Abortion in U.S. - better than it used to be
Marvin Olasky tells the history of abortion in America. He finds it as early as 1652, but that's probably just for non-Indian abortions. The good news is that a lower percentage of babies are being killed now than before the civil war. The responses of the church, both liberal and conservative, at the time are remarkably similar to today.
Then as now, theological radicals such as Henry Wright argued that a child's "first claim is to a designed existence, if it is to exist at all." Some said "it was less criminal to kill children before they were born, than to curse them with an unwelcome existence." But pro-life leaders rejected the premise that an "unwelcome existence" was the only alternative to abortion. They looked at three groups of women at risk for abortions and offered programs of education, refuge, and adoption that would help women to avoid unwanted pregnancy or to recover from it, without killing a child.My own friends have responded to me with the first argument for abortion. Two friends independently told me foster care was worse than abortion. I respond, ask a kid who's in foster care if they would like for you to kill them. The three groups of women who were cared for were the single women trying to live and work in the cities who had unreliable boyfriends, prostitutes, and religious libertines. Adoption was a highly successful solution. Pro-lifers described the babies' features in utero. They also warned about the mental harm of abortion.
The psychological stress is particularly interesting, because supporters of abortion have labeled "post-abortion syndrome" a recent invention of anti-abortion forces. And yet, in 1875 feminist Elizabeth Evans was describing the effects of abortions on women who had them a decade or two earlier. One woman, she reported, was "wild with regret at my folly in rejecting the (alas! only once-proffered) gift of offspring." Another woman described how her "thoughts were filled with imaginings as to what might have been the worth of that child's individuality; and especially, after sufficient time had elapsed to have brought him to maturity, did I busy myself with picturing the responsible posts he might have filled."This was when the country had abortion laws. Yet, unfortunately, as Olasky points out, they were rarely enforced. That's true of the few laws we have on the books today. Hopefully, our country will collectively repent, one day, of this sin. Meanwhile, we'll keep loving the babies and the moms. We'll offer them hope and peace through Jesus.