Christians will be considering many issues when they enter polling stations. Some will be mindful of Brexit, others will want to prioritise young people or vote on issues relating to welfare. While he agrees these topics are important, Dave Borlase says Christians should also think about abortion when voting for candidates this Thursday.
How should Christians vote in this election? It's easy to get caught up in party loyalties, rather than the issues we most care about.
For me there is one issue that is my number one priority when I consider who I give my democratic mandate to.
No, it’s not Brexit. It’s not welfare, though again it’s important to me that there is a fair system that caters for those in real need.
The most important issue to me as a Christian, is the sanctity and defence of life. The Bible tells us we are all made in the image of God. No matter how much we are wanted or valued by others, God has given every human life huge value because he gave us his image.
Psalm 139 says: "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance."
These Holy Spirit inspired words tell us something so profound, so astounding, that God is not only intimately acquainted with all our ways after we are born, but also before, even our unformed substance as the human embryo develops.
God is watching, God ascribes it value and worth, God sees it as us, the child he has a plan and purpose for. If David had been disabled, would he have had any less value to God, if he had a condition that would have meant he would have not lived for very long, would his worth to God be diminished?
I believe in generations to come people will look back on abortion the way we look back on the slave trade.
Sadly no party is calling for the end of abortion in this country, or even a reduction in time limits and circumstances such as disability. This is in spite of a ComRes survey showing almost two-thirds of people and 70% of women want to see the time limits reduced.
Some parties have even committed to extending abortion further. We have MPs in parliament who have been given financial assistance by a group, known as EMILY’s list, to help them get elected on the basis they are pro-choice. When the abortion issue comes up in parliament there is such hostility to any changes that would even possibly restrict abortion. Parliament failed to pass a bill that was seeking to curb sex-selective abortions, where it is clear some baby girls were being aborted simply for being girls. Another example was Lord Shinkwin’s Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill, which sought to end the discrimination against disabled babies, allowing them to be aborted right up to birth. This too was defeated.
Abortion doesn’t only destroy a life precious to God and us as a society, abortion also hurts women. Some Christians will say we should defend women’s right to choose. But we should never defend the right to hurt or end another person’s life, however young or disabled they may be, or no matter how reliant they may be on someone else for help. Secondly, this is not a well informed choice; often, those giving advice to mothers have a financial interest in the mother going through with the abortion. Thirdly, this choice harms the mothers psychologically and we as Christians might say spiritually as well.
A woman seeking an abortion is so vulnerable. Some will be making a calm and calculated decision, but for others this is a time of crisis. They will make a decision that will affect many of them for years to come. Praise God there is healing and forgiveness through Christ, for those who seek it, for the pain and anguish that can result from having an abortion, but wouldn’t we be a better society to protect women from that in the first place, and support them and their child in the years ahead?
The good news is in most abortion debates, a free vote is offered - meaning the person you elect can vote according to their conscience rather than their party. So surely it is worth finding out where the candidates stand on this life and death issue?
Dave Borlase is the Director of Intercessors for Britain, an organisation that encourages and facilitates people to pray regularly for the Nation. He also serves as an Elder at Moreton Christian Assembly on the Wirral, Merseyside