Pro-life. Not Just Pro-birth

Progressive 16

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

These are the words of Jeramiah regarding God’s appointment of him as a prophet. There are similar passages about David, (Psalm 139:16) and John (Jesus’ cousin), who leaped in his mother’s womb when he knew Jesus was near (Luke 1:41).

All three grew up to be great men of the Bible. Which is why I believe pro-life is the wrong term for those who oppose abortion and favor laws that oppress children once they’re born. Christians should not be finished caring about people once they’re born! I call this attitude pro-birth; not pro-life.

Babies are alive from the time they’re conceived, or there would be no discussion over what point during the pregnancy abortion is legal, and no scientific argument over a baby’s “chance for survival” outside the uterus. That—not just the Bible—is why I’m pro-birth. I believe abortion is a form of infanticide.

But I know this is not a popular stance among progressives. I see the other viewpoint too, especially if carrying a baby to term would endanger the mother’s life, or if the baby is known to be severely disabled. And, the way our society works, the pressure of childcare is mostly on the mother–not on a deadbeat father. It’s not a simple matter!

The Bible’s argument against abortion is admittedly weak; Jesus doesn’t even mention it. But He repeatedly exhorts us to care for the poor, the oppressed, the widows, and the orphans… people who are already born, and who are in need. As a Christian, I am compelled to follow His teaching. That means changing our system so people–especially those with children–have homes, jobs, and access to healthcare and education.

As long as our political system oppresses the poor and punishes mothers for having their babies, I will encourage adoption, but I will not vote for legislation that makes abortion illegal.

Does it make sense to care so much about unborn children… and stop caring once they’re born?


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