And yet, it is not simple. Millions of women resort to abortion as a way out of desperate situations, or because of some great evil that has been inflicted on them. When discussing abortion, this cannot be ignored. What are we to do with those children conceived through rape, or who are destined to be born into abject poverty, or who are simply unwanted and unloved by their own parents?
Again, abortion is evil. It is not the answer. To destroy the child as punishment for the sins of their father, or to deny them a chance at life because of the situation of their parents, simply heaps evil upon evil. It compounds injustice, and is not a legitimate solution to genuinely tragic situations.
There is no justice or healing to be found in the slaughter of innocents.
But if we are not to respond to evil with evil, how do we respond? What is our solution for the mother who thinks that her only escape from terrible circumstance is the murder of her child? What is our answer to the abortionist who truly believes they are doing what is good? And how do we respond to those who have repented of this evil - who truly believe what they have done is wrong, but are now haunted by guilt?
The answer, of course, is love. Not an ethereal, inactive love. Not a false concept of love based entirely around emotions. A living, working love, that provides help in need, and grace for the fallen.
One way this love is expressed is through crisis pregnancy centres. These are an incredible resource for women who find themselves in seemingly hopeless situations. They will provide financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual support, both to aid women in difficult pregnancies, and those who have suffered the anguish of abortion and are seeking healing. The staunchest pro-life supporters I know are all involved in organisations of this sort: seeking life and love not only for the child, but the parents.
Crisis pregnancy centres have been accused of being "fake clinics" by those who support (and perform) abortions, but how much better an answer it is to suffering than death! This is true support, true hope, and true care: to be willing to help women in their time of need, while not sacrificing their children on the altar of convenience.
To love is to lay down our lives for others - not lay down the lives of their children.
Abortion is not just evil, but it is ultimately a hopeless thing. Where there is life, there is hope - yet it takes that away from the children, never giving them a chance to live for themselves. Crisis pregnancy centres promise life and hope for the whole family.
However, while they are incredibly valuable, there is an even greater answer to evil. It is the answer given by Alyosha to Ivan, in the excerpt from The Brothers Karamazov in my last post.
“Brother,” said Alyosha suddenly, with flashing eyes, “you said just now, is there a being in the whole world who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? But there is a Being and He can forgive everything, all and for all, because He gave His innocent blood for all and everything. You have forgotten Him, and on Him is built the edifice, and it is to Him they cry aloud, ‘Thou art just, O Lord, for Thy ways are revealed!’ ”
Our ultimate hope for the lives of many innocents is the life of the One innocent, who freely gave of Himself that we might live. The One who offers not just life on this earth, but life eternal.
To those who find themselves considering abortions, and those who have already had them or performed them, I urge you: turn to Jesus, the Saviour and Judge of the world, and plea for mercy and help. He is gracious, and will give abundantly to those who ask. There is no greater hope, and no greater answer to evil.
Turn too to the body of Christ in this world. Those who truly serve God will extend love towards you freely, no matter your past or present circumstances. Find a faithful church, and ask for support. It will be given, without judgement or expectation of recompense.
This is also a call to the Church itself. Do more - we must do more! As long as the evil of abortion continues in the world, we need to fight it. To do nothing is to do too little. Whether it be through prayer, through protesting, or reaching out to those who have been afflicted by abortion, we must seek and strive to shine the love of Christ into the world. It may seem a hopeless mission, but our hope is in Jesus, in whom all authority in heaven and on earth rests.
Abortion is a dreadful scar on the world. It is a terrible wordless question, screamed by the millions who have been sacrificed for reasons they could never understand.
Love is the answer. Jesus is the answer: a healing for the wounds that sin inflicts on creation, and mercy and grace for those who seek Him.
He is the face of love to whom we must turn. And, in the words of C. S. Lewis:
“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”