[This post is a Beagle’s Bark.]
President Obama recently stated his opposition to a House bill that would have jailed doctors who knowingly perform abortions for sex-selection.
Predictably, the president has been roundly criticized by the Religious Right. Even his defenders acknowledge, “Banning abortions based on sex-selection is something everyone can sign on to in principle.”
I confess that I am uneasy about abortion. Even the most ardently pro-choice people are at some point (surely at 8-1/2 months!). I also think that the reasons the president’s deputy press secretary gave for the president’s position are dubious. So, I am not writing to defend the president’s decision on a bill that I have not even read.
Instead, I would like to challenge those who criticize the president based on their biblical convictions to take the plank out of their own eye before they attempt to take the speck of sawdust out of the president’s.
If sex-selective abortion is bad, surely sex-selective infanticide is much worse. I humbly ask my Bible-believing friends to grapple with the fact that the Bible claims God ordered exactly that.
…kill all the boys, … but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Lest we think that this was just Moses’ idea, remember that the chapter makes it clear throughout (verses 7, 31, 41 and 47) that Moses was doing as the Lord commanded.
So, according to the Bible, we have God selecting which children will live and which will die based solely on their sex. Isn’t that exactly what we object to in the case of sex-selective abortions? (The excuse is that this was an act of divine judgment, but see my post here for a response to that idea.)
Next, consider Psalm 139:13:
…you [God] knit me together in my mother’s womb.
The Bible says that God fashions the developing child in the womb. How does that square with the fact that up to half of all pregnancies terminate with spontaneous abortion? Are these “acts of God”? It may be argued that miscarriages are the result of The Fall, but the Bible says that God is still active in “opening and closing the womb.” One of the prophets even implores God to cause miscarriages. The Bible does not depict God as standing idly by while the consequences of The Fall work themselves out.
I will continue to grapple with the abortion issue. In return, will my religious friends wrestle honestly with these troubling Bible passages?