We live in a day with many good pro-life resources. I encourage you to mention some of your favorite websites, articles, or ministries in the comments section. I’ll mention two books.
Francis Beckwith’s Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice is the best scholarly, pro-life defense written in recent years. It’s only 296 pages, but filled with the latest science and devastating logic.
For a more user-friendly book (Beckwith is pretty readable too), I recommend The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture by Scott Klusendorf. The book is still dense with arguments, but they are presented with a few less footnotes and a few more illustrations. You can’t go wrong with either book.
There are so many good points in The Case for Life that I can’t repeat (or remember!) them all. But a few points stand out.
- It isn’t enough to feel pity for the unborn. We must act on behalf of the unborn. The Good Samaritan was not praised for feeling sorry for the man on the side of the road, but for stopping to help (9).
- Simplify the issue. Bring the issue back to the central question: is the fetus a human person? To bring this point home, ask if a particular justification for abortion also works as a justification for killing toddlers (25).
- Use the acronym SLED. Size: are big people more human than small people? Level of Development: Does self-awareness make us human? Are older children more valuable than infants? Are those with dementia less valuable? Environment: Do your surroundings determine your humanity? How can a journey eight inches down the birth canal change the essential nature of the child? Degree of Dependency: Does viability make us human? Are newborns or those who need dialysis not deserving of human rights? (28)
- Embryology textbooks uniformly state that new human life comes into existence upon completion of fertilization. This is scientific fact, not a theological belief (49).
- The claim that 5000-10,000 women died a year from botched abortions prior to Roe is “unmitigated nonsense” (to quote a statistician featured in Planned Parenthood publications in the 60s and 70s). A total of 45,000 American women of reproductive age die each year of all causes. A better estimate is that 500 women died annually from illegal abortions in the years leading up to Roe (160).
Like I said, there are plenty more arguments and responses. In fact, I bet every objection pro-lifers have ever heard (at least in popular discourse) is addressed in this book. Buy it. Underline it. Take it to heart. Communicate its ideas confidently and winsomely.
This is not the time for pro-lifers to slacken in their efforts from fetus fatigue. Between 1973 and 2005 American women procured an estimated 48, 589, 993 abortions. The bloodiest single-day battle in American history was at Antietam in 1862, where 23,000 Americans lost their lives. It was an mind-boggling loss of life. Now imagine another Antietam every five or six days for 32 straight years. That’s how many unborn children died from 1973 to 2005. And they did not die for the abolition of slavery, nor for the preservation of the Union.