The recent Supreme Court decision concerning the late term abortion method called partial birth abortion is bound to excite partisans on both sides of this debate.
However, the majority decision by the court written by Justice Kennedy lays the ground work for a clear understanding of the State's interest in curbing certain abortion methods.
From a historical Christian standpoint, this decision offers some much needed balance in this society's head long rush toward the pit of gross individualism and instant gratification.
Those who see any legal or societal curbs on the abortion industry will scream like "stuck pigs" that this is the beginning of the end! They will show pictures of coat hangers and drag out the horror stories of desperate women who resorted to "back alley" abortions in the "bad old days" when the "patriarchal system suppressed women" and "kept them bare-footed and pregnant."
All this hysterical language will do is bring out the hysterical language of the other side of the debate.
Both of these extremes, while possessing a kernel of truth, will not move the national discussion forward at all.
This is the greatest weakness in the Roe. v. Wade Supreme Court decision. It short circuited a national debate. What the Left could not do at the ballot box, it imposed through the courts.
But if this issue is ever going to be dealt with, it will have to be done with a culture-wide discussion.
In the end, abortion will be restricted. It will be restricted because medical technology is fast making it absurd and obviously immoral. It will be restricted because wise people will begin to see it as it is, demographic and cultural suicide. Already, there are doctors in Great Britain who are refusing to do abortions for that very reason.
But abortion will not be illegal. It will not be illegal because there are instances when a doctor and a woman patient have to make heartbreaking decisions and legislation ceases to be useful in that sacred space. It will remain legal because in spite of all the good intentions of the pro-life crowd, laws don't change the human heart.
Christian anthropology insists that life is a sacred gift of God. Because of this, we Christians must stand and declare that convenience never trumps human value. Ever!
But we also must equally declare that it is the heart of humanity that must be changed, not the penal code. Let us make more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and abortion will become irrelevant.