USA (MNN) — On Wednesday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill requiring doctors to attempt to save the lives of babies who survive botched abortions. The punishment for non-complaint doctors would be up to 20 years in prison. Now, the bill is headed to the Alabama Senate.
This move comes on the heels of the United State’s largest abortion restriction that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law last week. The law bans abortions in all cases except when the mother’s life is at risk.
Alabama is leading the charge for the pro-life movement as legislators everywhere brace for the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Other states such as Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ohio are moving to position themselves on the side of life, passing bills to ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected as early as six weeks.
Those who bemoan the surge of pro-life legislation claim that cutting off abortion access is stripping away women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
However, as Life Matters Worldwide’s President Eric Verstraete points out, there is more than one body in the abortion conversation.
“Many people say, ‘Well, what about the rights of women?’ Well, I go back to say, ‘What about the right of that young baby girl in the womb? What about her rights? If you’re so for women’s rights, what about that baby girl’s life and where do her rights come in?’”
Abortion Morality and Human Rights
The abortion topic has been painted in many different lights. It has been portrayed as a political issue — a useful tool for politicians seeking re-election and campaign funding, depending on the side they pander to.
It has also been painted as a religious issue. Pro-life advocates are often depicted merely as religious zealots who want to impose their faith on others.
But abortion isn’t just a political issue or a religious issue. The abortion conversation is much broader than these smokescreens of stereotypical write-offs. And being pro-life is not limited to faith circles and political affiliations.
“At the basic idea, abortion is a moral issue. When does life begin?… We are all the human race. The real question [that] needs to come is, when do those babies that are in the womb, when do they become a part of the human race?”
Verstraete says in the midst of the abortion conversation, the Church has an opportunity to share the love of Christ through pro-life ministries.
“We as believers, we believe that every single one of those babies, every single person, everybody as a part of the human race is imprinted with the image of God. That’s where we in our faith can take it one step farther to say, ‘Because we all are within the image of God, we therefore need to honor that image of God no matter where that part of the human race exists — whether it’s in the womb, whether it’s outside of the womb, [or] whether…it’s at the end of life.’
“So as a part of the human race, yes, it’s a moral issue. For those of us who are believers, that human race component also has with it the image of God component, and we need to honor that image of God no matter where it falls in the human life spectrum.”
An Opportunity for the Church
The pro-choice camp claims abortion is a reasonable and even loving approach for pregnant women in crisis situations. Verstraete says the truly loving approach is giving both mother and baby the support they need, whatever their circumstances.
“The focus can’t just be on a law,” says Verstraete. “It has to be on the actions of how do we surround people with love, encouragement, and support to help them make the decisions in these really difficult times. I can’t imagine what some of these women and men are going through. We need to come along and support them. That needs to happen way beyond any bill or legislation that is put into order.”
The Church has a unique opportunity here to be the hands and feet of Jesus by being His agents of love to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies or who are post-abortive.
Pro-life Christians are already doing a lot to support families and children in crisis. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will be a call to the Church to step up even more.
Verstraete says the stories of these women and men who have suffered under the abortion agenda may even be the tipping point to one day making abortion unthinkable in our culture.
“I think…stripping the shame away from these voices and giving them encouragement to tell their story will create such a tidal wave of support for people who are actually considering abortion that I think that’s going to be the biggest tool to begin to end abortion in our country — those post-abortive folks, both men and women, rising up to tell their story to bring this stuff out of the dark into the light.”
To learn more about Life Matters Worldwide’s ministry, click here!
If you’re interested in alternatives to abortion where you will be met with compassion and support, click here!
Header photo courtesy of H. Hach via Pixabay.