Life is winning in America! Since New York and Virginia passed radical and unnecessary pro-abortion laws in January, conservative states have responded by passing dozens of pro-life laws in the last four months.
One of the latest is Missouri House bill 126, a fantastic law which bans abortions when a heartbeat is detected, adds common-sense informed consent provisions, and includes bans on abortions after a child in the womb is capable of feeling pain. The beauty of this Missouri law lies in the reasons the legislature gave for passing the bill. The bill states in part:
In recognition that Almighty God is the author of life, that all men and women are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life”, and that article I, section 2 of the Constitution of Missouri provides that all persons have a natural right to life, it is the intention of the general assembly of the state of Missouri to [grant]: (1) Defend the right to life[to] of all humans, born and unborn [, and to]; (2) Declare that the state and all of its political subdivisions are a “sanctuary of life” that protects pregnant women and their unborn children; and (3) Regulate abortion to the full extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States, decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and federal statutes.
This law, similar to those passed by numerous legislatures this year, codified into law the common law assumption that human life, in any form and at any time, is sacred because humanity was created by God with meaning and purpose. This foundational belief has given human life significance for millennia. When abortion advocates argue for the killing of children in the womb, they usually base their arguments on appeals to the human dignity and rights of women. However, this argument is misleading. An all-encompassing respect for human rights would see all life as having dignity, both born and unborn.
As Francis Schaeffer notes in his classic work Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, pro-abortion advocates cannot logically and adequately justify abortion based on human dignity because their secular worldview argues that human beings are purposeless, cosmic anomalies that are probably better off not being alive in the first place! As Schaeffer noted, if one is simply a biological coincidence, then there is no basis for human dignity or purpose. This explains the corresponding abandonment of the belief in human dignity that occurred among academic and political elites as the culture became more secular.
As hard as pro-abortion advocates argue, they eventually run up against the fact that their worldview provides no foundational basis for human dignity. Thus, they must resort to slogans instead of arguments. This rejection of the basis for humanity’s worth flies in the face of the natural Christian belief that we have meaning and purpose because we were created by a loving God.
The passage of strong pro-life measures in multiple states has proven that a culture of life is returning to America and that the American people are becoming even more pro-life. The fight for life continues, and with the help of brave elected officials such as the Missouri legislature, it is a fight we will win!
Hugh Phillips is a Government Affairs intern at Family Research Council working on pro-life legislation.