EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from
The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture by Scott Klusendorf (Crossway).

Chapter One: What’s the Issue?

The abortion controversy is not a debate between those who are pro-choice and those who are anti-choice. It’s not about privacy. It’s not about trusting women to decide. It’s not about forcing one’s morality. It’s about one question that trumps all others.

Emily never saw it coming. A fifteen-year friendship was on the brink of disaster over one word. Abortion.

She met Pam at a Christian college, and the relationship paid off immediately. Emily excelled at language and history, while Pam was a math and science whiz. Together they could tackle any required course, and they did. Both graduated with honors a semester ahead of their classmates. Within a year they both married their college sweethearts. Later, when kids came along and budgets got tight, they swapped baby clothes and enjoyed occasional sack lunches together. Even when a job change forced Pam to move fifty miles away, they still managed to meet for coffee at least once a month. Emily looked forward to her times with Pam. She needed escape from the kids, not to mention the endless grind of household chores. Pam was easy to talk to, optimistic, and always lifted Emily’s spirits. Sometimes they shared prayer requests.

Now Emily wondered if they would ever feel connected again. For the hundredth time that night, she replayed the conversation that started it all.

Pam: Emily, did I tell you that my niece, Sarah, is pregnant?

Emily: What? You mean the one in California? We’ve never met, but you talk about her a lot.

Pam: Yes, that’s the one. You’d love her. She’s nineteen and a freshman at college. Sweet, sweet girl. Smart as a whip and drop-dead gorgeous. I would have never thought…

Emily: Did her parents have any clue she was in trouble?

Pam: None. Sarah attends church religiously and never had a serious boyfriend before Jack. They met over the summer and attend the same university. He swept her right off her feet.

Emily: What about his parents?

Pam: Seldom home and very liberal. Sarah told Jack she wanted to wait, but with no adults around, well, you can guess the rest.

Emily: I don’t have to. Have they talked to their pastor?

Pam: Well, Sarah has one, but Jack’s not the churchgoing type. He’s very liberal, like his parents. Says Christianity is a bunch of fairy tales, a crutch for the weak.

Emily: You mean she’s romantically involved with a non-Christian?

Pam: Yep. I tried to warn her, but she insisted she could change him. Even now, she thinks he’ll change if given enough time.

Emily: Oh dear. Since when has that ever worked? We used to call that missionary dating.

Pam: Yeah, only in this case, the “missionary” is pregnant. And her mission “project” wants out. He’ll pay for the abortion, but that’s it.

Emily: But what if she doesn’t want one? What if she keeps the child?

Pam: I guess he won’t stick around to find out.

Emily: What a loser! He’s going to bolt no matter what she does. What’s she thinking?

Pam: Right now, only about keeping him, whatever it takes.

Emily: How about her parents?