Christians have always opposed abortion. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
After the house passed a 20-week abortion ban last week, CNN put out a video that I can only describe as fake news.
Quoting historian Leslie Reagan, CNN claims that before very recently, “Not even the Catholic Church believed life existed” before a mother feels her baby move. They also claim that before 1880, no one opposed abortion-inducing drugs for moral or religious reasons.
It’s hard to imagine how they could have missed the mark more widely. As sociologist and historian Alvin Schmidt documents, Christians have opposed abortion of all kinds going back to the earliest writings outside of the New Testament, like the Didache.
The most common type of abortion then—like now—was drugs early in pregnancy, which was condemned by Clement of Alexandria, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, and Basil of Caesarea, to name just a few. And such early-term abortions were frequently identified, by Basil for instance, as murder.
This is all within Christianity’s first four centuries. But apparently it’s news to CNN.