Pro-Lifers, We Must Rely on Science — But Not Exclusively
The strongest defense against abortion is Christianity.
Science is on pro-lifers’ side, proclaims the March for Life 2019 theme. Announced Thursday, the theme, “Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science” will emphasize the advancements in medicine and technology affirming that life begins at conception.
“As science progresses, we see clearly that every life is unique from day one in the womb,” March for Life president Jeanne Mancini said in a press release.
Centering the theme on science makes sense. Even those outside the pro-life movement admit that science has aided our cause. The Atlantic claimed last January that science is “remaking the debate around abortion.” As pro-life activist Ashley McGuire told the magazine, “When you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping, [it’s] harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”
It’s the obvious hope of the pro-life movement that with science on our side, even those who supported abortion will come to see it as unjustifiable. Once unborn babies’ humanity from conception is proven beyond reasonable argument, arguments in favor of abortion will die. Right?
Not necessarily. If we assume that, we assume our society believes all human life deserves protection. That’s a doubtful assumption.
Millennials Persuaded by Science
No one’s using the term “clump of cells” anymore. Not seriously, anyway. Science has already gone too far for that. Of course, the mainstream media doesn’t openly talk about the fact that unwanted “fetuses” are human beings. For them, it’s easier to ignore the fetus altogether. That’s why pro-abortion feminists cling to the “my body, my choice” cliff by their fingernails. But that very unscientific mantra won’t hold forever.
Case in point: Millennials are more pro-life than their parents. And they’re more likely to support pro-life protections. That’s largely thanks to science. As Mancini wrote in RealClearPolitics this year, “This generation hasn’t just seen ultrasound images of unborn children, they’ve seen advancements in technology allowing younger and younger babies to survive — and thrive — after a premature birth.”
Science is clearly making millennials less gung-ho about abortion. You couldn’t be blamed for thinking subsequent generations will abandon abortion altogether. After all, medical technology and our knowledge of unborn life will only improve.
Missing: A Christian Worldview
But there’s something else we should take into account. Millennials are less religious than any other generation. They’re far less attached to biblical values. We can guess what that will mean for the values of millennials’ children. This is a problem for the longevity of a science-based pro-life movement.
In August I wrote about Belgium’s abhorrent practice of euthanizing children. I cited Christian author Nancy Pearcey, who argues in her book Love Thy Body, “We no longer realize how radical Christianity was when it first taught the value of children.” Before Jesus entered the scene, abortion and infanticide were commonplace in ancient Rome, she explains.
“Take away a Christian view of childhood,” she writes, “and there is no guarantee that our society will continue to offer special protections to children.”
That’s exactly what’s happened in Belgium. The Christian view of life and childhood has been tossed aside. Scientifically-educated people legalized killing kids who have been born. Why wouldn’t our own nation continue supporting abortion, even with full knowledge that it ends a human life?
A lot of people are already there. They believe abortion kills a living, human baby. They support abortion anyway. Imagine how much worse things could get as fewer and fewer members of our society adhere to a Christian worldview. That’s the future we’re facing, barring a major spiritual revival.
Science Can’t Make Up for Bad Morals
I’m not saying pro-lifers shouldn’t use science to our advantage. For the truly open-minded, it’s quite persuasive. As we’re seeing, it’s already persuading millennials against abortion.
But all the science in the world can’t make up for a society that rejects God and his laws. That’s why we can never rely on science alone to secure protection for the unborn.
The strongest defense against abortion is the Christian view of the human person. Not merely the belief that a fetus is a unique human being, alive from the moment of conception, but that every unborn baby is made in the image of God. Loved by God. Ordained by God. And because of that, he or she has an unalienable right to life, starting in the womb.
So, pro-lifers, let’s continue pursuing science. But let’s also pursue our neighbors through evangelism. And let’s pray that God will turn America’s heart back to him, and thus to life.