Pro-Choice Is Not Pro-Abortion: Explaining The Difference (Faith And Politics)

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Republicans, in many ways, have stacked the debate when it comes to politics. For so many evangelical Christians, it’s clear: when it comes to defenseless, helpless babies in the womb, there’s no question. These helpless lives deserve protection. They are innocent. They didn’t ask to be here and they deserve a chance at life, despite their parent’s potential wishes and desires to the contrary.

And yet, what many evangelical Christians believe is that the term “Pro-Life” is the only Christian term when it comes to the abortion debate, and that Democrats (or “DEMONcrats,” as some have called them) who are pro-choice are, thus, “anti-Life.” But is that true?

That’s what we’ll get into in today’s post.

“pro-life” stacks the deck against democrats

Here’s the obvious: the term “pro-life” monopolized by Republicans stacks the deck against Democrats. It assumes that only Republicans care about the lives of babies and only Republicans want babies to live. It also says that Democrats aren’t concerned with protecting innocent babies.

The image in my head that appears when I read Republicans and their attack on Democrats and pro-choice is that of someone laughing all the way as he or she drives a car full of babies to the abortion clinic. It’s a terrible graphic image to carry in my head. It’s a terrible thought. And for Republicans, it seems to be their way of demonizing the other side: “make them look as if they rejoice in genocide and baby murders, and we win the debate easily.”

In fact, when I shared an article recently about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President-Elect and Madam Vice President-Elect, someone attacked my character on social media, saying that “someone who advocates for the murder of babies shouldn’t be a Pastor.” This individual knew nothing in particular about me except for the fact that I was rejoicing over the vote and the new administration to come. Yet, he played into a decades-old debate between Republicans and Democrats about who loves and defends babies and who does not.

The truth is that Republicans are not the only pro-life people. Democrats are pro-life, too. A number of Democrats in political office have a spouse and children. President-Elect Joe Biden, for example, has a wife and had a son (Beau Biden, who died of a brain tumor). He has grandchildren, even, and took them on the campaign trail back to his home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Former President Bill Clinton had a wife (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and daughter (Chelsea Clinton), and more recent former President Barack Obama has a wife (Michelle Obama) and two daughters, Malia and Sasha. These Presidents are examples of Democrats who are pro-life and believe in the good that children bring to families. Democrats as a whole value family and children and even have their own. Someone who is as happy for abortion as Republicans claim Democrats are wouldn’t rejoice in children and family life.

So I think we need to stop demonizing Democrats and claiming that they are anti-life and thus, not pro-life. It simply isn’t true. Democrats are for growing families and family life, and rejoice in the births of their own children. President Obama has been one interactive father with his two daughters. And yes, Obama is a man of faith, as he said in a 2012 ABC News interview that he and Michelle Obama are “practicing Christians.” As a Christian man, Obama would agree with every evangelical Republican that life is precious and sacred. So Obama himself was a pro-life President that many Republicans voted for when he took office in 2009.

Pro-Choice is not pro-abortion

It needs to be said: pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Republicans call themselves “pro-life,” which, as I said above, demonizes the other side (Democrats) into being pro-abortion “baby killers” who, to use my image I mentioned already, are laughing all the way while carting babies to the abortion clinic in droves. The image makes it seem as if these individuals are too happy to see innocent life taken from this world and deprived of life itself. But this image that Republicans have given of Democrats is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

What is pro-choice? To be pro-choice means to be for the choice of pregnant mothers regarding the life of their child. In contrast, the Republicans want the Federal Government to declare what women can and cannot do with their bodies. Now this sounds good for evangelical Christians until one day, the Federal Government is overrun by sexual purists who want to regulate what couples can and cannot do in their bedrooms. Even heterosexual couples would be regulated regarding sexual activity. If regulation of life in the womb starts, where does regulation end? This is why we continue to see debates over whether or not a fetus can be labeled a person under the law. The fact that the debate is still raging shows that even Democrats (yes, the other side) believe in the sanctity of life. If babies were disregarded as persons, there would be no debate. Democrats value animal life as well, so why would they deem babies in the womb as “less” valuable than cats and dogs?

Pro-choice as a position leaves the decision to birth or abort up to mothers. The pro-choice position believes that the right to take a child’s life isn’t up to the state or federal government to decide. In contrast, the pro-life Republicans believe that the choice over a child’s life isn’t up to the mother; the child is a gift from God and God decides whether the child lives or dies. Remember, though, these same evangelical Christians are the ones that resort to contraception when they don’t want additional children. They want to tell pregnant, teenage mothers that the life of the unborn matters, all the while taking contraception and even the morning-after pill to abort their own unwanted pregnancies. If God decides the life of the child, as evangelicals say they believe, then why resort to surgical procedures OR contraception?

pro-choice involves two or more options

A choice involves two or more options, and the same can be said for the pro-choice stance. It allows mothers to consider 1) having the child and carrying the child to term. Those who want another option can 2) give the child up for adoption. The child can become an orphan of the state and enter into a state adoption agency. The child can be taken in by a church and cared for until adulthood or a church member adopts the child. A family member of the pregnant mother could adopt the child to keep him or her in their right biological family. Keeping the child in the family would help the child know their kinsmen even if they may not know their mother as their mother. A friend could adopt the child, if the adoptive parents are unable to have children, and so on. There are lots of options within adoption.

Though there are lots of adoption options, some choose to 3) abort the child and terminate the pregnancy. This reveals that, contrary to the Republican claim, Democrats are not pro-abortion. There are other options to choose from where one doesn’t have to resort to abortion.

Giving people choice isn’t approval of Their choice

Pro-choice allows pregnant mothers to choose what to do with their unborn children, but it doesn’t necessarily approve of the choice they make. Think about it: your mother can say, “Sally, you need to stay home and study for your final exam instead of going on the trip. But the choice is yours.” If your mother says this, though, does it mean she approves of your choice to drop your exam prep to go on the trip? No. It means that you’re a college student and able to make your own decision. Every parent knows that their college-age children will do what they want to to do. So, if the parent gives you a choice but tells you that she thinks you need to stay home, is she responsible when you fail your final exam and have to repeat the same course again?

No, she’s not. In the same way, Democrats are not necessarily approving of abortions (surgical procedures) when someone chooses to have them. What Democrats ARE in favor of, however, is choice, the right to choose what a pregnant woman does with her baby and her body. In this stance, Democrats defend Christians and their belief in having children and raising them in loving families and homes as well as those who choose to adopt or abort them. Remember my image above of the person driving a cart of babies to the abortion clinic? Well, Democrats are not sitting somewhere disappointed when couples choose to have children. They are not passing laws in Washington to order national genocide on babies. Rather, they believe that life is good and that babies are good, but the choice over whether a woman has a baby or not is not up to the state or federal government but the pregnant mother herself. It’s a personal choice, individual human responsibility.

And for that personal choice, pregnant mothers will be held accountable, not Democrats who emphasize pro-choice. Republicans assume the state and government will, but that’s not true. Before God (which is on the mind of every evangelical Christian), the pregnant mother must answer for what she has done with her child(ren), not Democrats and not politicians. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10, NKJV).

Conclusion

Republicans have monopolized the pro-life term to mean that only Republicans care about the lives of innocent babies. That isn’t true. And the pro-choice term for Democrats doesn’t mean that they are anti-life. Democrats believe that life is sacred. They also believe that the choice over an unborn child lies with the pregnant mother. That pregnant mother may receive advice from the father of the baby, her family, church family, friends, and colleagues, but ultimately, the mother must make the final decision.

This doesn’t mean that Democrats are anti-life and pro-abortion. Democrats do not rejoice in the abortion of a child. They do not have parties after hearing of an abortion. The reason? They too, believe life is sacred. Anyone who witnesses the loss of a human being, even an unborn child, and has no emotion, is a heartless person who is barely human. That doesn’t describe Democrats.

Democrats don’t necessarily approve of a woman’s decision to abort her child, but they will defend to the death her right to do so.

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