Friday, May 21, 2010

Evangelicals exploring new ways to reduce abortions

A USA Today article describes a slight change in the National Association of Evangelicals' stance on abortion: "They've announced a willingness to partner with groups that offer contraceptive services and other programs aimed at reducing the number of abortions."

The article states that "More conservative evangelicals want a ban on legalized abortion and see talk about reducing demand as a dodge."

There are three reasons why I disagree with this conservative view:
  1. It's politically unrealistic. I find it absurd that so many pro-lifers can't find it in themselves to think strategically on this issue. No, not every compromise on this issue is worth it, but some compromises will obviously be necessary. Despite the recent polls showing American opinion becoming more pro-life, we are very far from having enough political capital to significantly change abortion law in this country. We need to make political investments. Part of that is simply working with others, who may not share our principles.

  2. It's uncharitable. Conservative Christians ought to remember that the Christian life is fundamentally about loving God and loving our neighbor. We forget that this often means seeing the good that others do, even when we disagree with them strongly on important issues. In fact, often other groups do better than us Christians on certain moral issues, even if they are dead wrong on others. For instance, I find it shameful that the most outspoken folks on college campuses against sexual assault are almost always led by pro-abortion feminists. Shouldn't Christians be the leaders in speaking out against such horrible things? If we approach the matter with a little more humility, we will see that working with other groups is not only strategic, but it is also good and loving.

  3. Saving lives is the whole point. Working with others to prevent abortions is not a cop out. It's the whole point. We are not fighting for some abstract moral principle; we are fighting for human lives, innocent human lives which are brutally destroyed every day. Working with pro-choice groups for the sake of reducing abortions is not the most dangerous compromise we can make. The most dangerous compromise we can make is to allow more innocent human lives to die for the sake of a "pure" stance. How many more babies have to die before we start doing whatever it takes to end this?

The NAE is taking a step in the right direction, in my opinion. Of course there is no guaranteeing that pro-choice groups will be willing to work with evangelicals, anyway. But taking a willing step forward is the right thing to do.

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