I originally posted this as a comment on someone else's blog, in response to their question of how a Christian who supposedly believes that human life is sacred could possibly support abortion. After some urging from my brother, I've decided it's worth posting here as well. I'm going to tell you why, as a Christian, I am pro-choice.
First, I'm going to say off the bat that I am against abortion. I think abortion is a very big deal, is terrible, and that every time an abortion happens, a human life is ended before it can begin. However, I also believe that life should be brought into the world freely, not under duress. That is, I believe in free will.
When I look at the two alternatives, both of them terrible, I find the second worse than the first. While abortion is awful, looking into the eyes of a woman with an unwanted pregnancy and telling her, “You have no choice. We are going to make you carry this baby to term, whether you like it or not. We’re going to force you to have it, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop us,” is in my mind incomparably worse. Such is my horror at this utter negation of her personhood, this reduction of herself into little more than a glorified baby-factory, that I would rather abortion be legal and safe than put any woman through this kind of … rape. My horror of it is such that I must guard against the danger of thinking the pro-life position to be monstrous, understanding that it is held by those with no less moral conviction.
Perhaps there are holes in that argument. Perhaps it is overly emotional. But you must understand that my position is no less rooted in a strong sense of right and wrong than yours, and no less the product of intense emotion.
Yes, having a baby is the natural consequence of procreation. But we live in a time in which our science, outstripping our wisdom, perhaps, has given us not only the ability, but also the responsibility to decide when or when not to allow things to follow according to their natural consequences. In the literal sense of the word, it is an awful power, but it is ours, for better or for worse. Yes, we are responsible for our actions. Yes, it is arguably ‘against nature’ (if you hold to a concept of Natural Law) to abort a baby. None of that undoes the horror of the alternative. Abortion grieves me, and I wish that it never happened, but the alternative horrifies me more than I can possibly express.
God will judge, and judge justly, whether we were right or wrong. In the meantime, we must do as our consciences demand, and pray that when it comes our time to die, the mercy we have in Christ extends even to decisions like these.