by Pastor Michael Salemink
In case you hadn’t heard, pregnancy is slavery.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is hearing a case about For Life demonstrators. Authorities have accused them of conspiring to obstruct access to a Washington, D.C., abortion facility last year. The defendants have argued that since the Supreme Court invalidated the framework and findings of Roe v. Wade, access to abortion no longer amounts to a constitutional right. So, the federal congress has no jurisdiction to enforce laws about it, and that ought to void the law they allegedly violated.
However, the judge reckons the Dobbs decision only nullifies one basis for a right to abortion. That verdict, she asserts, determined that the Fourteenth Amendment (due process, liberty, and privacy) includes no rationale for the practice. But she instructed the lawyers to present arguments about whether other provisions, especially the Thirteenth Amendment, do. That clause prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude—which Kollar-Kotelly implies pregnancy represents.
Let us leave aside the claim’s irrelevance to the case. And let us also overlook also the ridiculous and intentional confusing of what slavery means. We can acknowledge that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting come with dangers and burdens. But female biology hardly constitutes imprisonment. (What other natural processes does having a working body involuntarily indenture us to? Digestion? Emotion? Consciousness or sleeping? Breathing and healing?) Have you ever noticed how curiously and closely the arguments for abortion actually mirror the case in favor of slavery?
I have the right to do whatever I want with my own property.
I have the right to do whatever I want with my own body.
Embryos and fetuses are less human than the rest of us.
Slaves are less human than the rest of us.
The Bible doesn’t explicitly reject slavery and in some ways actually justifies it.
The Bible doesn’t explicitly reject abortion and in some ways actually justifies it.
Abolitionists are overtly imposing their religion on the rest of the population.
Anti-abortion advocates are overtly imposing their religion on the rest of the population.
No slaves, no say.
No uterus, no say.
If you don’t like slavery, you don’t have to have one.
If you don’t like abortion, you don’t have to have one.
History proves that slavery is going to happen even if illegal, so regulation at least ensures its safety.
History proves that abortions are going to take place, and they’ll cause death if outlawed.
Slavery seems better than letting them end up homeless, unwanted, and abused.
Abortion seems better than letting them end up homeless, unwanted, and abused.
Single-family plantations need slavery for commercial equality with industrial conglomerates.
Women need abortion for societal equality with men.
The judge got it right. Abortion and slavery have a lot in common. Both of these injustices hinge on denying the humanity of their victims. The same logic that rightly regards the one as repulsive applies equally to the other. And the One who “took the form of a slave” (Philippians 2:7) to come as Savior also inhabited the womb of a woman (Galatians 4:4) to act as Lord. Jesus sacrificed His life and rose again from the dead to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:19) and “that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He counts all the least of these as brothers and sisters. So, we rejoice to receive them as neighbors and treat them as privileges.
Christian witness, courageous and compassionate, persuaded the world to refuse slavery. May the grace of the Father Almighty rouse and sustain Gospel-motivated voices For Life to speak God’s truth and show Christ’s love until the world abandons abortion—and every other pressure to settle for death as a solution to difficulty.