In Definition and Defense of the Pro-Life Position

I am a pro-lifer. I have been for as long as I have been old enough to know and articulate the moral principles by which I live. The pro-life position, as I understand it, is this:

We oppose the premature ending of pre-born life. We believe that all humans are created in the image of God, and therefore have a right to life, beginning at conception. Furthermore, we hold that ending the life of a pre-born baby is murder, and is therefore considered a sin in the sight of God, who created that life.

While other pro-lifers might tweak the verbiage a bit, that is the essence. That has been the position ever since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. Even before that. It has remained consistent.

I’ve noticed in recent months and years, that proponents of abortion have made a move to redefine what “pro-life” means. It has not escaped my notice that the most vociferous abortion defenders have begun calling us, “anti-choice” to put a negative spin on the position.

“How could you be against a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body?”

Cynically played, secular society.

The arguments

An argument that I’ve observed goes something like this:

“Anti-choicers are hypocrites. They only care about the baby until it is born. Once it is born, to a teen mom, drug addict, rape victim, etc, they don’t care about it at all.”

Similarly:

“Pro-life people ignore the problems that follow an unplanned/unwanted baby throughout life. They don’t care if the baby is born into an abusive home, or is in poverty, or suffers trauma as a result. All they care about is that the baby is born.”

I’d like to examine those assertions more closely. But first, let’s take a look at the actual procedure of an abortion.

What is involved in an abortion?

Through the advancement of ultrasound technology, we’ve learned a lot more in recent years about the development of the child during the gestation period than we did when Roe vs. Wade was passed.

For an overview of the baby’s development at various stages, please click here.

For the actual procedure, a clamp or forceps is inserted into the vaginal canal. The forceps are used to rip the baby’s limbs from its body, one at a time. Finally, it’s head is crushed and removed. For more information, please check out the brief video on the home page of https://www.abortionprocedures.com/

Knowing what we now do about how the procedure is done, and that the baby can actually feel pain during the second trimester, I’m going to make an assertion that shouldn’t have to be made, but in this day and age, apparently, it does:

Being opposed to abortion is a standalone position.

Refusing to believe that it is a good idea to tear a human body apart limb for limb does not need to be bundled with any other ideas to be intrinsically valuable.

Addressing the redefinition of abortion

In a moment, we’ll take a closer look at the arguments I cited above. I’ve seen people make these arguments on social media; I am not making them up. In the interest of fairness to people who make those arguments, I am certainly open to hearing feedback on the analysis I am about to provide.

But first, the “re-branding” of pro-life as “anti-choice.” That’s simply a semantics attack that secularists excel at. I’ve written before about how secularists (or progressives, leftists, Marxists — whichever category is relevant) are actively redefining terms. They have been for years. They are good at it.

Conservatives, on the other hand, struggle to catch up with new (often inaccurate) definitions and often get played as secularists use the emotional baggage of the traditional term when they actually mean the redefined term, which has little bearing on the original. But I digress. That is a whole series of blog posts for another day.

Dishonest argumentation

In the pushbacks I stated above, there are some subtle presuppositions that are snuck into the reasoning. Let’s take a look at those.

If a pro-abortion person (or pro-baby murder, to use the “anti-choice” trick), claims that pro-lifers are hypocrites because they only care about the baby before it is born, the reasoning that I’ve seen often assumes that we don’t care about social programs that would take care of the baby, which is often born into disadvantaged situations.

Some examples.

Or …

What is hidden behind these is an assertion that to be truly pro-life, we must also be in favor of costly, expansive government programs such as welfare and health services, funded by tax money, to take care of these children from cradle to grave.

In other words, opposing the mutilation of a human is not enough. To be consistent, we must cheerfully agree to let our tax money go to programs with no oversight over which we have control, which are run by people and departments who we have no assurance share our values, and have no accountability for how they use the money they get from our paychecks.

Do you see the problem with that reasoning?

The overlooked consistency of the pro-life worldview

While secularists may dismiss our views because we do not share their likely worldview that government programs are the answer, pro-lifers are often sneakily consistent in their values. While I obviously don’t speak for all in that camp, I can say by the observation that many people who are historically pro-life do at least one, if not several, of the following:

  • Attend church
  • Give money to the church, which often contributes to programs that care for the needy, including pregnancy resource centers, which support young, often single moms by providing them with the training and resources to bring their child into the world and raise it
  • Adopt children that result from unwanted pregnancies
  • Donate time and/or finances to programs like pregnancy resource centers and other life-saving charities
  • Pray for the deliverance and flourishing of babies who are likely to be aborted, and those who suffer in this world

Worldview issues: faith in God or in government?

The thing is, each of us trusts in a higher power, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. The secularist, as I understand it, generally thinks that the government programs should be the standard for how social work and charity are achieved. More taxes, more programs; it’ll all work itself out.

The religious pro-lifer on the other hand generally trusts in the Almighty and His plan for His creation. We acknowledge that we don’t see the big picture, but we all have a role to play in charity towards our fellow man.

I realize this is a simplistic view, but I am aiming to provide broad strokes.

Both viewpoints rely on the oversight of another to work. So the question is, which is more reliable to achieve their intended purpose – God, or the government?

This could lead to a whole other post or series of posts on the plan and sovereignty of God. But I’ll just leave the question to hang in the air for now.

For consistency’s sake

For each viewpoint to be consistent and free of hypocrisy, they must follow their convictions to their logical conclusion.

The pro-abortionist must, with supreme trust in government, vote for every tax increase and every ballot measure that pertains to social, health, and welfare programs. They must then cheerfully agree as their paychecks become smaller due to greater taxes, and trust that the government programs are actually helping the needy and vulnerable.

The pro-lifer must, with trust in God almighty, give voluntarily and cheerfully to the needs of others, and do as many things from my list above that she is able to do. He or she must then trust in the unfolding of God’s plan and know that their prayers and funds are being used providentially to bring it to pass.

Surely there is room for inconsistency and hypocrisy among holders of both views, but that is the standard.

In conclusion

Since I see the ever-greater prominence of the assumptions in the pro-choice arguments I mentioned above, I felt it appropriate to answer those charges from a pro-life perspective. If I have misrepresented the opposing view, I am open to hearing about how. Please leave a comment.

Otherwise, it is my prayerful hope that this post has given you something to think about, regardless of your view. Thank you for much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


Note: If you are considering an abortion, or have gotten one, and in either case are struggling with your decision, there is help available. Click here.

If you are questioning your standing before God, click here, here, or here.

 

 

 

 

About Summer Sorensen

My aim: to live out Jesus' greatest commands (Matthew 22:36-40) & have the most fun while doing it.
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8 Responses to In Definition and Defense of the Pro-Life Position

  1. Very well spoken, thank you

  2. Mark Yarger says:

    Oh Summer. You very eloquently explained my feelings on this subject, and I appreciate the time you put into it. THANK YOU.

    • Summer Sorensen says:

      Thank YOU, Mark, for taking the time to read, and for your kind comments! Things like that make all the time I put into these posts more meaningful.

  3. puttermccoy says:

    I agree, wholeheartedly, with everything that you have said, Summer. As usual, with your laser-sharp thinking, you have unapologetically offered insights into a topic that is often disquietly ignored by many individuals because of its ugly ramifications, or its politically hot-button nature. Although your blog was designed to address the definition and meaning of the “pro-life” position, and just a few aspects of abortion itself, it should prompt us to consider additional troubling issues associated with abortion: The immediate and long-term emotional/psychological effects on the mother who ends the life of her child, either willingly, or with great reluctance, reservation, or resignation; The immediate and long-term effects on the father of the child who, by God’s design, has been tasked with the role of leadership and protector of his offspring; The damaging erosion in society for the value of human life in general, thus leading to a pervasive acceptance of assisted suicide (death by “choice”), other life-ending measures for the elderly and terminally ill, or the “mercy” killings of the mentally or physically incapacitated, etc. And then, there are the legal issues. The list goes on and on. Summer, I hope you will continue to offer your practical and logic-filled insights on topics that invite discourse, because, in my view, not every topic can offer a black or white conclusion. I love the fact that you’re not afraid to examine the gray fringes, and you do so with honesty, humility and openness. But most importantly, I sense that you also look through the lens of what God says about it. (Hey…if we really don’t believe “In God we trust”, then let’s take the phrase off our coins.)

    • Summer Sorensen says:

      Thank you for your thorough and insightful comment, Aunt Marilyn. You have raised many good points. All of those things are imperative to consider. Many of them are worthy of their own blog post(s).

      It brings me great fulfillment and joy to think and write carefully about issues that are relevant in culture, from a biblical worldview. I truly believe that God is using my combined passions of writing, apologetics, and study of His word, for His glory, to provide blog content for both Christians and non-Christians alike to consider various issues. I will continue to write, Lord willing, as long as I have breath and the means to do so!

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Well said, Putter McCoy!

  4. I agree that God is using your combined passions to bring glory to Himself. Your blog post this month is well-written, inspirational, and it lines up with what the Bible teaches!

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