Shortly our Government will ask us what we think about the Eighth Amendment and what we think about legislating for abortion. As Christian believers, we need to have our homework done on this subject.
The actual word “abortion” isn’t in the Bible but what is in the Bible is massively helpful to us. The Old Testament deals with the death of unborn children. Causing a woman to miscarry carried a special penalty (Exodus 21:22). The killing of pregnant women was a most abhorrent transgression with the even wider significance of eliminating the next generation (2 Kings 8:12; Amos 1:13).
In beautiful passages in the Psalms, God counts on the life of the yet unborn to praise him and teach his Word (Ps 22:31; 78:6). Supremely in Psalm 139, God “knit me together in my mother’s womb” and “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.
The New Testament begins with two pregnancies – Elizabeth’s with John and Mary’s with Jesus. When the two women met, John jumped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. Elizabeth explained that this was because of meeting with Mary “the mother of my Lord”. In this short passage, the personhood of both unborn babies is expressed – both of them have already been named!
The Referendum will ask us if we want to remove the current equal protection for both mother and baby. In tandem with that, we will be asked if we want to permanently hand over the destiny of unborn children to our politicians. There are certainly politicians who are upright, honourable men and women who seek the common good. But do you want to leave it to whomever turns up in Dáil Eireann in coming years to have the last word over these human life issues?
This is a gospel issue. We’re personally indebted to the grace of God and our job now is to show that grace to those others. That will include seeking the best options for vulnerable women with unplanned pregnancies – apart from abortion. John’s gospel tells us that “the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”. The trick now is to be unyieldingly truthful while being beguilingly graceful. We love half of 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”. However, there’s another half “ …but do this with gentleness and respect”.
From Vox Magazine http://www.vox.ie