Abortion: Is It Ever Right?

Chrystal Kelly decided to help an infertile couple by serving as their surrogate mother. Helping a childless couple begin their family was noble enough, but Kelly was tossed into the abortion debate, and her handling of the surrogacy would ultimately make an even stronger statement.

At 20 weeks, sonogram images revealed that the baby Kelly was carrying had multiple health issues and birth defects-heart and brain abnormalities, and a cleft palate. The couple informed their surrogate that they wanted the baby aborted, and even offered Kelly $10,000 to perform the procedure.

As the discussion unfolded, Kelly was convicted that the baby inside of her was a human life and abortion was not an option. As attorneys threatened her with lawsuits over breach of contract, Kelly stood her ground, carrying the child to term at great financial and emotional cost. Pro-abortion blogs ridiculed her actions, while pro-life advocates called her a hero. Such is the fallout in a world where medical advancements have been paralleled by erosion of morality.

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The Foundational Moral Issue of Our Times

To say that abortion is controversial is an understatement. Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade , which legalized abortion in the U.S., the abortion question has continued to divide non-Christians and Christians-and even Christians within their own circles. In 1982, one Christian author wrote, "Abortion on demand is without question the greatest moral issue facing America today. No other contemporary moral problem in this country results in the deaths of over a million innocent, unborn children each year."

Ethicist Scott Rae observes, "For over two decades, the abortion debate has intensified and it shows no signs of being resolved. It is still the debate which defines the current cultural conflict in America, and will likely remain so in the foreseeable future."

The majority of abortions performed in America over the past 40 years have been done simply out of convenience. Some even chose abortions in order to "choose" the sex of the child. In these cases, there is serious desensitization at play when it comes to the ethical questions surrounding abortion.

Look at the headlines of just last week. Abortion doctor on trial Kermit Gosnell reported to the Department of Health that he performed 40,136 abortions in his clinic from 1988 to 2009. Undoubtedly, thousands were out of convenience.

Does the Law Make Abortion Right?

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion. That's a fact. To some, that fact is enough to move on, to avoid conflict. After all, if the Supreme Court made the decision, it must be correct, right? If it's legal, and it's been around for decades, then what's the point in arguing about it? But remember that slavery used to be legal, too. Does this mean it was morally right, or that we should consider the reinstitution of slavery in the U.S.? Of course not! Just because something becomes legal does not make it right.

Human beings are fallible and the Supreme Court is not God. As a result, it can make mistakes. As theologian R.C. Sproul pointed out, there's a difference between legal rights and moral rights: "We have a legal right to be wrong, but does God ever give us a moral right to be wrong? We must distinguish between legal rights and moral rights. We may claim that the pro-choice position is an argument for legal rights, but, in actuality, we are talking about moral rights."

After Civil Rights, Abortion Cheapens Life

"What would Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of having his four children judged by the content of their characters, not just the color of their skin, do if he'd lived to see the contents of thousands of children's skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionist's pits? What would he say about the rivers of blood of the children cut down in gang wars and other dark deeds?" – Dr. Alveda C. King (granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

Alex McFarland is a speaker, writer and advocate for Christian apologetics. He serves as director of the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University, a leading Christian college in the United States. He has spoken in hundreds of locations throughout North America and internationally and has preached in more than 1,300 churches.

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