Ever since Roe V. Wade deemed abortion legal, the issue on abortion has been a very divisive issue. Suprisingly, among a new generation of American Christians, the tide of the abortion debate has been somewhat divided: some believe that abortion is murder and that the government should not sanction abortion and other believe that the government has no right to interfere with a woman’s right concerning the life of her unborn child. It has, in essence, become a push-pull factor.
Some young Americans, such as University of Houston student Kristine DeMatta, still hold the view that life begins at conception, which would, in essence, make abortion a murderous act. “My mom had two miscarriages and I was the only one who was born alive. When my mom and other women talk about their miscarriages, they mourn the loss of a child, not a clump of cells that had no significance to them. Seeing the pain my parents went through in losing their children helped me to realize the significance of every human life, whether inside or outside the womb,” says DeMatta. “I agree with it [the idea that life begins at conception] not only because it is in Scripture, but because it is scientifically proven. When an egg and a sperm meet, their pronuclei fuse to produce a diploid cell, containing the DNA that makes that baby unique. Human development then begins.”
Recent University of Houston alumnus Bobby Miles also concurs. “I would consider myself mostly pro life because I value the life of a child more than the convenience of a parent. I don’t personally support abortion at all, but I think if the US required a legal hearing for each abortion (example: “your honor, I aborted my child because…”), that might be a good place to start,” says Miles.
According to the Life Advocate newspaper, at the March for Life on the Mall in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2009, about half of the pro life activists that attended the event were young highschool or college students who came in large groups. Many members of these groups made their own signs containing their own messages as well. Pro-life advocacy groups are popping up and growing fast on college campuses nationwide. On facebook alone, the UH Pro-Life Cougars boasts 250 members from the University of Houston (and alumni) alone. Students For Life, another pro-life advocacy group, serves more than 450 pro-life student groups across the nation. Students For Life of America’s aim is to educate college students on issues concerning abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
Other young christians, on the other hand, are somewhat divided on the issue. “I am personally pro-life because I believe that God is sovereign and the lives he creates are sacred, even if that means the death of me.” says University of Houston student Joanna Bonner. “I am politically pro-choice because I don’t believe the government has the right to take away choices from the people.”
Other young Christians have mixed feelings about the issue. Caitlyn Grygier, a University of Houston student says that the church considers it murder, and murder is something they are fully against . . . . I think it’s a bit much to consider it murder. I don’t know what I consider it, but murder is awfully harsh. These women who get abortions struggle with the decision and are not lunatics.”
Many young American christians argue that the Bible is their justification for being pro-life, often quoting the passage in Psalms 139:13-16 which states:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Also, in the book of Jeremiah 1:5, it states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The political and even moral landscape of the Christian faith is changing. Whereas some are called to action in debates such as the abortion and right to life issue, others are either alienated or do not care.