Abortion still a polarizing issue

Let’s talk about abortion — a polarizing, hot button issue that is dividing our nation.

Listening to the extreme left, abortion should be a free privilege that everyone should have, under all conditions. The extreme right pushes the opposite view, that abortion is wrong, criminal, and should never happen under any circumstance.

This issue is purely black and white for those who identify with one of these extremes, but I’d be willing to bet that most of us fall in the middle gray somewhere, depending on where we personally draw our lines.

Is abortion an acceptable solution to an unwanted pregnancy? Of course not! Those in the pro-life camp are not incorrect when describing the horrors of the procedure and the ramifications of the decision.

Are there young women who feel blindsided, backed into a corner, and because of life’s circumstances understand there is no alternative to abortion? Yes, because most of them come from a less privileged class, have no healthcare, and face the very real possibility that their lives will be ruined by an unintended pregnancy and child. The left is not wrong in their concern with protecting the rights and lives of these women.

So, what should we do as a society? If I still have your attention, you are probably someone in the gray, leaning either pro-life or pro-choice and wondering where I fall. If I knew with 100 percent certainty that reversing Roe vs. Wade would end all abortions and everyone would live happily ever after, I would demand the reversal. But we all know this is false. Those women with means will simply travel to where abortions are legal, and those who are poor will be forced to choose dark alley “clinics,” unsanitary conditions, and make the unscrupulous rich — drug pushers come to mind.

No discussion of this topic can avoid the thoughts and prayers of the religious right. They are after all the ones driving the political effort to end abortion; an action that even divide us Christians.

Do you know that God himself is extremely hard on babies? Public statistics show that before the 20th century, he called home more than 20 percent of babies before their first birthday. Is our Lord using the hardship and agony of losing a child as a way to bring us closer to him? Does a young soul (most certainly in heaven with the Lord) rejoice as they welcome a parent to the holy gates knowing that their short life helped turn a parent’s heart toward salvation? Modern medicine and medical procedures have brought the infant mortality rate down so low, that it balances out the rate of abortions. Our Lord is welcoming about the same percentage of children to heaven now as he did in the past. (Get online, find the stats, and do the math yourself.) So, who are we to second guess the intentions and plans of God! The Bible specifically warns us against this kind of thought, and the founding fathers of our great nation intentionally separated religion and government for this very reason. Yes, abortion is tragic, but it might be one of the few, truly agonizing decisions that prepare certain parents and other family members for forgiveness and salvation.

Let us be very careful, thoughtful, and prayerful as to where we draw the lines defining legal abortion. We also need to be creative, thoughtful and prayerful as to how we move our nation toward a society that does not force anyone into choosing between two or more impossible options.

Craig Merriam