Opinion

Wilberforce didn’t give up, and neither should we

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Abortion is a reality that must not remain in a stagnant state of concern. We must remain in forward motion. To live in comfort while acknowledging yet neglecting the genocide around us is the utmost in selfishness.

1. “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

Concern, void of action, will eventually lead to apathy, and where apathy becomes comfortable, the issues are inevitably forgotten. And that is a tragically hopeless state to be in.

I had a friend challenge me once to consider every way I treated people that day. Then he said to imagine everyone I saw the next day wearing a shirt labeled “image-bearer of God.” God did not see a baby being formed and then decide to assume responsibility for it. He loved that child long before a cell held any form of their identity. When we look away, we look away from an image-bearer of their Creator – OUR Creator. 

This isn’t a guilt trip– it’s a reality check.

2. “We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible…so we will do them anyway.”

Wilberforce spent 28 years combatting the slave trade. He knew the mirage of the impossible. He saw it, heard it, and feared it. But his persistence proved the impossible to be nothing but a lure towards his victory.

Wilberforce faced two forms of opposition from his fellow legislators: political and personal. Members of parliament supported the slave trade because their constituents demanded it. But members of parliament also had slaves of their own. Giving up slavery would mean sacrificing the desires of their constituents and thus likely their career, but it also meant surrendering their own personal conveniences.

Politicians support abortion because their constituents demand it…but politicians aren’t regularly having abortions. It’s political, not as much personal. That’s a barrier we do not have to cross that Wilberforce did. Also, not all of us are carrying a terminal ailment that Wilberforce carried with him throughout his journey.

3. “God Almighty has set before me two Great Objects: the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners.”

Wilberforce ran on a platform of justice. But his ferocity was not his own, nor did he take the credit. Instead, he credited God with this assignment and it was his reverence towards God that prompted his obedience to follow. He elaborates on reformation of manners to mean the moral compass of society. He admitted that a victory of abolition wouldn’t be possible by votes alone but that his pursuit must be supplemented by changing the hearts of his fellow men. This is important. Many pro-choice, and even some quasi pro-life advocates, will condemn pro-life legislation and instead push for creating a culture where abortion, though legal, wouldn’t be an issue because people would be responsible.

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While this is part of Wilberforce’s conviction, he didn’t push for moral reform at the sacrifice of legislative efforts. His strategy consisted of a hybrid approach of change and law.

The idea of no women wanting an abortion is rather dystopian and ultimately unrealistic. To be fair, I don’t think anyone is suggesting otherwise. However, even if we get to a point in society where we reduce abortions by 90% due to a change of heart, that 10% of babies still matter and there must be legislative security for their right to life. It will take a long time to change the hearts of such a stubborn culture that we live in. No baby should have to die at the expense of society’s inability to learn quickly the value of life and the horror in killing the innocent.

This generation can see the demise of abortion. WE can do this. 

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