My first introduction to the abortion debate was in a Political Science seminar at Brock University. At the time I had not taken a position on the issue. I was shocked by the emotion involved and was surprised at the anger the pro-choice side had toward pro-life, often accusing them of being mysogynist.
I have since taken a pro-life stance. I am still surprised at the reactions by pro-choice supporters. I was involved in one peaceful abortion protest where the signs were closely regulated as to their message. The anger by abortion supporters was unfortunate. To some people, one of the biggest problems with conservative Christians is that many of them are pro-life. Pro-life is seen as anti-women and therefore something that should not be tolerated.
I find the abortion debate extremely frustrating. One side says that they want to protect the life of an unborn baby and another that they want to protect the rights of a woman. When you listen to the debates, it is as if they are having two different conversations. One side sees the other as anti-woman and the other as anti-baby, when neither is the case.
There is a part of me that would like to be pro-choice, in fact I am with any other decision with a woman’s body. What stops me is that this one choice will affect and in fact end the life of another human being. Never has it entered into my mind that abortion should be opposed in order to take rights away from women. Since pro-choice supporters are good people, they are forced to deny that a fetus is a human being. This is problematic. For example, in some areas, criminals can be charged with double homicide if they murder a pregnant woman. Also, if a person wants to have a child, there is very real grief if the pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. It is not the same grief of a missed opportunity such as if conception does not take place in the desired month. There is a real feeling of loss.
My plea to pro-choice people who are angry with conservative Christians is to take a moment and imagine how they would react if they encountered a situation where children were being murdered. How would you feel? What would you do? You might not think that abortion is the killing of a human baby, but considering the belief that life begins at conception, most actions (violent action excepted) by pro-life people are actually quite reasonable.
As a conservative Christian, I will continue to oppose abortion. But I think the best way to do it is not to condemn people who have chosen abortion but to give people options by being willing to help with the physical needs of pregnant women and being willing to adopt when possible. However, I do not believe these positions deserve the hatred of opponents of the pro-life movement.