Is Jesus Against Abortion?
Bold statements indeed for someone who calls himself a backslidden Baptist and not practicing the faith. Of course, there’s a lot of things that are immoral that Jesus didn’t specifically speak to. But Scarborough’s accusation of pro-life Christians “perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue,” and calling it “heresy,” ignores basic Christian doctrine and Christian practice throughout history.
Genesis 1:26-27 tells us we’re made in the image of God, endowing each of us with dignity and worth. Exodus 21:22-25 says that life in the womb has intrinsic value and if that unborn life is injured, compensation to the family is required. Jeremiah 1:5 says God acknowledged the prophet before he was even a tiny embryo. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Christians put such a high value on human life because God puts a high value on human life, and they’ve demonstrated this throughout history.
The early church in Rome was known for rescuing infants left on street corners to die of exposure. This set them apart as a distinct people who dedicated themselves to care for the most vulnerable among them. The first orphanages can be traced back to the 4th century where Christians organized to provide for needy infants and children. One of the oldest childcare efforts in the commonwealth was started by the church. It’s called Sunrise Children’s Services and continues to place children in foster homes and finds forever homes for children.
Just as the church has a long history of caring for the vulnerable, it’s had its share of critics like Morning Joe throughout the ages. Romans spread stories about this new sect, called The Way, calling them cannibals who practiced incest. Few had personal contact with Christians, so the slander spread until their care for others overwhelmed the lies.
Part of Christian theology is that all of the Bible is authoritative– the very Word of God spoken to mankind (II Tim. 3:16). It’s also true that Jesus didn’t specifically address every immoral act. If something was acknowledged in the Old Testament, as recognizing unborn life clearly is, then Jesus affirmed it in his words that he came not to abolish the words of the law but to fulfill them (Matt. 5:17-18).
Strong opposition to Christian theology on human life has existed since the beginning of the church and it continues today. A group calling itself Protect Kentucky Access moved into the state to confuse and scare people to vote against an important constitutional amendment that says abortion is not a protected right under the Kentucky Constitution. They will misrepresent and point out tragic situations and circumstances that may sound compelling. But tragedy does not a principle make. In other words, hard cases cannot supplant the truth that the unborn are human lives worthy of being protected by law. Difficult pregnancies and tear-jerking examples of how a pregnancy was conceived cannot and should not undo basic protections for the unborn.
Judge Mitch Perry exemplifies why Kentucky needs to pass Constitutional Amendment #2. Perry, a Circuit Court Judge in Louisville, blocked a duly enacted Kentucky law that protected unborn human life as soon as a heartbeat is detected. He also blocked Kentucky’s Trigger Law which banned abortions except in cases to save the life of the mother. The bill had bipartisan support in the legislature, which is how we’re supposed to get laws to begin with.
If the constitutional amendment fails at the ballot box, we can expect more Mitch Perrys, imposing their policy preferences into our laws and striking down any of the 13 pro-life laws that have been enacted since 2016. So the question is: will voters decide abortion policy through their elected representatives, or should unaccountable judges decide this issue for us? Whatever the answer, followers of Jesus will play a pivotal role in the outcome of the November 8 vote.