Personally Opposed to Abortion, But Pro-choice?
Many people say, “I’m not pro-abortion, but I’m pro-choice.”
But how would you respond to someone who said, “I’m not pro-rape, I’m just pro-choice about rape”? You’d realize his position implies that rape doesn’t really hurt anyone, and that it’s sometimes justifiable. You’d say, “To be pro-choice about rape is to be pro-rape.”
In exactly the same way, to be pro-choice about abortion is to be pro-abortion.
At first glance the bumpersticker slogan makes sense: “Against Abortion? Don’t Have One.” The logic applies perfectly to flying planes, playing football, or eating pizza...but not to rape, torture, kidnapping or murder.
A Middle Position?
Some imagine that being personally opposed to abortion, while believing others have the right to choose it, is some kind of compromise between the pro-abortion and pro-life positions. It isn’t. Pro-choice people vote the same as pro-abortion people. To the baby who dies it makes no difference whether those who refused to protect her were pro-abortion or “merely” pro-choice about abortion.
The only good reason to oppose abortion is a reason that compels us to oppose others doing it—it’s child killing. Being personally against abortion but favoring another’s right to abortion is self-contradictory. It’s exactly like saying, “I’m personally against child abuse, but I defend my neighbor’s right to abuse his child if that is his choice.” Or “I’m personally against slave-owning, but if others want to own slaves that’s none of my business.” Or, “I’m not personally in favor of wife-beating, but I don’t want to impose my morality on others, so I’m pro-choice about wife-beating.”
A radio talk show host told me she was offended that some people called her “pro-abortion” instead of “pro-choice.” I asked her, on the air, “Why don’t you want to be called pro-abortion? Is there something wrong with abortion?” She responded, “Abortion is tough. It’s not like anybody really wants one.” I said, “I don’t get it. What makes it tough? Why wouldn’t someone want an abortion?” She said, suddenly impassioned, “Well, you know, it’s a tough thing to kill your baby!”
The second she said it, she caught herself, but it was too late. In an unguarded moment she’d revealed what she knew, what everyone knows if they’ll only admit it: abortion is difficult for the same reason it’s wrong—because it’s killing a child.
And there’s no reason good enough for killing a child.
For more information on this subject, see Randy Alcorn’s book Why ProLife?