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I'm A Pro-Life Pastor. Here's why I'm not an Abortion Abolitionist. 

I'm A Pro-Life Pastor. Here's why I'm not an Abortion Abolitionist.
Posted by Tyler Gresham

This article is a dissent from a Truth Over Tribe listener to the episode “Is Being Pro-Life Enough? with Abortion Abolitionist Bradley Pierce.”

I've been pro-life my whole life. My mother’s twin brother was born intellectually disabled, and my grandparents cared for him at home until my grandfather died. After that, my mom carried her three boys to visit our uncle frequently in the nursing home until he passed away. I have younger twin brothers who are thirty-four years old and were born prematurely at twenty-eight weeks. One of them has been catastrophically disabled since birth, and my parents, who are now in their seventies, continue to care for him at home. My youngest daughter was born on New Year’s Eve 2019 with anencephaly, a terminal birth defect, that was discovered during my wife's twenty-week anatomy scan. My wife carried her full term, knowing that our daughter would likely be stillborn. Fortunately, the Lord answered our prayers and gave us fifteen hours with her before he called her home. After her death, she was able to donate her organs for research as well as for implantation into a couple of children in need of heart valves. Our daughter’s death spurred my wife to work vocationally in the pro-life movement at our local crisis pregnancy center.

My family has had to live out our pro-life values in a way that, fortunately, few have had to. For us, being pro-life looks like changing an adult child’s diapers, sticking mailing labels and stamps on pregnancy center newsletters together as a family at night, and changing out flowers to match the current season on a tombstone.

So I thoroughly enjoyed Keith Simon’s interview with Bradley Pierce on abortion abolitionism because Mr. Pierce is one of the first abortion abolitionists I’ve heard who wasn’t solely focused on lobbing grenades at people like me. I agree in principle with the goals of abolitionism but disagree on how we get there, specifically the idea that prosecuting post-abortive women for murder should be encoded in law.

There are two main areas of concern that I have with abortion abolitionism: 

  1. The apparent lack of any positive vision by abolitionists for how to serve abortion-vulnerable women right now, and;
  2. The false accusations of liberalism and/or the questioning of other pro-lifers’ faith by many online Abolitionists.

Abortion abolitionists believe that the best way to serve abortion-vulnerable women is to write laws that would prosecute them for aborting their child. I have yet to hear an abolitionist argue for providing support and care for women in the midst of their pregnancy, desire to supply women with parenting classes to give them the confidence to parent, or be urged to host diaper drives to ease the cost of choosing life for women struggling financially. The reason behind this, I suspect, is that abolitionists largely caricature abortion-minded women as the Shout-Your-Abortion-type woman, not the college student whose parents will pull her tuition if she doesn’t follow through at the clinic, or the disadvantaged young woman whose boyfriend threatens to kick her out of the apartment if she chooses life. Our society is remarkably broken, and abolitionist laws, even if passed, will not fix the problem. Instead, they will justify many to continue to look the other way when they pass by abortion-vulnerable women who have been broken by the world. And so, rather than actually serving the women who are in the midst of crisis pregnancies now, many online abolitionists prefer to accuse anyone who disagrees with how they advocate for pro-life causes as “liberal” or as unfaithful to Christ.

I found myself on the receiving end of those kinds of accusations after the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim. I’m an SBC pastor and helped edit a resolution that was merged with others to become Resolution 7, “On the Anticipation of a Historic Moment in the Pro-Life Movement.” Abortion abolitionists insinuated the worst about those who wrote or supported Resolution 7 when it stated what most Southern Baptists believe about abortion. We want to see abortion end in the US, and we want to save as many babies as possible in the meantime. Since our local crisis pregnancy center added ultrasound a few years ago, they have seen hundreds of babies saved from abortion. This is a positive way forward for the interregnum.

So, for any abolitionist reading, will you work with those of us who are pro-life and hold views you yourself held a few months or years ago? Will you come alongside us and save as many children as we can until abortion is finally ended in this country? We want your help, not your criticism.

After our doctor’s appointment—where we discovered we weren’t going to be coming home with a new daughter in a few months—my wife and I held each other on the bathroom floor and wept together. I told her, “I am glad the Lord gave her to us because we won’t abort her.” Does that sound liberal to you?

Agree? Disagree? Listen to “Is Being Pro-Life Enough? with Abortion Abolitionist Bradley Pierce” to decide for yourself.



Posted by Tyler Gresham

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