War of Words
The pro-life meaning has drastically changed since its origin. When both advocacy and opposition to abortion became common in the 1960s, the two groups needed a way to refer to themselves and to their opponents. The side supportive of abortion selected the term “pro-choice,” as it seemed to be more palatable than “pro-abortion.”
The opposition chose the term “pro-life.” It is easier to gain support for a cause that is “pro” rather than “anti.” So, they rejected the “anti-abortion” title.
Though “anti-abortion” is a precise description for a group centered upon the belief that all abortion is wrong in all cases, the modern anti-abortion movement has also thrown a third hat into the ring by adopting the term “abolitionist.” This is reflective of the sweeping nature of its advocacy goals and its ties to the nineteenth-century movement to eliminate and outlaw slavery in the United States—which, like abortion, was a widespread cultural evil.
Defining the Groups
The Definition of ‘Pro-Choice’
At this point in history, a typical “pro-choice” organization supports unlimited access to legalized “abortion care”. The most widely recognized pro-choice group is Planned Parenthood, which has existed since the progressive era in the United States and has consistently advocated for birth control, abortion, and eugenics. Recently, Planned Parenthood has denounced their support of eugenics—although their services across the nation murder black children at far higher rates than any other ethnic group.
Generally, pro-choice individuals believe that human life begins at birth. They support the purported “basic human right” to end a pregnancy without input from any other source, including fathers and other members of the family. They argue that mothers cannot experience autonomous living without access to abortion or “reproductive health care” as they call it. Most people on this side argue that abortion ought to be taxpayer-funded.
The Definition of ‘Pro-Life’
The pro-life meaning has evolved over the past several decades. In the 1960s and 1970s, the pro-life movement was made up of those who were trying to advocate against abortion. In fact, Webster’s Dictionary defines “pro-life” simply as “opposed to abortion.”
Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice activist groups commonly accuse the pro-life crowd of the hypocrisy of allegedly not caring about unwanted children or the health of the women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. They even attack them because many support the death penalty.
The notion of “pro-life” tends to be closely associated with the Republican party. In contrast, Democratic politicians usually identify as pro-choice; in a former era, many would try to ride the fence on the issue by stating that they personally condemn abortion while supporting a woman’s bodily autonomy.
Pro-life advocates recognize that a preborn child is a person with a fundamental human right to life. Many do not universally condemn birth control, as they will typically recognize that a baby’s life begins with fertilization.
From the moment of conception, a baby—in the form of a fertilized egg or embryo—is distinctly human and therefore an image-bearer of the living God.
The Failure of the Pro-Life Movement
Nearly fifty years ago, the Supreme Court invented a “basic human right” to seek abortion services through its opinion on Roe v. Wade. Pro-lifers in America have since sought a political solution to abortion. Recent history seems to be revealing some indications of a shift, as states rebel against the federal government and continue to pass restrictions on abortion. At the time of writing, the Supreme Court is again poised to hear a decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
Nevertheless, abortion is still legal in all fifty states.
What Do Pro-Life Groups Do?
The typical strategy of a pro-life advocacy group is twofold. First, they pour money into lobbying politicians. Second, they target a certain milestone of pregnancy and advocate for legislation to ban or restrict abortion at that point.
One of the examples of this strategy is National Right to Life’s emphasis on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This act would make it illegal to abort a fetus after they can feel pain, which occurs roughly twenty weeks after conception.
What about the babies who are less than twenty weeks old? For now, it is still legal to kill them in the womb.
National Right to Life fails to understand that argument. To be truly and consistently anti-abortion, one must not merely wait around hoping that Roe v. Wade will someday be overturned. Yet, National Right to Life and other pro-life groups merely set out to strategically pass legislation that would pose a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Abolitionist groups have the firm belief that the government must be concerned with protecting the lives of children during pregnancy. The complete and total removal of abortion access is the necessary position that must be taken by a civil magistrate tasked with preserving the rights of the population.
The Differences Between Pro-Life and Abolitionist
Pro-life and pro-choice advocates do not have the same worldview. Pro-life groups desire to protect human life, but those who identify as pro-choice are essentially pushing for the ability to have sex without pregnancy. Pro-lifers are hesitant to address the sinfulness of this mentality.
Abolitionists recognize that sin is the root cause of abortion and realize that the answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The anti-abortion movement is equipped with the Word of God, which addresses sin in a way that the laws of men do not.
Pro-lifers rely upon arguments from medical science to convince Americans that abortion is wrong. As embryology advances, the pro-life groups take new insights to the world. They are continually frustrated by having the scientific high ground, yet failing to sway more support to their side.
Pro-choice groups are unable to overcome these scientific facts. However, those who support abortion access are unmoved by the realities of the abortion procedure or the evident humanity of the children that are killed.
Abolitionists recognize that science does support the anti-abortion position, but only as a secondary tool. The primary tool is an apologetic that presupposes the existence of God, to whom are men are morally accountable. Abortion is first and foremost a spiritual issue.
Pro-lifers depend on political or legal solutions to abortion. Outsmarting the pro-choice community in court has not been successful. Campaigning on the issue of human life and depending on the American electorate to put a stop to abortion is also a failed strategy.
Pro-choice groups place all of their hopes on Roe v. Wade—a shaky hope indeed, considering the poorly argued nature of the Supreme Court’s opinion. These groups have practically no chance to get pro-choice legislation passed nationally or in most states. Though the Supreme Court is not the lawgiver in the United States, Roe is still considered—with religious zeal—the “law of the land.”
The anti-abortion movement stands on the solid rock of God’s Word. Abolitionists are not opposed to lobbying for the cause of life. God’s word does not cajole, campaign, or compromise; after all, abortion is murder. To be truly anti-abortion, the only possible and consistent solution is to universally outlaw all abortions, prosecuting those who seek for and provide them. Pro-lifers avoid this hard line because it may alienate moderates.
Pro-lifers do not address the spiritual condition of providers and seekers of abortion services. Typically, pro-life groups view women as desperate, scared, and victimized innocents.
In contrast, abolitionists recognize that women, like men, are fallen in sin. The vast majority of abortions are committed because having a baby interferes with the mother’s lifestyle.
In other words, most pregnant women seek abortions for reasons of convenience. Yet, pro-life conservatives constantly reiterate their unwillingness to punish mothers who choose abortion.
Women who seek abortion are guilty of ending the lives of their own children. A woman guilty of such a crime should be prosecuted for murder. Pregnant people do not have a right to choose abortion and it certainly has nothing to do with reproductive healh care. This is an infamously unpopular view, but it is the only way to be consistent with the Bible and the historic teaching of Christianity.
The pro-life industry depends on the existence of abortion to maintain itself. If abortion were outlawed tomorrow, those groups would lose money, and many would be out of a job. Lobbying can be a lucrative and stylish profession.
Abolitionists recognize that women and their families will always need provision and outreach even after abortion is outlawed. Pregnant women will need medical care and provision. Children, in some cases, will be unwanted by their families, creating the need for adoption services. There is always a need for the church to minister to the hurting.
End Abortion Now is not a group of professional abortion lobbyists; they are Christians who believe in the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word.
End Abortion Now
If you are researching abortion or considering one, please reach out to End Abortion Now for help. In the name of Jesus, we are here to minister to you and help you with your spiritual and your physical needs.