In the contemporary American pro-life movement, there’s an elephant in the room that’s too significant to ignore yet astonishingly remains largely unaddressed. The urgent question beckoning from the shadows is this: Does the pro-life movement genuinely resonate with the inflexible, biblically grounded tenets of faith and repentance? To be candid, the uncomfortable reality suggests a jarring misalignment. The issue at hand transcends mere theological minutiae—it poses a fundamental challenge that pierces the core of the mainstream pro-life ethos. Renowned organizations such as the National Right to Life and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) serve as archetypal illustrations of this grave incongruity.
But to grasp the scope of this dilemma, it’s imperative to understand the historical and social context in which it exists. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, over 60 million unborn babies have been terminated under the banner of “women’s rights.” This staggering figure cannot be brushed aside as inconsequential—it represents an ongoing tragedy of epic proportions. The grim toll continues to rise every year despite the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, as the mantle of “choice” conveniently cloaks the extermination of the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
In this bleak landscape, the Church—a supposed pillar of moral authority—has often faltered in her mission to be the conscience of society. Instead of resoundingly declaring God’s truth and demanding repentance, many Christian organizations have adopted a posture of compromise, half-measures, and, at times, near silence. This negligence serves only to exacerbate the existing crisis, allowing it to fester in the shadows, and underscores the urgency for the pro-life movement to align itself unapologetically with the unyielding biblical doctrines it claims to uphold.
Exhibit A is the 2022 open letter penned by some of the leading pro-life organizations in the United States. This letter made the bewildering claim that the many groups and activists this letter represented “do not support any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women” who undergo abortions. While at first glance, it may seem noble to defend women who may be pressured by forces outside of their control into an abortion, the reality is that this position is fundamentally at odds with the clear biblical teaching that true redemption can only occur through repentance. Biblically speaking, genuine repentance requires the acknowledgment of sin, personal accountability, and a resolve to forsake that sin. By depicting women who seek or have had abortions as mere victims of society or victims of the abortion industry, they not only trivialize the gravity of taking innocent human life but also sidestep the compelling biblical imperative for repentance.
Another glaring issue that merits attention is the unsettling alignment of prominent pro-life organizations with social justice paradigms. Far from zeroing in on the unambiguous moral dimensions of abortion as a direct affront to the Imago Dei and to God Himself, these so-called “pro-life” movements have opted for tactical alliances with leftist ideologues. Instead of standing resolutely against abortion in a manner that aligns with biblical principles no matter the cost, they seek common ground in advancing softer versions of abortion legislation or endorsing social welfare programs—a calculated betrayal of the cause they claim to champion. In essence, the aim is to dissuade mothers from terminating their pregnancies by dangling the carrot of financial aid or psychological guidance, sidestepping the urgent necessity to confront head-on the sinful nature of abortion itself, not to mention the likely sexual immorality that led to it.
Such an approach manifests vividly in the activities of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. Again, Brent Leatherwood, who took the helm of the organization over a year ago, has been marked by repeated actions that undermine stringent anti-abortion laws. Rather than supporting legislation that would significantly curb abortions, he has used his position to water down and even oppose such initiatives. Even more damning is the rhetoric coming from some of the ERLC’s influential contributors. Kelly Rosati, a writer for and speaker at ERLC events, for instance, ardently argues that Christians should never back abortion restrictions without also advocating for government handouts.
This skewed focus on socio-economic solutions, like government-mandated paid family leave support, financial assistance, and taxpayer-funded entitlements—especially to the exclusion of moral culpability—fundamentally alters the conversation. It introduces a dangerous secular relativism into a debate that should be unambiguously framed by the God-breathed statutes set forth in Scripture. When viewed through this lens, one can’t help but question the spiritual integrity and ultimate objectives of these “pro-life” movements that willingly dilute the biblical message to curry favor with political or social factions.
Far from being an outlandish conspiracy theory, the fact is that these organizations actually function as a sort of “controlled opposition” to the pro-abortion movement. This finds ample substantiation in the observable actions and strategies of these groups. What’s bewildering is their ongoing resistance to legislative efforts designed to make abortion entirely illegal at the state level. Instead of throwing their weight behind these initiatives, they often opt for tepid half-measures that are more palatable to the public or the political class but fall woefully short of the biblical mandate to defend life unequivocally.
To elaborate, some of these organizations have opposed bills that would classify abortion as murder under state law, arguing that such an approach is impractical or extreme. Similarly, they have shown a willingness to support compromises like 20-week abortion bans or restrictions based solely on fetal heartbeat, which, while potentially reducing the number of abortions, still permit the act under certain conditions. Even more telling is their engagement in “dialogue” with pro-abortion activists or politicians, which serves to dilute the pro-life message and saps the movement of its moral clarity. This pattern of action—or in many cases, inaction—aligns more closely with the typical role of controlled opposition than with people of conviction earnestly striving to bring the full weight of objective biblical truth to bear on the issue of abortion.
To highlight the absurdity, let’s venture into a chilling hypothetical scenario. Imagine a dystopian world where it becomes socially acceptable to “abort” older children deemed inconvenient or unwanted by their mothers. Would organizations like National Right to Life and the ERLC only offer these mothers financial aid and emotional counseling while avoiding any legal repercussions for such heinous actions? The mere contemplation of such a scenario unveils the stark inconsistency and moral ambiguity underlying these organizations’ approach to the sanctity of life.
A hard truth must be confronted. The pro-life movement, as currently constituted, has evolved into a veritable industry that thrives on the continued existence of abortion. Consider the implications: should abortion be fully eradicated today, what would become of these organizations? Would the impassioned speakers, elaborate conferences, and high-stakes fundraisers continue to have any raison d’être? The uncomfortable reality we must grapple with is that many of the leaders of these pro-life organizations would be rendered jobless if abortion were fully eradicated.
The prevalent compromising positions held by the mainstream pro-life movement are woefully inconsistent with the rigorous biblical doctrines of faith and repentance. Whether it’s diminishing the culpability of women who have had abortions, brokering unsavory alliances with leftist agendas, or supporting half-baked legislative efforts, the mainstream pro-life movement has egregiously missed the mark. For those who are genuinely, and earnestly committed to the sanctity of human life, we must be of one accord, demanding an indefatigable alignment with the non-negotiable Word of God. This is the only acceptable way forward.