Tag Archives: christianity

Couple with unborn baby pictures

Why Abortion is a Men’s Issue

(A seven-minute read)

Did the title of this piece get your attention?

We don’t talk about this enough: abortion is a men’s issue as much as a women’s issue, and in some respects more.

Don’t Misunderstand Me

I generally don’t write to help people feel safe, so I encourage you to hang in there. You may read something important. In the end you may have something important to share back to me. If you bail on me now, pre-judging this as just more mansplaining, all you do is stay in your own intellectual silo. And that’s too bad.

Two Important Points

First, if you or someone you love had an abortion, I don’t condemn you. That’s not the topic here. Abortion, whether actively or reluctantly sought, is painful and challenging. It’s emotionally hard and morally fraught. I have no business in your personal business. But then, you have no business in mine either. But I’ll share it anyway.

Second, women bear a great burden (no pun intended) in pregnancy. To do it alone makes it greater. The frequent abandonment of women by men is a main reason why men have a say about abortion. An obscenely large number of children are born to single mothers. As they grow, they are borne by single mothers. It’s unconscionable, and it’s wicked on the part of the men who bailed.

My Personal Business

So, to my personal business, where I confess to possibly being an accessory to manslaughter. It was a grave crime. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. But with my help, a baby died.

It was the spring of 1972. Two of my best friends at school engaged in a private display of affection, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. It was, as we said back in the day, ‘Big Trouble’. Oh, an abortion was the only solution, we thought. It was completely justified, we believed. There was good reason for it. (Isn’t there always?)

Having a baby out of wedlock in 1972 changed lives forever and carried a huge stigma for a pair of teenagers, and especially for the baby. You are a bastard! This was a day and age when that term still meant something and was a shameful millstone.

Looking back, I can only see it as a murderous business. I prevailed upon my parents to work through our family physician to arrange an abortion for my friends. All very illegal in our state, legal elsewhere. All very hush-hush. It was all resolved quietly and no one spoke of it again.

There was no talk of ‘family planning’ or ‘women’s reproductive rights’ or ‘health care options’ in those days. It wasn’t a political issue either. It was just a pair of scared kids deciding to end an innocent life to make theirs easier to bear.

So why do I air this dirty laundry? Why do it a half-century after the fact?

Three Reasons

First, as a Bible-believing follower of Christ, I know that all life is precious, so abortion is wrong, no matter what situation it alleviates. I don’t get to choose; God’s word prevails in this matter. 1

Second, because of the first bit, I want to repent for my part in what I now acknowledge was a sin and a crime.

Finally, I also must acknowledge my own youthful premarital indiscretions which, thank God, never led to an unplanned pregnancy. Neither I nor my partners ever availed ourselves of UnPlanned Parenthood. Why do I call it that? Well, if you are planning parenthood, you don’t look for an abortion, do you?

Okay, Take a Deep Breath

Why the roundabout introduction? To show you that I’ve had some skin in the game. As a man, I have to take responsibility for my actions. All of them.

I’d like to think that if one of my youthful escapades had resulted in a pregnancy, I’d have ‘done the right thing’. In my day and age, that meant marriage, no question. Nowadays, with more than half of American and UK babies born out of wedlock, that would at least mean being an active and responsible father.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? It takes two to tango, but when that third party joins the dance, many of the men leave the floor.

It’s wrong, it’s ugly, and has led to two ugly outcomes.

The first is the wholesale slaughter of millions of babies under the euphemistic fiction of ‘family planning’ or ‘reproductive health.’ How many abortions are ordered up because the father is either absent, going to be absent, or refuses to take responsibility for a lack of self-control? How many would be prevented if men did their part?

After that, for babies allowed to be born, many of them grow up fatherless. The long-term implications of this are frightening. Fifty years of statistics prove this. We see it lived out every day. Fatherless boys become fatherless men. They are emotional orphans. They are more likely to turn to crime, use drugs, join a gang or engage in other anti-social behavior. The vast majority of men in prison grew up without a strong, loving dad. The truth of this is inarguable.

Boys without fathers search for fathers. And they will take whatever they believe gives them a strong identity, even if it is evil. This is not a new concept. There is research on this going back to the 1820s.

Boys disguised as men are also more like to unthinkingly father children for whom they will take no responsibility. They do what they’ve learned. This leaves two victims: a betrayed and wounded woman, and a dead or fatherless child.

What Do We Do?

I don’t know much beyond supporting organizations that build strong two-parent families, or which build strong, protective, loving men. In personal relationships, we can encourage the men we know to be more selfless.

Selfless men are godly men. They take responsibility for what they do, and they live honorable lives. They are willing to protect women: all women. These are men who know what a zipper is for. These are men who are willing to be accountable to others, especially other men. If they make a mess, they clean it up and make amends. If they need help, they ask for it.

Protecting Women Beyond Abortion Rights

The abortion debate (mostly passionate and violent shouting) has been all about women on one hand, and about babies on the other. Women, because they incubate, carry and bear children. Babies, because they are silent, innocent victims of abortion and – if born – too often have no father.

But the discussion should welcome and include men as well. Too many men play their part, unthinkingly, unconsciously and unconscionably and then walk away. ‘It’s your problem, Babe – you sort it out. I’ll even pay for it,’ they might say.

Or they may just disappear. Or they may turn up later demanding their ‘rights.’ They may become violent.

By their negligence and selfishness, these men essentially force women into the pain of abortions after giving them the pain of betrayal. Or force them into the pain of single parenthood. Either way, they ruin lives.

A Call to Men

I saw this quote3 recently: ‘Strong men live according to their morals. Weak men live according to their urges.’ But morals alone aren’t enough because morals have to be lived not just held. And they have to be lived in community. In the right kind of community. A community built by fathers who want to raise children, not kill them.

Family Business

Finally, I have a legacy to dispense with. Family history tells me that my grandmother, a nurse, worked directly with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Because I believe unequivocally that abortion is murder, I publicly renounce my family’s historical connection to this organization.

I know Planned Parenthood has provided much-needed pre-natal care to many women, but by all accounts, its primary purpose in recent years has been to kill innocent children.

The wrangling about Margaret Sanger’s history, and whether she was a racist or a eugenicist is for others. For myself, I’m only sorry my family was involved, and I publicly apologize to anyone who has been misled or hurt by Planned Parenthood in any way.

1. We can argue about this later
2. Ephesians 5:25-33
3. I apologize that I cannot attribute this quote. I jotted it down at the time without noting the author.

Image by Rodnae Productions via Pexels

music score - here is love vast as the ocean

A Prayer For Britain

Father, I thank you for all that you have done through Britain and her peoples over the centuries to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. May this legacy not be in vain. Millions of souls have died in your arms, and now celebrate with you in the cloud of witnesses because of what the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish peoples have done.

Britain sits as a lighthouse atop the rock of Europe, a rock growing increasingly dark.

Yet for now, Britain continues to point the way to the rest of the world, revealing you, the Father of Lights, to those trapped in darkness: the oppressed, the captive, the enslaved, the tortured, those who hunger and thirst. My prayer is that this light not go out.

Father, in your mercy, please lead us to repentance, so we can uncap the ancient wells of prayer and thanksgiving that our mothers and fathers have dug. Water this green and pleasant land more fully with the Blood of Christ, that He may rule and reign in all hearts. Show us how better to take the rest that you offer in these green pastures and beside our quiet waters.

Where You are, Lord Jesus, there is only peace, and healing. And you know we need both. Big time.

God bless the hands and feet of your servants in Britain as they go about sharing your Good News. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice that we may know salvation, life in your eternal kingdom and work in the victory you provide.

Holy Spirit, thank you for resting on the shoulders of these daughters and sons of God who carry your presence for healing, freedom and new kingdom life. Walk with them this day, just as they walk with the Son, to do the will of our Father.

We pray Revival Now! Come Holy Spirit, for Jesus Christ’s sake!

Image: screengrab from moriahchapel.org.uk

Alan from behind looking into the distance

Absence Makes the Heart Grow

This is based on material written for my recent memoir, The Lie Called Cancer but left out of the book.

(A three-minute read)

When the UK restricted everyone in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was considered a vulnerable person because of receiving cancer treatment in 2019. I was told to stay a home for twelve weeks and not go out, under any circumstances.

After a week of it, I was still saying Humph! Humph! about the idea of being medically vulnerable, but I’d get over it. It turned out it wasn’t a problem, it was an opportunity to build my faith. It was not only an opportunity for me, but also for the church.

Now, in October, 2020, we are back into another round of restrictions. For many of us it continues to be hard, especially for those who have lost loved ones, are separated from family and friends, feel financial stress, or in a myriad of other ways have had their lives disrupted. At the very least, it’s continually annoying.

When everything in life is going bonkers, when what we count on crumbles, when it’s unclear what the next steps are, we can always count on the one unmoveable: Jesus Christ. I have faith that the long-term effects of these lock-downs will be good.

Lukewarm Christians, in it for religion not relationship, will either be winnowed out or lit on fire. Those of us already on fire will see our flames rise higher. The gospel will be preached. Christ’s kingdom will advance.

By being physically apart from one another, we’ll come to know deeply how much we need one another. Ironically, through separation, we’ll grow in intimacy. The church that emerges from this will be on fire for evangelism; we’ll have a fresh desire for prayer and intercession.

We’ll be eager to share the message of Jesus.

People will ask us, ‘What happened?’ and we will simply answer, ‘God was faithful.’

I’m in the book of Jeremiah in my annual cycle of reading. It’s such an excellent pairing – better than the right wine with a gourmet meal. It’s made for this lock-down season.

‘The Lord says, “Now I will show them my power; now I will show them my might. At last they will know and understand that I am the Lord.’ *

Let me be quick to say that I’m not suggesting that God is responsible for the outbreak of a new virus against which people apparently have no natural immunity. All such things are the work of the devil.

However, I believe God may permit these things to provide an opportunity for growth. He certainly steps into the middle of all such situations to continue His work.

As the aftermath of this crisis falls out, if we look at it through the lens of opportunity, instead of relegating it to problem status, His glory will be revealed. There will be events through this season that will demonstrate His power. At least for those who have eyes to see it.

Finally, let’s not think of it as ‘lock-down.’ Think of it as exile, like Israel’s exile in Babylon. Because good things always come out of exile.

* Jeremiah 16:21 (NLT)

Photo: Rachel Richards