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. What is 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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.