Over the past four decades, since abortion was legalized in Roe v. Wade, the term “pro-life” has been distorted and discredited. We are told that if we are pro-life we don't care about babies outside the womb, even as we care for men, women, and children through non-profits, ministries, and pregnancy resource centers. We are told we only care about saving the child from abortion, even as we foster and adopt children in need of homes.
Opponents have often misrepresented the term “pro-life” by pointing out only that which it stands against – abortion.
Yet the term encapsulates so much more than simply an opposition to abortion. In fact, it is everything we stand for, rather than simply what we stand against, that motivates the pro-life movement.
In the age of technology, there are near constant innovations and discoveries that deepen our understanding about human development. Scientific knowledge about the development of human life inside the womb is infinitely more advanced today than it was in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court. The 7 members of the Roe majority referenced the science of their time, yet abortion jurisprudence has not kept up with scientific advances ever since.
With the improvement in ultrasound technology, now more than ever, we are given a window into the womb to confirm what science has always been very clear about - life begins at conception. Even though our media and politicians sympathetic to the abortion industry refute science and logic, this fundamental truth remains.
We now know that the heart begins beating in the first several weeks after conception. The brain, spinal cord, and other organs begin to form during those early weeks as well.
Through 3D ultrasounds, we see the babies reacting to stimuli, see them wiggling their tiny fingers. We are able to see their precious faces, confirming what science has already exposed – this is a unique human life with unique DNA.
As we fight for life at all stages of development, we are supporting and promoting that which science continues to reveal – life begins at conception and thus deserves the full protection of our laws from that very moment forward.
The abortion industry has successfully peddled the fallacy that in order to be pro-woman one must be pro-abortion. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Those of us who advocate for life know that to be pro-life is to promote the empowerment and well-being of all women – born and unborn.
As the revered suffragist Alice Paul said, “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.” Abortion tells a woman that she is not strong enough to handle tough circumstances she might face during her pregnancy. Abortion tells a woman that her distinctive ability to bear children is an obstacle to her success, rather than a unique quality worth protecting and supporting. Abortion tells a woman that she must be more like a man before she will be valued as a member of our society.
But in stark contrast, the pro-life movement believes that life is the empowering choice for women. By encouraging women to choose life for their babies, we celebrate the inherent and unique abilities of women. We tell women that they have what it takes to do the hard and wonderful work of motherhood. We tell women that they are valuable and contributing members of society just as they are. In fact, without childbirth and motherhood, there would be no society.
But above all, the pro-life movement is deeply rooted in the fundamental belief that all life, no matter how small or poor or unwanted, is worth protecting.
Those of us who are pro-life fight for the inherent dignity within every human life, no matter what the age or stage of human development. Our advocacy does not end in the delivery room. In fact, that is only where it begins.
To be pro-life is to defend the unborn, the widows, the disabled, and the orphans, like organizations serving those with special needs or helping families adopt orphans. To be pro-life is to serve the least of these in communities next door and across oceans, like organizations who serve the homeless or refugees who have fled war zones. To be pro-life is to build institutions that promote the flourishing of all human beings.
The ACLJ has just released our new documentary entitled Abortion, Inc., which shines a light on many of the straw man arguments levied against the pro-life movement. The film features stories of post-abortive women whose lives were shattered by the lies of the abortion industry, but who have found hope and healing through the work of pro-life organizations. Abortion, Inc. offers real solutions for how we can continue to promote a culture of life.
With every donation given online at ACLJ.org, you get a special code on your emailed receipt. Using that code, you can watch our brand-new ACLJ documentary, Abortion Inc., in its entirety at www.abortionmovie.com.
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