What’s at the Heart of the Abortion Debate?

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On Facebook Skyla Rose Loesch recently wrote a heartfelt dirge for, in her own words, the loss of her “Baby” whom she loved “with all my heart.” How did her baby die? By Loesch’s own request. She ordered her baby’s abortion because “We’re going through a lot and you deserved all the love in the world.” After noting how the baby’s siblings would have loved the child, Loesch writes, “Rest easy baby love. You’ll never be forgotten.” She then gives a date range for the baby’s life: 11/4/18 to 12/11/18 (so just over a month).

As the pro-life and pro-choice debate rages on, we seem to have lost sight of what lies at the heart of this debate. At its heart lies the question of life itself. Does terminating a pregnancy take the life of a person or not? Whatever Loesch believes, she at least sees the termination of a pregnancy as ending the possibility of “Baby Loesch #4,” which is written on a note laying on top of a sonogram image of the baby. She seems to agree that aborting a baby ends that baby’s life because that baby is alive.

Most support the right for a woman to control her body

Many pro-choice proponents argue that women ought to be able to have control over their bodies. Since pregnancy occurs within the body of a woman, that woman should have control over her body. Hence, aborting a fetus is a private affair that has to do with the internal workings of a woman’s body. The alternative seems draconian. Should the government mandate how a woman can use her womb? Does she become an incubator by law?

If the question is whether or not a woman should have control over her body, almost everyone would affirm this. What North American wants Uncle Sam defining what they can or cannot do with their organs. Should the government forbid some people from donating organs to others? Should we not be able to restrict certain functions of our organs if we decide to do so?

On this basis, a pro-choice person could rightly accuse of a pro-life person of indecently attempting to control the body of another person—of depriving someone of the basic right to control one’s body.

And yet this is not the argument of a pro-life proponent.

Pro-life people see babies dying

Like Loesch, pro-life and particularly Christian people see babies dying. They see the first nine months of growth in the womb as the growth of a baby. The moral argument here is not one of conservative and imperious men desiring to control the bodies of women. For Christians, we want to save the lives of babies.

With the advance sonogram images, we can now see babies in wombs. We can now hear their little hearts beat. And we can now affirm that we decided to terminate a baby because “We’re going through a lot.” That baby’s life, that baby living in a mother’s womb, ceased. And it ceased because a mother decided that this baby would suffer more to live than to die.

She held the keys to death and hades and opened the gates, dropping a child deep into the darkness. Loesch’s lament over her baby must have not been long-lived. Mere hours later she celebrated on Facebook that she can now drink on her twenty-first birthday because she is no longer pregnant.

She no longer carried a second soul in her womb, and so she could celebrate. She can drink and forget. But we will not. We see babies dying. We lament not just for a few years. We continue to lament. And we continue to speak the truth just as Loesch and many others do today: ending a pregnancy is killing a baby.

Loesch knows it. She justifies her decision because the abortion prevents “Loesch Baby #4” from living an uncomfortable life: “We’re going through a lot.” Loesch Baby #4 would not receive the love that he or she deserved. So the baby died. And her mother did it. And she knows, and we know it.

Now what?

At least some pro-choice people are beginning to accept that abortion does terminate a life. This finally identifies the heart of the debate. We should start here and stay here. At the heart of it all is this: Christians see babies dying. And now so do many others.

What is a life worth? For us, life goes beyond value. It is sacred. God created us in his image. And despite the fact that a twenty-year-old mom is going through a lot and may not be able to love her baby, that child’s life remains sacred, beyond value, and loved by God. What’s at the heart of the abortion debate? It turns that it is a human heart, one that ceased to beat when its mother terminated its life. 

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