Devotional Intimacy Miscellaneous theology

Why I Am Pro-Life

What I am about to say may sound a little extreme, so I want to begin with an apology...

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Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.
-Mother Teresa of Calcutta

In the past I have stayed silent on many of my views on more inflammatory subjects. I will continue to do so for the most part, but I decided that there are a select number of things for which I will open my mouth and this is one of them. Here are some thoughts on why I am Pro-Life.

But I want to begin with an apology. I think that far too often, Pro-Life people come out swinging against Pro-Choice people, rather than loving them and offering sympathetic dialogue. We have condemned mothers who have gone through with abortions instead of coming alongside them and helping them find other options. And for that, I am sorry.

This post is not intended to put down or shame anyone. In fact, quite the opposite. It seems ironic to me that someone claiming to be Pro-Life would resort to tactics of shaming, belittling, and hating other humans. Talk about a self-defeating argument. I’ve seen far too many “interview videos” where the Pro-Life interviewer poses questions to intentionally and sarcastically embarrass the interviewee, so I’ll do my best to avoid that tone.

Instead, this post is meant to simply give some reasons for why I personally continue to hold my Pro-Life stance, as it applies to all humans on earth, whether they agree with me or not. So please do not take my reasoning as any kind of assault or tactical maneuver against you, because that is not my goal.

It’s also worth mentioning that as a Christian, I am aware that I write heavily from a Christian worldview, and therefore many of my reasons are based on scripture and God’s love for all people.

God Loves Everyone & Hates Death

So I think the place to start is there. In God’s love. He loves the unborn children just as much as He loves the mothers in whom they dwell who are debating what to do with their surprise. He loves the Liberal and Conservative alike. He loves the woman who would never dream of having an abortion, and He loves the woman who has already had two dozen.

And because of this love, not a single person is meant to be wasted.

I think God hates death.

We see this in the life of Jesus, as every time one of His friends died, He either wept or retreated to a lonely place. God did not make us with the hopes that we would all die, but that we would all have life and life to the fullest, but death is the direct result of sin.

Josh Howerton points out that while Jesus laid down His life for all, abortion does the opposite: “Abortion is the evil reverse-image of the gospel. Instead of ‘I’ll die for you,’ it says, ‘You die for me.'”

The Language of Abortion

Many of my Pro-Choice friends contend that the heart of the issue is really about deciphering where personhood begins. They contend that the tissue inside a pregnant woman is not, in fact, a person, but simply a collection of cells which will eventually grow into a person. Yet because I believe the Bible is true, I look to it for the answer (And yes, I realize this will do little to persuade my non-Christian friends but like I said, I’m explaining why I believe what I do).

David writes in Psalm 51, “In sin did my mother conceive me.” He does not say that she conceived a lump of tissue which later became me; he says that his personhood was developed in the womb.

Throughout scripture, we see writers employ phrases such as “She was with child.” It doesn’t say that she was with a fetus, but with an actual child. If this argument is too semantic, look no further than the media and their liberal use of language describing pregnancy.

When a celebrity is pregnant, she has a “baby bump;” but when the child is unwanted, it is referred to as a fetus, cells, tissue, or just a part of the woman’s body. The language used is malleable depending on what the reporter wants to convey.

Another common argument is that the fetus is not an individual human as long as it is dependent on its mother’s body for life. Yet how many of us could sustain ourselves sans parents at the age of 1? or 2? 3? 4? If a child is born with health defects and needs machines to survive its first weeks, can we kill it because it is not independent of its life support?

I do not believe there is a justified age or level of dependency at which ending a life is permissible.

Pro-Life Versus Pro-Birth

There is also a difference between being Pro-Life and simply Pro-Birth. Many people put a lot of effort into getting the baby born, but care very little about what happens after delivery. Being Pro-Life involves a plethora of multi-faceted issues, such as battling the death penalty or doctor-assisted suicide. Someone who cares about fetuses but wants to “bomb the hell out of terrorists’ families” is not Pro-Life. I believe God loves all life, not just the babies in the womb.

This, however, is easier said than done.

I think Pro-Lifers have a responsibility to work toward creating alternatives for mothers in crisis, such as making adoption, pre- and postnatal health care, and emotional support more readily available. If we really care about these children, we should do more than simply protest Planned Parenthood, but take active steps toward being the solution, even going so far as to adopt unwanted children into our own families. When we claim to be Pro-Life, but do little to support the continuation of that life, we are defeating our own stance.

Abortion is Racist

From its inception, the abortion industry has targeted minority groups. Whether or not Margaret Sanger was a racist is a hotly debated topic, but regardless, she said some highly disturbing things. In spite of what Stranger (or any Pro-Choice person) actually believed, historic numbers have seen abortion target minority groups.

This article points out that due to abortion, the black population has dropped 30% from 1973 to 2012. It also points out that in 2014, abortion killed more black humans than all other causes combined. It concludes, “To put it bluntly, abortion has thinned the black community in ways the Ku Klux Klan could have only dreamed of.”

Again, the call lands on the shoulders of Pro-Life people to rise up and offer alternatives. Abortion clinics are incredibly easy to find in lower-income urban centers, but where have we offered alternatives? How often have we come alongside single pregnant mothers and offered our hands instead of pointing fingers and hurling shame?

I am not a racist, nor is God, and if we want to encourage flourishing for all of our brothers and sisters of all skin colors, we must speak out against abortion and offer help wherever we can.

Rape, Poverty, and Disability

Conversations about abortion often lead to a slew of hypothetical questions, one of the biggest being What if the mother was raped? Aside from the fact that less than 1% of abortions are due to rape or incest, what I am about to say may sound extreme.

Even in the case of rape, I think the mother should carry the baby to birth.

If we truly believe that God loves all life, we must believe He loves it regardless of how it was created. Just because something horrible occurred, does that mean something beautiful cannot come of it? I believe God is in the business of redemption, and loves to take hideous, ugly things and turn them beautiful. I just read several accounts from women who were raped but chose to keep their child, and not one of them regrets it.

Similar arguments that arise have to do with poverty and disability in the child. The simplest question to ask is, would you consider the same solution if the child were already born? Would we try to kill a 5-year-old simply because his family was poor, or because he had Downs Syndrome? These sorts of questions all loop back to the nature of the fetus itself, as addressed above. If we believe the being inside the pregnant woman is actually a person, we cannot justify any reason for its termination.

Conclusion

I realize that this brief post is far from conclusive and will probably do little to change anyone’s mind. I hope to have conveyed some of the major reasons why I hold the stance I do on abortion, though I realize it is a complex and emotionally-loaded topic. I do not shame or condemn anyone who believes or acts differently than I, but I hope that at the very least I have made you think.

I also hope that this post will spring some of my fellow dormant Pro-Lifers into action, not simply to fight the Pro-Choice agenda, but to offer love and aid to those in the throes of crisis. I think the way to end abortion is not to merely battle the entity itself, but to construct healthy and fruitful alternatives.

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23 comments on “Why I Am Pro-Life

  1. Wow- spot on and very convicting! Thank you for writing this.

  2. Looking forward to more contentious topics. You say some really good things.

  3. Kristin O'Brien

    Can you unsubscribe me? This post is very disappointing. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It’s pro-women’s rights. Something you know absolutely nothing about since you are a man.

    • Ah. Kristin the feminist needs a man to unsubscribe her.

      • That is a very dismissive way to respond to her comment. I am a feminist and their is nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to disagree but not to be mean.

    • Alyssamay Griño

      Kristin O’Brien,
      Here is Google’s definition of Pro-choice, verbatim:
      “advocating legalized abortion.”

      Ethan presented his views through love and knowledge of the Bible, yet you couldn’t see past his views and open your mind. I’m a woman, and I absolutely respect his courage to post about such a sensitive topic.

      • You’re right he is expressing his views in a loving way. I would want you to ask yourself are you responding to her in a loving way. There is no conversation because we attack. I am pro choice and my reason behind it is because I believe in free will but for me personally I do not agree with it. I also don’t think it is my decision to make decisions for other people. God doesn’t do that so who am I to do it to. Conversation will never occur if we choose to respond and talk to each other in this way.

    • I agree with you. I am definitely pro-choice but I think it’s unfair of us to write off someone just because they’re a man. He was looking at it from a biblical point of view on the issue. I do think some men lack understanding of what it feels like to be a woman in that position. In reality he will not know what it’s like to have to make that decision. In the end the woman has to deal. I think just because he probably doesn’t get that doesn’t mean his findings are wrong. Personally I do not agree with abortions but I am pro-choice because I realize free will is important and I would never want to make that decision for someone especially since it affects their life not mine.

    • Kristin O’Brien: I’m a woman and a feminist, and I agree with what Ethan Renoe writes. What about girls being aborted? When do their rights as women begin to exist? Who decides? Pro-life is not anti-women.

      • Are you trying to start a conversation or an argument because an argument won’t change anyones heart. Instead it will just cause people to further converse and hear each other.

      • blush2crush: I am sorry if my comment came across as harsh, that was not my intention. I sincerely believe in conversation (preferably face to face), but I am also not against voicing my opinion. Done in a respectful manner, it will not hinder dialogue. This is such an emotional debate, so many of us have personal experiences related to it (myself included), but that cannot keep us from having the important conversations even when we disagree.

      • I respect your response. Thank You.

    • scott labossiere

      kristin so sick of feminists like you saying men cannot have an opinion on abortion just because they are not a woman. How is abortion abour womens rights it is not no one man or womann should have a right to kill an innocent baby. Abortion is not healthcare or a right and has nothing to do with womens rights. ALso cannot stand people liek you ho cannot handle that other people have different opinions than you so you want to silence them you hypocrite

  4. Jeffrey Repichowski

    Dear Ethan:

    I’ve followed your blog for a while now, and I believe that this is not only one of your best posts, but one of the bests posts I’ve read on why anyone is and should be pro-life. I praise the Father for the fact that you have been given this platform to share Christ’s love in this broken and hurting world. I follow you on Facebook, and I find myself praying for you quite often. Keep being vulnerable and sharing your heart because this world needs the honesty that you share.

    Blessings!

    Jeff Repichowski (505) 688-3165 Cellular

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Josh Smith

    I love you! Praise Jesus! Thankyou so much, keep posts like this coming please brother!

  6. I strongly disagree with some of this content. Your intentions are good, aren’t all of ours? Yet you can never take away another humans choice just based on your personal religious beliefs, this route of argument is the least valid to take. Apparently god wants this and god wants that because you were told that since you were born, and it’s written in an ancient book. This is 2017. Weither we like it or not people don’t just have sex to make a child and many people do not wait for marriage. That is a human right we live with. If we made all of our laws based on the Bible everyone would be locked up. The reality is pro life is going based off of “what ifs” so apparently birth control should be illegal too? Think of all of the people that could have been born, think of the lives they could have lived out if it wasn’t stopped by those hormones in the pill etc. sounds ridiculous right? Exactly. Whoever receives an abortion was NOT trying to conceive a child, same with birth control users. And if the egg was fertilized and birth control failed, the person still never had an intent of having a child. It’s a very fine line. Some people emotionally cannot deal with having an abortion, that’s fine, some people morally will not have an abortion, that’s fine, some people emotionally cannot deal with carrying a child to term, that’s also fine. It’s not your body, you cannot tell someone what morals to have, what to physically put their body’s through, or what to feel. And unless you’re going to take care of that child when it’s born, you can’t have one say in that woman’s choice or life, period.

  7. Thomas Curran

    Your arguments are convincing in some cases. The evidence and articles you use are from sites that already confirm your opinion and belief. They hold bias. Using these as the standard for fact is not very convincing to me. I would suggest using a non biased source like the United States Census, or surveys done by the CDC. Perhaps those articles used those as sources, but if that is so, it is far more compelling to have the raw data available and cited in your article.

    I like the part you said about using different language. When fetuses are wanted we do tend to call them children. It often is a child in our minds until we don’t want it.

    I would stay away from personal allegory, because the stories and accounts you showed are only few of many, and do not accurately and fully represent the diversity of the situation.

    When you talked about the issue connecting abortion and race I think you treaded upon ground that was already slippery, and then used some statistics and facts that need some better sources. There are many reasons family planning centers appear in urban cities that have far, far more to do with providing proper health care to women than to giving minorities a better access to abortion. That section felt strangely aggressive, and misguided. I know that’s not the tone you were going for, but I am just relaying how that section made me feel.

    The rape section, and the race section were the most shaky parts of the article, but the rest of the article was deeply founded in personal belief and respect towards those of other perspectives. I love that you distinguished between pro life and pro birth, calling out those who would demand the birth of children and then offer no aid in care, or say to love life and then promote war. That is a refreshing stance that I hope to see more of.

    Overall well done. I haven’t necessarily been convinced, but your arguments and the tone of the article, in most places, provided the most compelling argument I have seen in a while.

  8. Lindsey Freeman

    Two things I would like to point out:
    1. You state: “Abortion has not cut the black population by 30%”. Not quite. In fact, this is a quite asinine remark to make. I’ll leave this link for you to explore why on your own: http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2013/apr/25/charles-van-zant/florida-republican-says-without-kkk-or-holocaust-a/
    2. I am interested in your final point about rape and incest. I understand that you are saying “I think women should carry these pregnancies to term”, but what I am curious about and what is more important in terms of political policies/laws is if you agree with the following: “I think women and children should carry these pregnancies to term, and because I think this, I think they should be forced to even if they disagree with me”. That would be a much more practical question to address.

    While I disagree with your stance, I do really appreciate your post and the insight you provide. This is the type of pro-life thought process I can agree to disagree with, if that makes sense. Again, thanks for your thoughts. Would be happy to discuss more.

  9. Hi Ethan! I thought you did a very respectable job in explaining your views.

    I wanted to share this article I heard about not too long ago in which a group of scientists found that the fertilization of the egg creates a “light flash” reaction, similar to what we could imagine the creation of the universe, “let there be light.” http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/05/01/spark-life-science-and-bible-meet-again.html Whatever my beliefs were before I read this were definitely solidified by this new definition of “life.” I thought you did a great job of explaining this biblically, as well. I think this is a cool article and wanted to pass it on.

    I was also thinking the statement behind “pro-choice” is a paradox. Since all we are, and everything we own is God’s, our bodies are God’s as well (His temple)… so “my body, my choice” doesn’t really apply here. Just some of my rambling thoughts…

    Anyway, nice job on this article!

  10. Monica Kelly

    Ethan: I commend the overall tone of your post. And, I believe you are opening a dialog. However, you lost me at “He loves the woman who has already had two dozen.” Seriously? I don’t know of any women who’ve had 2 dozen pregnancies…much less 2 dozen abortions. That type of statement is what shuts down dialog.

    I have always been fervently pro-choice. HOWEVER, I have always said that I could agree to making abortion illegal on 2 conditions. 1) That birth control and sex education were promoted and readily available [which has already been rescinded by our current President] and 2) that our US tax/welfare/policies supported these children once they were born. [Which to be fair to your post I think you are thinking about and trying to address/open a dialog about.]

    I think [hope?] the one thing that e can all agree on is to eliminate unwanted pregnancies. And, then there would be little need for abortion.

  11. Hey Ethan:
    First, major kudos to talking about and handling with grace a very hot button topic.
    Second: I enjoyed this post, you were very clear and concise which I know is hard to do, especially when doing something like this.
    Personally I thought this post was very well written and much like you, I was raised a Christian and believe in the sanctity of life, not just in the womb but in all life.
    Thanks for being willing to write this, I know it probably wasn’t easy, but I admire you for doing it.
    Have a good day!

  12. You say, “If a child is born with health defects and needs machines to survive its first weeks, can we kill it because it is not independent of its life support?”

    This is a different issue, but what if the child’s defects are so bad that the doctors know he/she will not survive. Life support may give the child days or weeks (of being uncomfortable at best and suffering horribly at worst) but the child’s defects are not compatible with life. Do you believe in that case you should put the child on life support?

  13. Pingback: Rights | The Comenius Institute

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