- Foundations of Truth
Incentivize Women to Protect the Unborn
The newly-minted Texas ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy  drew a flurry of headlines in early September, especially after the Supreme Court refused to grant a request  for a temporary injunction on the law’s enforcement.
While the Court did not officially rule on the merits of the law itself—instead, they merely declined on the basis of procedural matters—this was taken by many to be an indicator that the Supreme Court is sympathetic to undermining the precedent set in Roe v. Wade  in a different case set to be heard later this year.
At the heart of this debate about abortion is a simple question: are young children in the womb human? Are they mere “fetuses”or are they babies? These questions make a world of difference in how one approaches abortion’s legality, especially as a Christian.
From a scientific perspective, we know that babies have unique DNA  that identifies them as a separate entity from their mother. Although babies in the womb are totally dependent on their mother’s bodies for sustenance and protection, they are still genetically distinct.
We already know that children in the womb can respond to stimuli (with current estimates recording reactions as early as 16 weeks of age ) and we have biblical evidence that supports their sentience.
Take Luke 1:41-44: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
Thus, it is not quite true to say that abortion is solely about a woman choosing what happens to her own body. It is also about whether she decides to destroy another person’s body to avoid being pregnant, giving birth to them, and potentially being responsible for their care.
In truth, becoming a parent demands a level of selflessness that we, as Christians, know that human beings in their fallen state generally fail to possess. As it says in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
While the Texas abortion law is a step in the right direction, there will only be real change when we change the incentive structures around becoming a mother. As the Guttmacher Institute noted in their research in 2005, the most commonly cited reasons  for why women had abortions were because giving birth would obstruct or prevent them from pursuing an education, working a job, or caring for dependents (elderly parents, disabled spouses, prior children, etc.).
As Christians, if our goal is to protect the lives of the unborn, we must individually choose to make it as easy as possible for women to go through pregnancy, give birth, and raise children or connect them with adoption services. This includes supporting the hundreds of pregnancy care centers, like Care-Net.org, which are located all across the United States. They provide resources for mothers and their children before they are born and after their birth. Pregnancy care centers are not well known, but they have helped, literally, millions of women already and are always in need of more resources to be ready for every woman who faces the difficult situation of giving birth and raising a child on their own.
As it says in John 15:12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”That means being accommodating professors, compassionate employers, and supportive friends/family members.
Regardless of the laws penalizing abortion, if we also change the incentive structure in positive ways, fewer and fewer women will even consider having abortions in the first place.
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 “Bill Text: TX SB8 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Enrolled,” LegiScan (n.d.), https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB8/id/2395961
 “Whole Woman’s Health et al., v. Austin Reeve Jackson, Judge, et al.,” SupremeCourt.gov (September 1, 2021), https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/21a24_8759.pdf
 Alice Miranda Ollstein and Josh Gerstein, “Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Politico (July 22, 2021), https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/22/mississippi-supreme-court-roe-v-wade-abortion-500618
 Viviane Callier, “Baby’s Cells Can Manipulate Mom’s Body for Decades,”Smithsonian Magazine (September 2, 2015), https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/babys-cells-can-manipulate-moms-body-decades-180956493/
 Viola Marx and Emese Nagy, “Fetal Behavioural Responses to Maternal Voice and Touch,”NCBI (September 16, 2019), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Marx%20V%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=26053388
 Lawrence B. Finer, et al., “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives,”Guttmacher Institute (September 2005), https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives
 “Find your nearest center,”Care-Net (n.d.), https://resources.care-net.org/find-a-pregnancy-center/