The highly antagonized debate over abortion in America has found its principal focus on a question of law.

The central question now is this: Shall we have legal barriers that protect the unborn by restraining their mothers’ freedom to abort? But both prolife and prochoice advocates may be seriously misled. Abortion is one of those issues that will never be resolved by law.

Let me make it immediately clear that I wholeheartedly respect and support the prolife movement’s attempt to alter our present abortion laws. At the same time, I believe prolife Christians need to consider more deeply some other necessary changes. The nation’s behavior concerning abortion is a matter of attitude and character, not simply laws.

A practice that is presently engaged in each year by a million and a half women—as is abortion—is not likely to be stopped by a statute. We Christians need to understand why we welcome children, and then we must practice that welcoming in such a way that others, too, will welcome children.

We need also to understand why persons seek abortions and how we can graciously lead them to turn away from abortion.

Abortion And Character

Professionally administered public opinion polls have surveyed the mind of the American nation on the issue from the early 1960s until the present. A decisive majority of the adult American public has persistently believed that abortion should be a crime, with two exceptions: to protect a mother from death or severe injury to her physical health, and when pregnancy has resulted from incest or rape.

A recent round of polls shows that the current law, which has never enjoyed the agreement of more than about 25 percent of the public, is currently unacceptable to the views ...

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