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01/22/2003 Entry: "Abortion"

Speaking of subjects that generate more heat than light, I feel like I'm sticking my head above the parapet. Let's see if I can keep it...

Abortion is a deeply sensitive issue, arousing great passions. Many Christians present it as a simple matter, often using the word "murder". There can be no discussion - only the trading of slogans like these. Clever but, in my view, not very helpful.

My pastoral experience is that this is very rarely a simple issue for anyone involved in it. Doctors, nurses, family, partners but most especially the women who face abortion, almost always find it to be a pit of grief. The best that can be said is that it is thought to be the lesser of 2 evils. The image of doctors performing terminations with glee, of women casting aside their unborn without a thought is, in my limited experience (and it's all I have to go on) a gross caricature.

My plea, horrid liberal though it makes me seem, would be that all Christian conversation about abortion be conducted with compassion towards those who have been through it. Speaking the truth in love should not include rubbing people's faces in the dirt. We should not underestimate the feelings of wretchedness that some women feel even years after an abortion: chants and slogans will not help any to find the forgiveness that Jesus holds out to all sinners. Of course, moral challenge is a part of the preaching of the church - but even that challenge is offered to build people up, not grind them down.

looking back...looking forward has also shared a thought on this.Update: Darren in the Living Room also weighs in.



You made some good points -- that and more in my response at:

Posted by Dean Peters @ 01/23/2003 09:21 AM CST

I've taken it from a different angle and added my 2 cents' worth.

Posted by irene @ 01/23/2003 06:58 AM CST

There is a profoundly poignent comment about the posters at Mark Sheas blog, Catholic and Enjoying it from a woman who has had an abortion.Her voice is so powerful.

Posted by Bene Diction @ 01/23/2003 02:36 AM CST

I have to be careful in my criticism of blogs4God.It was 'clever', but what about women that have been through one.Would they think it clever. Sand in the Gears has a better perspective in his January 17th post. Is it necessary to cheapen pain twice?

Posted by Bene Diction @ 01/23/2003 02:17 AM CST


I feel the same way about this issue. Who knows what women who have had an abortion think or feel when they come across these posters... but somehow I don't think they would experience grace.


Posted by Rachel C @ 01/23/2003 12:26 AM CST

I did too - actually a number of them. Thanks for yours - I'm in agreement.


Posted by Darren Rowse @ 01/23/2003 12:22 AM CST

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