Woman to Woman: "Let's be perfectly clear!" PDF Print E-mail

By Marie Bowen

There are many things I will miss about Don Elliott and his leadership of PPL. One of those things is hearing him say, “Let me be perfectly clear…”Marie_column_photo_opt
When Don says those words, not only am I called to pay attention to what he is about to say, but I am reminded of the importance of clarity and truth in the message pro-life Presbyterians proclaim to the church and to the world.

We ought to be clear about the meaning of abortion.

It is important to specify that we are talking about elective abortions. My own father once misunderstood me when I said that abortion was ‘sin.’ He thought it was harsh because many abortions are “spontaneous” and beyond the woman’s control. Let me be perfectly clear, when PPL speaks of abortion we are not talking about “spontaneous abortion” also known as miscarriage. It is church’s acceptance of “elective abortions” that offends our conscience—the deliberate killing of an unborn child by choice.

We ought to be clear that abortion harms women.

Proponents of a woman’s right to choose abortion often argue that abortion is necessary to save women’s lives and protect their health. More often it is abortion that threatens women’s health. Abortion increases a woman’s risk for cancer, miscarriage, infertility, anxiety, substance abuse, and more.[1]

We ought to be clear—abortion is not compassionate.

Some believe abortions must be allowed when pregnancy results from rape or incest. In truth, the vast majority of sexual assault victims do not want abortions. “Both mother and child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence.” [2]

Others say that a mother must be free to decide what is best for her child when fetal deformities are diagnosed. How can choosing abortion possibly be best for the baby? This incomprehensible logic, viewing death as preferable to life with suffering, is not a Christian view. The church ought to be present in the suffering of families treasuring the lives of their children for however long God ordains.

We ought to be clear about the reasons women have abortions

Let’s be perfectly clear. 92% of abortions are for economic and social reasons. At most, 8% of abortions are for reasons of a perceived threat to the life or physical health of the mother, pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or diagnosis of severe fetal deformities incompatible with life.[3]

We ought to be clear about God’s ownership of human life.

The label “unintended pregnancy” conveys the idea that a woman should not be required to carry to term a pregnancy she did not plan. It is a flawed concept that we somehow control the events of our lives. It denies the sovereignty of God as Creator of life. It is God alone who creates life. Even embryos formed in a test tube use “God’s stuff,” ovum and sperm when joined become a genetically unique human life. “...After human life has begun, it is to be cherished and protected as a precious gift of God.”[4]

[1] http://www.afterabortion.org/
[2] Reardon, Makimaa, Victims and Victors, and Amy Sobie, (Acorn Books, 2000), p. ix.
[3] Finer, et al, “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions,” Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health, Vol. 37 No. 3 (Sep., 2005), p. 110.
[4] Problem Pregnancies and Abortion, (Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church, [USA]), 1992.



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