Why Abortion Isn’t Just a Political Issue: the Profound Significance of Oregon’s New Law Mandating Taxpayer Funded Elective Abortions
Some people claim that abortion is just a political issue, and not something that Christians should get involved with. But the abortion issue, at its core, is moral, not political. It has everything to do with the worth of a human child. If I were to jump today in front of a car to rescue a child, it would not be to lodge a political protest against reckless driving. It would be to save the life of an innocent child. Abortion became “political” when the law was changed to justify the killing of children.
Long before it was ever a divisive political issue, abortion was a moral issue, and one which God has a clear and emphatic position on. I encourage you to take a look at what God’s Word says about unborn children, and what the people of God throughout history have said about abortion.
Abortion and end-of-life issues aren’t “merely” about politics. They’re about the dignity and sanctity of human life. I share more on the question of “Is abortion just a political issue?” in this video:
The Slippery Slope in Oregon
Martin Luther King, Jr. (who like many others was a hero in one moral realm while coming up short in another) said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Sadly, my home state of Oregon, which I love in so many ways, legalized abortion four years before Roe v. Wade, and we were the first state, in fact the first principality in the world (yes, even before the Netherlands), to legalize physician assisted suicide. Five states have now followed Oregon’s lead. (In 2014, making national headlines, 29-year-old terminally ill Brittany Maynard chose to end her life under Oregon’s physician assisted suicide law.)
As if this weren’t enough for Oregon to be famous for, last month, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3391, making Oregon the only state in the U.S. without any laws that restrict or limit abortion, and one of only a handful of states that chooses to use taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions.
Oregon Life United explains more about the bill:
First, HB 3391 requires all private health insurers to offer free abortions without restrictions or copays. The one exception is Providence Health Plans, which had threatened to pull out of the state because of the abortion requirement. Instead, individuals covered by Providence will soon be able to obtain free, taxpayer-funded abortions through the Oregon Health Plan.
Second, it gives $10.2 million to expand the Oregon Health Authority in order to provide “services, drugs, devices, products and procedures” for undocumented residents, $500,000 of which would specifically be used for abortions.
Additionally, beyond expanding taxpayer-funded abortion, the law goes further by specifically barring public employees from inhibiting or restricting access to abortion in any way.
ABC News summarized the law like this: “In some states such as New York, abortions are cost-free if they're deemed medically necessary. The Oregon bill is unique, however, in that patients would have access to the procedure for virtually any reason, at any time, including sex-selective and late-term abortions.”
In short, it’s one of the most aggressive pro-abortion laws ever passed in the history of our country.
The slippery slope that Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop spoke of in the seventies has become terrifyingly real where I live.
What Oregonians Can Do
I’ve written before to encourage prolife churches to get involved with circulating the petition headed up by Oregon Life United in an effort to help stop taxpayer funding of abortion in Oregon. With this new law in place, it’s more crucial than ever that the petition gets enough signatures for a ballot initiative. Passing the initiative would also reverse the expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion mandated by HB 3391. They need to get 117,000 valid signatures in order to qualify for the next statewide ballot, and they’re hoping to complete the petition drive by September 30.
If you’re an Oregon citizen, you can sign the petition or order sheets to circulate at www.stopthefunding.org. (And whether you live in Oregon or not, we can all pray for the unborn and their mothers, and also pray for divine appointments where God can use us to make a difference in people’s lives.)
Oregonians, let’s join together to “love our neighbor” by protecting the youngest human lives in our state. Pastors and church leaders, if you place these petitions in your church for people to sign, it would be a great opportunity to explain from the pulpit why you are doing so. You can say it’s not to bring politics into the church; rather it’s to obey God’s Word which says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
(Some have genuine concerns whether circulating petitions in church is legal; the answer is yes. According to the IRS churches may engage in legislative activity, which includes sharing petitions, and retain their tax-exempt status as long as it’s not more than an “insubstantial” part of its overall activity in terms of time and money. This document provides more information.)
Before it becomes necessary to contemplate the alternative of civil disobedience to avoid paying money for the killing of children, please do whatever you can to help reverse this law and keep similar ones from being implemented in your own home state or, if you’re outside the U.S., your country.
For more, see Randy’s books Why ProLife? and ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. Also see his articles Pastors, You Must Speak Up on Abortion and The Evidence Doesn’t Lie: The Unborn are Children (which includes a special note to pastors and church leaders).