A Response to “Pro-life Evangelicals for Joe Biden”

/ Commentary

By Nathan Apodaca

There are some ideas which are so inherently stupid they barely deserve any comment whatsoever.

And then there are some ideas which are just as bad also but so incredibly dangerous that they require a response — if only to be called out for the horrendous way in which they endanger fellow human beings.

In light of the 2020 Presidential election, a bizarre group has sprung up, seemingly overnight, titling itself “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden.” The title alone has been enough to garner well-written, stinging rebukes from pro-life advocates everywhere.

It’s not hard to imagine why. The blatant idiocy of self-declared pro-lifers saying they will support a man running for president who already declared he will work to codify the Roe v. Wade decision as the “law of the land” should he become President of the United States is in itself deserving of a harsh rebuke.

Because the statement has been signed by many dangerously misled Christians, the claims of the organization require a robust response, if only to set the record straight.

On their website, the organization states:

“AS PRO-LIFE EVANGELICALS, WE DISAGREE WITH VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN AND THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM ON THE ISSUE OF ABORTION. BUT WE BELIEVE A BIBLICALLY SHAPED COMMITMENT TO THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE COMPELS US TO A CONSISTENT ETHIC OF LIFE THAT AFFIRMS THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE FROM BEGINNING TO END.”

The statement has since been signed by over four thousand Christians. As mentioned above, the problem should be readily apparent to anyone with even basic critical thinking abilities, let alone professors at a theological seminary. The statement, in the very first line, brings to mind an important question which deserves a clear answer: Why do you disagree with Biden’s stance on abortion?

The only answer to the question that is worth serious consideration is this: because abortion unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being.

Pro-life advocates oppose abortion because they hold it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. Abortion does that. Therefore, abortion is wrong.

What “Pro-life Evangelicals for Joe Biden” is doing is reframing the issue of abortion in preferential terms instead of moral ones. It turns the moral issue into one of likes and dislikes. “We disagree” is another way of saying, “We don’t like Joe Biden’s views on abortion.”

The problem is the moral nature of abortion leaves no room for one’s preferences. It doesn’t matter whether one “likes” or “dislikes” abortion. If abortion is the intentional, unjust killing of an innocent human being, preferences have no bearing on how we should address abortion. I don’t like the idea of having a tooth pulled by the dentist; that does not mean I have a moral obligation to refrain from having my tooth pulled. Conversely, I may like the idea of abortion, as it allows me to have responsibility-free sex with any woman of childbearing age and then legally get rid of my own son or daughter before they are born. That does not mean I should, in any way, be allowed to do so.

Their position also begs numerous questions.

First, they treat the preborn as if they are not even human to begin with. Oh, they claim to care about “sanctity of human life” in the earliest stages of life, but they never bother to explain what precisely they mean by that statement. In fact, they ignore the humanity of the preborn completely.

Instead, we get a subject change. According to the authors, racism, climate change, and poverty are all things which kill “persons created in the image of God,” and to be truly “Pro-Life” means we should focus on those other issues. In their Op-Ed for the Christian Post, the authors expand on these three areas of concern they call “pro-life” issues. However, they yet again ignore abortion. That raises another question: Doesn’t abortion also kill a “person created in the image of God?”

We know the answer is yes. Abortionists tell us what abortion is. And it is ghastly. Abortion textbooks such Warren Hern’s Abortion Practice, the National Abortion Federation’s A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, and Samuel Rowlands’ Abortion Care all give detailed instructions on how to kill a preborn child. Warren Hern’s book, for instance, describes how to use "long, curved Mayo scissors" in order to “decapitate and dismember the fetus” and how to look for the “Calvaria Sign” if the fetus is over 15 weeks old, by crushing the decapitated skull (calvarium) with forceps and watching for brain matter to enter the suction catheter. [1] As Hern puts it in a paper he presented to a conference of abortion providers in San Diego,

“We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like electric current.” [2]

In A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, author Maureen Paul and her colleagues instruct abortion providers to use “feticides” such as digoxin and potassium chloride, to ensure the preborn child is killed before dismemberment takes place. They also point out how using feticidal agents such as Digoxin and potassium chloride can soften fetal bones to make dismemberment in the womb easier. Afterwards, they instruct abortionists to examine the dismembered body parts and to reconstruct the preborn child so as to ensure every body part is accounted for, and to use body parts such as the feet or the pelvis to determine fetal age at the time of the abortion. Writes Paul,

“After completion of the D&E(Dilation and Evacuation) abortion, examine the pregnancy tissue. Although complete reconstruction is not always possible, verify the presence of major fetal parts, including pelvis, torso, calvarium(skull) and extremities...Some providers routinely measure fetal foot length after D&E as confirmatory evidence of gestational age.” [3]

Lastly, in his book Abortion Care, British abortionist Samuel Rowlands warns readers of the dangers of not using feticide in abortion procedures done on healthy preborn children after 22 weeks gestation. The chief danger? The child might be born alive, and if so, Rowlands gives practical suggestions on what to do. Writes Rowlands,

“Where the fetal abnormality is not lethal and abortion is being undertaken after 22 weeks’ gestation, failure to perform feticide (administer drugs to kill the fetus) could result in a live birth and survival, an outcome that contradicts the intention of the abortion. In such situations, the baby should receive the neonatal support and intensive care that is in the infant’s best interest and its condition managed within published guidance for neonatal practice.” [4]

Ironically, President Donald Trump, whom the signers of the declaration supporting Biden have declared is “not pro-life,” has stated he will sign executive orders to help protect children born alive as mentioned by Dr. Rowlands. The authors seem to miss out on the fact that a vast majority of Democrats have opposed such measures, even though as we have seen, even abortionists recognize the need. It’s disconcerting that some self-declared “pro-life” leaders have less moral awareness than some abortionists do.

Does abortion kill a “person created in the image of God”? Without a doubt, yes. And Joe Biden has declared he would use his position as President to further protect and enshrine this form of killing, which happens tens of thousands of times per week in America today. That is not pro-life.

While votes for a third party candidate by pro-lifers who are disgusted by the behavior of Donald Trump and Joe Biden can be respected, given the ghastly realities of abortion as described above, there is absolutely no intellectually honest pro-life reason to vote for Joe Biden.

It bears mentioning that the equivocation with other issues such as poverty, racism, and climate change also begs the question: It assumes the liberal policies of Joe Biden are the real “pro-life” answer without actually arguing for why that is the case to begin with. Those are all issues pro-life people of good will can disagree over how to best address and still be in agreement over the need to oppose the evil of abortion at the end of the day. What pro-lifers cannot do is simply ignore the brutal reality of abortion in order to focus on other issues that do not involve the intentional, purposeful destruction of innocent human beings. Doing so is foolish at best and morally reprehensible at worst.

While other authors have written voluminously on the above issues, it needs to be mentioned that the other “pro-life” issues the authors cite do not appear nearly as cut and dry as one is first led to believe, and pro-life people of good will can disagree over the best approaches to each issue. How should we help people escape poverty? How can law enforcement officers do a better job serving in African American communities? How can we address and alleviate the effects of climate change, if climate change is even man-made in the first place?

The authors of the piece simply assume the points of view Joe Biden’s administration would take on the other issues are the truly “pro-life” alternatives, without providing any argument whatsoever for why these policies would be “pro-life” in the first place. Anyone who asserts a given policy idea, agenda, or platform bears the same moral urgency as the intentional killing of human beings in the womb has the burden of proof to show the issues are morally equivalent.

The “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Joe Biden” platform turns out to be an exercise in how to be a moralistic, theological fool. It trades virtue-signaling for the sake of winning the approval of men instead of honoring God by standing up for little human beings who are killed in their most helpless stage of life: before they are born.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that it’s easy to criticize efforts to save children from abortion from the comfort of a seminary office or your own home where you will never be screamed at, spat upon, sexually harassed, threatened, abused, or lose friendships. It’s much harder to go without sleeping, eating, making a bare minimum of money, and facing criticism and threats while you work to save a life, and help a woman face the consequences of doing the right thing by saving her baby.

It should be stated with all bluntness, if the only time you ever talk about what it means to be “pro-life” is to criticize the exclusive focus of many pro-life people on ending abortion, but you never bother to get involved on behalf of the innocent human beings who are slaughtered in the womb thousands of times per day, you are not in any position to suggest we broaden our approach or demand we ignore abortion until the policies that make you feel good about yourself are focused on. Shut up, and get out of the way.

It appears to be the case that many self-declared pro-lifers, especially a group such as Pro-life Evangelicals for Joe Biden, are more motivated by their hatred of Donald Trump and the Republican Party than they are the killing of the unborn. They may claim to be leading Christians to be on the side of virtue, but they are leading unwary believers down a path of destruction — destruction of the smallest, weakest, and most defenseless human beings. That can never be "pro-life."

References

  1. Hern, Warren, Abortion Practice, pp. 142-143, Alpenglo Graphics Incorporated, 1990
  2. Hern, Warren, Paper presented to the Planned Parenthood Physicians Association Meeting, October 26, 1978
  3. Paul, Maureen et. al, A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, pp. 131, Churchill-Livingstone, 1999
  4. Rowlands, Samuel Abortion Care, pp. 144, Cambridge University Press, 2014


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.

A Response to “Pro-life Evangelicals for Joe Biden”
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