On Wednesday, August 28, Iowa Democrats gathered at the state capitol for a rally, and they opened the rally in prayer. What were they praying for? That God would expand abortion rights.
Midge Slater, a liberal activist, offered the prayer. She thanked God for abortion rights and asked for the protection of doctors who perform abortions:
We give thanks, O Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care, and pray that they may be kept safe.
We pray for the 45 million American women who have had safe, legal abortions. May they stand tall and refuse shame.
We pray for elected officials, that they may always support a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.1
In her prayer, Slater referred to abortion as the “blessing of choice.” While prayers for the expansion of abortion rights may be shocking to those of us who believe that all human life, including that of unborn babies, is precious to God, Slater’s words mimic the requests of Planned Parenthood’s “40 Days of Prayer” in 2012.2
The common issue running through Slater’s statements is a complete misunderstanding of what biblical justice and mercy look like. The selfish desires of human beings and the ideals of the feminist agenda are lifted above scriptural mandates. At its heart, Slater’s prayer reveals a lack of value or concern for the lives of the unborn and a regard for death that is completely contradictory with the biblical perspective.
Warped Ideas of What Is “Good”
Slater references two verses of Scripture, both of which she grossly misapplies in her petition. She first alludes to Micah 6:8, where the prophet says, “
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” She also references Genesis 1:31, where Moses summarizes, “
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”
In her misuse of these passages, Slater shows her ignorance of what God’s Word has to say about what is “
We pray today because we see that all is not good. There are some who would shun justice, despise mercy, and lay aside humility . . . [and] perpetuate an ongoing blockade of women’s right to safe reproductive health care.
Of course, what she really means here is that there are many people—primarily Christians—who seek an end to the practice of abortion. Egregiously, Slater attempts to turn Scripture on its head in support of the murder of unborn babies. Her statement implies that those who seek to block abortion have shunned biblical justice and mercy.
Slater rips God’s use of the description “
good” from its context when she says that “all is not good.” She later prays that God would “protect the goodness that we are capable of” and that young women would “know the power of making their own good decisions.” All of these are in reference to choosing abortion—death—over life.
Death was not part of God’s original creation and was not called “
good.” It came about because of Adam’s sin, and it is the “
last enemy” that will one day be defeated (1 Corinthians 15:26). Slater has committed a grave error in her treatment of Scripture and in her petition that the God of life would expand death’s influence in society.
Abortion Is Not a Necessity
Sadly, Slater does not stop at exchanging life for death in her prayer. As she continues, she lifts up abortion as a necessity in life:
Today, we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control, and abortion.
In developing countries, there is a definite need for employment and education. In a society, literacy and an income are very important to have access to; abortions are not. Furthermore, the clear implication here is that children hold back the development and self-determination of women.
God’s Word, however, states clearly that children are a blessing from God: “
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Surely, then, allowing children to be born and to live is preferable to the God who forms us in our mothers’ wombs (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13–16).
Those in the pro-abortion camp, however, center their attention on the mother with little regard for the unborn baby’s well-being. As Slater says, “We pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.” In fact, not only does Slater say women have choices, but that the choice to abort is a “blessing.”
But humanity was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–28), and that includes unborn babies. The Bible presents no line concerning when a human becomes a person made in the image of God; babies are in the image of God from the moment of fertilization. Therefore, the choice to abort an unborn baby is not a “blessing.” No, abortion is a marring of the image of God in a human being. It is the embrace of death rather than life.
The influence of feminist ideology in the thinking of pro-abortionists is apparent in Slater’s prayer. Many feminists from around the 1960s onward argue that women are viewed by men as “Other” in society, as a group to be feared and dominated. Another common feminist claim is that women’s voices have been stifled by men, citing examples that include even the supposed masculine roots of words such as “history.” Slater, for example, prays that women will “claim their herstories” and even refers to God as “she.”3
Slater very closely associates access to abortion with the dignity of women: “We pray for compassionate religious voices to speak out for the dignity and autonomy of women. . . . We pray for an end to hateful language that diminishes the dignity of women.” In the context of abortion rights, Slater must be referring to people who speak out against the murder of unborn children.
Indeed, Slater continues to exhibit her feminist tendencies when she says, “We pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power by paternalistic religion. May they learn to reject fear and live bravely. . . . Today, we pray that all women will know that they are created in the image of God—good and holy, moral and wise.”
God gives us dignity by creating us in His image, and no amount of wordplay, laws, or arbitrary definitions of “person” will change that.
This begs the question: Would Slater (or any feminist) say the same about men and unborn children? Are they also created in the image of God, “good and holy, moral and wise”? If she were to say this, her argument is already defeated, as that would put unborn children on an equivalent plane as their mothers.
While Slater has a point—women, just like men, unborn babies, and every other human being, are created in the image of God—she is wrong on one count. Adam and Eve were created good and holy, but because of Adam’s sin, man is now fallen and sinful (Genesis 3). Apart from Christ, humans are the exact opposite of “good and holy, moral and wise.”
Does the lack of access to abortions affect a woman’s dignity? In short, no, it does not. An abortion does, however, remove an unborn baby’s dignity. Man or woman, all human beings are equal in the sight of God (Genesis 1:27).
We can conclude that women are equal in dignity to men. To say that a woman is without dignity if she cannot choose death for her unborn baby is to say that there is a source of human dignity outside of the Creator of the universe. The implication is that women (and men) can find dignity within themselves and their actions. But it is God who gives us dignity by creating us in His image, and no amount of wordplay, laws, or arbitrary definitions of “person” will change that.
The Biblical Response
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to stand up for what Scripture teaches is morally right and to graciously speak the truth with wisdom:
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5–6)
We at Answers in Genesis pray sincerely that God awakens the heart of Midge Slater and others who profess Christ but who promote death as “good” and a “blessing.” This is serious error and demonstrates a lack of understanding or conscious disregard for what Scripture tells us about our God of life.
The Lord God gives us life and does not provide us with the “choice” to abort the life of an unborn child. I urge you to stand boldly against abortion—against the practice of death—and for life.