My giddo (Lebanese for grandfather) was a documented genius, a history professor and had a photographic memory. He was also a prolific writer of editorials to local newspapers. It was from him that I picked up my love for newspapers and my penchant for writing. Little wonder, then, that I started writing my own editorials around 14 years old.
I wish he were still alive to see that I am a weekly columnist now.
Way back in those days of my teens and twenties, I often wrote about abortion. I was a Focus on the Family kid. My mother bought me "Tilly" by Frank Peretti, and it gripped my heart. And through the years, I have continued to write and preach on the subject with decent frequency. So last week, when I saw a tweet that said, "SCOTUS justices rule to overturn Roe v. Wade," I initially dismissed it as just another internet rumor. But then I saw it from someone else, and then another, and then another. And soon, I heard it on the news as well.
It was a great day.
If reports are correct, it seems that five justices are currently set to overrule Roe. If it happens, it is honestly going to feel like the culmination of a lifetime of effort, although I know that I have been just one single voice among millions, one set of praying knees in the multitude and one lone advocate for the voiceless among countless tireless others far better and far more influential than myself.
I know that the battle will never be truly over. This is, above all else, a spiritual battle, a struggle for the hearts and minds of humanity. But the battle has been, and always will be, worth it.
That Scripture is clearly against abortion is not really even up for honest debate. Exodus 20:13 says, "Thou shalt not kill," and the living humanity of a child in the womb is indisputable. Twenty-five times in the Bible, a woman is described as being "with child." John the Baptist showed both intelligence and emotion in the womb, leaping for joy. God told Jeremiah that before he even came out of the womb, he had ordained him to be a prophet. Jacob and Esau fought each other in the womb and continued that fight for the rest of their lives.
Capital punishment is allowable by Scripture, lethal self-defense is allowable by Scripture, but the taking of innocent human life, murder, is not.
What has struck me through the years, though, is the very poor reasoning of those who advocate for abortion. I choose to be charitable and believe that most are simply emotional rather than dishonest, but either way, the case for abortion is, to put it mildly, very weak and incoherent. Proverbs 26:7 says, "The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools." Those words from thousands of years ago fit well with the standards props for abortion.
The foundational argument for abortion is "My body, my choice." But the body growing inside of a pregnant woman is an entirely separate body, one with its own DNA, heart, brain and circulatory system. You may be really angry with God (or biology, depending on your point of view) about the arrangement, but it is what it is; humanity survives from one generation to the next because new humans grow in the womb of older humans until they are born. They spend nine months of life riding around in someone else, then the rest of their life out of that someone else.
Another common argument for abortion is, "Men should have no say in this issue at all!" But the same people saying that are advocating for a SCOTUS decision (Roe) that was handed down by seven men. They are also usually the same people that are now saying, "Yes, men can get pregnant too," and producing pregnant man emojis for cellphones. They also ignore that a large percentage of women are pro-life, and that if it were put to a vote of women only, and came down in favor of overturning Roe, they absolutely would not quietly acquiesce. They want what they want, period.
Another red herring is, "Conservative Christians are not pro-life; they are just pro-birth. Otherwise, they would take in every unwanted child." And yet conservative Christians do take in unwanted children in huge numbers. Every church I know has large numbers of families who have adopted, fostered or simply taken children in and raised them without even having official custody of them. Christians also generously fund crisis pregnancy centers and other organizations that help young mothers be able to keep and raise their own children.
And then there is the truly ludicrous view that if a mother wants a child that is in her womb, it is a child, but if another mother does not want a child at the exact same stage of development in her womb, it is just a blob of tissue. That isn't science; it is insanity. It is or is not a child, and "want" has nothing to do with it.
Perhaps the worst reasoning of all is the "Every child deserves to have a good quality of life; abortion helps to make that possible" line. But since "good quality" is a subjective term rather than a concrete, objective, measurable standard, would it not make more sense to let the child make that choice? And since most of a human being's life takes place after they grow up and leave home, a good quality of life depends way more on the child/future adult than it does on anyone else. If you doubt that, I have some very happy, successful, blind friends that would doubtless love to talk to you about how much they enjoy living.
I hope Roe v. Wade really does fall; it needs to.
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 wordofhismouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.