A Baptist pastor claimed that supporting the killing of unborn babies in abortions is a form of “loving your neighbor” this week in a TIME magazine piece.
Lauren Jones Mayfield, a pastor and abortion activist in Kentucky, condemned the new Texas heartbeat law while lifting up her own pro-abortion counseling work as truly “loving” and Christ-like.
“I know firsthand who suffers when politicians attempt to limit the right of every person to determine whether, when and how to become parents,” she began, neglecting the fact that mothers who have abortions are already parents of unborn babies.
Mayfield slammed lawmakers for passing the pro-life law, saying they should instead focus on laws that “help keep people safe.” In her opinion, which is contrary to Christianity, unborn babies are not people yet.
The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life leaders estimate as many as 100 babies are being saved from abortion every day as a result.
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Unique from other states, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law and those who help them.
Mayfield wrongly described it as a cruel, judgmental provision that allows people to “sue their neighbor.”
“In my faith tradition, Jesus commands us to love one another. Jesus did not admonish his followers to judge their neighbor, to shame their neighbor or to keep watch that their neighbors follow the law. Jesus certainly did not invite his followers to sue their neighbor,” she wrote.
However, the legislation does not just let anyone sue anyone; and it specifically exempts the mother from punishment. The law simply allows private citizens to hold abortionists and those who help them accountable for killing unborn babies in violation of the law.
But to Mayfield, an unborn baby is not a valuable human being worthy of love and protection.
A young woman once called me from her college dorm room in tears, overwhelmed by an unexpected pregnancy. Her conservative religious parents had abandoned her, and she was scared that God would too. She asked me for reassurance that she was still loved. As a pastor and as a Christian, I knew it was my duty to offer her the love of God. Those in fear and despair should never be abandoned, and we certainly should never pass laws that prevent us from showing love and care to our neighbors.
Love means supporting people as they make the reproductive decisions that are right for them. Love means standing by our neighbors as they determine the most intimate and personal parts of their lives. To love them is to trust them. Let’s choose love.
Mayfield said she represents “tens of thousands of clergy around the country who strongly support” abortion, believing it to be a “moral issue and a calling supported by our faith’s first teaching to do no harm and love our neighbors.”
But an abortion does the opposite. It intentionally and unnecessarily kills a unique, irreplaceable baby in the womb, a human being who Christians believe is created in the image of God.
True, Christ-like love means supporting mother and child and doing what is right even when it is difficult. Christianity condemns child sacrifice and recognizes the value of children both before and after they are born. It commands people to care for the most vulnerable in society, especially widows and orphans.
Texas is doing that. While banning abortions, pro-life advocates across the state also are reaching out to pregnant and parenting mothers with compassion and understanding, offering resources and emotional support to help them and their babies. Earlier this year, state lawmakers increased support for pregnant and parenting families, ensuring that mothers have resources to choose life for their babies.