When abortion supporters encourage society to be compassionate and understanding, they typically only apply these virtues to one person: the mother.
But compassion for her unborn baby – already a unique and irreplaceable living human being – is forgotten, rejected, and the fact that an abortion destroys that unborn baby’s life is ignored.
Some of the pro-abortion religious leaders interviewed by the Associated Press made arguments for “compassionate” abortions this week.
For example, the Rev. Kirk Winslow, pastor of Canvas Presbyterian Church in Irvine, California, said he counsels pregnant mothers who are thinking about abortions, and he believes empathy is what truly matters.
“Amidst the pain, fear and confusion of an unexpected pregnancy, no one has ever said, ‘I’m excited to get an abortion,’” Winslow told the AP. “And there are times when getting an abortion may be the best chance we have to bring God’s peace to the situation.”
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Winslow acknowledge that many will disagree with him about that, adding, “I would only respond that most haven’t been in my office for these very real and very difficult conversations.”
On the contrary, many Americans are pro-life precisely because they have been in difficult situations themselves or someone close to them has. Some have chosen life despite being raped or pressured to by an abusive partner, others are the children who should have been aborted. Still more pro-life advocates are post-abortive mothers and fathers who realized too late that their unborn child was a valuable human being whom they should have protected.
These individuals understand the truth about abortion and their compassion extends to both mother and child.
Another pastor who spoke with the AP, Caitlyn Stenerson, an Evangelical Covenant Church pastor in Minnesota, emphasized compassion but also truth. She pointed out how mothers and fathers sometimes grieve silently because of abortions in their past.
“As a pastor my job isn’t to heap more shame on people but to bring them to Jesus,” Stenerson said. “We are called to speak truth, but with love.”
This is a message pro-life Christians agree with. The truth is that the purpose of an abortion is to kill an innocent child in the womb. It is unnecessary violence and it does not solve families’ problems; often, the abortion only leads to more suffering.
True compassion means recognizing and valuing each member of the family and helping all of them in times of need. And it means helping mothers and fathers heal, grieve and find forgiveness when they have made mistakes and ended the life of their child.