Being a pro-life Christian may mean a lot of things, but if at the very minimum it means affirming that all life is sacred – as it should – then truly being pro-life means affirming in no uncertain terms that:
1) The humanity of a woman is as valuable as that of a man;
2) The humanity of an immigrant is as valuable as that of a citizen;
3) The humanity of a Muslim is as valuable as that of a Christian;
4) The humanity of a Mexican is as valuable as that of an American;
5) The humanity of a poor person is as valuable as that of a rich person;
6) The humanity of a gay person is as valuable as that of a straight person;
7) The humanity of a transgender person is as valuable as that of a cisgender person;
8) The humanity of a black person is as valuable as that of a white person;
9) The humanity of a differently abled person is as valuable as that of a conventionally abled person;
10) The humanity of a baby that has already been born is as valuable as that of a baby that is yet to be born.
As such, being pro-life means that if we live in a culture where it’s okay to demean and objectify women — whether in a locker room or any other room — then we live in a culture that needs to change. Pro-life Christians should speak out against all forms of misogyny.
Being pro-life means that anytime LGBT people are dehumanized or demonized, there is a responsibility to instead show dignity and respect. Pro-life Christians should speak out against all forms of discrimination.
Being pro-life means that all lives matter; therefore, if a disproportionate number of people of color are unjustly killed or imprisoned in this country, then pro-life Christians have a responsibility to remind people that you can’t say all lives matter until you also affirm that black lives matter. Being a pro-life Christian means you notice the places and ways that life is diminished and destroyed, and you work to change it, even when uncomfortable protests that point to uncomfortable truths are necessary in order for this to happen. Unless you prefer supporting a culture of death, being pro-life means that Tamir Rice’s life matters. Eric Garner’s life matters. Philando Castile’s life matters. Terence Crutcher’s life matters . . . Pro-life Christians affirm that Black Lives Matter.
And lest one be confused, being pro-life also means affirming that the lives of police officers matter. As the official Black Lives Matter Facebook account posted just after the tragic shootings that took the lives of five Dallas police officers: “Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it.” Likewise, pro-life Christians speak out against all forms of violence.
Being pro-life also means there is a responsibility to care for refugees fleeing violence. Pro-life Christians would do well to remember that Jesus himself was once a Middle Eastern refugee fleeing violence, and we should care for refugees fleeing violence as if we were caring for Jesus himself.
Being pro-life means there is a responsibility to sustain life. Pro-life Christians should work to curb climate change so that life on this planet will be possible for future generations. Denying scientific insights about the peril of our species is not pro-life, it’s pro-death.
Being pro-life means you should care for life from womb to tomb. Instead of working for policies that threaten life and health, pro-life Christians should understand that the most effective way to care for unborn babies is by providing resources to mothers in need. Every major study shows that reducing poverty and providing access to quality education are the most effective ways of reducing abortion. From a pro-life perspective, it’s absolutely hypocritical to say you care about unborn babies if at the very same time you aren’t working to change economic injustices and policies that exacerbate poverty.
Being pro-life means that all workers should be paid a living wage, because it’s not very pro-life for someone to get rich if it means taking advantage of another human being. Pro-life Christians should care about the poor not simply by giving to charity but by transforming the very systems and structures that keep people poor in the first place. Pro-life Christians know it’s hypocritical for business leaders or corporations to give to charities if at the very same time they refuse to pay their workers a living wage.
The list goes on, but suffice it to say that being a pro-life Christian is not about being a single issue voter; it means you truly affirm the sanctity of all life. Otherwise it just sounds like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (which I suppose may get you somewhere in politics, but not very far in the way of love).