There is much debate in religious circles surrounding abortion. While it is clear that being pro-abortion is incompatible with Christianity, there are still some who insist that abortion can be acceptable. The latest example is a newly-published book from an Episcopalian priest touting abortion.
Kira Schlesinger is priest-in-charge at Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Lebanon, Tennessee, and her new book, “Pro-Choice and Christian: Reconciling Faith, Politics, and Justice,” argues that women should be allowed to take the lives of their preborn babies.
“The shame and stigma surrounding abortion and unwanted pregnancies, particularly in religious circles, are a huge impediment to having honest and forthright discussions about something nearly a third of women have gone through,” Schlesinger writes. “Finding common ground in the principles of our faith and who we believe God to be leads us to more complete and expansive ‘pro-life’ principles that support the flourishing of all people.” (No word on how killing children in abortion supports “the flourishing of all people.”)
So what is the crux of Schlesinger’s argument? Well, in essence, she argues that abortion is necessary because some lives simply aren’t worth living.
“She loves God, as evidenced from this book, but also sees the reality that in some cases an abortion is the best outcome in an already bad situation — a situation that really requires a lot of discernment on the part of the woman carrying the fetus,” Zachary Houle, a pro-abortion reviewer of the book, wrote. Basically, if a baby is going to be born into a so-called “bad situation,” then abortion is justifiable. “She loves God but” is certainly not the most glowing review for a book written by a self-described Christian.
Schlesinger’s view is not limited to just this book. She has argued in the past that unless every pregnancy is a wanted pregnancy, abortion will be needed. It’s a typical pro-abortion argument: the “better dead than” argument.
Better dead than poor.
Better dead than disabled.
Better dead than unwanted.
It’s a fallacy, and an insulting one at that. But it’s common in pro-abortion circles. Every child should be a wanted child, they claim. If a baby won’t be born to parents that want him, in a happy, loving household, then it’s better that he’s just not born at all. Pregnancy should only happen under ideal circumstances, and anything less than that is an excuse for an abortion.
The entire premise is that if a baby isn’t wanted, then his life is basically worthless. If the baby is disabled or will be poor or even a minority, then abortion is the preferable outcome. It’s offensive, not to mention torturous. Former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains one gruesome type of abortion procedure, the D&E, in the video below:
The reality is, a person’s life does not have value because they are privileged or healthy. And less-than-perfect circumstances do not doom someone to lifelong misery, either; babies who may not have been wanted during pregnancy can still grow up and be loved. Babies born with disabilities can still grow up to lead fulfilling, happy, and healthy lives. And babies born to underprivileged homes can still grow up to accomplish great things. Most human beings will experience suffering of some sort in their lifetimes, some greater than others. But it does not logically follow that these sufferings dictate that people are better off dead than encountering such difficulties.
The idea that all suffering is to be avoided is what is at the heart of this “better dead than” philosophy. Suffering is a part of the human experience. It may not be ideal, but it is the reality of life on this planet. And it is no one’s place to decide for another human being whether or not his life is worth living due to the possibility (or even probability) of suffering.
The circumstances of a person’s life do not determine a person’s value. Even if someone is a criminal, or is alone, or has a debilitating disease, each life still has worth and dignity. The line of thinking that Schlesinger promotes isn’t Christian at all, and in the end, it robs all people of their intrinsic worth.