Alyssa Milano has made headlines often in recent years for her advocacy of abortion, the #MeToo movement, and various political candidates. Now she has revealed on her podcast that she had two abortions in 1993.
She says she was in a serious relationship and was using birth control both times she became pregnant. She looks back on her decisions without regret: “I would not have my children . . . I would not have my career. I would not have the ability or platform I use to fight against oppression with all my heart. I would never have met my amazing husband.”
In short, Milano knew “she was not ready to be a parent” as she pursued her career. Of course, the Bible says that she became a parent the moment she became pregnant (cf. Psalm 139:13). And that her career came at the cost of her first two children.
Why is George Clooney selling coffee makers?
Our culture has forced me to write often on abortion over the years. (For my in-depth article on the subject, see my “Abortion and the mercy of God.”) Today’s news, however, leads me to make two points I’ve not discussed with you in the past.
First, pro-life supporters must beware the rising tide of celebrity abortion endorsements.
It is obvious in our culture that celebrity sells. Michael Jordan sold basketball shoes and underwear; George Clooney is making TV ads for a coffee maker. There was a day when voice-overs on TV ads were anonymous; today, you can identify nearly every movie star voicing every commercial.
This strategy is called “celebrity branding” and has roots going back to royal endorsements for pottery and chinaware in the 1760s. Advertisers hope the popularity wielded by celebrities will transfer to their product or idea.
Now we’re seeing this strategy employed by those who want to normalize and amplify abortion. There’s a reason Alyssa Milano is publicizing abortions she chose twenty-six years ago. People magazine published this week an article on “26 Celebrities Who Have Shared Their Abortion Stories to Help End the Stigma.”
Selena Gomez, a former Disney Channel actress and singer, recently donned a “1973” necklace to commemorate Roe v. Wade. Ariana Grande very publicly donated the proceeds from her June 8 concert in Atlanta to Planned Parenthood.
Did you know Jack Nicholson is opposed to abortion?
To show how one-sided media coverage on this subject is, consider the following counterexamples.
Jack Nicholson is against abortion. He explains that when his mother was pregnant with him, she was encouraged to get an abortion but refused.
Celine Dion is pro-life as well for the same reason. She was her mother’s fourteenth child. Her mother considered aborting her, but her priest encouraged her to bring her baby into the world.
Martin Sheen is pro-life due in part to the fact that his wife was conceived when her mother was raped. Her mother considered aborting her but chose to give her life.
Have you seen any of their stories in the news?
What percent of women who choose abortion are unmarried?
My second point this morning relates to Alyssa Milano’s announcement about her 1993 abortions. In both cases, she says she was in a committed relationship and was using birth control. But she was not married and thus did not believe she was ready for motherhood.
Her statement highlights a fact evangelicals need to remember and emphasize: all sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage are unbiblical.
Gone are the days when sex before marriage was seen as scandalous. It’s assumed in movies and TV shows that couples on their first date will sleep together. Unmarried couples live together with less stigma than ever before.
But when an unmarried woman learns she is pregnant, the pressure to abort is enormously greater than if she is married. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85.7 percent of women who obtain an abortion are unmarried. This percentage accounts for more than fifty-two million babies aborted in the US since Roe v. Wade.
How do we change the cultural narrative?
Defending life today requires two commitments from God’s people.
One: We must be bold, courageous, loving, and undeterred in our public stance.
The other side will use the power of the mainstream media and celebrity branding however it can. God’s word to Israel is his encouragement to us: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Two: We must teach and model biblical morality in all its forms.
If we tell the culture that same-gender sexual relations are unbiblical, we must also tell the culture that opposite-gender sexual relations are unbiblical outside of marriage. We forfeit credibility on the issue of homosexual marriage if we do not require heterosexual purity of ourselves, our children, and our churches. “Flee from sexual immorality” is God’s command to all of us (1 Corinthians 6:18).
On this issue, as with so many other cultural challenges, our privilege and calling is to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
Will you do both today?
NOTE: I’m often asked, “What does a culture-changing Christian look like?”
We use that phrase often at the Denison Forum, and with good cause. We’re called to inspire our audience to change the culture around them, for God’s glory.
But I’ve never gone so in-depth on defining “culture-changing Christian” until I wrote my latest book, Blessed: Eight Ways Christians Change Culture.
Through the framework of the Beatitudes, I explore Jesus’ timeless principles for living a life that can’t help but change the culture.
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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Publication Date: August 22, 2019
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