Anyone who is “pro-life” will be “pro-birth”

Dec 3rd

With oral arguments now concluded in what could be the seminal case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, activists on both sides of the abortion issue in America are understandably on edge.

For those espousing a belief that humans in the womb are entitled to human rights, what rides on the outcome of this case is no less than the efficacy of a nearly half-century strategy to train, develop, and confirm constitutionally-minded judges to federal courts.

For those intimately involved in the preservation of the judicially-created right to end nascent human life in its first nine months of development, the case represents a referendum on our culture's reverence for preeminent values like bodily autonomy, independence, and personal liberty.

Though I am anything but uncommitted when it comes to my conviction that human life begins at conception – and therefore must be entitled to every legal protection that is due all other humans at differing stages of development – I also do make a concerted effort to understand those who see the issue differently.

And any fair-minded observer who does the same cannot help but notice the slow, but steady erosion of legal, moral, ethical, scientific, and philosophical arguments for the pro-abortion kingdom. The evolution of science, technology, medicine, as well as an increased focus on human-rights concerns in the West over the last half century, has left the pro-abortion legal defense armed with little more than emotion and misdirection.

That was evident in the courtroom Wednesday, just as it is evident in the culture every other day. For instance:

Tisby is an increasingly well-known scholar trusted and cited by multiple progressive Christian outlets. No doubt motivated by an earnest desire to play down the obvious theological imperative that a Christian oppose abortion (which I laid out in my Friday MEMO here), Tisby is promoting this ham-fisted deflection as some form of morally superior third-way. In actuality it's a red herring.

The issue regarding the legality and morality of abortion is about one thing: whether the developing human inside the womb is entitled to the same human rights afforded to a developing human outside the womb. In determining the answer to that question, no other calculation is pertinent.

  • Will the life in the womb, if granted human rights, end up cognitively challenged? That's irrelevant to whether or not she is entitled to those rights.
  • Will the life in the womb, if granted human rights, be cared for properly by her parents? That's irrelevant to whether or not she is entitled to those rights.
  • Or, specifically to Tisby's tweet: do the economic policies that exist in the country make life better or worse for that life in the womb should she be born? That's irrelevant to whether or not she is entitled to human rights.

So let's clarify explicitly for Dr. Tisby: anyone who is pro-life will be pro-birth. And anyone who is not pro-birth is not pro-life.

Of course, it stands to reason that a person who favors human rights for unborn humans will also advocate for the human rights of born humans as well. That may or may not equate to supporting Tisby's preferred big-government social-welfare schemes, however.

As a race- and social-justice activist, Tisby undoubtedly sees his calling as drawing attention to the difficulties of single parenthood, the dangers of poverty, and the often-debilitating economic challenges faced by those children who escape slaughter at the hands of an abortionist. I encourage and affirm him in that endeavor.

But none of those concerns or realities offer justification for the continued legality of dismembering inconvenient babies. After all, a person did not need to favor economic aid to impoverished Jews in WWII era Germany, to still oppose the gas showers. For the sake of Tisby's Christian witness, he should acknowledge the same.


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