Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Gosnell Trial Gives an Opportunity to Change Hearts

The inexcusable silence of the mainstream media concerning the Kermit Gosnell trial has meant that pro-lifers have turned to less conventional means of spreading public awareness - blogs, social media, and even just plain old word-of-mouth - in an attempt to raise public awareness. If the news outlets won't cover the trial, then individual pro-lifers must take up the slack. The result is that one-on-one conversations and friendly (or not so friendly) chats are taking place in com boxes, news feeds, and around the water cooler on the socially taboo issue of abortion...

"Have you heard about that late term abortionist who's on trial now for murder?"

"No. It hasn't been in the news."

"I don't see how anyone can support abortion when you hear the stories of what really occurs during a procedure. This trial ought to open some people's eyes."

"What do you mean by that? I'm pro-choice..."

Who wants to have THAT conversation with a friend or family member? Well...frankly, we all should. Certainly it may be uncomfortable and perhaps emotionally charged, but standing up for the truth usually is uncomfortable when the whole culture is lined up against you. If we as Christians are called to transform the culture and evangelize, then we cannot afford to sit idly by, keeping our mouths shut for fear of offending someone. It is our duty to speak out on behalf of the voiceless.

It was just such a recent conversation I had on Facebook that yielded a promising result. I had just commented on an article posted in the news feed that dealt with the Gosnell trial. During the course of my comment I used the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion" interchangeably, meaning of course that to be pro-choice on abortion rights makes a person by default pro-abortion, whether you like that label or not (read more on that here). Well, a pro-choicer read my comment and took exception to this equating of pro-choice with pro-abortion, saying:
"I am not sure if I would call pro-choicers...pro- abortionists...[J]ust because someone may believe in the right to decide [to terminate a pregnancy] in their body does not necessarily mean that they want all people to go out and have abortions...I do not believe in abortions myself but I do think that if the choice is a back alley abortion or a clinic...that I would rather they were in a hospital... [P]eople have to live with their own choices in life."
My response:
"If you support someone's right to 'choose' abortion, then you support abortion... Imagine someone in the early 1800's saying, 'I would never personally choose to own a slave, but I support the right of someone else to own slaves. I would not want that choice to be taken away.' That person would rightly be called be 'pro-slavery.' To use a paraphrase of your own argument (substituting 'slavery' for 'abortion'): I do not believe in slavery myself but I do think that if the choice is an undocumented slavery or a state regulated slavery that I would rather they were state regulated... That's a pro-slavery statement. Your's is a pro-abortion statement."
You cannot really argue with those facts. But the problem is that most pro-choicers are never confronted with the stark reality of their position. They believe that they can live in the shady grey area, between personal opposition and public support of abortion rights. But just like slavery, there is no comfort zone: you either favor killing babies, or you oppose it.

Amid the back-and-forth of this conversation, I eventually received this response:
"Personally I would never have [an abortion], I believe in adoption. However to someone who has been raped or molested or any number of other factors it is their choice... It is not a method of birth control and it is abhorrent to me that some people (women) choose to do that instead of a myriad of other things they could be doing....keeping their legs closed, birth control, adoption..etc. etc. I do see your point however and will think on it." [Emphasis added] 
And that is about as good as we can expect for a first step when spreading the pro-life message amid the pro-abortion culture. If they will at least "think about it," if they open their minds to the possibility of being wrong, rather than give in to the cultural pressures around them, then perhaps they will see the truth. Most pro-choice people I know are "personally opposed" to abortion and could never choose it themselves, yet they support the "right to choose" because that is what the culture tells them is the tolerant position. Perhaps the horrors of the Gosnell trial can provide a wake-up call for these half-hearted pro-abortionists so that they can see the logical error of their position.

But we pro-lifers have our work cut out for us. The mainstream media has its own agenda that is decidedly anti-life. Perhaps if we take it upon ourselves to spread the story of the atrocities committed by Gosnell (and other abortionists) we can wake up those who have been lulled into a passive acceptance of this brutal and inhumane practice. It may not be a comfortable conversation to have, but it is a necessary one. Now is the moment to have it.

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