Last Friday the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Since then, the number of questions that I have interacted with about abortion has increased dramatically. In an article from a few weeks ago, I pointed to some biblical passages that argue for the full humanity of pre-born babies. Today, I want to share with you some of the responses that I have given this week on social media. I offer these responses for your consideration. My hope is that they will be a help to you as you engage with others about this issue in the coming weeks, months, and years.
One question that continues to surface on social media is where the questioner describes a terrible situation in which a twelve-year-old girl has been brutally raped by her father. Then the question is turned into an accusation. “How could it possibly be right to force this poor little girl to carry this baby to term in her tiny body?”
Here are some of the comments that I offered in response to others this week:
The situation that you describe is indeed horrible. No one should be insensitive to her situation. But when you say, forced to carry her child, what you are suggesting is that she should murder her child. There is no way around that. There is a staggering amount that has been learned about babies in the womb since the Roe decision. Abortion murders a baby.
Murdering a child is not something that one does without it forever staining one’s soul. All that’s left after that is lying to oneself about how a baby isn’t really a baby. Your conscience can never really believe that. It isn’t better for her to have murder on her conscience. The whole situation is just bad from top to bottom, but it is not fixed by killing a child who has done nothing good or bad.
I will not attempt to try and paint such a horrid circumstance with a happy brush and minimize her suffering. I will simply argue that murdering the child for the sin of the father is unjust. It should not be an acceptable solution for anyone. None of this is the baby’s fault.
Just to restate it. For this young mother, murdering her baby will be with her forever. It will never go away. Those who act like it doesn’t matter, are twisting their own conscience in such a way as to cause permanent damage. When you do something evil, and then lie to yourself that it’s not evil, you kill something in your soul.
I do not claim to have first-hand experience with pregnancy at all. Nor would I say insensitive things to anyone in a crisis. If I were counseling this girl and her parents, I would grieve with them. I would suggest that they press formal charges against her abuser. I would talk to them about suffering and forgiveness as demonstrated by Christ on the cross.
I would not counsel them to have her baby killed and removed from her body. Here’s why:
1: Justice demands it. The guilt in this situation is with the father and the father alone. The baby has done nothing to deserve death.
2: The stain of sin is forever. The act of killing her unborn child will be with her forever. It is a great injustice (see above) and an affront against the image of God in her child. The damage to her soul is far greater and will last far longer than anything that might happen to her physically.
That damage will also likely be compounded by a culture that aids and abets her lying to herself about the personhood of the child that she has allowed someone to kill. That lie is something that the deepest part of her conscience will never really believe. She will go on blackening her soul for the rest of her life with lie after lie after lie. The end of that road is outer darkness.
In this life, she will still never escape the pain of having participated in the brutal death of her own child. She will have that suffering with her until the day she dies. The good news for someone who has had an abortion is that if she will turn away from those lies and choose to allow herself to be broken by her sinfulness, God is ready with mercy and forgiveness for her. In that case, her eternal end will be in ever-increasing light and life covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
So, no. I don’t have any firsthand experience as a twelve-year-old having been raped by someone whom I should have been able to trust. I am not basing my conclusions on emotion at all. I know a little something about the effects of sin on the human soul, and I can tell you that it is not kind or compassionate to send a girl to the abortionist’s table when she has been violated in such a way as you describe.
Praying for you as you consider these things.