I am a conservative Christian and very much pro-life. However, I believe adamantly that each woman has the right to decide for herself whether or not to have a child. I believe that procreation is a blessing and that “children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). But no woman should be compelled to procreate.
Women have a right to choose, but that choice belongs before conception, not after an innocent life is involved. Conservative Christians should be activists for increasing access to nonlethal birth control options. With such access, the primary issue becomes responsible behavior. If you choose to be irresponsible, having unprotected sex when you are not ready to raise a child, you do not have a right to then choose death for an innocent.
If by rape, a woman does not have a choice at conception; she retains her right to choose, and abortion should be legal in that rare case. We can respect life and respect choice, but it means increasing access to birth control and demanding personal responsibility. That combination could so dramatically drop the abortion rate that it’s politically moot and protects nearly all unborn children.
After 40 years, can we not find some common ground here?