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Remember When Abortion Was About Women's Safety?

July 13, 2013

“These loathsome restrictions and the deceitful method through which the Senate tried to pass them are an obvious effort to not simply prevent women in North Carolina from having comprehensive access to much-needed health care, but to not even give them an opportunity to weigh in on legislation that will have wide-ranging impacts on women and doctors all across our state,” Preston added.


Reading the quote above -
sounds like North Carolina is trying to keep women from seeing doctors -
and worse yet -
not even giving them the chance to say they want to see a doctor.
being forced to have sub-standard medical care.

Would you believe -
the exact opposite is true?

The loathsome and deceitful activities being done by North Carolina -
and other states as well -
are actually forcing women to see doctors and to have adequate medical care -
not at all obvious from the quote above.

So - what’s going on here?


To go back a bit -
remember when (if you’re old enough) the issue with abortion was that it was being done in dirty (literally) back rooms with coat hangars and all sorts of harm was being done to the women?  If you don’t remember - research it - it’s absolutely true.  I remember wondering why they needed a coat hangar to keep a child from being born.  After I found out - yuck - it was awful.

So - back then the issue was to make abortion legal to protect the women -
to try to make it so they wouldn’t permanently lose the ability to have another child -
and maybe even to save their life from a badly botched abortion.


Now - the activities that are being called loathsome include such things as -

require doctors to stay in the room during the entire abortion procedure,
force abortion clinics to obtain patient-transfer agreements with local hospitals,
and mandate that abortion clinics meet the same stringent standards as outpatient surgical centers

Are you kidding me?

These were the very things that abortion rights people were fighting for when the movement first started.  Now - these same things are considered an infringement on women’s rights?

What happened?

Was the original movement a lie - and the goal all along was to just make it legal to abort an unborn child’s life any time - any where - for any reason?

Was the movement co-opted?

Does it really matter exactly what made such a drastic change?


In the North Carolina case -
the issue comes from the fact that only one abortion clinic in the State can provide this level of service to the women that go there.

Given that -
should the question really be something along the lines of how can you take away the woman’s right of choice -
or should it be something along the lines of why is there only one and what kind of substandard care is being given in the rest of these clinics -
or should it be abortions are wrong and therefore you can’t have one?


I’m going to maybe go out on a limb here and say that while I do believe abortions are wrong -
I also believe that since the government can’t really legislate morality -
essentially the government can’t save us -
is it reasonable to say that the government also has the right to - when we feel like it -
try to legislate morality anyway?


Following are some excerpts from Following Christ by R. C. Sproul -

As Christians we recognize, I hope, that there is a profound difference between a moral right and a legal right. Ideally, legal rights reflect moral rights, but such is not always the case. How does one establish the moral right to choose abortion? From the law of nature? From the law of God? Hardly. Natural law abhors abortion and divine law implicitly condemns it.

The real basis of the right to choose abortion is based on want. The unspoken assumption of the right-to-choice position is the assumption that I am free to choose whatever I want—an assumption repugnant to both God and nature. I never have the moral right to do evil. I may have the civil and legal right to sin but never the moral right. The only moral rights I have are to righteousness.

If abortion-on-demand is evil, no one has the moral right to choose it. If it is an offense against life, the government must not permit it. The day is being captured by the moderate middle who have not faced the ethical implications of this position. This is the moral cop-out of our day—the shame of our churches and her leaders. It is time to get off the fence. Pro-choice is pro-abortion. Be clear about that and abandon the muddled middle.


OK - pro-choice is pro-abortion -
I completely agree with that.

I also agree with the difference between moral and legal rights.

If we break a legal code -
like stealing or speeding -
and we get caught -
there’s a price to pay (unless we have a really good lawyer, maybe).

If we break a moral code - one of God’s laws -
like killing someone -
we will get caught - since He sees everything -
and there’s a price to pay.
The question is - who pays the price - us or Jesus?

Where I tend to have questions is with statements like -

If abortion-on-demand is evil, no one has the moral right to choose it. If it is an offense against life, the government must not permit it.

The government isn’t capable of “not permitting” abortion.

The government can’t prevent abortions any more than it can prevent people from speeding or killing each other.  These things will happen.  Evil will happen.  Evil will be chosen.
God gives us free will - the free will to choose good or evil.
God actually could prevent evil from happening -
but He chooses not to exercise that ability -
instead allowing us to choose between good and evil -
and furthermore allowing us to choose who pays the ultimate price for that earlier choice to do evil.

So where do we come up with the idea that the government can prevent evil from taking place?

Let’s take that one step further -
even if you feel the government was capable of preventing evil -
how can the government prevent something that God allows?

That kind of thinking leads to one place -
we’re in the position of putting government over God -
thinking that the government is stronger and more powerful than God.
If God says we have the right to choose between good and evil -
how can any government possibly prevent people from making a choice that was given by God?

It cannot happen.
Government cannot take away any God given “right” -
and like it or not -
the ability to choose evil is a God given “right”.

If you think that’s not true -
what about this from Matthew 5:21-22 -

Mt 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  

Mt 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Even if thought police were possible and could punish the crime of being angry -
how could the government ever stop one from thinking angry thoughts?


It cannot happen.
Government cannot take away any God given “right” -
and like it or not -
the ability to choose evil is a God given “right”.

It’s certainly not the choice He wants us to make -
but He does allow us to do exactly that!


Where does that leave us -
as Christians where should we be on this debate?


While it’s true that we don’t have the moral right to do evil -
we do have the free will to choose to do evil.
What we should do -
if we truly want to follow God’s will -
is to choose good -
which is to choose not to have abortions ourselves.

For other Christians -
we should support them and help them in making the right choice -
again choosing good -
choosing to not have an abortion.

For non-Christians -
we are to be an example to them -
as we read in Matthew 5:13-16 -

Mt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  

Mt 5:15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  

Mt 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


Jesus did not say to dump tons of salt on others to prevent them from choosing evil -
He didn’t say to beat them over the head with a light to prevent them from making the wrong choice -
(He also didn’t say to block the entrance with tons of salt -)
He said to be an example to them.

That would mean -
set an example by choosing good -
by not aborting our own children.


But -
what happens when evil is chosen?
And does it matter whether evil is chosen by a Christian or a non-Christian?

The answer to the second question would be - no, is doesn’t matter at all.


From the last line of the Lord’s prayer - Matthew 6:14-15 -

Mt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  

Mt 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Or - from Luke 6:37-42 -

Lk 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  

Lk 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Lk 6:39 He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?  

Lk 6:40 A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Lk 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  

Lk 6:42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


Or - from Luke 17:1-4

Lk 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.  

Lk 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.  

Lk 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  

Lk 17:4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”


It would seem that forgiveness is the key.

You may have noticed that Luke 17:3 includes something about rebuking your brother.  Just a note here on what the word rebuke actually meant (at that time) - from Matthew 18:15-17 -

Mt 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  

Mt 18:16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’  

Mt 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

So - here’s the process for rebuking a fellow Christian.
And - if that fellow Christian doesn’t listen - treat them like a tax collector.

BTW - in case you don’t remember (or didn’t know) -
here’s what Jesus thought of tax collectors - from Matthew 9:9-13-

Mt 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Mt 9:10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.

Mt 9:11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

Mt 9:12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  

Mt 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Wow.

So -
If it’s a fellow Christian - we talk to them.
If that doesn’t work - treat them like a tax collector.
And oh, by the way -
if it’s a tax collector -
hang out with them and eat dinner together!


If you’re one who wants to get involved -
by getting out there and hit people over the head with your lamp or your bag of salt -
this isn’t good news.

If you’re one who wants to get involved -
by getting out there and blinding people with your spotlight -
this isn’t good news.


No - we’re supposed to be involved -
but not in that way.


So -
back to the original question -

what’s going on here?

How did we get from pro-choice people arguing for safer abortions -
to a point where it’s now the pro-life side arguing for the same thing -
but the pro-choice people are now against it?

What is wrong with this picture?

Here’s an excerpt from the first letter from The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis -

The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle on to the Enemy’s own ground. He can argue too; whereas in really practical propaganda of the kind I am suggesting He has been shown for centuries to be greatly the inferior of Our Father Below. By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient’s reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result? Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means by ‘real’.

Keeping in mind that this quote is from a devil -
this is the perspective of Satan -
and show what he tries to do to us.

The goal of the devil is to do something - anything -
to change the argument -
and hopefully we won’t notice.

So we end up with the sides switched -
pro-life arguing for the safe conditions the pro-choice previously wanted -
and now pro-choice considers those conditions to be loathsome!

There is no scenario where this should happen -
but it does.

And the reason is that both sides have lost sight of the original goal.
Pro-choice was originally trying to make it safer for women to choose what is evil in God’s eyes.
Pro-life was trying to make it impossible for women to choose what is evil in God’s eyes - an entirely impossible goal to achieve.

Now -
Pro-choice is content to make it easy for women to choose what is evil in God’s eyes - and safety is no longer of concern,
Pro-Life is trying to make it safer for women to choose what is evil in God’s eyes - and in the process making a huge consensus with the devil.

What you may have picked up on here -
both are now OK with making abortion - which is evil in God’s eyes - legal.
Both arguments have deteriorated to the point where Satan wins.

What should happen -
I believe -
would be for Christians (supposedly on the pro-life side) -
to be the example - the light -
and to be ready to forgive - comfort - help - guide -those who realize what they have done.

If you look at Jesus -
the ones He challenged and condemned are the ones who should have known better -
He directed His anger to the Jewish leaders -
He had nothing but comfort for the people.

Why?

I believe because the “ordinary” people were the ones led astray by Satan -
the Jewish leaders were the ones who should have been forgiving - comforting - helping - guiding -
but instead the Jewish leaders made it harder for the people to return to the fold.

What does that mean for us - as Christians?

Are we making it harder for God’s misguided children to return to the fold?
I submit that if we’re not involved in forgiving - comforting - helping - guiding -
but instead we’re spewing hate and condemning the lost children of God -
we’re no different than the Jewish leaders -
maybe worse?


In the end -
it seems there’s one more thing we need to be careful of.

Remembering that forgiveness is the key -
what if we don’t forgive?
What if we think something is so bad that it cannot be forgiven?

If you remember -
some of the verses above were from Jesus talking about us forgiving people when they sin against us -
but in the case of abortion - and many other things -
the sin being committed is not against us -
but against God -
for killing one of His children.

Don’t forget what happened when the people killed God’s own Son - Jesus -
and what Jesus had to say about that - from Luke 23:33-34 -

Lk 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.  

Lk 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Even for those that killed Him -
Jesus says -
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”


If Jesus forgave the very people who killed Him -
(He could forgive anyone - remember - He’s God - He can forgive anyone He wants)
do we really want to be in a position where we refuse to forgive them -
but Jesus says -

Father, forgive them.


Father, forgive them.

Which side of that statement are you on?
Are you saying - yes, I agree - and I’ll help them return to You -
or
are you saying - no way - I’m not going to help, but I will stand in their way.


Father, forgive them.

It’s just three little words -
spoken by One Person -
about the people who are killing Him.

Father, forgive them.

Our religion is based on that One Person.

Father, forgive them.

Are we living out what He believes -
or are we fighting against Him?

If we’re not supporting those who He is forgiving -
then there’s only one thing we can hope for in the end -
and that would be for that One Person to say about us -

Father, forgive them.


Do you think He’ll say that about you - your family - your friends -

Father, forgive them.


Father, forgive me.