By: James Edwin Gibson
I abhor abortion. I would love for the United States Supreme Court to rule Roe vs. Wade unconstitutional.
I would love it even more if the United States Congress would pass a law outlawing almost all abortions, the President would sign it into law, and the Supreme Court would uphold it.
Abortion Is a Symptom, Not the Problem
But, abortion is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is that persons who don’t want children engage in casual sex without using contraceptives effectively and consistently.
If persons practiced sexual abstinence before marriage, monogamy after marriage, and married couples desiring no children used contraceptives effectively—perhaps using both birth control pills and condoms—undesired pregnancies would decline dramatically. Few would want abortions.
Even persons who are pro-choice would prefer to avoid the pain, expense, and health risks of an abortion. But, they frequently lack the self-control to avoid casual sex, often lack the discipline to use contraceptives properly. Furthermore, they are often unwilling to carry the unwanted child to term, then give it up for adoption.
With the passage of strict abortion laws in various states recently, most notably Alabama,1 the United States Supreme Court will almost certainly eventually be making some decisions (and/or deciding to allow lower court decisions to stand) that will impact abortion.
While we pro-life persons wait for the possibility of overturning Roe vs. Wade, we need to take actions to help with the necessary things that will need to occur if it is overturned. We need to do a better job of educating persons about the importance of abstinence before marriage, monogamy afterward, and proper use of contraceptives. You can read more about abstinence and contraceptives in another article I wrote.2
Hypothetical and Actual Situations
Even if abortion is made illegal, when undesired pregnancies occur, there will be negative consequences. If a 15-year-old high school couple or a 20-year-old college couple face an unplanned pregnancy, it may negatively affect their future plans. And, what about the rare (I hope) case of a 10-year-old victim of rape? These are hypothetical situations, but there are true cases like them.
In such situations, a supportive family, helpful religious leaders, community support, better adoption procedures, government programs, etc., can help. But, in the case of that 10-year-old who is raped, she may carry the memory of that rape all her life. Carrying a baby to term is risky at that age,3 though some children have successfully done so. Indeed, there is apparently one case of a child five-years-old successfully giving birth in Peru.4 But, the joy of feeling a baby moving around inside one ought to come after marriage, not as a rape victim during one’s childhood, a victim whose baby may serve as a reminder of a horrible rape experience.
Personally, even in cases of child rape victims, I’d prefer the innocent baby be born instead of being murdered while in the womb. But, I certainly wouldn’t penalize a child for desiring an abortion in such a case, and I’d have a hard time penalizing her parents if they desired her to have one (and would hope a parent wasn’t involved in the rape). I would even have a hard time severely punishing a medical doctor who performed an abortion in such a case.
Personally, though, I think most abortions occur not as a result of rape, but as a result of consensual, casual sex—sex engaged in without using multiple methods of effective contraceptives consistently and properly.
I’ll state in closing, yes, we need to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Even better, we need to pass a law making most abortions illegal nationally, instead of returning the issue to the states, as overturning Roe vs. Wade would do.
But, we also need to greatly reduce (if not eliminate) rape, incest, and casual sex. Providing better education, better supervision of young people, and better prosecution of adults who prey on children are some things we can do.
Greedy, selfish sexual lust that leads to engaging in casual sex without the disciplined self-control to use multiple contraceptive methods consistently and effectively is the problem. Abortion is only a symptom of this underlying problem.
1 “Alabama abortion bill passes: Read the bill”; Al.com, AlabamaMedia Group; May 15, 2019; last updated May 16, 2019, webpage accessed May 18, 2019; https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-passes-read-the-bill.html
2 Gibson, James Edwin; “Want No Children, Practice Abstinence or Use Contraceptives”; Google Blogger; December 13, 2015; webpage last updated May 18, 2019; webpage accessed May 18, 2019; https://oneopinionsomeviews.blogspot.com/2015/12/want-no-children-practice-abstinence-or.html
3 Pappas, Stephanie; “Doctors Appalled by 10-Year-Old Giving Birth”; LiveScience; April 9, 2012; webpage accessed May 18, 2019; https://www.livescience.com/19584-10-year-birth.html
4 “Six decades later, world’s youngest mother awaits aid”; TelegraphIndia.com (posting of Reuters article of August 26, 2002); August 27, 2002; webpage accessed May 18, 2019; https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/six-decades-later-world-s-youngest-mother-awaits-aid/cid/1560903 (You can also access numerous other articles online about this case.)
This piece is being submitted to Craft News Report on May 18, 2019. It is adapted and updated from various other articles the author has written on the subject over the years, as well as from a chapter in his book True Christianity: It May Not Be What You Think.
Copyright © 2019 James Edwin Gibson. James is the author of the books True Christianity: It May Not Be What You Think (2014, second edition 2015, third edition 2017) and Several True (I Think) Stories: Can Truth Be Stranger Than Fiction? (2016, second edition 2017). You may contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding this column. James thanks his friend Paul for publishing it on his website, thanks you all for reading, and hopes you all enjoy God’s blessings!