What would it actually mean to be Pro-Life?
Last week’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade has caused a lot of turmoil. Those who require abortions or who may need them in the future are grieving, while those who have clamored for abortion bans have cheered the decision. For decades the gap between people who are pro-life (opposed to abortion) and pro-choice (in favor of keeping abortion legal) has been one of the most profound and unbridgeable in American politics. There are people who base their entire electoral strategy around this one issue, and its not hard to see why.
Those who are pro-choice argue that abortions are necessary healthcare. In addition to believing that people should be able to terminate a pregnancy if it poses a danger to the mother’s health or well-being, they also fear that restrictions on abortion would limit the use of procedures which are necessary to end an ectopic pregnancy. They point to a long history of women left to die because doctors would not perform the procedure, or worse, women dying during botched and illegal abortions. In their view, an abortion ban would mean a return to those days. We’re already seeing some of this come up in unexpected ways, as many women are being denied vital medications because they could be used to induce abortions, even if the drug is not being prescribed for that purpose.
Those who are pro-life believe that life begins at or shortly after conception, and that abortion is the ending of a human life, and therefore is murder. Often informed by a religious worldview, they further contend that abortion, being murder, is a terrible sin and a crime against both the child and God. For many who are pro-life, banning abortion is banning a form of legalized murder in which the victims have no ability to defend themselves.
I wrote earlier about Biblical views on abortion, but I want to extend that read a little further now and ask what it might really mean to be pro-life, if we extend the idea beyond the issue of abortion. Life is a sacred thing, but there’s more to it than merely being born. Children require food, protection from people who want to harm them, education, medical care, etc etc. I would argue that to be pro-life would require not only the right to…