We fully realize that our views are not going to be popular with the world, and we embrace the fact that they will be rejected and scorned by those who do not adopt a Christ-centered view of reality. We know that pro-lifers will find our proclamation of “the gospel as the only answer to abortion” quite polarizing and generally deleterious to their big-tent approach. We are more than aware that our blatant Evangelicalism will be frowned upon by the wider Roman Catholic-controlled Pro-Life Movement. But we believe the gospel is the answer to abortion and that many of the leaders and workers in the Pro-Life Movement have themselves either rejected the gospel as the power of God for salvation and new birth, or do not possess it themselves.
We desire to shine as lights in this present darkness and make ourselves seen and heard in this culture of child-killing-tolerance and abortion-as-birth-control complacency. We are against the world, for the world; and though we live in the world, we do not orient our lives around its principles. We are not concerned with fitting in and remaining friends with those who think pre-born children are expendable. We are not afraid of being labeled fanatics and fundamentalists by those who politically oppose the “right to abortion” but are far more interested in football.
We refuse to calmly and quietly agree to disagree on this issue. Most people, even good “pro-life” people, are far too sensitive and socially insecure to speak their mind about such a controversial “issue” except when they are safe within the confines of their church, family, or circle of pro-life friends. People who are more concerned with personal peace and affluence need not call themselves abolitionists. Indeed, those who will not discuss abortion in the public square are not just failing to be abolitionists, they are failing to be Christians who “shine as lights in the midst of this crooked and twisted generation” (Philippians 2:15)
Our intention is actually to create conflict. We seek to divide the world between those who are keeping abortion from being abolished (pro-choicers, personally-prolife-pro-lifers, abortion advocates, and abortionists) and those who are seeking its immediate and unconditional abolition (abolitionists).
In this we follow our Lord Jesus: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34, ESV).
As abolitionists, we make no compromises, nor do we adopt a moderate or incrementalist position when it comes to the abolition of human abortion. We believe abortion is the most vicious act of dehumanization and oppression ever practiced in human history, and we advocate for its immediate and total abolition. We do not believe that the planned-and-paid-for-murder of an unborn human being is ever morally justified. Abortion is never the right choice, never the only option, and never the best solution to any situation.
Most people disagree with this position.
First among them are the out-and-out “pro-choicers” who think that abortion-on-demand and the 53 million unborn babies killed by its legalization are great triumphs for women’s rights. We believe these people are themselves victims in the long war against abortion. They are the ones who show up to pro-life rallies and demonstrations and wave bloody coat-hangers in the air as they chant things like, “My body, my choice,” “Ain’t no party like a pro-choice party,” and “Keep your theology out of my uterus/rosaries off my ovaries.”
Such pro-choicers believe that the right to an abortion is necessary for female liberation and the progress of women’s rights. For these people, abortion is a moral good, and restrictions on abortion a moral evil, Any mention of, say, “the rape exception” in the abortion debate is merely a smokescreen, for they actually believe that having an abortion is justified in any case, not just in the case of rape. They advocate the use of abortion as a last-ditch method of birth control, something that might be necessary to retain a coveted internship or conceal the evidence of an adulterous affair or meaningless one-night stand. These are the people who have been most dehumanized by the continued practice of abortion. We expect them to disagree with us and we understand why.
There is another group of people who disagree with our uncompromising position on abortion. This group is actually much larger than the more visible pro-choice group, and it is composed of people who largely identify themselves as “pro-lifers.”
In fact, a majority of the people in this country do not believe abortion is a women’s rights coup and do not believe that abortion-on-demand ought to be legal. They believe that abortion ought to be “regulated”, “restricted”, or “banned in most cases.” This is the mass of good and respectable citizens who claim to believe that abortion is wrong a human rights violation, but who nonetheless argue that it is permissible in the case of rape/incest or as a measure to mercifully end the life of a severely handicapped, developing, unborn human being.
Such a position is in no way consistently pro-life, but is rather far more clearly a “pro-choice” position, professing that a rape victim should have the choice to punish her unborn child along with, or in the place of, the child’s father, and that parents who do not want to raise a child with medical or emotional needs beyond what they hoped should have the choice to pay an abortionist to just take care of their burden, never stopping to consider that there are families all over the world who desire to adopt children with special needs, that love is our highest calling.
No, those who hold this position are not pro-life. They are effectively advocates of the medical extermination of the weak, needy, and fatherless. We are unashamed to contend that such a position is actually more akin to eugenics than what is traditionally considered pro-life. If you adopt this position, please consider whether or not you are truly and consistently pro-life. Consider thoughtfully whether such a position might best be described as that of an “Abortion-Compromiser.”
However you refer to yourself, you are certainly not an abolitionist. As abolitionists, we categorically reject all instances of the practice of human abortion and seek to effect its immediate and total abolition.
Christ called us to care for the weakest members of our society, not abandon them to destruction. Children conceived in rape and incest deserve our protection and adoption. Children diagnosed with serious developmental abnormalities deserve our compassion and assistance. We are to care for the fatherless and the infirm, not abandon them to violence at the hands of well-paid strangers.
We believe that allowing abortion in some cases along the way to its abolition in all cases is neither strategically sound nor consistently Christian. You cannot abolish abortion by allowing it to continue or pretend that it is justified in some cases. You cannot abolish abortion by compromising with the culture of death that undergirds its approval. Any strategy for ending abortion in this country which allows for the continued occurrence of some abortions for the sake of outlawing the rest, though seemingly pragmatic and deceptively promising to be effectual, is just that: compromise. Like the abolitionists of old who stood their ground and bellowed, “No compromise with slavery!” we declare: “NO COMPROMISE WITH ABORTION.”
Nearly 3,500 humans are murdered every day in this country. In large part, American Churches officially oppose this holocaust, yet they do little to nothing to actively oppose it and to expose it to the world. Many sermons have been preached on the horrors of abortion, yet most of these sermons fail to call the congregation to action. Some Churches take part in assistance ministries that are both good and valuable if done Christianly. However, as Christians walking in the Light, we are not called to only call evil evil, but to expose evil. This can be done in numerous way. Being a voice for the voiceless is vital. Having conversations with friends, family, and coworkers is a great way to expose and oppose evil. Making convincing arguments and sharing memes on social media, wearing gear as a testament and conversation starter, and dropping cards and other literature are all ways a regular follower of Christ can expose and fight the injustice of abortion. Another way Abolitionists expose the evil of abortion is through using graphic images of aborted babies. This is done on a case by case basis, is never done flippantly, and we are always open to frank and honest discussions about the use of these images. We employ the images of what we oppose because oftentimes to end injustice, the culture must first grasp the reality of that injustice. We use this tactic in the tradition of past abolitionists, historic wartime media, and the modern media. We employ abortion images in order to biblically expose abortion as what it is; brutal, horrifying, sin. We do not deny that this is a hard issue. There is a sobering gravity to this tactic that must not be taken lightly. These pictures are of real babies. These Image Bearers of God have been brutally murdered, and showing the world the aftermath of that murder is a serious issue.
Like many past atrocities and injustices, abortion is done behind closed doors. Abortionists and the pro-abort lobby do not want the world to see their work. They build walled fortresses to hide away from the voices of God’s servants, and do everything in their power to shield their clients from the actual aftermath of their “services”. Websites and blogs have dedicated themselves to deceiving the public by showing clean and non disturbing aftermaths of abortion. Many pro-aborts simply do not understand what they are advocating. Many who are personally pro-life also do not actively oppose abortion. They are not moved to action by biological and philosophical arguments. They simply hold ideas, but they have not felt the weight of the reality. This emotional deadness to injustice has happened again and again in history. The answer to this emotional deadness and apathy has often been to visually show the injustice. For the pro-lifer, this forces a conflict between what they hold to be true, and their lack of any action. How can you see what is likely happening in your own community and not stand against it? That apathy doesn’t compute, and seeing the fruit of a wicked and apathetic culture can ignite a love for mercy and justice in a believers heart. For the pro-abort, graphic images typically illicit anger, irrational sorrow, or denial. All three of these common reactions shine a light on the evil of abortion. Why are they angry at if it’s just a clump of cells, why are they grieved by what they so adamantly support, and why must they deny the reality of what they are seeing?
The use of graphic images and depictions of injustice has been a successful tactic for many historic atrocities. The abolitionists of human slavery employed images of lynchings, humans packed into ships, whippings and beatings, and most famously, an image of a slave in shackles. Not only did the pro-slavery south fight the distribution of these sort of images, but the anti-slavery Norths did all they could to suppress the reality of slavery as well.
The images were disturbing to them, and the graphic nature of those Abolitionist pamphlets encouraged Northern Churches to repent of their apathy and to discipline those complicit in the slave trade among their own congregations. Instead of exposing evil, most Northern Churches preached a yearly anti-slavery sermon. If they did not have to see the horrors of slavery, they could comfortably remain complacent.
In much the same vein, the German Church during WWII was largely silent against the injustices happening to the Jews and others deemed undesirable. The locals knew it was happening. They saw the Jews carted in like cattle. They could see the smoke and smell the burning flesh from their Church buildings. They didn’t see the awful condition of the Jews, though. They did not witness the murders and atrocities. Those happened behind walls. It wasn’t until Allied soldiers made them walk through the camps that they shuddered inside at the true barbarism of the Nazis.
Anti-war journalists know that showing the gruesome realities of war strengthens their cause. Pictures of burned villages, murdered children and woman, and soldiers killed in combat, are all graphic, and leads people to think long and hard about the consequences of war. It’s important to note that this is no war. Those we are fighting for all innocent. How much more should we seek to expose the evil done to the innocent? Modern journalists are graphically exposing the world to the horrors of Islamic Terrorism. We are moved towards compassion as we watch a brutal beheading or watch someone being burned alive. Our hearts cry our for justice. And that’s what pictures of abortion do. It wakes us up to the cruel, violent, selfish, evil, barbaric, bloody act that abortion is. And hopefully, those who still have an sliver of a conscience will realize that abortion is morally repugnant. We are not only seeking an emotional and cognitive awaking, but also a spiritual awaking. This evil is soaked and surrounded in spiritual darkness, and we are called to expose that darkness.
As Disciples of Jesus Christ, we are all called to be light in this dark world. This is not only a commandment given to Christ’s followers, but a description of what it means to be in Christ. This isn’t the totality of what it means to be in Christ, but it is an integral part of it. If you follow Jesus, then you have the light of life (John 8:12). Jesus makes it clear that we are to be the light in this world, and that this light cannot be hidden. If we have this light, then it will shine forth. It cannot be hidden. One cannot think that they have Christ, but their light IN Christ is just dim, or hiding (Matthew 5:14-15). What does a light do? A light is not static. A light is not idle. Light does not take part in darkness, and light also exposes darkness (Ephesians 5:11). Although most believers struggle with darkness in their lives, not participating in darkness is a commonly accepted idea. Actively opposing darkness, and exposing that darkness, however, is not nearly as well accepted or taught. Much like the anti-slavery Northern Churches of the seventeenth century, modern pro-life Churches are filled with members who are complicit in the injustice of the day. Many conservative Christians have abortions, pay for abortions, engage in destructive in-vitro fertilization, and use abortifacient birth control methods. By showing the gory truth of abortion, many of these apathetic and complicit Christians may be spiritually awaked of their sins. Sinners must be brought to understand their sin as what it is. Showing abortion as what it truly is illuminates the sinfulness of abortion, serves as a restraint against those that are tempted into that sin, and also serves as a foil in which to share the Gospel and what is pleasing to God (Romans 7:7-25).
Again, this is a difficult issue and should never be taken lightly. There is plenty that could be written and has been written on this subject. A common objection is the possibility of children seeing the graphic image. This is usually a highly emotional argument, however, in the end, can we biblically say that is wrong or harmful for children to see graphic images? It is certainly not preferable. No abolitionist enjoys exposing this evil, especially to children, and such images are disturbing, to be sure, but is it wrong for a person to be disturbed in order to learn the truth? How many daughters of professing Christian parents who have believed the lies of our culture and have had abortions would have made different decisions if their parents had shown them the truth of what abortion really is when they were growing up? There is also much that could be said about the difference between showing graphic images of evil, and showing obscene (inciting lust or depravity) images.
Ultimately we must not be ruled by our emotions and fear of man, but by the fear of God. If the thought of holding a graphic sign makes you anxious or disturbed, be comforted, it’s not supposed to be comfortable and that image is truly disturbing. It is a weighty task, and we must never grow callused to the crime we are exposing. It is a good and natural thing to be disturbed. To this day, tears aren’t far from eyes as I mount a sign, share a picture online, or hold a sign. We should be disturbed by the destruction of the Image of God. The very reason why we all are rightly disturbed by these images is why they must be shown. Abortion is truly an abomination, and an abomination that is hidden away in dark corners. Shine a light.
“For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17