Abortion Is Not Real Love
Last Tuesday, in a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, abortion activist Dr. Paulina Guerrero said, “Abortion is a parenting decision. The feelings our clients express when trying to make a pregnancy decision range from shock, sadness, relief, […] and at times, a heartfelt and abiding sense of love. Love for their families, their children, their communities, and love for themselves.”
Recently, Guerrero has not been alone in making the claim that abortion is an expression of love. In a House Oversight Committee hearing on July 13, self-proclaimed “abortion storyteller” Sarah Lopez insisted, “My abortion is the best decision I ever made. It was an act of self-love […].” The day before, in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, abortionist Dr. Colleen P. McNicholas said simply, “Abortion is an act of love.”
The abortion lobby is correct about one thing — abortion is a matter of love, but not true love; instead, it is a complete perversion of love. What is the object of the warped love that motivates abortion?
Scripture gives us clues as to the misguided loves that motivate destructive actions. 1 Timothy 6:10 asserts, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” There can be no doubt that the abortion industry is motivated by a love of money; if abortion activists truly cared about women having a choice, why would they refuse to support pregnancy resource centers (PRC), which offer free material resources and care for mothers in need? The simple answer is that PRCs detract from the abortion industry’s consumer base by providing mothers an alternative option.
The false love that drives the abortion industry is not a love that sustains, but rather one that destroys. But what about mothers — is abortion truly an act of self-love for them? The answer is clearly no; there is extensive evidence that abortion causes deep harm to women, whether it is experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, elevated risk of suicide, or emotional and spiritual turmoil that can last a lifetime. When the abortion industry tells women that abortion is a way of loving themselves, it is a heinous lie.
So, what does the Bible teach us about authentic love? 1 John 3:16 teaches, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Jesus’s perfect example demonstrates the loving sacrifice of a literal death — but not every loving sacrifice requires this extent.
Laying down one’s life for the sake of another can also look like laying down the life that you thought you would live in order to preserve the life, dignity, and wellbeing of another. A mother who never planned to find herself pregnant can lay down her expectations about what her life would look like for the sake of protecting her child’s life — and, in the process, can also demonstrate authentic self-love by protecting herself from the trauma of abortion, which would desecrate the dignity of her body and leave profound wounds on her conscience.
And what about us, within the pro-life movement? As we seek to love mothers and babies in the way God calls us to, we must remember that if our love is costing us nothing, then it is not sacrificial (see 2 Samuel 24:24). Keep in mind that a sacrifice does not always require death (though Scripture clearly teaches that there is no greater love than this). 1 John 3 goes on to explain, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
We can sacrifice our time, our energy, our financial resources, and our comfort for the sake of loving others. Sidewalk counseling outside of abortion facilities, donating to pregnancy resource centers, engaging in difficult conversations to change the hearts and minds of our pro-choice friends — all of these activities are forms of sacrificial love.
Whether you are a mother experiencing fear about an unexpected pregnancy, or someone with pro-life convictions pursuing authentic love in your advocacy, may we all look to Jesus Christ as the only worthy exemplar of perfect, sacrificial love (see Romans 5:8).
Joy Stockbauer is a policy analyst for the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council.