As I considered the horrific late-term abortion laws being promulgated in New York and Virginia of late, my brain, always a bit unruly and recalcitrant, took a detour. It had been my desire to write a column on those laws and why they are so very wrong, but my thoughts instead bent to the overall arguments for and against abortion and what the eventual outcome is likely to be.
In short, I believe that at some point, the pro-life position is likely to win.
I know that many of my fellow Christians may scoff at that notion, rightly pointing out that sinful mankind is not exactly getting any better as the generations go by. But sinful mankind was not getting any better during the slavery years either, and that evil was finally overcome as well.
The reason that I believe the pro-life position will win is that, when people finally view some of the main pro and con arguments side by side, one side will be seen as right and the other as simply unconscionable.
The first argument to consider is what I call the "I versus others" argument. The very foundational argument of the pro-choice side is, "It's my body; I can do what I want to with it." The response from the pro-life side is, "It's a baby; you have no right to kill it." The pro-choice side, therefore, takes the "I" position, while the pro-life side takes the "others" position. One side comes across as selfish, the other as selfless. I vividly remember the first time I heard those two sides expressed and how much it reminded me of the historical arguments for and against slavery: "It's my property" versus "He's a human being."
The second argument to consider is what I call the "want versus worth" argument. The entire pro-choice movement is predicated on the concept of an "unwanted pregnancy." The fact that a woman for whatever reason does not want the child she is carrying, says the pro-choice movement, is reason enough to abort the child. But the pro-life position is that "worth" is not determined by "want." The human life has worth even if another person does not want it. Thus the pro-choice movement lowers the value of humanity, assigning worth only to the "wanted," while the pro-life movement elevates the value of humanity, assigning worth to all.
The third argument to consider is the "blob versus baby" argument. The pro-choice movement uses terms like "clump of cells" to describe what is being aborted, and in even worse cases I have recently observed in the Twittersphere uses terms like "parasite" and "cancer." The pro-life side, though, uses the term "baby." The reason this argument is such a fatal one to the pro-choice side is because of things like ultrasounds, preemies and the fact that clumps of cells do not do gymnastics inside of a mother. No one looking at an ultrasound sees a clump of cells; they see fingers and toes and a head and a nose and a mouth and arms and legs. They see what is actually there; they see a baby. And then when news stories time and again show premature babies born at 22 and 23 weeks and surviving, babies born at 22 and 23 weeks that medical science does everything to save and then they see that it is legal to abort babies at 39 and 40 weeks, the inevitable question will be "why are those babies 'babies' at 22 weeks, but those other babies are 'blobs to be removed' at 39 weeks?"
The fourth argument to be considered is the "self-preservation" versus "sacrifice" argument. The pro-choice side repeatedly uses terms like "the life and health of the mother." The pro-life side responds with "the life and health of the baby." And then when one digs even deeper they inevitably find that, while a baby is always put to death in an abortion, the "life and health issue" of the mother often has little or nothing to do with actual life and health, and instead includes things like mental health ("This would stress me to have this baby"), financial health ("I cannot afford this") and even social health ("I want to live my life; I can't be tied down to raising a child"). At that point, one side becomes seen as ignoble, while delivering a child even under difficult circumstances becomes seen as noble.
The last argument is the "abortion" versus "adoption" argument. This one is so very simple; if one does not want a child, rather than kill it, they could instead give it to people who would love to have it and would be more than happy to raise it. So why abort a baby that others would love to have?
Speaking of his time in the womb, David said in Psalm 139:14, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." I know this to be true. I believe it. And I also believe that the arguments for the pro-life position are strong enough to eventually move a society to the point where legality is no longer even the issue, because abortion has already become simply unthinkable.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at 2know email@example.com.