What is responsibility in regards to abortion?

23 May 2021

Benaiah Lohnes

While abortion is wrong because it is murder, it is also wrong on another level. When the mothers actually abort the child, they are critically failing in one singular way- their responsibility. It is in their duty to their child, the child they carried and nourished, that they fail. They assume the duty, the responsibility, at the moment of conception, and that responsibility is carried until the moment that the child is aborted, and then, at that exact point, that duty is willfully broken and scattered. What makes abortion crucially terrible is the fact that a responsibility that is the duty owed to an innocent is intentionally ignored. In fact, ignoring our own responsibilities is one of the most wicked things we can do, because our duties are given in trust, and by failing in our duties, we are intentionally or unintentionally breaking trust. Trust, when broken, is irreparable. 

But what is responsibility? Responsibility is the duties given to us by trust, and by trust, we are held by our honor, and an innate sense of justice, to fulfill these obligations. Responsibility is an account. We are morally held to be accountable. As Christians we are responsible to live well; for this we will give an account. During times of war, warriors must give an account to their commanders. During judicial trials witnesses must, by oath, give an account of their responsibilities and of how they failed or how they didn’t fail. 

We are not forced, however, to act with honor towards these ties we’ve made. We’re compelled by our inner senses of justice, honesty, and virtue. That is why we shun those who dishonor their responsibilities, because by doing so, they’re proving that they have no sense of honor, justice, or honesty. People without such things are truly to be pitied. 

Our actions distinguish us. By walking with grace, judging with honesty, being firm with justice, by proving that we are trustworthy do we show that we will treasure such responsibilities, such duties. By allowing people to ‘fact-check’ our words, works, and actions, we give them the opportunity to safely bestow their trust. Trust is a valuable thing, and not something to be taken lightly. It’s fragile and it must be treasured. Trust is the inner heart of a relationship, and responsibility is the duty to protect that. Our hearts are the center of our bodies; without them we cannot survive. Just so, relationships cannot survive without trust; that is the mark of someone truly responsible; they prove that trust is something worth protecting. We earn trust; it isn’t lightly given. And those who earn trust, treasure it. 

Yet some are forced to give trust without being given the opportunity to know who they trust; those who do this are the most innocent, the most defenseless, the most vulnerable. It is the common duty of all to protect these. ‘To promote the general welfare’ is to protect the innocent. To ‘provide for the common defense’ is to defend the vulnerable. To ‘insure domestic tranquility’ is to insure the safety of all. The calling to defend the helpless is a calling of the highest order, and its weight carries great responsibility, and those who carry it are duty-bound to honor it. And the duty of a mother and a father is no less.

A family is filled with duties and obligations: a father to love his wife and care for his children; a mother to love and raise her children; a child’s duty to respect their parents; these duties exist from the moment a family is formed. When a mother gives birth she alone does not carry the responsibility of the child. Although legally she may, it is the father who is entrusted with the support and livelihood of the child. So just as we shame mothers for abandoning their child and breaking its trust, a father is equally to blame for when they abandon the mother to fend for herself. A family is a battleship; each sailor, not the captain alone, is responsible to fulfill their chosen duties (their responsibilities) in order to ensure that their ship doesn’t sink. The crime of betraying the trust of a babe is horrific. They are totally dependent upon their trust being upheld and honored; they cannot survive by themselves, they depend upon others, so by breaking their trust, they are being broken themselves.


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