Reflecting on the New Abortion Legislation

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I must say I was unpleasantly surprised when I learned of New York State’s newly implemented Reproductive Health Act, signed by Governor Cuomo on January 22nd,. According to this legislation, a medical professional may allow an abortion if “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” As Christians, it is our duty to Biblically evaluate ideas such as these, making our conclusions known in a God-honoring way.

This statement raises some questions. What is “health?”  According to Doe v. Bolton, the U.S. Supreme Court defines the word "in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”  That being said, a woman going to the abortion clinic with a severe (or mild) case of depression, could receive an abortion up to 9 months. Delegate Todd Gilbert, in an interview with Delegate Kathy Tran which was reported by The Daily Wire, formulated an example to ask about the then-proposed legislation. “Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth, that she has physical signs that she is about to give birth. Would that be a point at which she could still request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.” The answer was shocking. “My bill would allow that, yes.”

How could anyone be so sick?! I thought about the true value of life, and our society’s degradation of God’s greatest gift. I thought about how each individual views the world differently, and processes information in his own way. When we’re very young, everything we hear in Sunday school is God’s truth. We want to belong with those closest to us, so we tend to value and hold dear the ideas of our families and peers. This is part of being human, and growing up, but does not come without a large responsibility. After all, we must each eventually answer for our own beliefs, regardless of what our peers choose to endorse.

In the wake of such inhumane behavior, it’s easy for me to want to lash out at people who are pro-abortion. After all, they certainly react harshly to us. Protesters at the 2017 Women’s march, for example, shouted, “My body, my choice!” as they raced down the streets of Washington D.C., giving the middle finger to pro-life advocates and ripping up pro-life signs. In 2013, LifeSite News reported that people lobbying for universal abortion rights vandalized the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, after spray-painting and sexually assaulting a group of Catholic men praying at a cathedral.

Following these women’s example and blindly discharging our turmoil may not be the most constructive way to tackle the problems of humanity. However, I believe we are called to fight for our values, and this may still include the act of protest. Jesus Himself was not afraid to call people out on their wickedness, such as in His anger in response to improper activity in the temple recorded in Matthew 21. While we may be righteously angry, it is our duty to seek out truth with our whole hearts, and to speak it in love. Proverbs 3:3-4 admonishes, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 commands us to “prove all things,” and “hold fast that which is good.”

Yet another verse, Proverbs 22:4 says, “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” Whatever political party or group we align ourselves with, we must always be humble, and unafraid of opposing ideas, ready to accept them so long as they are consistent with a biblical worldview. Discussion and debate provoke critical thinking and provide opportunity for a re-evaluation and strengthening of one’s beliefs. However, we must discuss our issues and ideas with civility, respect, and politeness, rather than profanity, shouting, and name-calling. Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”

Now that the ground rules are set, let’s get talking about abortion.