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The abortion pendulum is moving

By Dana Hall McCain
Remember when I told you that the overreach of the left on abortion laws nationwide was going to cause a backlash? That when that pendulum came flying back down it was going to leave a mark?
Consider the abortion bill passed by the Alabama legislature and signed into law this week the first installment on that promise. By passing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, pro-life advocates are setting the stage to provoke a legal fight they hope will culminate with the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.
It’s like the Alabama legislature watched all the giddy, tone-deaf hubris surrounding the New York legislature’s passage of their own bill expanding abortion rights (you remember the cheering pro-choice crowds and buildings awash in celebratory pink lighting), and said enough.
I believe those images, along with a shift in personnel on the nation’s highest court, gave pro-life lawmakers in Alabama the will to drop the hammer. They have the wind at their back and they know it.
I realize there are those who consider themselves pro-life who are uncomfortable with the new law’s notable lack of exceptions in the cases of rape or incest. Like them, I had reasoned for many years that these exceptions should be allowed. I’m a woman. I have a teenaged daughter. I analyze that question through the lens of our own lives. It’s a hard one.
But if the question is ultimately one of personhood, and when a human being is a human being and therefore due dignity and rights under the law, the exceptions must go to preserve the validity of the legal argument. Because the circumstances preceding conception don’t impact the science of when a human becomes a human. And if it’s wrong to kill people, no matter how young, then it’s wrong to kill people even when they were fathered by a horrible person who did a horrible thing. We don’t execute children for the crimes of their parents.
And it’s about more than just preserving a legal construct. It’s about consistency and integrity with regard to how Christians apply the fundamentals of our faith to complex questions.
In the Christian faith we teach that God is the giver of life, and that human beings are created in his very image. That life is sacred. Those fundamentals don’t suddenly become untrue about a child conceived in horrible circumstances. They don’t become untrue when the mother has been abuse and traumatized.
We live in a fallen world where evil and brokenness are forever in our midst. We search daily for ways to mitigate that pain and to avoid the suffering that tries to push into our lives. But as a culture and as a nation, we must draw some lines somewhere lest we “comfort” ourselves into a place where no life is valued unless it is convenient and contributing to the common good in some way. At the end of the day, that devalues us all.
I have compassion for women who find themselves facing unplanned pregnancies in hard circumstances. I look into their faces and hold their hands and hear their stories week after week at the pregnancy resource center where I volunteer. Many of them have endured incredible heartbreak. But when surrounded with support, compassion and resources to help them through, most realize that they do have the courage to give life to their children whether they feel equipped to parent or choose adoption.
They realize we’re not talking about a pregnancy. We’re talking about a person.
We need answers for poverty. We need answers for fatherlessness. We need answers for sexual assault. We need answers for a million social ills. But abortion isn’t the answer to a single one of those problems. And you’ll never convince me that we must keep slaughtering children by the millions until we’ve patched all the other holes in the bottom of the boat. Let’s stop killing the children, and then use all that time and energy we used to spend fighting abortion to fight the reasons that women are compelled to seek them in the first place.
I’m going to expect to see you at that rally, too, church.
Who knows if this Alabama law will make its way to the Supreme Court and cause Roe to be reversed? I’ve heard numerous legal experts in the last 48 hours with a wide range of opinions about the chances of this strategy ultimately working. But I do know this: if one more child draws a first breath and gets to live a life—an imperfect, challenging, messy life—because of it, it wasn’t a waste.

Paid for By Clyde Chambliss Jr. PO Box 680782 Prattville, AL 36068
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