I am among the ranks of those who have been convicted over this past year for being relatively indifferent towards the scourge of abortion in this country. Like many of you, I have always been principally “pro-life;” I have liked tweets, shared articles, written Facebook statuses, and engaged in the casual conversation about how wicked it is that we are a country that has slaughtered some 54,000,000 humans in a single lifetime. And, like many of you, I was unnerved by the recent undercover journalism which shined a spotlight on barbaric people doing (big surprise…) barbaric acts (namely, selling the severed body parts of murdered infants). And, like many of you, I was unnerved by how unnerved I was at this discovery. The shocking thing about this whole revelation is how shocking it was: what invisible line was crossed to make these actions intolerable? Would it somehow be less barbaric if these hitmen used ultrasound technology to dismember little babies and then throw the remains into the dumpster rather than selling the remains for a profit? Let’s be real here, Planned Parenthood didn’t get more evil when it decided to get even more bang out of its buck by getting into the business of body snatching, it has always been human slaughterhouse, which is about as vile as you can get.
So these discoveries forced me into the uncomfortable position of considering how comfortable I was with abortion, so long as it remained behind closed doors. And somehow, like the rest of you, I managed to be surprised when this discovery resulted in nearly nothing. Scratch that. It resulted in lawsuits against the brave men and women who decided that the public needed to know the full truth of what was happening behind closed doors, it resulted in Cecile Richards comically contradicting herself for the whole nation to see without any sort of repercussion (as if she were giving every thinking pro-lifer a middle finger and saying, “What are you gonna do?”), and it resulted in the confounding hashtag, #shoutyourabortion. And even more unnerving than all of this, I have found, is the fact that every single one of these realities can leave our minds just as quickly as they entered them, and we can continue to go about our business.
So, like many of you, I am seeking to foster an abiding dissatisfaction for the fact that abortion still exists. And, like many of you, I am seeking not to content myself with merely writing/posting about it. So I have been on the prowl, seeking to stir up the same sort of dissatisfaction with others, in the hopes of attacking the issue on every level, including participating in the simple act of going to abortion clinics to beg women not to murder their babies. I’m not talking about coming with a condemning spirit to shame women; I’m talking about coming with a spirit of gentleness and love, to say, “Please, don’t do this. If you are in trouble financially, our church will help you. If you cannot raise your child, someone in our church will adopt him or her. Your problem will not go away if you do this; you will not cease to be a mother, you will only make yourself a mother who murdered her child.” I’m talking about coming with the whole gospel—unabridged, unemasculated by rhetoric that refuses to call a spade a spade (or a murder a murder)—for women on their way in and for women on their way out.
As I have advocated for this kind of activism, I have been shocked by some of the push-back I have received. Push-back from Christian men, saying, “Sheesh, I don’t know if it’s such a good idea for men to do that. Maybe we should try to get some of the women in our church to do it instead.” Don’t get me wrong, I think our message can only stand to be strengthened by having women there, in the parking lot, begging for mercy on behalf of these babies. Even better still is the prospect of bringing children too (for my own part, I know that my 9 month-old would himself be a perfect abortion deterrent). But this impulse that says, "Men should not be there," should be laid to rest. Abortion is a problem for men. Here are my three arguments for this:
First, abortion is not a women’s rights issue.
That is the lie that we have been fed, and we have gobbled it up all too quickly; this “let the women in our churches do it” is what our belch sounds like. No, abortion is not a women’s rights issue. It is a societal idolatry issue. It is an indictment on us men when we passively believe the narrative that abortion has nothing whatsoever to do with us. Men were culpable in ancient pagan societies along with the murderous women brought their babies to the priests of Moloch to be sacrificed, and men are culpable now along with the murderous women in our own society who do the same. Men, the society that you help to shape is tolerant of human sacrifice. When our culture says, "You're not welcome here, this is a space that pertains to women only, you need to leave," we ought to respond with, "No. I prefer not to stand idly while human beings are being slaughtered, thankyouverymuch. Sorry, not sorry."
Second, abortion is downstream from fatherlessness.
Abortions can’t happen without pregnancies, and pregnancies cannot happen without men. What abortion shows us is that men in our society have contented themselves with sowing their seed and walking away. Men in our society are content to use women rather than be spent for them. I recognize that a minority of abortions take place in scenarios where the fathers want to keep their babies, and their mothers decide to kill them anyway. But more often than not, mothers are abandoned—and thereafter hear the lie that they are subsequently justified to rid themselves of their motherhood—or worse yet, mothers are encouraged to murder their babies by the babies' own fathers. How many fathers drive their girlfriends or wives to the abortion clinic to kill their children? How many grandfathers drive their daughters to the abortion clinic to have their grandchildren murdered? Abortion has not become such an epidemic in a vacuum, one of the contributing factors here are men who forsake their responsibilities to die to self in provision for their wives and children, resulting in some 54,000,000 infant corpses downstream. It will therefore take men who are willing to assume their responsibilities to die to self in provision for their wives and children—and to work tirelessly for the oppressed and the weak—to swim back upstream, to see this evil overthrown.
Third, women in America need to see what true biblical manhood looks like.
Many of the women who are entering into these slaughterhouses have arrived there precisely because they have no prior experience with true manhood. They have experienced men who, instead of self-sacrificially providing for them and protecting them, have used and abused them, and have left them to deal with the consequences of their own selfishness. They have experienced men who would rather see their children murdered than have to forego their self-centered ambitions and indulgences. They have experienced fathers who would rather have their daughters become murderers than have their familial image smeared with a bastard grandchild. Men, the women in this country need to see what true manhood looks like. They need to see men who own their responsibility to help shape culture properly. They need to see men who recognize that they have a stake in the murder of children as well. They need to see men who are willing to inconvenience themselves by speaking on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves. And fathers, your daughters need to see this: they need to see that a true man is not passive towards injustice. They need to hear the sound of a true man’s voice, pleading for the cause of the oppressed. They need to see that abortion is men's problem too.