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How Christians Turned the Abortion Debate into an Epic Fail
The Link Between Abortion, Adoption and Race
The abortion debate doesn't rage like it used to. Somewhere along the way the hostile, loud, angry and confrontative Christians realized their approach wasn't working. Shooting abortion doctors and calling women whores as they walked into the clinic only made for bad PR and did little to save lives. While we still have thousands, if not millions, of Christians who oppose abortion on the basis of their belief in the sanctity of unborn life, let's all thank God that they haven't shot anyone lately.
In addition to their questionable tactics, the thing that defeated the anti-abortion activists was the lack of meaningful action behind their political rhetoric. It's one thing to believe that every embryo is a divine creation and worthy of a chance at life; it's quite another to offer to adopt that embryo once it becomes an actual baby.
I'm convinced that if more Christian families had adopted children, they would have had more success in convincing secular people about the sanctity of life. Early Christians living in the Roman Empire were known for rescuing babies, usually female, who had been left outside to die of exposure. These babies were taken in and made part of the family. The early Christians didn't have much of a PR campaign, but they saved a lot of lives and made a big enough impression on the surrounding culture that word of their activity made it into the history books. What would have happened in modern times if all the money and energy spent lambasting abortion had been spent to educate Christian couples on adoption? One of the most embarrassing chapters in modern American Christianity might have been instead a cultural revolution that saved innocent lives.
There is no guarantee that increasing the number of people willing to adopt would decrease the number of abortions. However, it would guarantee a CHOICE. Many women have an abortion because they feel they have no other choice. Whether it's a lack of support from the father or the fear of being unable to provide financially, many women reluctantly choose abortion. If adoption were a common,widely publicized and culturally accepted option, perhaps more women would choose to give birth rather than to abort. If we're going to frame the abortion debate around the issue of choice, then let's make sure that women actually have one.
Interestingly, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than five times more likely to have an abortion than white women. Although minority women only make up 15% of the American population, they account for 36% of all abortions performed in the U.S. Some members of the black community are even calling the abortion rate of black children a genocide. I don't feel qualified to talk about the reasons for these statistics. I simply want to make a point about adoption.
Specifically, since there are more white people in America and therefore more white Christians, this means that white Christians would have to be willing to adopt black children if they want to get serious about ending abortion. So white people, are we willing to do it? Are we willing to back up our beliefs about the sanctity of life by creating a multi-racial family?
The most vocal foes of abortion are typically white, conservative religious people, very often men; if these anti-abortion advocates were serious about ending abortion, they would have to consider opening their homes to black children who would have been aborted otherwise. Theoretically, if abortion is going to end, racism must also end.
Granted, I'm sure plenty of black women would prefer that their babies be adopted into black families, but the statistics tell us that multi-racial families would be necessary to ensure a home for all the babies that need one. I am certainly not saying that white people need to band together to save all the black babies. I'm saying that if white Christians want to get serious about ending abortion, they have to be open to adopting a child outside of their own race.
Do I believe that white people adopting babies is going to stop abortion? No way. I certainly don't think pregnant black women sit around hoping that some nice white families will adopt their babies. But pressing the issue like I am here forces people who claim to be pro-life to take a hard look at their convictions. Just how pro-life are we, really, if our beliefs require nothing of us beyond lip service? Are we really pro-life if we only believe in the rights of theoretical babies and not of actual ones?
The conversation surrounding adoption, abortion and race is complicated and sensitive. There is no "answer" to abortion. The point of this article is that before Christians can have any kind of a platform from which to speak on abortion, we need to have some difficult conversations about where we have failed on race and adoption. Quoting scripture has zero effect on secular people who don't believe in scripture. Let's stop yammering endlessly about how much God loves unborn babies and do something to demonstrate it. If we made it more about compassionate action and less about rhetoric, perhaps more embryos would turn into babies. They will know we are Christians by our love, not our protests.