WATCH: Do pro-life laws violate the separation of church and state?

In Live Action’s latest Pro-Life Replies video, Josh Craddock — an attorney, speaker, and affiliated scholar with the James Wilson Institute — tackles a common claim promulgated by the abortion industry: the idea that pro-life laws violate the separation of church and state.

Craddock notes that some people believe the pro-life view is only a religious view, and therefore, pro-life laws establish some sort of religious theocracy.

“Do laws protecting children in the womb violate the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment’s establishment clause?” Craddock asks, before concluding: “They do not.”

He goes on to explain that laws protecting children in the womb do not establish any national church — which is what the Establishment Clause is actually about.


Craddock says that the First Amendment’s establishment clause does not say anything about a “wall of separation between church and state.” Instead, it merely states that there shall be no establishment of a national religion and no requirements for church attendance or financial support. This does not mean that the people and their representatives cannot make laws in accordance with their values, even if the values are influenced by their beliefs — because, as he notes, those who are motivated by their religious beliefs in voting and making laws aren’t imposing their religion on anyone else.

In his second point, Craddock explains that you don’t have to belong to any religion to think it should be illegal to kill innocent human beings.

Modern science and technology are indisputable in the fact that the children in the womb are human, and any embryology textbook will show that “the development of the human begins with fertilization” and that this “initiates the life of a new individual.”

“That children in the womb are a member of the human family is a fact of basic biology, not religious belief,” Craddock says.

He also notes that both religious and non-religious believers believe that people should be protected from things like murder and assault and that the laws shouldn’t discriminate based on things like size, age, or level of development.

“Nobody would say that a law prohibiting the killing of toddlers is an establishment of religion,” Craddock points out, “But laws banning homicide in the womb are no more an establishment of religion than laws banning the homicide of toddlers or adults.”

“Born or preborn, we share the same nature, and it’s that inherent human nature that gives us value,” he says.

Craddock concludes: “Because the Declaration of Independence establishes that ‘All human beings are created equal and endowed with an inalienable right to life,’ pro-life laws are no more and no less religious than the Declaration of Independence.”

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