The ideology embraced by abolitionists of human abortion is widely misrepresented by those who, either intentionally or unintentionally, misunderstand and oppose it.
Below are common anti-abolition objections that we have run across, along with some genuine questions that deserve genuine answers. These questions and answers serve to illustrate the difference between the thinking of abolitionists and that of many who are involved in the Pro-Life movement.
We entreat you to read the answers below with a desire to know the truth, and to advance the discussion.
This FAQ will be periodically updated, so be sure to check back later.
This objection is often a de facto excuse for not preaching the Gospel, not engaging the culture, not calling people to repentance of sin and holiness. Where abolitionists insist that we must follow the example of Jesus, such as in Matthew 4:17 and 28:19-20 as well as Mark 1:15-16 and 16:15, preaching the Gospel to every person and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded, the pro-life position prefers to take the tack of modern user-friendly churches, hoping that watering down the biblical discussion of righteousness and self-control (Acts 24:25) will be more likely to attract people who are living in unrepentant sin to come talk to the pro-lifer and thus afford a chance to save the baby in danger of being aborted.
While we can appreciate the desire to save the baby, this is not only subsuming what must be the primary goal – glorifying Jesus Christ and being faithful to serve Him – to a lesser goal (saving a baby for now), but also it substitutes the power of God, which is the Gospel of which we must not be ashamed (Romans 1:16-17) for a strategy devised by human wisdom (1 Cor 1:18-31, 2:1-16). In addition, due to human weakness, the human predilection toward laziness and a desire to be accepted and not to offend, how consistently do these objectors actually share the Gospel and call abortive women or women considering abortion to repentance? Is it not true that once these women do end up conversing with the pro-life person, the Gospel gets left to the side anyway, lost in discussions over SLED and whether the baby can feel pain?
It’s not like nobody talks to abolitionists when we obey the commands and follow the example of Jesus Christ and His apostles. We invite you to watch our videos of engaging the culture and sidewalk counseling outside abortion mills – the Lord brings people to talk to us all the time. And since we have not compromised our message, abolitionists actually have something worthwhile to say to these lost people when we are talking. Unfortunately, as discussed elsewhere, the pro-life movement has by necessity compromised their message, as they have teamed up and given leadership and major “airtime” to people who do not love the Gospel and do not preach it, such as Roman Catholics, pagans, and secular humanists. Thus the claim that “we can share the Gospel with them later” rings hollow, as pro-lifers do not share the Gospel with the lost people who are standing beside them in the ranks – how can they then share it with the lost?
Abolitionists are fundamentally followers of Jesus. Thus we intend to glorify and be faithful to Jesus in every way. To claim that it is actually possible to “push people away” evinces a dangerous misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches about humanity.
The Bible teaches that people are enemies of God, not neutral or friendly toward Him.
1 Corinthians 2:14 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Romans 3:10-12 – …as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Luke 18:19 – And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
James 4:4 – Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
Ephesians 2:1-3 – And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?
The clear teaching of God’s Word is that enemies of God, the unrepentant, will receive the wrath of God when they step out of this life.
Hebrews 9:27 – It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.
John 3:36 – He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Given that those who are not following Jesus are children of wrath, at enmity with God, and are headed to Hell, how exactly can they be “pushed farther away” by the actions of any person? This does not justify saying evil things or treating people in an unloving way, of course, but if an abolitionist follows Jesus’ example, the proclamation of the law and Gospel do their work by the power of the Holy Spirit, either hardening people in their sin or drawing people to the Cross of Jesus Christ. Duty is ours; the results belong to God. It does no one any favors to cultivate false conversions.
It is no virtue to “convert” someone into a pro-life voter and leave them in their sin.
Further, when the Holy Spirit soundly converts someone to repentance of their sin and shame over their worldly wisdom, toward redemption in Jesus Christ, being transferred into the kingdom of Jesus, the Holy Spirit goes to work in that person’s life, making them more like Jesus all the time. We fully expect, based on the teaching of God’s Word, that such a person will hate abortion and will be convicted by God to fight it actively while it remains legal and accepted in the culture. Thus when the Holy Spirit (not the individual abolitionist) converts someone to following Jesus, yes, they will hate abortion.
We resent the implication that our votes may be taken for granted in such a way as to assume that our voices and votes somehow rightly belong to the Republican party or the pro-life movement or the “lesser of two evils”. No; our votes belong to us to vote according to our consciences. This objection falls into the all-or-nothing category about which pro-lifers frequently evince confusion vis-à-vis the abolitionist position.
A non-vote is indeed an expression of voice, but it is not for the pro-abort. It is saying “I am going to take my stand on my principles, and neither of the people presented here are worthy of the office.” If you ask: Why wouldn’t you vote for the pro-abort? Answer: Because they think abortion is OK. But the same is true of the “pro-life with exceptions” person as well – both of them support abortion. If the choice were between a pro-abortion person and someone who believes that no abortion is ever justifiable, now we’re getting somewhere – that is actually a position that is moving toward abolitionism.
You see, it’s not the case that anything I do is equivalent to voting for the pro-abortion candidate. This objection functionally creates a smokescreen to mean “vote Republican”. As a recent example, in Chicago, one Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League wrote a justification for voting for a candidate who was pro-abortion because he wasn’t as bad as the other guy. This is an exhortation to vote for the lesser of two evils.
But there is no need to vote for the lesser of two evil men when righteous men are actually on the ballot. The political establishment will not give any support to lesser-known men who do love the law of God until their constituents force them to do so. As long as they know they can count on your votes, they will not change anything and will not remove themselves from power.
Thus, objections like this actually perpetuate the evil of the current American political establishment. To put it simply, to vote for the lesser of two evils, is to VOTE FOR EVIL.
We believe we have answered this objection from numerous different angles. Please see the following links:
2 Corinthians 6:14-15 – Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
Mere humans cannot know whether abortion is good or evil without a revelation from God. Without God telling us how He has created the universe and under what conditions as well as what He expects from us, we have no way to adjudicate between competing voices, moral preferences, and opinions. But if God has indeed spoken, we can know what is right, for God communicates with His creatures to let us know about His nature and character.
Abortion is not evil because it is icky, or distasteful, or even because it ends someone’s natural life. It is evil because it desecrates the image of God in human beings and thus offends God greatly. To refuse to acknowledge and give premium importance to God’s law in moral matters is to usurp His throne as Lawgiver and to attempt to diminish His role and position. God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).
Abortion is sin, and the answer to sin is the Gospel of Jesus. Those who do not love the Gospel are not indwelt by the Spirit of God and thus have no power over sin and can therefore not be of much help in the fight against abortion, for “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:12-13). Those at enmity with God cannot take up His armor without first being born again, escaping the wrath of God, and being set free from their own sin.
Because we believe that the Gospel is the answer to sin, we cannot therefore separate the work of abolition from the Gospel. Just as a Christian church would not put together a street preaching team that included atheists, homosexuals, Catholics, Mormons, etc. to go out and preach the Gospel on the street, we do not join with them to do the work of abolition for the same reason.
See more information:
This objection is possibly true, but it is irrelevant and misses the point. The primary goal of every human being must be to glorify Jesus Christ in all things.
To refuse to do this is idolatry and sin, leaving out the Creator of the universe. Yes, even to pursue a goal that is commendable and laudable in a vacuum – saving babies – is worthless if it is not carried out to glorify Jesus Christ in all things.
Philippians 3:7-11 – But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
How exactly are we supposed to abolish a great evil while sinning and perpetuating rebellion against God? Shall this spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12-14) be won by the hands of man (1 Samuel 2:9-10) or by the very power of God Almighty (Psalm 20:7)?
To object to abolition in this way actually destroys any footing for any moral statement or moral truth, for without God we have no foundation to stand on to call abortion evil. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Abortion is sin, and the answer to sin is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Abolitionists are not looking to “convert” people to pro-lifery. We are looking to save souls because only Jesus can rescue people from sin in this life and the next. Said another way, we are not here to change minds but to change hearts, or rather to be available for God to work thru us to change hearts.
Please excuse our passion about this issue. Imagine, though, that rape were legal in this country, but only in controlled environments like cold, lonely buildings not too far from little girls’ dance academies. Imagine men parking their cars and then having to walk across some public sidewalk to be able to enter into the rapository (as the rape abolitionists call it). Since in our thought experiment, rape is legal and free speech is too, don’t you think you might look with some admiration at, and maybe even join with, those people who protest the legality of rape?
As in most of these questions, it all comes down to whether the unborn child is a human being.
The mainstream media sometimes paints any gathering for prayer, silent picketing, or sidewalk counseling outside an abortuary as a “protest” of “extremists” or “right-wing fanatics” or “pro-life zealots”, thus giving the impression to the viewer that the group is verbally harassing people entering the abortuary. We abolitionists have been lied about many times by members of the mainstream media (here’s one example) (here’s another).
We encourage you to watch our videos and to give us constructive criticism as to how we can do better. Further, we urge you to join us and show us how to do the work better!
Preaching the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ at an abortuary or in the culture necessarily abusive or harsh. Sharing the Gospel for all to hear is actually the most merciful thing possible, for those who do not love Jesus are headed for Hell.
People react badly to the Word of God preached sometimes, sure. Other times the Spirit of God moves through the Gospel and hearts are saved. Duty is ours; the results belong to God.
There is a big difference between a warning and what is shaming.
“Don’t touch that; you’ll burn yourself” is not shaming. Shaming is actually building oneself up by shoving someone else down, especially after the deed has been done.
How is it shaming when we ourselves admit that
We can’t help people if we don’t tell people their greatest need. Those who love Jesus are disciplined by Him so that they may become more like Him, holier and pure (Hebrews 12:5-13, Revelation 3:19). So react rightly to His discipline and repent of your sin.
If someone is determined to go get an abortion, our calling them to repentance in the spirit of Jesus is not going to change anything. If we withhold talk about sin, then we do a disservice to the people that we’re talking to because there won’t be any chance that an unheard message will be there for them to remember later and perhaps be convicted and repent.
Look at how Jesus did it in John 4 – He talked about the woman’s sin and just sort of left it there. He didn’t even “present the Gospel” in that case. And Jesus is our example. How can we be doing wrong when we imitate Jesus?
Was God “shaming” people in Romans 3?
Rather, according to Romans 1-2, everyone knows that God exists, that He is powerful, that He is holy, and that they have violated His law. Yet they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
To talk about something other than the law of God in the case of sin does not do any good for the person who is involved in abortion. It is not loving to set the Savior aside when someone is sinning and stands condemned under the law of God.
Nobody can be satisfied by anything in the soul other than Jesus, our Creator. We want people to know true joy and fulfillment and satisfaction!
Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7). If we leave Jesus out of it, we are left with no other option but worldly wisdom instead of what Paul discussed in 1 Cor 1-3, in which the inspired author contrasts worldly wisdom with godly wisdom. Jesus once said “Get thee behind Me, Satan”, when Peter proposed something operating according to worldly wisdom to Jesus rather than the godly wisdom that leads to the Cross (and the Resurrection).
This is full reliance on Jesus. It is wise to rely fully on Almighty God in whatever He says.
But if the people don’t understand, then please help us know how to communicate better. Come alongside us and help us sharpen our message so that we won’t say things that people don’t understand. We want to be as clear as possible, and we probably need your help. Don’t leave us in the dark, unaided by the gifts and talents God has given you. Join us!
Yet let us not be confused – the Gospel message is indeed simple enough to understand. It is set in stark contrasts – light vs darkness, sin vs holiness, loss and perdition vs redemption, idolatry vs Jesus. Just as Jesus did not “leave Jesus out of it”, neither can we, nor will we.
We abolitionists have noticed that those who appeal to the idea of a “calling” to a specific ministry usually are called to things that are easy and/or interesting to the objector. Rarely do people cite a “calling” to something that is genuinely hard, incurs persecution, demands sacrifice, or requires carrying a cross.
This is not how Christians ought to act or speak.
Rather, as Scripture is sufficient to guide us in all matters it intends to discuss, let us find what the Scripture says about “calling” or the “call” or “being called”. Here is the biblical analysis carried out by one abolitionist. Please consider well that the Scripture knows nothing of any “calling” as it is being used in this objection. If you believe that you have a “special calling” to a specific work, you are operating according to an extrabiblical tradition, and you must weigh that against all that the Scripture has to say about your obligation to “deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,’ does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:10-11). Consider well what you have been commanded to do, and obey your Creator.
While it is true that nobody is perfect, there are most certainly degrees of severity of sin. It is impossible to read, for example, the writings of the Old Testament prophets with any fairness and conclude that God thinks all sins are the same. Neither did Jesus think so:
John 19:11 – Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
Matthew 23:23 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
Stealing money from a store or something like that is not nearly the scope of abortion. 3000 people are dying from abortion every day. 60 million so far. Other difficulties that can be named are not particularly analogous to the abortion Holocaust. To illustrate, let me remind you that it is also bad to believe false things about the Bible. Now, take a church in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich, who is quite alarmed by the powerful rise in crazed anti-Jewish sentiment, turning Jews into third-class citizens, dehumanising them. Should that church intervene in the incipient Holocaust against these people? Or, should they concentrate all their time and resources on making sure that everyone in Berlin knows that the only correct Bible version is the Kaiser Johann Version?
To be sure, it is not right to think that the Kaiser Johann is the only correct Bible version. It is bad to think that. Would Jesus commend us for spending our time and resources that way when a much more significant threat to justice and goodness was all around us? What did Jesus think about the priest and the Levite who neglected the dying man on the side of the road in order to proceed toward doing good, spiritual things at the Temple in Jerusalem?
We have made our case that abortion is the evil of our age and we encourage you to watch it carefully. Jesus said, “the poor you will always have with you.” Many of the poor are poor because of bad choices in the past, for which they are responsible. Ditto with inmates. In modern society, when you help the poor, people applaud and commend you, flocking to throw money at the service a lot of the time. There are non-Christian ministries to the poor as well, governmental services, etc. I can’t move to Africa and drill a well. We can discuss the reasons why. Let’s say this for starters, though – I have no mandate to go abroad to share the Gospel when the lost are all around me in my own country. We can go through all the reasons why counterexamples don’t stack up. Do any of them rise to the level of 60 million dead babies, who were brought to the slaughter by their own parents?
Of course they don’t. Consider the commands of the Scripture such as Proverbs 24:10-12 –
If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.
Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back.
If you say, “See, we did not know this,” does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?
The victims of abortion can’t defend themselves, can’t escape, can’t come back from it. Rather, the standing command to those who follow the Lord is stated in Proverbs 31:8-9 –
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
Abolition and these other ministries are not mutually exclusive. Usually the objector phrases it this way for rhetorical effect. We don’t actually think that everyone should be out at the abortion mill. Also, we don’t think that anyone is obligated to be out there all the time. Why we don’t say you ought to feed the poor? Yes, feed the poor. Do both! Turn off your TV! Leave behind incessant book studies, bridge groups, church softball league, and fantasy football addictions! Not that these things are necessarily wrong, but can you really not give up anything for the sake of your dying neighbor? Be an abolitionist while you’re living your life. Take a hard look at your priorities. Take up your cross, live for others and not yourself, jettison that which will be burned up on the last day (1 Cor 3:10-15).
Of course we are all sinners – redeemed sinners. Sin breaks the heart of God and we don’t want people to sin. Of course there are other sins – let us deal with those as well in God’s strength. But that’s no excuse to prioritise wrongly and pardon or ignore bloodshed. Examine yourself – are you making an excuse not to do the work of abolition?
We do not hate Roman Catholics. We love Roman Catholics.
Abolitionists seek to obey the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. The Lord Jesus has given His message to humanity in the Scripture. His message affirms certain ideas and disaffirms those which contradict the ideas He affirms. As an example, when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” He simultaneously disaffirmed the proposition that it is acceptable not to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Some ideas are false, and ideas are false when they disagree with what God says.
There are false religions out there, and people adhere to false religion because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
And we should not think that such people and ideas will always be obvious. Often they will take the form and name of true religion.
“But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage” (Galatians 2:4).
“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:1-3).
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Thus we must ask: How can we distinguish between true and false religion? The answer is: Does the message agree with the teaching of the Word of God?
Sadly, there is no other possible conclusion than that the Church of Rome does not teach what the Bible teaches in many crucial ways.
Those who knowingly adhere to Roman doctrine are actively disaffirming what Jesus said, and disobeying Jesus is a bad thing and leads to bad outcomes for the disobedient individuals. This is why, when we share the truth with Roman Catholic individuals, we are doing a loving and good thing for them, for if they should repent, they would be saved from the wrath of God because of their sin, which is not atoned for.
It is fair to say that abolitionists hate Roman CatholicISM, the system that leads individuals whom we love into deception and Hell. If we did not love Roman Catholic individuals, we would not hate Roman CatholicISM. If we hated Roman Catholics, if we wanted what is bad for them, we would withhold the Gospel of Jesus Christ from them so that they could not be saved from God’s wrath. We love Roman Catholics too much to remain silent and let them remain in their deception.
While we can appreciate the sentiment and desire greatly to see the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed everywhere, this objection is often advanced in a hypocritical way.
You see, nobody actually thinks it is true that Christians ought “only” to preach the Gospel. It’s merely a convenient smokescreen to avoid feeling guilty and repenting and changing.
Nobody gives this same objection when it comes time to sign people up for the Crisis Pregnancy Center baby bottle coin drive or for the church softball league or when trying to find a lead guitarist for the contemporary band. Nobody pushes back against the next potluck meal or feeding the homeless for that reason. When the pastor lectures on the finer points of eschatology, nobody calls for him to stop discussing the book of Revelation so that he can repeat the Gospel over and over.
Further, what is often meant by “we should just preach the Gospel” is more like this: “We should confine our Jesus talk to a particular building on Sunday mornings, where a professional handles it,” and when the abolitionist hears the objection, it is often either while she is right in the middle of proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sin in the public arena (like Jesus and the apostles did) or when she is trying to spur others toward the same love and good deeds, confrontation of the culture of death, and pushback against the fear of man. And the objection is given so as to prolong, propagate, justify, and excuse the kind of apathy on the part of churchgoers that has allowed the culture to degenerate to the point where a million sacrificed babies per year is an afterthought.
This objection also implies a minimalist idea of the Gospel, whereas it is far from clear that the Gospel is a short message directed only at how to repent of sin and have eternal life and forgiveness. It is not less than that, certainly, but it is also more. Please see here for more on that.
Finally, in saying “let’s just preach the Gospel”, the objector is in fact engaging in an activity that is not in itself preaching the Gospel, thus refuting themselves.