(By Dr. Heather Kuruvilla)
What do you think of when you hear the term “pro-life?” Do anti-abortion protestors come to mind? Do you imagine volunteers faithfully reaching out to women with crisis pregnancies? Do you reflect on lawyers and legislators working to change our laws to recognize the unborn as persons? These are all good and necessary, but being pro-life means much more. A robust pro-life ethic comes from a theological position holding mankind in high regard, created in God’s image.
If we truly believe that all people are image-bearers of God, then this belief involves many ways of “loving our neighbor.” Here are just a few examples:
- We should reject the “hookup culture” because it devalues human worth and dignity.
- We should support hospice and palliative care that treats the dying with compassion and dignity until the natural end of their earthly lives.
- We should search for safe, productive alternatives to the destruction of human embryos for research.
- We should support sustainable farming practices and wise stewardship of agricultural technologies to adequately feed more of the world’s population.
- We should provide clean water and increased access to health care for all who lack these resources.
- We should adopt or provide foster care for the orphans among us, in keeping with biblical commands.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it illustrates the idea that the “pro-life” movement needs people with many different gifts. We need healthcare workers, environmentalists, researchers, biotechnologists, and other committed citizens, united in this common view: human life is precious because it reflects an awesome Creator. A broader definition of “pro-life” means that every member of the body of Christ can uphold these principles, while living a life committed to the Gospel. In fact, many of us are already doing so. May the Lord give us grace to continue.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ ” (Matthew 25:40).