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Is God Pro-Choice? - Agency and Abortion

  • Aubrey Wursten
  • 10/21/2020

Author’s note: I believe abortion is primarily a scientific and logical issue, not a religious one. However, as religious abortion rights advocates have made the claim that God is pro-choice, a rebuttal on religious grounds is both appropriate and necessary.

“God gave us agency.”

Like many catchphrases, this one technically states the truth. But like many catchphrases, when used alone as an argument, it fails to prove the point the speaker is trying to make. It is a glaring false dichotomy to state that if we outlaw any action, we are failing to recognize agency itself. And to grasp the error in this line of thinking, one only need replace abortion with other possible choices.

What Is the Purpose of Any Law?

Many people who would outlaw plastic straws because of their possible effect on wildlife or future human generations would claim that outlawing abortion is an infringement on agency. But surely, if we believe God supports legally banning a drinking utensil, we cannot believe He would draw the line at banning abortion. Whatever your opinion on straws or abortion, surely you believe that some deeds warrant legal restrictions, and invoking agency cannot be used as a get-out-of-jail-free card. 

But what choices might justifiably be considered reason for laws? It stands to reason that if God gave us agency, He gave it to everyone equally. Therefore, I believe that any act that removes the opportunity for another human being to exercise agency would be grounds for legal prohibition. Of course, the exact parameters of the laws would be a matter of opinion. Again, a person could sincerely believe that a plastic straw is enough of an infringement on the rights of future generations that it merits a ban. But certainly, if anything warrants prohibition, it is refusing to allow another human being to live. Few people would argue that killing one’s child in the home should be a legal exercise of agency, so certainly ending human life on any other personal property (the womb) or at any other stage of development (embryo or fetus) does not get a pass.

Abortion: God’s Laws and Science

As I pointed out in my disclaimer a the beginning of this piece, I believe abortion is an issue of science and logic, not of religion. But I have to interject that I believe in a God of science and logic. I do not believe true religion and secular knowledge are ever at odds. Many of the world's great thinkers, from Galileo to C.S. Lewis to Henry Eyring, have been individuals of great faith, and as renowned heart surgeon Russel M. Nelson states, “There is no conflict between science and religion. Conflict only arises from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion, or both.” 

We are blessed to live in an age of rapid scientific discovery, and therefore I feel certain that if anything, we will be held more accountable by God than previous generations for our support of legalized abortion. We have the understanding that life begins at conception. We can now see it with our own eyes. And assuredly, considering our ever-increasing level of understanding, God will hold us ever more responsible for misusing our agency to steal the agency of another.


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