What Is Your Opinion of the Abortion Abolition Movement?

Question from a reader:

A group called Abolish Human Abortion says that by supporting prolife organizations, strategies, and abortion-limiting laws, we actually give credence to abortion, and instead should only support their version of “biblical abolitionism.” What is your opinion of this?

Answer from Eternal Perspective Ministries:

We appreciate this group’s passion to see abortion ended. Any sincere prolifer would be ecstatic if abortion were made illegal. Unfortunately, Abolish Human Abortion’s methods and philosophy are problematic. One prolife blogger says this:

I believe that many of their views come out of a frustration with abortion having become legalized and remaining so for 40-plus years in the first place, which was due in large part to Christians not taking a stand against this horrible practice, a frustration which I share. However, they are far too divisive (and many of their views are simply skewed and not well-reasoned). What the pro-life movement needs now, more than ever, is unity among its supporters and proponents, even ones who disagree with us on spiritual issues.

[AHA says,] "Pro-lifers prefer gradual, over immediate, abolition." This is simply a strawman argument of what many pro-life people believe (a strawman argument is when you attack a similar argument to the one presented that is weaker and easier to defeat). Pro-life advocates actually do prefer immediate abolition. We would love it if our government would stop sanctioning the killing of unborn children, and if Planned Parenthood would stop doing it. What pro-life people realize, and which is supported by history, is that it simply doesn’t work out that way. Gradually is the way to enact a change like this. It took William Wilberforce twenty years to abolish the slave trade in England. He made it his life’s mission to see this done. He worked incrementally, voting for legislation that kept slavery legal yet made conditions safer for slaves. He knew that the way his culture was, he couldn't pass all or nothing laws. He worked to change the culture’s perception of slavery while working to pass incrementally better legislation until he was finally able to abolish it altogether.

Here is one church’s lengthy response to Abolish Human Abortion, after being protested by them.

Here is a document describing a debate between Gregg Cunningham and the co-founder of Abolish Human Abortion.

In that document, Scott Klusendorf provides this summary of one of Gregg’s points: “Pro-lifers don’t have to choose between incremental legislation that saves some children right now or total abolition that saves all at a later time. Rather, they can advance both strategies simultaneously and save many lives in the process.”

Scott also explains that AHA’s reasoning “assumes that pro-lifers have the power to immediately end abortion but simply won’t. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pro-life advocates do not have the power to say which children live and which ones die. The federal courts have already said that no unborn children have a right to life.”

Certainly we pray for and work toward the day when abortion is illegal and ending an unborn child’s life is unthinkable. In the meantime, by supporting prolife ministries and outreaches, and through our own personal ministry to those God brings into our lives, we can reach people one by one, showing them Christ’s love and sharing the truth about the unborn. (See also Randy Alcorn’s answers to Is There a Political Solution to the Abortion Issue? and Can We Really End All Abortions Through Legislative Means?)