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OPINION

Consistent Christians Oppose Abortion

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Manuel Balce Ceneta

With the anniversary of the fall of Roe v. Wade on the horizon, many are writing to justify their worldview on an abortion. We live in a country in which there are many opinions on abortion, but sometimes, not enough facts. I am a Christian, a Nazarene Minister, the Director of Strategic Initiatives with Students for Life of America, a wife, and a mother of two. I unapologetically oppose abortion and not just because the “Bible tells me so” (although it does). But articles such as Rebecca Todd Peters' recent Newsweek op-ed on Christians and abortion, raise some grave errors illustrating the need for an important discussion among all ministers and the church at large that deserves attention as we work to support women in the new Post-Roe landscape.  

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Many who claim a biblical perspective on abortion, arguing that God's eye is NOT on the preborn, focus strongly on political narratives and personal opinions without any citations to the source material. For example, in Peters’ argument on faith and abortion she did not include a single biblical reference or scripture passage. In fact, she claims, “There is no mention of abortion in the Bible, at all.”   And she's not the only one to make such an inaccurate claim.

But that's news to ministers like me.

Despite tired attempts over the years from political pundits or pro-abortion pastors to twist scripture, God’s word is exceptionally clear on who the preborn are and how their innocent lives should be treated.  

The Bible tells us that from our beginning we are human beings created in His image and each generation carries that down to the next (Genesis 1:27, 5:3).  

The Bible tells us that in the womb we are fully alive as shown in the young John the Baptist's reaction to his preborn cousin Jesus (Luke 1:41) or in the spirited sibling rivalry present between Jacob and Esau during Rebecca’s pregnancy (Genesis 25:22-26). 

The Bible tells us that we are unique, and God sets in motion His individual calling for us even before we are born (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 29:11-13). 

The Bible tells us that we are whole, that even while our bodies are continually developing, we are fully who He designed us to be, and we are wonderfully created by Him (Psalm 139:13-16). 

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Our Christian faith instructs that God alone has the authority to give life or take it away. (Ex 20:13) (Deut 5:17) (Job 1:21) (1 Sam 2:6) (Mat 5:20-22) (Rom 13:9). There is no biblical justification for taking innocent life, and there is no reason that command would not also pertain to children in the womb. Selectively applying the Lord’s love and protection based on qualifiers like age, dependency, location, or whether someone’s existence is convenient to his or her biological parents is outright discrimination and the antithesis of Christ’s teaching.  

But the Newsweek commentator got one thing right: our anti-abortion movement is not only made up of those with Christian beliefs. Why? This is a human rights issue based on sound science that life begins at conception and the philosophy that all human beings are equal. Anything less is a personhood abuse. 

An active faith requires more than a label, demanding consistency in beliefs, consistency in practice, and consistency in whether or not you live according to the faith you profess. Just because someone generally identifies as “Christian” within a survey — or on a Minister’s license for that matter — does not mean that self-identifier reflects their actual beliefs. 

But many of those who aspire to be among the faithful do care about the preborn. Consider a study conducted by Gallup in 2022 around the same question which showed that the more a person consistently practiced their Christian faith, the more likely they would oppose abortion. It read: “56% of Protestants and 54% of Catholics say abortion is morally wrong, somewhat above the overall sample average of 48%...Some 41% of Protestants and 43% of Catholics who attend church weekly say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, while that number drops significantly among those who report attending less often.” 

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Our commitment to the preborn includes a compassionate commitment for their mothers too. As a pastor, I have witnessed the devastating grief of abortion that silently weighs on so many in our churches. Our community needs help too.

My team and I have worked tirelessly these past few months creating a campaign that includes equipping churches with the tools they need to support women in unexpected pregnancy situations, without judgement, because we know the statistics

- Two-thirds of women who have had abortions (65 percent) say church members judge single women who are pregnant. 

- Fewer than half (41 percent) believe churches are prepared to help with decisions about unexpected pregnancies. 

We must be equipped with how to respond to the crisis of abortion in our country, within the walls of our own churches while ministering to those harmed by abortion. When church leaders make reckless assertions downplaying God's love for the least of these, we all lose.

Michele Hendrickson is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Students for Life of America, with groups on more than 1,400 campuses in all 50 states. 

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