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Abby Johnson is a great model of how the pro-life movement should be. Three things I love about her are her telling pro-lifers to not mislead people with bad information, her passion for helping people, especially women who are victims of the abortion industry, and her willingness to call out pro-lifers who misrepresent the pro-life movement.
Though my level of influence is not even close to comparable to that of Abby, I hope that in my pro-life efforts, I can reflect what she models. Because of this, I want to talk about a particular pro-life argument that is worrisome. I recognize that I am only one person and may not have the right perspective; therefore, I welcome conversation on this topic. However, I think this is a discussion we need to have, so I’m going to start it here.
I think one of the most unsettling forms of rhetoric is saying we shouldn’t kill a fetus because they might contribute something to society. For example, someone might argue that we shouldn’t abort a fetus because they might have been the one to cure cancer. Personally, I think this needs to stop.One of the most unsettling forms of rhetoric is saying we shouldn’t kill a fetus because they might contribute something to society. Click To Tweet
When people make arguments that talk about value based on career or the generations that would come from them or their financial contributions to social security (yes, unfortunately, I have seen that argument used), it rejects the innate value of human life. It promotes the idea that our value comes from what we might do rather than who we are. As pro-lifers, we shouldn’t just want to stop abortion; we should want to promote a culture of life. To do that, we need to get people to recognize the inherent value of human life.As pro-lifers, we shouldn’t just want to stop abortion; we should want to promote a culture of life. Click To Tweet
My life is no more important than a person who is disabled and cannot work. A doctor’s life is no more valuable than mine because they’re saving lives, and I’m just an engineer. Can we argue that they contribute more to society than I? Absolutely! I will gladly say that a doctor does more for the physical needs of society than I do. However, that doesn’t mean that it is “better” to kill me than it is to kill that doctor.
Our worth has nothing to do with what we contribute. Our worth comes entirely from the fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God. This identity, this fundamental piece of who we are, is the only reason we should need to fight to stop abortion. Secular pro-lifers may use different language, but it comes down to the same basic principle: every human life has value.Our worth has nothing to do with what we contribute. Our worth comes entirely from the fact that we were made in the image and likeness of God. Click To Tweet
All those things being said, I also recognize that we are up against a culture that doesn’t value all human life. The language used about fetuses actively dehumanizes them. Speaking about potential contributions, especially as they impact the greater good of the world, seems to add value. I don’t like that this is what we need to do to change people’s minds, but if rhetoric like this is truthful and causes people to second-guess abortion, I suppose it has its place. I think the best example of this is Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s conversation with Hillary Clinton.
“Why do you think we haven’t had a woman as president yet?” First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton asked her guest over their lunch at the White House.
The little woman sitting at table with Mrs. Clinton did not hesitate in her reply.
“Because she has probably been aborted,” said Mother Teresa.
What do you think? Should we try to move away from this rhetoric and focus on leading people to recognize the dignity of every human life aside from the contributions or should we meet the discussion where people are at and talk about potential value in regards to abilities? How should we go about doing this?