It has been an interesting few weeks surrounding the Texas legislature. The Texas House of Representatives passed a sweeping anti-abortion law several weeks ago only to see it fail to move forward because of a highly publicized Senate filibuster and the end of the legislative session. Thankfully, pro-life governor Rick Perry brought the legislature back for a special session that allowed a pro-life bill to once again be given a chance to advance. The pro-life bill has currently passed through the House and its fate once again depends on the Texas Senate.
As would be expected, supporters and opponents of the bill descended to the Texas state capitol in droves expressing their opinions about the issue in a variety of ways. The manner in which these opinions and arguments were made, however, was drastically different. The issue is one that understandably generates intense passion on both sides but how arguments are made and the content of the arguments are telling.
Pro-lifers from around the country came to Texas and protested and rallied in Austin and I am sure that not all that was said and done by pro-lifers was above board. It is interesting, however, to reflect on behavior that is documented. As pro-choice advocates filled the legislature, legislators, on-lookers, and others were greeted with chants of “Hail Satan.” Interesting. The pro-life advocates responded by singing “Amazing Grace.” Later, during a rally to support the bill that was attended by thousands of pro-life supporters including many churches and Christians, bill opponents decided that a useful response chant would be “—- the church.” Telling.
The pro-life argument, while not uniform by any stretch, usually comes together in agreement in that we believe in the dignity of all human life from conception and that all humanity has the right to this life even and especially those who do not have the voice to speak for it. We are absolutely for the freedom to make individual choices but we also believe those choices have consequences and we are to live with the consequences of the choices we make. We would also strongly hold that our freedom of choice is not more important than the freedom of others including the unborn. We believe that abortion unequivocally harms the unborn, but that it is not good for the women who choose this (and especially not for those women in the womb).
Normally, we hear from the pro-abortion side that it is all about women’s rights and a woman’s ability to make decisions regarding her body without the intrusion of government. But recently on a website called Burnt Orange Report (a progressive Texas politics blog) I came across a little more honest assessment of the pro-abortion position. The author of the blog post, Ben Sherman, is adamantly against the House bill and instead argues for what he calls ‘Bro-choice.’ ‘Bro-choice’ is Sherman’s plea for men to be against the bill and by extension staunchly pro-abortion, not for the rights of women, but rather for the inconveniences a pro-life bill would cause to men if the option of abortion was taken off the table. Sherman outlines four primary reasons he believes the bill is a bad one including that it would cause a dangerous black market abortion industry, men would lose their freedom to make sexual decisions, and individuals would lose the freedom to determine when they choose to have kids. These three arguments are foolish enough in their own right but it is Sherman’s fourth reason that is unbelievable to sensible people. He writes,
“Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.”
Classy, but refreshingly honest. Sherman expresses much of the heart of the pro-abortion argument: self-interest. It is the desire to live free lives without consequence or inconvenience.
As believers there are a couple of things to learn from this. First, it is so clear by their chants and the attitudes demonstrated that this is an intensely spiritual battle. This is bigger than pro-life and pro-abortion. Secondly, we need to be thankful for the step that has been taken in Texas. This is a good law. No abortions after 20 weeks and holding abortion clinics to surgical standards.
We should be praying that bills like this would be passed in every state…but we should be ready for classy chants and selfish arguments from the open-minded pro-aborts.