Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Confessions of an Ex-Pro-Life Activist

You know those people who go to college campuses, high schools, and even middle schools to hold enormous pictures of aborted fetuses?  I was one of those people.  For almost two years, starting at age 19, I participated in a local pro-life group made up almost exclusively of fundamentalist homeschooled teens, called "Teens for Life".

I had never even been inside a middle school or high school, and was attending a church that actively discouraged women from going to college, yet there I was, holding bloody pictures and trying to pass out literature on the sidewalk in front of them.  I had no social skills, crippling depression, and was unable to carry on a conversation even with other members of my pro-life group, yet there I was, trying to interact with the public in the most aggressive and controversial way possible.

It has been ten years since those days, but one thing has not changed: I still consider abortion a tragedy that we as a society should work to prevent.  Although that opinion is the same, everything else has shifted around it and other equally valid concerns have joined it.  I'll let some better writers than me explain:

"How I Lost Faith in the 'Pro-Life' Movement" by Libby Anne of Love Joy Feminism:
What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head.

That year [1979], Christianity Today — edited by Harold Lindsell, champion of “inerrancy” and author of The Battle for the Bible — published a special issue devoted to the topics of contraception and abortion....Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell: 
"God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul."
Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website. If you applied for a job in 2012 with Christianity Today or Dallas Theological Seminary and they found out that you had written something like that, ever, you would not be hired.

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