The LIFE bill, on the right side of history

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The debate over abortion has been going on so long at such a fevered pitch that it’s become easy to spot the arguments. I’m pro-life, and so already know the arguments those who disagree with me are going to use. In turn, I’d expect they know my position. That argument has been particularly intense this week at the Capitol in Atlanta over House Bill 481, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act.

One argument used against the pro-life position goes like this: “With all of these unwanted children around, who’s going to take care of them? This brings an unnecessary burden on society and keeps poor women poor. Why would you want more children growing up in that kind of environment?”

Everybody wants children to feel loved. Jesus was clear on their value. It’s one of those parts of the Bible anyone can get behind. That line of thinking extends into communities and, yes, politics. Want to get your program some support? Find a way that it’s “for the kids.” It’s hard to argue with that.

So, here’s my question: What if the effort – across society – put into making children’s lives worthy outside the womb was equally applied to when they’re inside it?

The counterpoint, I’d expect, is, “It’s a fetus, just a collection of cells and not a baby,” inside the womb. I’ve said it before and say it again: if this is your position take back everything you’ve said about loving science. Thanks to the gamechanger that is 3D/4D ultrasound technology, those two viewpoints cannot coexist. No honest intellectual debate can get around it.  

Christians have long supported adoption and foster care for children. One of my greatest honors is to be a father through adoption. I know that goes for friends at my church and congregations throughout the country, not to mention SBC leaders. Ministries such as the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries work tirelessly to provide for children. Parachurch groups like the one for which I was proud to serve as a board member not only promote a pro-life perspective but offer numerous resources and classes for families.

The tension point over House Bill 481 rests on the sixth week of gestation, when a heartbeat is typically detected in a baby. But those who support it know being pro-life goes well beyond that. This point, I trust, is something upon which we all can agree. While the examples I listed earlier are available, they’re not the only ones. Check with your school system on how you can serve as a mentor. Get your Sunday School class to “adopt” a young family needing some extra help. Open up some space at your church during the week with adult volunteers to provide help with homework.

Being pro-life doesn’t end with a baby’s birth; in fact, I have yet to meet the pro-life person who claims it to be that way. I’m very thankful for Governor Brian Kemp’s support for this bill and have already emailed both my state representatives encouraging their support of HB 481. Friday at the Capitol promises to be a very contentious, emotional day no matter the vote’s outcome. I’ve made it clear where my prayer lies. Go here to find your legislator and please contact them.

In addressing the very-real hardships many children face from the moment they’re born, I don’t want to be on the side of history that favors death in the womb. I want to see more join the side that supports life. There’s no reason we can’t save the most vulnerable in our society while building up others.

Let both understand there’s a God, a Creator, who loves them.

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