Should a Christian doctor perform abortions?

Dr. Willie Parker sat onstage, smiling and then applauding when actress Martha Plimpton bragged that a Seattle doctor had performed the best (her first) abortion when she was only 19, ironically the very same age Ms. Plimpton was as she played a teenage mother in the movie Parenthood.

She champions the “A Is For…” cause where the incomplete thought is intended to terminate with the word “abortion”, so it isn’t terribly surprising that she’d publicly boast about having multiple abortions. A better question might be to ask Dr. Parker his reasons for being there.

This puff-piece article by Newsweek attempts to justify Dr. Parker’s curious choice by tugging on the reader’s heartstrings. The alleged turning point in Dr. Parker’s career as an obstetrician as he “evolved” into an abortion provider came when a 12-year-old incest victim who was 23 weeks pregnant with her father’s child came to his office for help.

[WARNING: Video content is very graphic.]

Although Parker refused to perform the abortion himself, he referred the girl to a colleague who terminated the pregnancy by killing the fully formed but unborn child in the womb.

As a Christian, it isn’t difficult to feel great compassion and sympathy for the tragic young victim of incest. However, Dr. Parker claims to have performed more than 10,000 abortions over the course of his career, averaging more than 1,000 per year. Statistically speaking, we can be sure that only a small fraction of those were conceived by rape or incest.

Dr. Parker identifies himself as a Christian, yet perversely describes the abortion procedure as a “moral good.” Indeed, the portrait of him painted by the flattering Newsweek article is a heroic figure who sacrificed his penthouse in Honolulu to serve the poor pregnant women in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. He uses comfortable euphemisms for abortion such as “reproductive rights” and “pro-choice” while arguing that providing abortions to women on demand was a moral choice, while insisting he remains a Christian and a follower of Jesus.

Parker even has the audacity to claim that

I am doing God’s work.

That’s an odd and very bold claim for a religious person to make. I wish I had that same sort of confidence about my own work, but it’s not like God whispers His approval to me on a regular basis, even though I did once write a book titled Counterargument for God.

Because I’m not God, it’s way above my pay grade to judge the authenticity of Dr. Parker’s religious convictions. But one has to wonder if the Creator of all life considers it the moral obligation and responsibility of a physician, a profession dedicated to healing, to participate in the voluntary, arguably capricious premature end of life.

Dr. Parker also claimed his religious beliefs aren’t open for debate, correctly suggesting that other Christians cannot judge him. He said:

If Christianity is defined as being obligated to be homophobic, to be anti-immigrant, to be anti-non-Christian, or to be anti-women, then I’m not. But I’m glad it’s not open to an individual interpretation of another person who holds the same faith identity that I do to determine my authenticity and my integrity.

Hmmm. It seems that Dr. Parker (sort of) has a point. Jesus didn’t tell us that we should be homophobic, anti-immigrant, or basically anti-social jerks. Indeed Christians have been advised they should love their neighbors as themselves, to love the sinner but hate the sin, and that little children are blessed, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Dr. Parker also claims that as both a Christian and a scientist, he “knows” that life doesn’t begin at conception. While that’s an interesting claim to make from a scientific perspective considering the fact that even a fertilized egg is a living cell, it’s also a curious thought for Christians to contemplate in light of Jeremiah 1:5, which reads:

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

But perhaps Dr. Parker’s Bible says something different than mine. Determined to end any debate with a preemptive strike, Dr. Parker doubled down and said,

If God is in everything, and everyone, then God is as much in the woman making a decision to terminate her pregnancy as in her Bible.

That sounds suspiciously like pantheism to me, but we’ve already established that it isn’t my place to judge Dr. Parker or his Christian faith. But I am allowed to question his scientific claim — if life doesn’t begin at conception, when does it begin?

The Newsweek article asserts that Dr. Parker won’t perform 3rd trimester abortions himself, but refers patients who need them to abortion providers who will do late term abortions. Why not? Why does Dr. Parker draw the line somewhere, arbitrarily, between conception and birth?

How are the unwashed masses, people like you and me, supposed to know where the lines have been drawn? Incredibly, representatives for Planned Parenthood have testified before Congress that they believe a woman’s right to choose extends beyond childbirth.

Which, of course, is infanticide.

Dr. Parker suggests that his motives are pure, and his goal is to “help” women manage their reproductive rights properly, or some such nonsense. His compassion seems to evaporate once the patient has used his services, making no mention of survivor stories of abortion regrets.

In the Bible, it says Yahweh especially detested worshippers of Molech, because they were willing to sacrifice their children to a false god.

So how do you think God feels about a culture willing to sacrifice millions of their own children, only for the sake of convenience?

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