Letters to My Friend -

Anti-Abortion Laws that Can Kill

by Mary E. Stephens
Oct. 2, 2022

Dear Friend,

Lately I've been reading in Genesis, and I came across a couple verses that I've thought on before. This time they struck me on a different topic, one that I've been concerned about since the Roe vs. Wade ruling was overturned. At that time I was unimpressed by the Christians who were saying that there had been a great victory for life, as if the overturning of that case automatically meant that abortion was illegal in this country. Of course, it didn't mean that at all. It only meant that the states now had the right to make their own laws based on the whims and beliefs of the "majority" in each state. As time has shown, some states will likely go farther and do more evil than even the national laws on the issue previously did.

But, that isn't the specific thing that I was thinking about in regards to these verses.

In Genesis 18, Abraham has been told by the Lord that He is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham took it upon himself to plead for the cities because he knew his nephew, Lot, was living there and he didn't want him and his family killed. At the beginning of his pleading he starts out with this observation on the nature of God: Genesis 18:24-25 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Let me tell a few personal stories:

My family had a dear friend years ago who had an ectopic pregnancy. She woke up one night and thought she was having a miscarriage, not knowing that she had a tubal pregnancy and it had ruptured her fallopian tube. She came close to dying that night from blood loss but, thankfully, they were able to save her life. Now they could have seen what was going on before hand with an ultrasound, but back then those were rare or non-existent.

Another instance where inducement of labor was necessary was in the case of a close relative of mine. She had preeclampsia and her blood pressure was so high and difficult to control that she was hospitalized for awhile as they gave her a little longer to try to finish out the pregnancy normally. When this didn't continue working, they had to induce labor to protect her life and the life of her child.

Recently I've read of cases where women in Texas have had a great deal of trouble getting help to end dangerous pregnancies or to induce labor early in certain situations. Because of stringent anti-abortion laws in some states in the U.S.A., certain medications and procedures can be difficult to get for women in situations like this - help that they need to literally save their lives. Also, in some instances, if a woman has some health condition that requires a specific medication that has also been used for abortions, she may have trouble getting it, even if she is not using it for an abortion.

This is where we come back to those verses.

It is grievous and horrifying that some people who claim to be "pro-life" would rather risk the lives of mothers and women with specific health problems than to risk the chance that someone is getting one of these medications to use for an abortion. I realize that there are people who will try to work the system to get their abortive medications for an evil purpose. I also realize that the lawmakers don't want their laws to be misused, and they are desperate to avoid loopholes. But, at what cost?

I am against abortion. I believe it is murder. But what if the baby is already dead or has provable physical deformities that cannot result in a viable birth (for example, no lungs or a fully exposed brain)? Or what about an ectopic, or otherwise misplaced, pregnancy where the mother's life is obviously in danger and the pregnancy cannot result in a live birth? How close to death are the doctor's going to be required to allow a woman to go when it is clearly not going to be a good outcome?

Because, here's the thing, according to Abraham, it is not like God to lump the righteous and wicked all together when He's rendering judgment. God didn't disagree with that because it is true.

Now, we're not talking about actually destroying the wicked involved here, but the principle I think holds true. If you're determined to save the lives of babies, but you are perfectly fine with risking the lives of mothers, then you are not really pro-life. To assume that just because someone needs a certain medication or procedure they must automatically be guilty until proven innocent is neither just nor merciful.

I'm reminded again of that verse in James. James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

I'm sure someone could come up with arguments to justify these extreme laws, but if it ever happens to someone they love they will find out how frightening these situations are. Even when the medicines and procedures are available, there are risks. Yet, the assumption is that a woman and doctor are guilty until proven innocent, even if it costs the lives of both mother and child. "It's a risk we have to take to save babies. It's worth it in the end." Is it, though? Do the ends justify the unintended consequences? Would you feel that way if it was you or your daughter or mother or friend whose life was at risk? If this is your line of reasoning, I'd like to ask you a question, "Who gave you the right to decide who lives and who dies?" Because, you're doing the exact same thing as the abortionists, if you stop to think about it. You are setting yourself up as an arbitrator and judge on who is allowed to live and who is not.

The lack of empathy and mercy among some Christians these days is appalling in the extreme, and it flies in the face of the God we claim to serve. That verse in James should scare such people because, if they truly are God's children by faith in Jesus Christ, there is a good chance He will show them the folly of their ways by making them eat their hard words. (Yeah, I know how that works on some other subjects. A story for another time.)

My parents used to have a documentary about the life of Dietrich Bonheoffer. One of the things in it that stood out to me when I first saw it was how he was protected by the Lord in his efforts to save lives from destruction by the Nazis until he joined a plot to murder Hitler. Then God allowed him to be caught and put in prison, and before he could be recued or released at the end of the war, the Germans executed him. I am not at all sure that his death was martyrdom. In 1 John 3:15 we read, Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. And again, in 1 Peter 4:15-16, But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. Sadly, Mr. Bonheoffer chose to join with others who were intent on committing murder. Clearly this is a violation of the word of God and something that no Christian should have a part in. To me (in my opinion), I feel like he died for the error of his ways, not in suffering for the gospel. However, that is something only the Lord would know for sure. But the lesson was still clear to me. Just because a great evil is being done, it does not give us the right to ignore the word of God. No amount of evil justifies disobedience to the clear commands of Almighty God.

Christian friend, when our zeal to see some wickedness stopped becomes an end in itself and mercy and truth no longer enter into the picture, we've missed the mark and wandered out of the godly way. The Lord will never lead us to be unmerciful and cruel. It doesn't matter how serious the offence is that we are fighting or resisting. If we resort to methods and demands that are contrary to the clear words of God, we are in trouble and asking for chastening.

This doesn't just apply to abortion. There are many other issues today that also should be considered. Just one example of a subject I've addressed before: If an adult victim does not want to participate in exposing their abuser, we have no right to barge in and make it happen (assuming nothing illegal is happening at the moment). If it will make their suffering greater and they wish to have no part of it, we cannot demand it of them, no matter how angry or disgusted we are at the perpetrator. Mercy (to the victim) recjoiceth against judgment (of the abuser).

But, back to the subject I was addressing.

Abortion should be outlawed, and in some places it is or nearly is. But, if those laws do not allow for mercy and compassion, then they are essentially dangerous. And those who approve of this are no better than the ones they mean to stop. Life is life. If you are willing to kill mothers, how is that really any different than killing babies? Oh, yeah. I know that some would say that it isn't the same...because the abortionists..., and clinics..., and hating children..., and politics..., etc. But, if you hate the abortionists so much that you are willing to accidentally kill some innocent mothers in order to prevent abortions, I don't really see how it is all that different. If you're going to be pro-life, you need to be pro-life for both the babies and the mothers in dangerous situations, not just one or the other. Otherwise you have a false balance. Basically, you're a hypocrite. (And yes, that is the dreaded "H" word. Because sometimes it does apply.)

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

In closing, I would like us to look back at one of my favorite verses.

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

We could use a lot more Christians in America today who not only want what is good and just, but also love mercy and walk humbly with God. We can't change our neighbors, but we can speak the truth in love, and we can strive to change ourselves. We can correct our own thoughts and the things we support and believe in where they don't fall in line with God's book. In the end we believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and it won't matter what our favorite pastor or politician or family member or friend or T.V. personality or social media mouth said. It will only matter what God said, and what we did with the light He gave us.

Because Jesus Loves You, Mary E. Stephens

 

background and graphics by Mary Stephens
oroginal vintage graphic: unknown source