As Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Missouri Governor Mike Parsons pass pro-life legislation that says you can’t murder children conceived in rape or incest, the pro-choice movement has predictably been responding like this:
On his campaign trail last week, former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke, was asked a bombshell of a question from what appears to be a student. This student carefully summarizes the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by pointing out that the bill would have required babies who are born alive during failed abortions to be given the same level of medical care and attention aimed at saving their life, as any other baby born during a normal delivery.
Student: "Would you support this bill, that does not in any way limit abortion, it simply seeks to keep babies alive that have been born alive?"
Beto O'Rourke: "The way that I would approach your question and this issue generally is to trust women to make their own decisions about their own bodies."
There was a time when the Republican and the Democratic party agreed on many of the same things. It used to be that Republicans and Democrats agreed that there were only two genders, that socialism was inherently evil, that religious people should be allowed to live out their faith and values free from government discrimination, and that a nation should guard its borders. And yes, there was even a time when Republicans and Democrats were both opposed to abortion. In fact, early feminists and suffragettes were anti-abortion! Naturally, the Democratic party has never explained why they changed their beliefs and position from having many anti-abortion Democrats serving in Congress and the Senate prior to 1973 to ostracizing any and all pro-life Democrats.
Over the weekend, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was thrown back into the limelight over a photo that surfaced from a page dedicated to him in his medical school yearbook. The photo shows two men standing side-by-side; one dressed in blackface and the other dressed in a KKK outfit. On Friday, February 1st, Northam confessed he was one of the men in the photo and issued a public apology. However, less than 24 hours later, Northam rescinded his apology by stating that he was not either of the men in the photo and that he has no idea how that photo ended up on his yearbook page.
Naturally, countless Democrats are calling for Northam's resignation as Governor of Virginia. So the party that used to support slavery and racism is calling for the resignation of Northam over a school yearbook photo of him dressed in blackface.
Regarding the use of graphic, disturbing abortion imagery; many pro-life advocates oppose the use of such imagery by arguing that it's too offensive, too graphic, too disturbing, and too triggering for post-abortive women.
As a proponent of the strategic use of such visuals, I would like to offer 9 brief thoughts on why the use of such visuals is not just justified, but required if we are to maximize our effectiveness in changing minds and saving lives.
A favorite verse used by pro-life advocates to exhort the Church to action on behalf of the unborn is Proverbs 31:8:
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."
Christians should see this verse as a command to engage in pro-life advocacy on some level. While Proverbs 31:8 isn't specifically talking only about abortion, there is no getting around the fact that the unborn cannot speak up for themselves. There is no larger group of people so utterly incapable of speaking on their own behalf than the unborn. We have the privilege and obligation to speak up for these little ones. God commands it and there is no ignoring Him. If that were the end of the story, that should be enough for us because the creator of the universe has spoken; but to isolate Proverbs 31:8 is to forget the larger narrative of scripture and how the Gospel functions as our lens to interpret scripture.
One of the most frequent responses I hear from pastors when asked why they don't address the issue of abortion in their congregation is this:
"The pro-life mission is not the mission of the Church. The Church is responsible for the Great Commission."
That may sound like a spiritual answer that shows high concern for keeping the call of making disciples at the top of the Church's priorities; but in reality, this answer shows a deep misunderstanding of the responsibility of the Church.
So what is the correct understanding?
To answer that question, let's go straight to the Great Commission passage in question: