For as long as I can remember, I've been anti-abortion. Okay, I know the party-line: we're not anti-abortion, we're pro-life. Well, that's bollocks.
I'm not even sure what "pro-life" means? We're in favour of Life
? As in, existence
or as a concept? Surely if we wanna be pro anything, we need to be pro the living
. And that doesn't stop at birth.
I know people who are anti-abortion who couldn't give a toss about campaigns like Make Poverty History
or the whole issue of trade justice. How is that pro the living? Or is it simpy the unborn living with which we concern ourselves?
And how do we make sense of those who voted for Bush because of his stand on Abortion but didn't seem as bothered by the innocent deaths of Iraqi babies and their mothers?
How on earth is that pro Life?!
This isn't just about the nutters who blow up abortion clinics (pro Life?) or hassle women on their way in (pro the living?), it's about being consistent. And, surely, the only consistent life ethic is, er, a Consistent Life Ethic
This isn't just about protecting unborn children up to the point of birth, it's about helping people live life to it's fullness. Most born children in the world today don't get that opportunity.
So... that would be my stance on issues like this. I seek to be genuinely pro the living. Part of that for me as an anabaptist is realising that we have a calling of reconciliation and peace-making. To destroy the life of a woman who has gone through an abortion (and there are a myriad of ways to do that), or to blow up the home of a new-born child are equally as abhorrent to me. That's not the life, the Shalom, that Jesus comes to bring.
But, as strong as I am against these things, I find it increasingly difficult to condemn those who go through them. Yes, I am against abortion, but that doesn't mean that I can't envision a scenario where I would reluctantly condone such a terrible act. I am for non-violence, but I can't honestly say what I would do to the person who invaded my home and attacked my kids. But I pray that if I resorted to violence I wouldn't leave my house to be greeted by a crowd of Christians asking what happened to my values and labelling me a killer and condemning me - not my act - ME
(God save us from the Christians!)
If you wanna be pro-life, God bless you. And I believe God stands with you, but recognise that by taking such a position you are also claiming to be pro those with whom you disagree.
And, please, please, please
, see that life may well begin at conception, but it doesn't end at birth.
Lee helpfully asks some questions
of this post.