Recently, Colorado introduced a trio of radical new pro-abortion bills that, if passed, would make it the most hostile state for preborn life in the Union. One of the bills, named “Prohibiting Deceptive Practices at Anti-Abortion Centers,” takes direct aim at pregnancy resource centers, which have been serving women across the country for decades with free pregnancy tests, prenatal care, parenting classes, baby clothes, diapers, and more. Referring to these centers as “anti-abortion” is an attempt to paint them as shadowy fronts for nefarious political action. Left unaddressed in this and every politically motivated attack on pregnancy resource centers is where women facing a crisis pregnancy can go to find care and help. According to a recent survey of Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S., only 5% offered services that could be called “prenatal care.”
Calling pregnancy resource centers “anti-abortion centers” is a form of propaganda that attempts to portray abortion as normative and having a baby as an unthinkable option. In his book Biblical Critical Theory, Christopher Watkin argues that the term “nonviolence” is a misnomer within a Christian worldview. To use this term is to suggest that violence is a fundamental part of the world, the natural state of things. Within the biblical account of creation, Watkin writes, “[V]iolence is the stubborn imposter, the derivative reality whose days are numbered in God’s world. Peace, for the Christian, is not nonviolence; violence is nonpeace.”
Similarly, if pregnancy resource centers are “anti-abortion centers,” we may as well call hospitals “anti-disease centers” rather than “health clinics.” PRCs are, of course, anti-abortion, but that is because their central mission is to help women and save the lives of preborn children. Abortion impedes this mission, harming women and threatening children. On the other hand, it is accurate to call Planned Parenthoods “abortion clinics” because they exist to provide abortions.
This Colorado bill would not only make it illegal for pregnancy resource centers to claim to offer abortions, something no Colorado PRC has ever been credibly accused of doing; it would also prohibit centers from helping women who want to try to reverse a medication abortion. The two-pill medication abortion process can be stopped by a dose of progesterone after the first pill. Even though there are babies alive today because of this process, Colorado legislators do not want this choice available to women.
Another of the Colorado bills would require private insurance companies to pay for abortions under employee healthcare plans, and it would grant state funding to pay for transportation for an abortion. The other bill would protect doctors who perform abortions or prescribe abortion pills to women from out of state, as well as prohibit the state from “restricting” or “interfering” with the licensing of abortion clinics. This could hinder law enforcement from investigating reports of dangerous conditions inside them.
These bills and similar measures in other states are the new fronts of the legal fight against abortion in post-Roe America. The Church’s response must include opposition to bills like these, help for women in crisis, and cultural change. Legalized abortion has fundamentally changed the way people in our culture think about sex, marriage, and children. It tells men that having sex with a woman does not commit them to any responsibility for a child that might result. It tells women that pregnancy and raising children is too frightening, limiting, and difficult, and that violence is a better option: a lie only made more believable when the preborn child’s father abandons them. In other words, legal abortion sells a lie to both men and women. Men don’t have to commit, women shouldn’t expect them to, and children are a burden instead of a blessing.
The Church’s work, then, must go beyond the moral condemnation of abortion. It must also proclaim that life is what is normative and that sex, marriage, and children are the inseparable goods through which life is brought into the world. It is sex outside of this context and the killing of children that is unthinkable. Though death is a part of a world broken by the Fall, we ought not further confuse brokenness for purpose. Instead, Christians work for life and for restoration as we wait for God to make all things new.
This Breakpoint was co-authored by Maria Baer. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to colsoncenter.org.
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