A real Christian pro-life position

A response to “Saints and sinners”

Katherine West, Guest Writer

Illustration by Mia Eshima

As a follower of Christ and his teachings and a member of the Christian pro-life community, I do regard abortion as an inherent sin and the intentional ending of a human life. Isabella Privitera describes a so-called “common belief” for the pro-life community that if a person follows “the laws and teachings of God, they will be rewarded with the grace and prosperity of heaven.”

This is actually the exact opposite of the Christian pro-life position (or any doctrinal Christian position since the beginning of Christianity). The whole point of Christianity is that salvation is a free gift of grace from God, through Jesus, that no human being deserves or can earn. The Bible explains that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24 NIV).

Christianity is like no other religion in the world in that a person cannot earn his or her way to salvation. The Old Testament shows us that no one can perfectly keep the law of God and remain holy and able to come into God’s presence. A person’s good works can never outweigh the bad ones. God is holy and we aren’t, so we require Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins so that we can be reconciled with God. Salvation is an amazing gift, not one we have to earn because of “the choices one makes is on the path of righteousness” as Privitera states in her article.

Privitera concedes for the purpose of argument that abortion is morally wrong. She argues that even if abortion is a moral sin, it can’t be legally regulated because in order for people to follow God there needs to be a “voluntary choice” to follow God and his commandments.

As a thought experiment, I encourage you to read through her article again and replace the word abortion with any other moral sin you find abhorrent that injures someone else. Some examples include murder, rape, child abuse, etc. According to Privitera’s logic, if “these choices are legally made obsolete,” they are “impeding on that individual’s God-given right to free will and voluntary choice.”

Do you believe that murder, rape, or child abuse shouldn’t be illegal because that would somehow mean that an individual’s God-given rights were impeded because they didn’t have the choice to abuse children, murder or rape with no consequences? Of course not!

Abortion should be illegal because there is a separate human life inside the womb that is a unique person, a person that God knows and loves. Just like murdering a five-year-old child would be evil, so is taking the life of a child not yet born. In the Old Testament, God speaks to Jeremiah and tells him “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 NIV). God talks about knowing Jeremiah before he was even in the womb and even the plans of his life. Certainly God knows each and every one of us the same way.

Human life starts from conception, but even those who don’t believe that can see the clear scientific evidence that a separate human being is present early in a pregnancy. A baby’s heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks (completely distinct from the mother’s heartbeat). Technology has come so far, we now have 3D ultrasounds which show amazing details of the baby’s face, fingers, toes, etc. Babies have been born extremely prematurely (before 22 weeks) and still survived. Why are they human as soon as they are outside the mother’s body, but not while they are inside? If you moved to Antarctica, you’d still be human.

Remember the oft-quoted slogan “My body, my choice?” Exactly that — it is the baby’s body and their choice. They cannot advocate for themselves yet, so we must “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8a NIV).