Considering the current political and cultural climate surrounding abortion, now is a good time to reaffirm why we are pro-life. The next few pieces will consider some of the leading reasons why we stand by these principles and refute some of the main pro-choice arguments.
If asked why I am pro-life, I refer to the title I hold- I am pro protecting life. Whether you stand by religious or secular principles, both sides can typically agree that no one has the right to end a human life. Assuming we agree on this, we need to define what makes us human and what constitutes life.
We are human because of our DNA, RNA and molecular composition. A horse cannot produce a human any more than a human can produce a horse; our biology makes us uniquely human. To have any other definition leaves room for deeming others superior than others. We have seen throughout history groups of people being subjugated for superficial differences when the reality is that while each person has unique DNA that composes them as an individual, homo sapiens can be identified by their genetic structure. Science aside, Genesis also tells us the God specifically created humans.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
So we are human because God created us that way, as image bearers.
If we were created human, then when are we considered to have human life? At conception, or the joining of a sperm and an egg, a new cell is formed- the zygote. It is at this point that all the foundations for life and unique DNA is established; its make-up is distinctly different from the cells that created it. Further, even as a single-cell being, embryos are distinctly different from other human cells because it is composed of human parts (DNA, RNA, cells, & protein) and acts as an organism (a living being). The zygote produces human tissue and structures that function together, another characteristic of an organism. These developments do not produce the embryo but rather is produces BY the embryo. From conception, development is organized and coordinated. While other cells may coordinate to form structures, they are unable to complete a full human being, and do not produce in the same organized manner that sustains life- this results in tumors. They act as cells not organisms.
We can also turn to Scripture to state a case for life beginning in the womb. Jeremiah 1:4-5 tells us that we were known before we were even formed. Multiple verses in Luke, Luke who was a medical doctor, point to this as well. Luke 1:41-44
"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy."
Before this event, Mary had just recently conceived and left with haste from Nazareth to her cousin in Judah. This could be about a week’s travel. This timeline put Mary in the very first few weeks to 1st month of pregnancy when Elizabeth’s child leaped with joy in acknowledgement of Jesus.
It is also worth noting the same word for "baby" is used through Scripture to describe the infant in the womb as for one that has been born.
Scripture and science both tell us that life begins at conception. If human life is valuable, then all human life should be valued equally. Stage of development does not make someone any more human than another, and so one reason to oppose abortion is because we have an obligation to protect life- from beginning to end.