by James Anderson
Many observers thought the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court would end the public debate over abortion rights. The issue had been legally settled, it was thought. Subsequent history has proven otherwise. The question of abortion remains as controversial as ever. Nothing close to a consensus has emerged. Polls confirm that public opinion is polarized.
Given the current state of the debate and the cultural influence of the pro-abortion lobby, it’s imperative that Christians from all walks of life—not only those involved in politics—express their pro-life convictions in a consistent, confident, and intelligent fashion. This is no time to back down. We must be ready to give cogent responses to the common charges leveled against the pro-life position.
Before we explore those responses, two points need to be established. First, we should recognize that there’s no serious dispute about whether the Bible and Christian tradition reflect a pro-life stance. Scripture teaches that all human beings are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27; 9:6; James 3:9) and that the taking of human life, apart from divinely sanctioned exceptions, is not merely immoral but criminal (Ex. 20:13; Mark 10:19; Rom. 13:9). Furthermore, multiple biblical texts indicate that human life begins at the point of conception (Job 31:15; Pss. 51:5–6; 139:13–16; Jer. 1:5). For these reasons, there has been a consensus among Christians throughout history that abortion is a grave sin. Only in the last half-century, under pressure from a post-Christian culture, has there been any challenge to this consensus.