Sarah Wallett

August 15, 2016

Shame and the False Compassion of Abortion

Abortion doctors often display a need to justify their work. Some, such as Dr. Bernard Nathanson – prior to becoming pro-life – convinced himself he was bringing a service to the poor that was once exclusive to the rich. Others assert that they are warriors for women’s rights, despite the elimination of female children. But Dr. Sarah Wallett offers the most bizarre reason for performing abortions: her Christian faith.

Writing for women’s lifestyle publication Refinery 29, Wallett states:

The compassion and empathy I learned from my Christian faith are fundamental to my work. Too often, women who choose to have an abortion face significant stigma and shame — I see it every day. Patients have to walk by protestors screaming “murderer” and much worse just to get inside my clinic. One patient, a mother of four, couldn’t stop telling me why she was getting an abortion, clearly feeling as though she needed to explain herself to me after walking by the protestors…Even to her abortion provider, she felt obligated to justify her decision, a task no one should ever have to do. (Emphasis Added)

Wallet continues on that her faith compels her to withhold judgment on those seeking to end their child’s life:

My heart goes out to every woman who asks me if I think she is a bad person for seeking medically or personally necessary, legal care. But my faith teaches me to withhold judgment and to extend acceptance to all, and although she may not be ready to hear it at that moment, I always provide her with the reassurance that she needs…[I]t’s my obligation as a physician and a person of faith to provide at least one counterpoint to the shameful feelings a woman has and the misinformation she hears that cause her so much pain. This is especially important when stigma and shame force women into isolation. A woman’s decision to pick a path that is right for her and her family too often leads to judgment and estrangement from her community, church, and support networks. (Emphasis Added)

In summary, Wallet is compelled to end the lives of children because Christianity teaches “compassion and empathy,” which she says translates into protecting abortion seekers from “shameful feelings” and the “judgment and estrangement from [their] communit[ies], church[es], and support networks.”

Those wondering how she reconciles her murder of children with the Biblical recognition of life in the womb (Jer. 1:5) and prohibition against murder (Gen 9:6) are left disappointed. Not only are these verses not addressed, Wallet does not cite scripture once in explaining her Christian motivation to perform abortions. The reason is obvious: if she did grapple with these verses, she would never arrive at her conclusion.

Instead of grounding her beliefs in the scripture, she appeals to “compassion” by baptizing a nonjudgmentalism that is foreign to the Christian faith.

The result is as tragic as it is erroneous.

The Biblical command to love God and others must be grounded in the definition that Christ established. He said love for Him is demonstrated by keeping His commandments (John 14:15). Christ forbade murder and recognized life in the womb. He described love as something that “does not seek its own” and “does not rejoice in iniquity” (I Cor. 13:5-6). Therefore one cannot make the case that Christian compassion translates into aborting innocent children. Abortion is not only unloving, but its selfishness and iniquity makes it the very opposite of love.

Additionally, it must be recognized that Christian “compassion” and “shameful feelings” are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Paul “withstood [Peter] to his face, because he was to be blamed” for not eating with the gentiles (Gal. 1:11-21). He also told the Corinthian Church to give the incestuous man “to Satan” so that his soul would be saved (I Cor. 5:5). He also mentioned their use of non-Christian courts to settle their disputes “to [their] shame”(I Cor. 6:5). Finally, God repeatedly shamed and judged the Israelites for their disobedience using language that would cause many churchgoers to blush (Ezekiel 23).

The purpose of shame in these contexts was to produce a “godly sorrow” that leads to repentance (II Corinthians 7:8-12).

Shielding someone from all shame is dangerous, as they will have no limits on their depravity.

Finally, and most tragically, Wallet’s misguided “compassion” has no mercy on the unborn. She never addresses their lives in her essay, denying compassion to the helpless in the name of compassion to the helpless.

Not only is she wrong in her convictions, her warped theology has transformed her into an instrument of oppression: evil in the name of good.

She is an object lesson in just how much suffering bad theology can bring to God and man alike.


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