Killing for Convenience

In a recent article on the Henry Institute’s web page ( Russell Moore calls attention to the tortured morality of Donna Schaper, the pastor of Judson Memorial Church. Judson is an historic American Baptist church in New York. In an article written for Tikkun, a liberal magazine, Schaper reflects on the abortion she had nineteen years ago. Schaper justifies her abortion on the grounds that she and her husband already had twins and an additional child would only be a hardship. She calls abortion a “positive moral force.” It allows “sex to be both procreational and recreational for both men and women…The drama of the abortion battle is not about unborn babies at all. Instead it is about women and sex.”

But Schaper’s own words betray her. Indeed, she spends a good portion of the article referring to the baby she had killed in her womb. She went so far as to name the aborted baby, “Alma.” Astonishingly, Schaper even calls the abortion an act of murder:
“I did what was right for me, for my family, for my work, for my husband, and for my three children. I happen to agree that abortion is a form of murder. I think the quarrel about when life begins is disrespectful to the fetus. I know I murdered the life within me. I could have loved that life but chose not to. I did what men do all the time when they take us to war: they choose violence because, while they believe it is bad, it is still better than the alternatives.”

It is morally obtuse to compare the decision to kill a baby in the womb with the sobering but sometimes necessary decision that Commanders-in-Chief face to send men into battle. The Scriptures teach that God uses human governments as instruments to exercise justice even to the point of using violence. The apostle Paul writes, “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:3-4).

Something tells me that pastor Schaper would not give credence to large portions of the Bible, particularly much of Romans. She writes, “When I made my choice to end Alma’s life, I was behaving as an adult…It was a human life. That’s why we named her, wanted her, but also knew we did not want her enough.” She concludes that abortion is not only a necessary policy but a good and moral one. It is, she writes, “the best policy conceivable for men and women and for mature, moral sexuality.”

Call me old fashioned but I prefer the bra burning feminists of the early 1970’s that knew the only way to win broader approval for abortion was to convince people that unborn babies were not human and therefore abortion was not the taking of a human life. Some of you are old enough to remember leading liberals actually advancing that notion, leaving us to wonder if unborn babies were actually squirrels or tad poles. But with the passage of time and advances in technology the pro-abortion crowd has found it increasingly difficult to deny the obvious. But this has led to an even more disturbing turn. As the words of pastor Schaper demonstrate, pro-abortionists now justify the appalling procedure not by denying the humanity of the unborn but by asserting the right of the mother to kill it. The late Francis Schaeffer once observed that if we can justify taking life in the womb it will not be long until we justify taking life outside the womb.