military, death penalty, self-defense?

        So, correct me if I’m wrong, but what your saying is that this is the Most important issue to you as a voter, and you seem to argue one of the most significant issues in our country to address, and you’ve only made some donations to a counseling organization?

        • Ariah,

          We would love to have you contribute to meaningful dialogue on our site, but in order to do so you need to stop asking leading questions and state your perspective. You are making blind assertions without providing evidence and then attacking the author for doing the same thing. The onus of proof lies upon you to show that outlawing abortion would not decrease it’s occurrence as the basic laws of economics would indicate that the government outlawing an activity would naturally decrease its occurrence due to increased costs in obtaining that activity.

          Also, since the topic of back alley abortions was brought up: 39 women died from back alley abortions in 1972 (the year before Roe v. Wade) as opposed to roughly one million babies that are killed every year by abortion.

          • Fair points Kolburt.

            Honestly though, I’m not trying to ask leading questions, I’m asking questions that I have. I’m sorry for not stating my opinion though, I am of the opinion that abortion should not be made illegal in the United States. That being said, I’m not super interested in rehashing age old debates on the topic. I’m really interested in hearing more of the authors and others perspective fleshed out.

            I’m interested in hearing answers to the questions I’ve asked. I’m interested in the evidence you’ve seen to make the case that outlawing it would decrease the rate of abortions. Your point regarding the economic cost increasing thus decreasing the rate of abortion is an interesting one. As are your quick stats regarding back-alley abortions pre-Roe v. Wade (by the way do you have a reference for that, I’m curious about how they came to the numbers).

            Robert sees abortion as 1st degree murder. I don’t feel like arguing that point, but I do want to hear from either of you about if your against all murder including police, military, death penalty and self-defense as well. I don’t think that’s a leading question, I think it’s a fair question to ask.

          • Robert,

            Thanks again for giving thoughtful responses. I’m going to push you a bit more on this because I want to hear more of your thoughts. You seem to so easily make exceptions for military, police, self-defense and capital punishment, all on the basis of intent.
            I’m curious what you think the intent of a women who goes to have an abortion is? Can you flesh that out for me?

            And if you had complete control of legislation, what would the law be and how would you punish a women who had an illegal abortion?

        • I have done other things, but this is not the forum to toot my own horn about how I have attempted to personally address this issue.

          Self defense is different than first degree murder, so that is a category error.

          In terms of evidence, I can only speak on the human condition because abortion is still legal. Humans tend to abuse things that they have more access to on a larger scale. Currently, we have pretty strict punishments for 1st degree murder that deter many from committing this. So, in turn, strict punishments for abortionists would likely accomplish the same.

          • Why is self-defense in a different category? It’s still murder isn’t it? And what of police, military and the death penalty? Are you okay with taking of life in those circumstances? If so, could there be any way you might categorize abortion differently, amongst those rather then how you’d currently like to see it punished?

          • It’s in a different category because of intent. Intent is the issue when it comes to the ethics of killing. Obviously we cannot condemn someone who, in attempting to protect his family, ends up killing someone. Or, if a person sees another in distress and goes to help them, ends up getting in a struggle with a perp and has to shoot them to prevent further harm. This is a different category than someone who hates someone else enough to want and attempt to kill them.

          • Robert,

            Thanks again for sharing. Your comment about Intent is so interesting to me. I see how you then choose to categorize Self-Defense separately from “someone who hates someone else enough to want and attempt to kill them”. What I’d really like to know is how/where you would then categorize women who choose to have an abortion and/or the doctor who performs that abortion. I would guess you don’t think they fall in either of those two categories, so I’d like to ask where you categorize them and what rules/laws/regulations you think should surround those individuals.
            Asking because I’m interested in your answer.

          • Abortion in every circumstance but protecting the life of the mother has to be considered murder. You are killing a person and both the mother and doctor are culpable. The whole “protecting the life of the mother” is somewhat tricky to qualify, but I would say if her life would end as a result of having the child, then it must be protected. Now, this may seem arbitrary as far as ethics are concerned, but again, it’s in a different category. This occurrence is also EXTREMELY rare nowadays with modern technology and medicine. Most often, doctors can simply deliver a child via c-section prematurely. Again, intent here is key. A mother that would have to sacrifice her child’s life to preserve her own must deal with extreme emotional trauma to make this decision.

          • So, if I understand your response, your saying that under any circumstance except protecting the life of the mother, you would consider the mother and the doctor as committing 1st degree murder, the same way you would “someone who hates someone else enough to want and attempt to kill them”? You believe they should be punished under similar laws and considered in the same category. Is that correct?
            And you would put Self-defense in a different category?
            And would you put military personnel who kill individuals in the line of duty as murderers as well or in a different category? And what about police officers? And what about capital punishment? How do you categorize each of those?

            Again, I’m not attempting to make an argument, I’m genuinely interested in yours and others responses.

          • It’s difficult for me or anyone to say with any certainty what may or may not be going through a woman’s mind who is considering such a procedure. Ultimately, I would have to say the doctor who performs the procedure is the most morally culpable. Granted, the mother is certainly an accessory and willing participant in the abortion process as well. If abortion was made illegal, then doctors who perform them are subject to punishment as well as mothers as accessories to murder.
            This process is different than in self-defense or executing the law. A police officer or military person that has to take someone’s life belongs in a different category because of intent. Now, it is possible that such a person can commit murder, but again, the situation and one’s intent is critical. Consider a military person barging in a room on a mission and someone surrenders and lays down on the ground, yet the get executed. There absolutely are war crimes and wrongful deeds done by those executing the law.
            Capital punishment is a separate issue, so I’ll just make a few brief comments about it. We only use capital punishment to punish those that willingly and by premeditation take someone’s life. This act forfeits their right to live. If we don’t give a 1st degree murder the death penalty, we are not honoring the victim and bringing justice to the transgressor.

  2. I am curious, as well. How can you comment that you “never responded out of respect to her” with regards to the woman that was raped and had an abortion, but disrespect her behind her back by voting that she never have the choice whether to deal with that unyielding pain in a physical form? Why couldn’t you tell her to her face that she committed murder? If you’re so full of conviction for all human life from blastocyst to aged, why is her life not important? Because she is an adult rather than a fetus? At what point after birth does that fetus’ rights that was saved become invalid? Isn’t that ageism as well: the fetus has rights, but the adult does not?

    It is clear to me pro-lifers are vigilant at professing love of unborn children, but what do you do for the ones that aren’t aborted? How do you vote when it comes to free health care? Welfare? WIC? Child-care subsidies? All programs to help those children and parents you saved? Do you have a home overflowing with non-biological children that you provide for? If not, why not? Because you can’t afford it? Your home is not large enough to accommodate the 0.5%? Why is it you have a choice to not care for all the worlds unwanted children from birth to old-age to preserve the life of which you desire? How is it ethical to save them through birth, then leave them to suffer?

    For the record, I was raped for years and years by my father, but luckily never fell pregnant as he quickly put me on birth control. Had I conceived, I would have had an abortion. There was no question in my mind then or even now as an adult; my view has not changed with maturity. Could you go back in time and tell me to my face as a 13 year old girl, a mere child that was the victim of incest for the majority of her life, that I was damned to hell because I murdered my sibling-child? If not, perhaps you’re not as convicted as you may think, and there are extenuating circumstances that are acceptable. Neither you, or anyone, have the right to restrict my rights or to judge me. Leave that up to your god. I was also one of the saved abortions, by the way, so I would imagine if anyone had a valid, physical reason to be pro-life, it would be me. Would I have preferred to have been aborted? I wouldn’t have known anything; therefore, I cannot say. But, I can guarantee I wouldn’t have been violated for over a decade.

    This is coming from a well-educated, professional mother of 5 with a 6th on the way that has suffered every single day of her life with the horror of her childhood without the constant reminder of a brother/son or sister/daughter. All of the above stated, I must also state that I would not choose abortion for myself at this or any other junction in my life aside from my incestuous childhood or potentially rape. But, I refuse to tell another woman what she can and cannot do regarding her own life. It is her choice and her choice alone. Not yours.

  3. Part of responding properly to people is having the relationship with them to do so. I think everyone is tired of Christians responding to people about moral issues in un-loving ways, or towards people that they have no personal interest in. In the case of the woman from college, she and I haven’t spoken in a long time, so there was no need for me to blast her out about her decision.

    Pro-lifers care deeply about all people, not just the unborn. Government programs are not the solution for the issues you have brought up. So, my vote on those programs has nothing to do with my conviction that all life must be preserved.

    The purpose of this article is that life is the most supreme right, not the quality of it. There are plenty of situations that people can think of reasons that they might want to abort, but the issue I was making in my article is that either 1st degree murder is wrong, or it’s morally acceptable. It’s not a matter of rights, it’s a matter of ethics. What our country has done is changed the issue from a moral one to a legal one and then found reasons to promote that category change.

    On the issues of judgment and God, you are correct. The final authority is His to judge and condemn. This is why the cross is so important in human history. God’s ability to forgive and cover any sins (including those done to us) and restore us from that evil is the most amazing thing about Him.

    You end your comment with “I refuse to tell another woman what she can and cannot do regarding her own life.” If it was only her life that was involved, I wouldn’t either.

  4. (Trying to post this comment again since it hasn’t shown up yet)

    Thanks again for giving thoughtful responses. I’m going to push you a bit more on this because I want to hear more of your thoughts. You seem to so easily make exceptions for military, police, self-defense and capital punishment, all on the basis of intent.
    I’m curious what you think the intent of a women who goes to have an abortion is? Can you flesh that out for me?

    And if you had complete control of legislation, what would the law be and how would you punish a women who had an illegal abortion?

  5. Everybody is against murder – the unjustified taking of an innocent life. Some people distinguish between murder and killing – justified taking of life as punishment (for murder as an example), in a war (soldier killing another soldier in battle), or in self-defense (kill someone who is trying to kill you). Even the monsters of human history believed they were killing and not murdering – justified in the lives they took. How did Hitler rationalize killing Jews, Gypsies, etc.? He claimed he was justified because they were sub-human.

    The question of abortion hinges on whether a fetus is an innocent person. If the fetus is an innocent person and the mother gets an abortion, the mother has just committed murder. However, if the fetus is not an innocent person, the mother is free to do to the fetus whatever she pleases.

    For some reason Ariah does not want to discuss that particular issue. Why not?

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