This year my organization joined with our Roman Catholic allies in filing a legal brief with the Supreme Court asking the court to uphold Texas’ laws regulating the abortion industry. That isn’t all that surprising. After all, Catholics and evangelicals have been working together for decades to uphold the sanctity of human life. What was surprising was that an opposing brief, filed by a Baptist church, argued that legal abortion is moral and just.
In a Baptist News Global article, the church’s senior minister Donna Schaper defended Planned Parenthood by saying that those of us who oppose abortion are “having a hard time dealing with women as moral agents and as adults.” I thought I recognized her name, and after I looked about I found that I had written about this pastor a decade ago, when she admitted that abortion is murder.
In 2006, Schaper wrote an article about the abortion she had. She wrote that her abortion was the right choice since she and her husband had young twins at the time. “Because women are mature sexual beings who make choices, birth control and abortion are positive moral forces in history,” she wrote. “They allow sex to be both procreational and recreational, for both men and women.”
What was striking to me at the time was that Schaper did not rely on the standard abortion advocacy arguments of the unborn child as a “clump of tissue” or a “mass of cells.” Instead, she called her abortion murder, and spoke of her unborn child as a child. She even named her “Alma,” which means “soul.”
“I happen to agree that abortion is a form of murder,” she wrote. “I think the quarrel about when life begins is disrespectful to the fetus. I know I murdered the life within me.”
“I could have loved that life but I chose not to,” she continued. “I did what men do all the time when they take us to war: they choose violence because, while they believe it is bad, it is still better than the alternatives.”
“When I made my choice to end Alma’s life, I was behaving as an adult,” the pastor concluded. “It was a human life. That’s why we named her, wanted her, but also knew we knew we did not want her enough.”
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