The Only Way to be Pro-Life is to be Pro-Choice

The Only Way to be Pro-Life is to be Pro-Choice May 10, 2022

Pro-life or anti-abortion image

 

I know, yet another man writing an article on the abortion issue. With that said, I think you will find this article different from the others which only serve to vilify the opposite point of view.

The greatest problem with the rhetoric between pro-choice and pro-life groups is the lack of nuance that exists within the conversation. Logic and rationality are tossed out of the window in favor of primitive reasoning and emotional gobbledygook – aimed at vilifying those on the other side. Nuance just gets in the way of that goal. And who has time for the truth when there is evil to call out?

As with most volatile political issues, neither perspective acknowledges any validity with the other group’s point of view. To admit that the other side might have a valid point is tantamount to defeat. Any acknowledgment given to the other side means that evil wins.

The Pro-Life Anti-Abortion Movement

The anti-abortion movement was started and bolstered by Francis Schaeffer and his son, Frank. I spoke with Frank about this on my UNenlightenment podcast a few months back. The idea behind the anti-abortion movement was to create a robust link between the political and religious world, aimed at garnering power for what would become the Religious Right. In fact, the anti-abortion movement had little to do with religion or the sanctity of life – it was a political strategy. The Schaeffers simply elevated the issue with extreme moral rhetoric. They sold the idea to political leaders and it spread like wildfire among Christians.

I have a real problem with the term “pro-life”. The term pro-life is a misnomer. The people who tend to be “pro-life” are really anti-abortion. If anti-abortionists were actually pro-life, they would care just as much about what takes place after the birth as they do when the baby is still in the womb. For example, what will anti-abortionists do when our adoption agencies become overcrowded – will they be pro-life and adopt? What will happen when low-income Americans become more impoverished because they lack the health care access that many middle-class Americans take for granted. Will they be pro-life then and help create legislation that will guarantee quality health care for all? The answer most of the time is “no.”

Some will argue that these statements are inflammatory strawman arguments. So, perhaps it would be good to qualify a little. Don’t believe these statements to be true or unfair, I would challenge you to look to your local republican’s voting record and you will see how well they line up with what I just said.

Check out some of these facts:

Did you know that 7 in 10 women who get an abortion are Christians? In classic hypocritical fashion, Christians are the largest group of people getting abortions and they are also the loudest at protesting it.

Adoption – The number one alternative that anti-abortion supporters advocate for is adoption and yet, on any given day there are 428,000 children in the foster care system.

Immigration – According to PEW there were 10.5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2017. A large percentage of these people come to the U.S. to preserve their lives. Gang violence and government corruption are most often the reason for their escape. And yet, many who claim to be “pro-life” also advocate for sending these people back to their hopeless violent communities where many (including children) will die. To make it even more egregious, many of these immigration policies also apply to those who have lived in the U.S. for years.

PovertyOne of the leading reasons women give for having abortions is that they cannot afford to have a child. There are currently 11.9 million children in the U.S. who are impoverished. Of those 11.9 million, 2.5 million children in the U.S. are homeless.

 

I am pro-life and I am against abortion. But because I understand how nuanced this issue is, I understand that in some cases abortion is necessary – even if I don’t like it. And because the anti-abortion movement is so stringent in its legislation, they don’t allow for the nuance that is necessary to be truly pro-life. So the only way to be truly pro-life right now is to be pro-choice. Although being pro-choice contains options I don’t care for, it is the position that allows for the greater outcome (and yes, at times I am placing the health of the mother over the fetus).

Many within the anti-abortion movement will deny that what I’m stating is true. They will argue that there is nuance in nearly all legislation. However, their idea of nuance is allowing for a woman to get an abortion within 6 weeks (or some other absurd period of time) before which she would even know she is pregnant. Legislation like this is effectively banning abortion under the disguise of compromise.

My Response to the Question of Murder

The fundamental question within this debate is “When does life start?” Anti-abortionists argue that life begins at conception. If someone ends that life, they are a murderer. It is that simple for most anti-abortionists. However, “life” in this perspective just means that an organism is alive.

I think the more important question to ask is “when does conscious life begin”? When is the fetus a person? There is no ethical comparison between choosing the health of a conscious mother versus that of a non-conscious life-form. Most agree that consciousness begins during the second trimester (after 21 weeks). Although we cannot really measure consciousness, most scientists believe this because consciousness requires a series of sophisticated neurotransmitters that are not available to the brain until the second trimester.

Legislation that would force a woman or a girl to have a baby at the risk of their own health or life is the opposite of pro-life. The only difference then between the anti-abortionist and a pro-choicer is that anti-abortionists choose which life they feel is more important. Either way, life is lost and no one is the winner. Let the mother choose if she lives another day to make a new baby or whether she sacrifices her life – regardless, that should be her choice, not yours, not mine.

Some Concluding Thoughts

The fact is abortion rates go down under Democratic pro-choice administrations. The reason for this is their approach to health care. Allowing people to have access to healthcare allows the individual to maintain a healthier lifestyle. (source) It gives them access to contraceptives. It gives them access to information that anti-abortion republicans tend to be opposed to. Right now “life” is most feasible through the pro-choice position because it allows for the most nuance. I do believe we should have laws limiting abortion, but I also think that those laws have to be nuanced and they have to also consider the health and well-being of the mother as well.

I am well aware that there are many other issues that accompany this conversation. But those must be addressed at a later time perhaps in another article.


You can view my UNenlightenment YouTube Channel HERE
You can view my  UNenlightenment Podcast HERE
You can follow me on FaceBook HERE

About Eric English
Eric is a rogue philosopher, theologian, podcaster and ninja. He is a father of three, husband of one, and a poet unto himself. Eric’s main areas of thinking are in philosophy (specifically, Soren Kierkegaard), theology (Narrative Perspectivism), and culture. Eric also hosts the podcast UNenlightenment. If you are interested in having Eric speak at your event, please contact him on Facebook. You can read more about the author here.

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