Abortion is many things: personal, emotional, spiritual, moral, financial, and political. I often wonder which aspect typically carries the most weight. It likely depends on who you ask – this is part of what makes the topic so complicated.
Abortion did not begin to be a difficult issue with Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. How long before 1973 have women been getting pregnant unexpectedly and had to stare at a storm of issues: social stigma, health complications (for mother or baby), financial viability, and emotional security?
Since women have been getting pregnant, abortion has been an issue and a sober reality. Let that sink in for a moment: since women have been getting pregnant. Before Roe, during Roe, and after Roe – abortion has been and will be a reality.
Let me be clear: you cannot legislate morality or human decency! It’s amazing how our country will co-opt Christian values for political posturing. If we are going to legislate sin then abortion is one of a long list that our Supreme Court needs to address. As a preacher, it’s obvious to me that our beloved nation needs a real cure for a wicked heart. Why has the United States of America delved into the abyss of denigrating women, demonizing neighbors over a mask, and dividing a nation based on class and color? In the name of Jesus, what has happened to us?
This issue is real to me. My mom, Florence Ola Jackson Edwards, had 3 children by 1960. My mom and dad (Don Clemons Edwards, Sr.) “made a choice” to give birth to me in 1970. It’s an inconvenient truth. By the time I’m born my sister Cynthia is 14, my older brother Don, Jr. is 13, and my sister Dedra is 10. That’s a well-established family by 1970. Now to add more faith to the story, my baby brother DeJuan was born in 1976. My family, built on faith, made a choice rooted in faith. Life is a choice.
If we dare to be honest about it, the truth is that nearly everyone is, ultimately, “pro-choice.” You might have to delve into the extremes to find it, but it is a rare individual who truly allows no exceptions to the rule. Rape, incest, the life of the mother – some of the scenarios are too graphic, too heart-breaking to print, but the very worst situations you can even imagine are not just hypothetical. They have always been a reality of the human experience. Almost no one allows for zero exceptions – and if there is ever an exception, you are, by this crude, unfortunately over-simplified definition, “pro-choice.”
The truth is not one single person I know is pro-abortion. Not a single one. But as long as so many people can be persuaded to believe the battle is simply between the morally pure on one side and those who just revel in dismembering innocents on the other, it will be a losing issue that will always demand votes and leaked draft rulings. God help us!
Darron L. Edwards, Sr. is lead pastor of United Believers Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri.