“My body, my choice.” It’s what a group of radical pro-abortion activists shouted at a group of pro-life women the other day. It’s a phrase you’ve undoubtedly heard because it’s kind of the bread and butter/meat and potatoes/be-all-end-all of pro-abortion arguments. For a lot of people it seems to settle the question. They think, “Hey I don’t want anyone to think that I’m so mean as to tell other people what to do with their own body, so I guess they’re right.” People fall hard for this lie because it speaks into the American cultural catch-basin of “freedom.”
But there are two big problems with this argument. The first is scriptural and the second both scriptural and scientific.
Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to a group of Christians who were saying basically the exact same thing in regard to sexual sins. They were bragging about their “Christian liberty” and how it meant they were free to do whatever they wanted including using their bodies for sexual immorality. Paul writes “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:18).
I wouldn’t expect an unbeliever to understand or accept this because unbelief is, by nature, completely self-centered. But a Christian should know better. Even though the Christian still has a sinful nature which is totally bent in on itself, the Christian who does not know that nothing they have really belongs to them has not understood any part of Christian doctrine. The ten commandments teach us how we should use all we are for God and for our neighbor. The creed teaches us how the Father created us, how the Son bought us with His blood, how the Spirit sanctifies us. The whole catechism parades before us this constant theme “You are not your own. You were bought at a price.” For the Christian therefore, the argument “my body, my choice” is illegitimate from the get-go. It’s not your body. It’s not your life. You are not your own. It’s not up to you to decide what is best. It’s up to God. Because only He knows. And only He can be trusted to care for you and love you. Only He died to redeem you, body and soul, from sin death and hell. Why would you listen to the lies of men and women who do not and could not possibly know what is best for you just because they have a catchy phrase that you feel, somewhere deep down in your freedomy place, is good?
The second reason is both scriptural and scientific, and also…just a duh. That baby is not your body. It is, to be sure, in your body. But that is not the same thing. Luke Skywalker once slept inside the guts of some weird alien creature, but he was not the weird alien creature. Duh. That baby has different genes than you do. A different brain. Different dreams. Different fingerprints. A different soul. Different everything. Every time that someone screams “my body, my choice” they are adamantly denying that exact right to the child inside them.
That’s science. That’s common sense. It’s also scriptural because Scripture clearly teaches that the child in the womb is a person (Psalm 139:13). It clearly teaches in the second table of the law that our lives, our bodies, our energy, our voices should be given to the service of our neighbor. “And who is my neighbor?” Anyone who is near to you. Anyone who needs your help. Is there anyone who needs your help more than the baby in the womb? Is there anyone nearer to you? That’s not your body in there. It’s your baby’s body. It’s your neighbor’s body. And that body, like your own, was bought with the inestimable cost of the holy precious blood of Christ. Do you really think it’s ok to kill it?