The pro-life position seems to be a political loser since Roe v. Wade was overturned. For example, Ohio just enshrined abortion rights into its constitution. Given the fact that running as a pro-life candidate now seems to be a liability, should Christians, especially aspiring Christian politicians in America, downplay the importance of opposing abortion in order to get elected?
No, they should not. They should be committed to being pro-life, even if that means they will lose elections. Losing elections is not as important as losing our integrity. And Christians will certainly lose their integrity if they stop advocating for the right to life for all human beings as well as normalize putting forth candidates with questionable character.
Here are 5 reasons to be pro-life:
- God made all human beings in his image. The Bible records that God made people in his image (Gen. 1:26-27). Being made in the image of God bestows inherent dignity, value, and worth upon all human beings no matter what age, mental or physical capabilities. We are human beings, humans because of who we are, not because of what we do. Lamentably, some people lose significant physical or cognitive abilities because of living in a broken world. Yet Christian bioethicist Gilbert Meilaender contends that we are always human beings. He writes, “Those who never had or who have now lost certain distinctive human capacities should not be described as nonpersons; rather, they are simply the weakest and least advantaged members of the human community” (Bioethics, 32). God made us in his image and that is not something we can lose.
- It’s conception or nothing for personhood (and conception is the right answer). Non-Christian writer Matthew Yglesias believes that it is not even worth debating abortion because to claim that fetus’s have souls is a “religious doctrine” which is unprovable. But we don’t even need to get into discussions of the human soul to be pro-life, discussing personhood is definitive enough. The key question people need to answer is this: “When does a human life become a ‘person’?” Is it after the child is born? But what about a baby born at 39 weeks? Or 30 weeks? Or 25 weeks? Babies can survive outside the womb earlier and earlier due to modern medical technology. Based on that fact alone, it seems nonsensical to restrict personhood to developing at some arbitrary point in time. The moment of conception seems a better and more consistent moment on which personhood is bestowed on someone.
- Conservatives should want to conserve life. Political conservatives should be pro-life because the conservative impulse is to preserve, or conserve, things. Conversing human life is the building block of society. We would not have the civilization we have if we did not seek to protect human life and seek its flourishing.
- Progressives should want to protect the most vulnerable. Who is more vulnerable than a baby in the womb? They literally cannot defend themselves. Political progressives often pride themselves on protecting the most vulnerable of society. I applaud that impulse and ask that it be extended to life in the womb.
- The more humans, the better. Sociologists have long recognized the collapse of birth rates as countries become wealthier and more advanced. I have to wonder, however, if birth rate would be as low as they are if abortion was outlawed and we didn’t terminate roughly 600,000 lives in a year (in 2020). People are the ultimate resource who are able to innovate and solve difficult problems.
These reasons seem to be sufficient for me to be pro-life. Therefore, Christians should cling fast to the defense of life and should not allow the expediency of political elections to change their views.