Monday, January 30, 2017

Apparently, Everything is a Pro-Life Issue.

I get the question every so often: Just what is included in the term "pro-life"?

I've seen the social media arguments. I've fielded accusations. I've looked through internet memes and liberal media outlets. I even saw some signs at the March for Life.

Face it, folks. Everything is a pro-life issue.

In reality, there really is no set definition of "pro-life". That’s a reality of legitimate movements: we’re too busy with far more important things to worry about creating an official label. Those who make this a priority are probably doing nothing practical.

To be fair to the pro-life movement, few people involved in it are throwing around accusations. “You’re not really pro-life because (fill in the blank)!” I’ve only heard this from two groups of people. The first are people who are watering down the movement by trying to include too many issues, and therefore aren’t focusing on anything. The other is people who do nothing in the movement, but are quick to judge the actions and beliefs of people who are. They are either Progressive Christians that see other issues as more important than the butchering of innocent children in our own backyards, or Progressives who have the utterly disgusting but utterly unsurprising view that abortion is a fundamental right but God forbid we stop taking in refugees for three months to keep the country safe. Either camp is audacious in its accusations.

Although the question of what to include as “pro-life” issues shows lack of thought at times, it is a fair question to ask. One definition I've heard is that being pro-life means "caring for all human life." This is extremely vague, not at all a clear definition. It's a relative statement about a movement that fights relative statements. This simply cannot do. We need a real definition, one that is the source of what we choose to fight—not the excuse. This is a convenient definition if we are trying to justify taking in refugees, but it is backward in its thinking. Rather than coming up with an excuse for our presuppositions, we need to start at principles and let that determine policy.

Since it has recently been a focus, I will attempt to set a general framework and examine some issues that are included by some people. But, keep in mind, there is no official definition, and specific labels—such as “anti-abortion”—are much more accurate.

Defining “Pro-Life”

I find a pro-life stance to be this: standing against the intentional killing of innocent people. Each one of these words is purposeful and important.
Oh, got us!

Intentional. There are unfortunate times when innocent lives are taken accidentally through an action aimed at killing no one or only guilty people. For example, the initial drone policies of President Obama took civilian lives accidentally. This was irresponsible, but not intentional.

Killing. This is pretty obvious. The issue must be loss of life. Poverty, while a noble thing to fight, has no place in the pro-life movement, unless its goal is to help mitigate loss of life, such as pregnancy resource centers.

Innocent. People guilty of serious crimes, such as murder, attempted murder, rape, terrorism, or treason, have forfeited their right to life and deserve neither protection nor advocacy.

People. Human lives must be at stake. Animal rights issues are ones I sometimes sympathize with, but these are not pro-life issues.

Let’s examine some specific stances.


Ending abortion is the principle goal of the pro-life movement. All involved with it desire to see this. It is the rallying cry that binds together people who differ on other issues. This must be the chief aim of the pro-life movement, to see abortion ended in the United States, and abroad.

Euthanasia/Physician-Assisted Suicide

These, too, are points of agreement in the movement. These “mercy killings” artificially and intentionally take innocent human lives, and set an awful precedent. A goal of the movement is to, when impossible to save an innocent human life, ease his or her suffering. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide do not ease suffering—they end the person that is suffering. This is unacceptable and disrespectful of beings created in God’s image. If we are serious about sparing innocent human lives, these barbaric practices have no place in society.
Apparently everyone is an expert.

Embryonic Stem-Cell Research
Utilitarians must love the idea of this, but this, too, takes innocent human lives. Creating human beings with the goal to destroy them is, to put it mildly, bullying, and to put it honestly, cold-blooded murder. Even if embryonic stem-cell research were effective, which it has not been, it is still morally wrong to sacrifice innocent lives in an attempt to save other lives. The ends do not and cannot justify the means.

Beyond these issues, there is much disagreement.

Being anti-war sounds noble on its exterior. But is anyone today, save maybe Muslim jihadists coming in the refugee waves, actually for war? I don’t think any American leaders are, nor is anyone in the pro-life movement. It has been a long time since America instigated a war. The War on Terror and the World Wars were in self-defense. Vietnam and Korea were in defense of allies. We aren’t just going around starting wars. It would be irresponsible to refuse to enter wars when the innocent lives of our people and other people are at stake. The alternative is letting violence happen to us without doing anything to stop it. So war, while never desirable, is sometimes necessary.

Well it's not like it would have taken much for them.
While war is necessary, it must be performed in the right way. The target must be to kill or stop those trying to perform violence against us with the smallest amount of civilian lives lost as possible. Sometimes this is unable to be prevented, but often it is. The drone warfare of the Obama administration was initially sloppy, but was cleaned up.

The only exception I see to never intentionally taking innocent human lives is when even the best course of action will do so. These situations are rare, I believe. The best example is the atomic bombs used in World War II. While innocent Japanese lives were taken, more innocent Japanese lives would have been lost had the Allies invaded Japan. Thus, this was the best course of action that took the fewest innocent lives as possible.


There is no single answer to this question. The circumstances must be taken into consideration.

There is no possible way that the United States can take in all refugees of a crisis. Other means of help must be looked into to be the most helpful. This does not mean, though, that we should be inherently against taking in refugees. Again, the situation must be taken into account.

For example, in the years leading up to World War II, a number of countries, including America, refused Jewish refugees despite evidence that genocide was around the corner. This cost lives, and was the wrong decision.

The comparison of this event to modern events in laughable and dangerous. There was no chance of European Jews being terrorists with plans to take American lives. There is, however, a very real chance of Middle Eastern refugees being terrorists. The Christmastime attackers in Berlin were immigrants from the countries recently temporarily banned by President Trump’s executive order. Two of the Paris attackers in 2015 posed as Syrian refugees. Knife and ax attacks in Germany have been committed by posed refugees. Some of the Brussels attackers fought in Syria and regained entry into Belgium. ISIS has admitted it is using the flow of refugees to infiltrate the West, and with Progressives—who care nothing about abortion—raising a fuss over halting refugees, I can see how it’s a good plan.

The boxers vs. briefs debate is also a pro-life issue.
Some people claim this executive order is intentionally taking innocent human lives. This is mindless. The order does not allow refugees from eight countries to infiltrate our borders for 120 days. It does not order executions. Keeping someone’s status the same is not the same as murdering them. Scott Klusendorf used the example of a homeless man. I can refuse to give him $5, or I can murder him. The former is the Trump administration’s refugee policy. The latter is abortion.

This policy is not heartless. It’s common sense. It is irresponsible to allow refugees in without being able to vet them all while having the knowledge that some could be terrorists. To say that this asinine policy of free-flowing possible terrorists into the West should be a plank of pro-life beliefs is shameful.


Poverty is an issue, and there are ways to combat it. But it simply is not on the same level as something like abortion. Reference the analogy of the homeless man. There is no intentional taking of human life. Before we water down the movement, we have to examine whether issues are grave enough to be counted as a direct threat to life. Not quality of life. Life. Poverty does not meet the standard.

Animal Rights

It pains me that this even needs to be addressed. Animal lives are not even on the same plane as human lives. God makes this very clear when he ordered capital punishment for taking innocent human lives and monetary reparation for taking animal lives. This does not mean that I nor anyone else in the pro-life movement are unsympathetic to these issues. I support some forms of animal rights. But this does not belong under the definition of “pro-life.”


Guns are morally-neutral things. They can be used for bad. Most are used for good. Soldiers with guns save lives at home. Police officers with guns save lives. Homeowners with guns save lives. And hunt. And sport. And do all sorts of other things that don’t threaten human lives, much less take them.

Police “Brutality”

There are a few rogue police officers that kill innocent people. There are a lot more anti-police organizations and movements that are killing innocent people. Most of the police killings kill guilty people in self-defense. If police brutality were an issue, it could qualify as a pro-life issue. But, it is not an issue.

Capital Punishment

People who see no difference between capital punishment and abortion or either stupid or intellectually dishonest, to be blunt. Both take human lives. But capital punishment kills a guilty person because of a serious crime. Abortion kills an innocent person for being inconvenient.

“And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” –Genesis 9:5-6

Maybe Progressives would fight abortion if they pretended the
preborn were serial killers.
To show how seriously God takes human life, and to be just, God commands murderers be killed. Rape has long been placed in the same category. Those against capital punishment can take it up with God. Those that support abortion but oppose the death penalty sicken me with their backward thinking.

The proper pro-life position on capital punishment, if any at all, should be to support the death penalty to reinforce the value of human life. Capital punishment does not break our fundamental beliefs because we aren’t dealing with innocent lives.


To keep a movement simple and consistent, it is important to not give place to nonsense. Diving into too many issues can harm the overall goal. I've provided a framework for determining our focus in the movement, and applied it to various issues—the correct way of going about it. By setting the goal of the pro-life movement as preventing the intentional killing of innocent people, we avoid watering down the movement with outside issues, and focus on the most serious ones.

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