By Matt Von Rueden
At Pro-Life Wisconsin, we often talk about the importance of being 100 percent pro-life. Why the emphasis on maintaining 100 percent pro-life values? Aren’t all pro-lifers 100 percent pro-life?
The reality is that many individuals and organizations that identify as pro-life are not pro-life in every circumstance.
They’ll say, “I’m pro-life 99 percent of the time, except….” “…in the case of rape or incest.” “…when the life of the mother is in danger.” “…when the baby has a diagnosis of a debilitating disease.”
These “exceptions” undercut the pro-life message.
We at Pro-Life Wisconsin know that a person is a unique individual with dignity and rights from the moment of conception, and there is no room for exceptions without discriminating upon an entire class of human persons.
To allow abortion for babies conceived in rape is to discriminate against those babies based on their conception, something they have no control over. To allow for abortion when a baby has a genetic disease is to discriminate against that baby based upon his health situation.
Rebecca Kiessling was conceived in rape and nearly aborted by her birth mother on multiple occasions before her birth. She’s now a world renowned pro-life speaker, and she testifies to the fact that our pro-life education, our pro-life laws and all of our pro-life efforts must be 100 percent pro-life 100 percent of the time.
Just this past spring she gave powerful talks at Pro-Life Wisconsin events around the state, asserting the dignity of every baby, especially those conceived in the midst of violence. To say that babies conceived in rape should be aborted is to say Kiessling shouldn’t be alive.
There is never an ethical or medical reason to allow for abortion. The Dublin Declaration, created in 2012, is signed by more than 900 doctors and medical researches stating there are no situations when abortion, the direct and intentional killing of an unborn child, is necessary to save the life of the mother.
If the intent is to treat the mother, and as a secondary unintended effect the baby dies, such treatment is NOT an abortion. The treatment on the mother is morally permissible by the principle of double effect because the death of the child is an unintended effect. It does not involve the intentional killing of an unborn child.
Be sure the pro-life organization you invest your time and money with is 100 percent pro-life and aligns with your values, especially if you believe the biblical teaching that each human person is made in the image and likeness of God. It may be tempting to compromise, but compromising when it comes to human life means discriminating against a class of humans, the same way entire groups of people have been downgraded to “two-thirds” of a human in the past.
Being 100 percent pro-life is the more difficult path, but to hold exceptions is ultimately self-defeating and only serves to allow the injustice of abortion to continue.