Since the Supreme Court’s Dobb decision overturned Roe, abortion is front and center in state and national politics. Abortion advocates forcefully assert that women are now denied a civil right as well as essential health care. The reasoning behind this assertion is that the fetus is part of a woman’s body and under her exclusive jurisdiction. “My body, my choice” is the refrain. I am aware of the insistence that we speak of “pregnant person” instead of “woman”. This is irrational and I will not do it.
A fetus in a woman’s body is not like a kidney or other organ that has always been part of her. Her well-being does not depend on the fetus. She can live with the fetus or without it. The fetus is something new that will be in her body for a time but then will naturally depart from her. The fetus is not like a tumor or other growth that may threaten the health and even the life of a woman and needs to be destroyed. In the vast majority of cases, the fetus does not threaten the health or life of a woman. It does put significant demands on her, but she ordinarily can continue with her activities much as before the fetus showed up. The fetus is unlike both a kidney and a tumor in that it is the result of the arrival of an element from a body that is not hers joining an element of a body that is hers and becoming a body that is neither of theirs with its own distinctive human DNA and its own form and function very early on. The fetus is not part of a woman’s body. It is in her body but it is the body of a distinctly personal human being and therefore has its own rights that must be defended along with the woman’s. The fetus is not her body and therefore it is not her choice.
For a Christian, this is true even of our own body. God created our body; therefore, it belongs to Him. “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). He provides everything for our bodies; therefore, we are His. “They all wait for You to give them their food in due season” (Psalm 104:27). Above all, He has redeemed us – including our bodies in the resurrection - out of our sin & death into Christ’s righteousness & life. Therefore, we – including our bodies – are His. “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
Jesus said, “A body You prepared for me” (Hebrews 6:5) and therefore prayed, “not my will but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42). In Christ, we also recognize that our bodies are His; “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb”. Therefore we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The issue is His rights over us, not our rights over others or even ourselves. His body, His choice.
Children are a gift from God. Even when unexpected, inconvenient and embarrassing, we should rejoice “that a child has been born into the world” (John 16:21). Therefore, women ought to be supported so that they may care for their children, unborn and born. The husband and father has the sacred duty to provide this support and, if necessary, should be compelled to fulfill it. With widows and orphans, family, friends and neighbors must help. Good government should ensure that each one does their duty and not allow, much less provide for, anyone to evade it, especially by terminating the life of a child, born or unborn.
The contempt of our society for women who devote themselves completely to their children leads to the neglect and abuse of born children and the murder of unborn children. The wrath of God against such appalling evil will not be patient forever. Consider how future generations may visit the ruins of Washington, D.C. as many now visit the ruins of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome. With Jefferson we must say, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Let us all turn from our sins to Christ and pray that He will give us the good we don’t deserve (grace), not give us the calamity our sins do deserve (mercy) and cover us with His peace from sea to shining sea. Prepare to meet your Maker. His body, His choice.