From a recent conversation about abortion: “Do you even care about women having access to birth control?”
Hmm. I am struck that there is more to this question than meets the eye, and I find myself asking, Ought we to allow a conversation about abortion to be framed as a conversation about birth control? Maybe we should be talking about conception control instead. We might find that while people differ radically with one another over abortion, most (aside from our Roman Catholic friends) will agree substantially that each woman possesses the right to exercise conception control, that is, to prevent pregnancy from occurring in the first place.
The very language of birth control, applied to the act of abortion, is macabre. No more ethically repugnant method for controlling birth has ever issued from the mind of man, and while I support the right and responsibility of each woman (and man) to control conception, once life has been conceived none of us—save God—has the right to control birth.
Maybe our conversations should take this distinction into account, separating conception from birth, the former being subject the to choices of man, the latter remaining the prerogative of God alone.
Russell St. John is the Senior Pastor of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church. You can read more at Russ' Blog, TOPC TOPics.