Opinion

A matter of urgency: Why pro-lifers care so much about saving babies’ lives

This week, a pastor friend of mine asked my feedback on a post someone left on his Facebook regarding abortion. He wanted my thoughts on the commenter’s accusations against pro-lifers, whom this commenter believed allowed other important social issues to fall by the wayside. The commenter seemed to be saying, “How are you pro-life but not stopping child hunger?”

As a person in pro-life ministry for the past eight years, I am, frankly, weary of these deflection responses.

The reality is that abortion advocates can’t really argue that supporting life in the womb is bad; science proves the humanity of the preborn. The only real argument some of them can come up with is how ‘bad’ pro-lifers are for (what they perceive as) ignoring other needs so babies can be born. If this were true — if all we cared about were babies being born — that might hold a bit of water, but that sort of narrow thinking doesn’t show the truth.

Yes, there are other moral crises besides abortion. There are things like child abuse and hunger and other awful things, but pro-lifers are not choosing one at the expense of another. We care about these things, and many of us act on them, too. However, abortion is a preeminent and urgent moral crisis. Every day, 3,000-4,000 more babies die in the womb in America alone.

They never have the chance to be rescued from anything else.

I agree that we cannot only address abortion. As a pro-lifer, I have always focused on the whole situation: the birth mother, the adoptive family, adoption, foster care, dealing with the families involved, and every other aspect of helping vulnerable mothers and their babies. To only want to save a baby and then wash our hands of her is immoral, though not as immoral as dismembering an in-utero human being, obviously. If we can save the baby from death, we can find someone who will raise him. And we can. I have friends all over who would adopt a baby scheduled for abortion, at a moment’s notice.

Many of us care for the needy and fight for these “other issues” pro-choicers claim we don’t care about. We help make our world a better place. The bottom line here is that thousands of babies die every day. Plus, 13,000 viable babies are killed each year (a result of late-term abortion), when they could be delivered and survive outside the womb now. When someone is dying, you drop everything to save them. So if your wife was slipping off a cliff and your son was hurt and crying in horrible pain, you would first rescue your wife so she could live; then you would help your son.

Of course other issues in our society need to be addressed. But the shedding of innocent blood is a grave matter. There is no more urgent crisis. Babies died while I typed this. That matters to me. And as a pro-life Christian, I believe it matters to Jesus. There are even now several large groups who are “secular pro-lifers” who believe exactly the same without the religious overtones, because it’s just so plainly immoral to kill a living person this way. Here’s just one of the brutal methods of abortion:

By the way, the most recent scientific research — published this month — shows that a baby’s heart starts beating at 16 days post-conception/fertilization. Many women don’t even know they are pregnant at 16 days. So even using that as a marker, if we stop the heart, we stop life. If your heart stops now, you die. And if there is a starving group of children behind you as your heart stops, the first thing I am going to do is try to get your heart beating again. Then, I will feed the children. Not one over the other, but in order of highest urgency.

It’s disingenuous to dismiss the pro-life argument because you don’t perceive pro-lifers as doing enough about other social issues, or even doing much beyond helping a baby to be born. The fact is, a real pro-lifer cares about the baby’s life and his birth mother’s life and his entire family as well. But even if the pro-lifer didn’t care about both, that’s no cause for an innocent human being to die. It’s no excuse for the rest of us to sit by while abortion continues.

It is never okay to deliberately take the life of an innocent person — including by abortion.

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