The pro-life movement does not honor the sanctity of life; it honors the sanctity of birth, then promptly washes its hands of the born.
As a Christian woman and seminary student, I believe a commitment to the sanctity of life extends beyond the delivery room. I also believe that women should have easily available access to safe, free contraception. I’m with Planned Parenthood: every child should be a wanted child.
During Tuesday’s vice presidential debate, moderator Elaine Quijano asked a question allowing the candidates to reflect on life.
What transpired next between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence serves as an important lesson in morality for Christians.
Kaine is firmly against the death penalty as a matter of faith, but as governor followed the law despite his moral objection.
Pence, who wants to repeal Roe v. Wade, said his faith honors the sanctity of life. But does he?
Catholic nun, Sister Joan Chittister summed up the trouble with the pro-life movement: “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
Jesus of Nazareth showed us how to honor the sanctity of life.
Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matt 25:35).
Jesus healed the sick (Luke 7:2-10, Mark 5:24-34).
Jesus said, “for I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matt. 23:35).
As he was crucified, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
In Occupy the Bible, Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, professor of theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, notes that Mary Magdalene was a “powerful woman” who “had one of the closest and most significant relationships with Jesus, that of student and teacher.” Jesus respected the agency of women.
It’s a stark contrast: Jesus honored life from the beginning, Trump and Pence only honor it until it leaves the womb.
We do need to have a broader conversation about the morality of “pro-life.”
As a person of faith and seminarian, I’ll take my cues from Jesus.