In the throes of yet another U.S. presidential campaign (do they ever cease?), the issue of abortion is again before the public. Soon-to-be Democratic nominee Barack Obama gladly trumpets his endorsement of “a woman’s right to choose” in order to set himself against his Republican opponent.
I’ve always been intrigued by that phrase: “a woman’s right to choose.” “To choose” is an infinitive that begs an object. A woman has a right “to choose” what? I suspect we’ll be hard pressed to find either Mr. Obama or other abortion apologists completing that infinitive phrase. To do so would expose too vividly the stark reality of the choice.
Here are some suggestions which I’m sure Mr. Obama’s speech writers have been seeking:
- “I will defend a woman’s right to choose the death or life of her unborn child.”
- “I will defend a woman’s right to choose the uninterrupted pursuit of a college diploma by ridding herself of the child within her or the interruption of her studies by giving birth and rearing her child.”
- “I will defend a woman’s right to choose continued sexual irresponsibility or sex reserved for marriage so that the child can be reared in a stable home.”
- “I will defend a woman’s right to choose moral recklessness or moral responsibility.”
Admittedly, these suggestions need some work. Indeed, they do lack pizazz. They do, though, put some context to the feckless and purposely vague “woman’s right to choose.”
The bottom line is that abortion is about death. Perhaps the mother doesn’t want her education interrupted or doesn’t want her career put on hold or is single and anticipates deeper poverty. Perhaps she just doesn’t want to deal with “a kid.” Or perhaps her husband or boyfriend is pressuring her to end the life of her child because that child will interfere with their lives. The reasons can be endless. Nevertheless, the stark reality is the unborn child within his or her mommy’s womb is destined for a painful death to satisfy the ill-considered purposes of someone who wasn’t aborted.
A biblical sonogram helps to put the issue in perspective:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16 [ESV])
The unborn child is no mere glob of biological matter in the sight of God. The unborn child is a person made in the image of his Creator. Scoring political points with death? We’d better do some serious thinking.