Reverend Matthew Westfox of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice wrote, “Easter reminds me of the respect and reverence for life that is at the core of my theology, that I am in my heart a deeply ‘pro-life’ person.” Sounds good. But the Reverend then added, “Today, most of us won’t use that term because it has been co-opted by those who oppose reproductive choice and abortion access. In the spirit of Easter, I want us [pro-abortion proponents] to resurrect that term, to reclaim a pro-life theology that is deeply supportive of reproductive justice.” Excuse me?
How exactly was the term “pro-life” co-opted? Those who oppose the killing of innocent human life have always been pro-life. And Reverend Westfox, you want pro-abortion proponents to “resurrect” the term pro-life for the pro-abortion cause. How can you resurrect something that never existed?
The Reverend continued, “To be pro-life, after all, means to honor life and to cherish it. But do we honor life, or do we honor a heartbeat? Life, after all, is the ability to LIVE, to connect with other human beings, and, for Christians, life is among other things the ability to experience the presence of Christ through those connections. To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction.” Okay. Quite the accomplishment. One short paragraph. Five false statements.
First, the flippant remark about honoring a heartbeat is a tactic designed to distract. Even the most ardent pro-abortion proponents in the medical community accept the facts that a human heart begins beating during the embryonic stage of development and that a human embryo is a human life. Reverend Westfox, honoring a heartbeat is honoring life.
Second, defining life in terms of ability is unscientific and unchristian. The Reverend’s definition is as arbitrary as saying, “Life, after all, is the ability to ride a bicycle.”
Third, for Christians, the ability to experience the presence of Christ exists while in the womb. Luke 1:41 teaches, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” And Luke 1:44 reaffirms, “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” The good Reverend needs to read his Bible.
Fourth, if “to live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision-making,” as the Reverend claims, and if “to live” is the basis for protecting the right to life, the vulnerable then are left unprotected, including all infants, many adults on life support in hospitals, and some of the mentally disabled.
Fifth, the claim that “to live is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction” is baseless. In a civilized society, the right to control one’s body, sexuality, and reproduction ends at the point where it begins interfering with another’s same right.
Continuing further with this line of reasoning, the Reverend stated, “If we are truly pro-life we must protect and affirm everything about what it means to be alive. How can we claim to be pro-life, especially as Christians when we seek to take from women control over reproduction and sexuality, which are such central parts of what it means to be alive?”
Sorry Reverend Westfox, but we must first protect life itself before we can protect everything about what it means to be alive. And Reverend, how can you claim to be pro-life, especially as a Christian, when you are supporting the killing of innocent human life?
Changing the subject, the Reverend commented, “In the parable of the sower, Jesus reminds us that seed alone does not bring about new life – that all aspects of the conditions into which the seed are cast must be suitable to sustain life. If there is not enough light or too many weeds or other circumstances that make the ground unfit, the seed will not grow. The story reminds us that respecting and honoring life means doing all we can to create the conditions that will allow life to flourish – while at the same time respecting and accepting that some conditions are not suitable to sustaining life.”
If the seed reference is a scientific analogy, it’s a false analogy, because the seed (i.e. the sperm) isn’t the issue. Scientifically, human life begins at conception, when sperm and egg unite. And if the Reverend actually thinks a zygote, embryo or fetus is a seed, his position again is at odds with the most ardent pro-abortion proponents in the medical community. A human zygote is a human life, as is a human embryo and human fetus. As for respecting and accepting that some conditions aren’t suitable to sustaining life, what does that have to do with protecting the right to life? Accepting the intentional killing of innocent human life, as the Reverend advises Christians to do, isn’t respecting life.
Still on the “ground” theme, Reverend Westfox noted, “Similarly, living out a pro-life theology means ensuring that those who want to create new life or parent a child never feel they cannot because the ground they stand upon is not suitable. It also means that no one should ever be coerced into bringing new life into a situation they do not believe is ready to sustain it. A truly pro-life theology means working for health care, employment, and other factors so that no one ever feels he or she cannot be a parent because the conditions aren’t suitable and that we never force life into a situation that lacks one of the most fundamental ingredients of healthy ground – parents who are ready to love and welcome the child.”
Wrong. The arguments about “those who want to create new life” and “the ground they stand upon” not being suitable are ridiculous. And the “coerced” argument? The life in the Reverend’s example already exists. If the biological parents aren’t ready to love the child, there’s a long waiting list of loving people willing to adopt the child. But that’s not the main point. The right to life doesn’t exist only for those fortunate enough to be loved. Those who are loved the least need protection the most. Period.
The Reverend concluded, “I find many truths on Easter morning, truths that go far beyond historical fact. Yet one in particular is the truth of a biblical, sacred exhortation to affirm, revere, and defend life; to be unabashedly, unashamedly pro-life. As Christians, let’s work together to honor the resurrection by resurrecting and re-claiming the term pro-life – not as an attack on choice but as an affirmation of all that life entails.”
No, let’s work to realize the true meaning of “pro-life” by actually protecting life. Reverend Westfox is leading Christians astray. Affirming all that life entails includes affirming all the hardships that life entails. Supporting the killing of innocent human life in order to avoid hardships is the most unchristian work imaginable.