Woman to Woman: Who Decides? Print

God's truth and his principles for our living are timeless. Consider this from PPL Archives, Summer 1991.Terry-Schlossberg-bw opt

A presenter in a recent dialogue on abortion expressed dismay that the format didn't allow him to ask of the pro-life presenters the same question we see in Planned Parenthood ads, "Who decides?"

Better questions have to do with the moral role of the church ...

There may not be a better example of the wrong question in the abortion discussion than "Who decides?" We women know that we will decide. Is the church obligated to teach what is right and what is wrong as Guardian of God's truth? Should the church make any attempt to dissuade a woman from an abortion decision? Frankly, if the Church does nothing to argue with me about what it admits is at best a "tragic option," it must think very little of me, and care very little for me.

... And the role of government in restraining evil, protecting the innocent

But, of course, the moral suasion of the church is not the only point—maybe not even the main point—of those who ask, "Who decides?" What they seem to care about most is that abortion decisions remain completely unrestrained by the law. In this case the proper question is not who decides, but rather, ought there to be no consequences for an action that kills another innocent human being?

I was in a small group at this synod dialogue. The man next to me would not have an abortion himself, he said, but neither would he want to see a law enacted that would limit a woman's freedom to choose to have an abortion. When I asked what legal protection the unborn ought to have, he thought about it and said, "None," since any protection for the unborn would limit the woman's choice. "No protection?" I asked in amazement. He shook his head. Two women in my small group repeated the refrain: "No protection." One said she couldn't understand all this focus on abortion; all this concern for a fetus. That, she said, is not the issue.

Will neither the church no the state act to protect the unborn?

But that, of course is exactly the issue. That tiny, fragile, vulnerable, defenseless, innocent unborn babe—gift of God; very precious of God's gifts. That is the issue.

I'm a woman. I have the same capability as any woman to make moral decisions. I am also a sinner, and I needed to learn that abortion was a great evil. I didn't learn that from my church. But I did learn it. And I now know that if I choose abortion, I choose the consequences along with it. There are no legal consequences today, but the spiritual consequences are far more serious. The church is failing women by trembling at the false implication that sound moral teaching on abortion will snatch a woman's choice from her. Nonsense. Sound teaching will protect women and their unborn children. So will good law.