Yesterday marked a sober anniversary in our nation’s history: 40 years since the Supreme Court made a ruling in the Roe v. Wade case that centered around the right to have an abortion. The 1973 ruling in favor of Roe by 7-2 meant that abortion was considered a fundamental right under the Constitution, subjecting any law to limit abortion to strict scrutiny. It was a moral and legal disaster.
In light of this anniversary there is likely going to be renewed debate over abortion, with people on both sides reaffirming their beliefs and presenting arguments. So let me say as straightforwardly as I can, abortion is a gruesome, barbaric killing of a young human being. It should have no place in a society that seeks to be civilized and free or to value human rights. I am an abortion abolitionist and a pro-life advocate.
But I want to take this opportunity to voice along with others the fact that while the pro-life ideology certainly includes being anti-abortion, it is not synonymous with being anti-abortion. I would remind people that the pro-life movement is built upon a respect for the dignity and value of human life. It involves the need to recognize the inherent worth of all people. It is therefore a comprehensive movement and includes the following.
- Abolishing assisted suicide and so-called euthanasia
- Expanding global access to clean water and sustainable food supplies
- Expanding global access to medical care
- AIDS prevention thru education
- Abolishing abortion
- Offering compassionate alternatives to abortion that respect both the plight of the mother and the life she carries within her
- Ending child warfare
- Caring for the earth
- Promoting world peace
I am not saying that every pro-life individual must be actively involved in all these goals. It is hardly possible for most people to do much or anything to promote world peace or expand access to healthcare in the third world. But there are organizations that are doing these things, and they are things subsumed in pro-life belief. I am not saying that everyone who cares about many of these things is also anti-abortion. Thank God that many pro-abortion advocates are involved in some of these other pursuits, but hear me—these are pro-life pursuits, and those who believe in them but do not believe in abolishing abortion are holding to an ideological inconsistency. On the other hand, I would admit readily that those who fight abortion but do not care, for example, about AIDS prevention or world peace are likewise being inconsistent. I believe all Christians are obligated to hold pro-life views. May God help us do so and do so consistently.