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Why Pro- Life?

The case for inclusion.

Abortion ends the life of a human embryo or fetus. Is this killing morally permissible? Or is it an injustice?

More than 150 years ago, a Boston physician named Horatio R. Storer pointed to the heart of the issue. "The whole question," he observed , "turns on ... the real nature of the foetus in utero ."

Does the unborn child have a right not to be intentionally killed? Does she matter like we matter? Does she count as one of us?

Yes, she does. This position is based on a fact of science and a principle of justice .

Science: The unborn is a human being

First, the unborn (the human zygote, embryo, or fetus) is a human being—a living human organism at the earliest developmental stages. This is a fact established by the science of embryology. Four features of the unborn human are important:

Distinct. The unborn has a DNA and body distinct from her mother and father. She develops her own arms, legs, brain, nervous system, heart, and so forth.

Living. The unborn meets the biological criteria for life. She grows by reproducing cells. She turns nutrients into energy through metabolism. And she can respond to stimuli.

Human. The unborn has a human genetic signature. She is the offspring of human parents, and humans can only beget other humans.

Organism. The unborn is an organism ( rather than a mere organ or tissue)—an individual whose parts work together for the good of the whole. Guided by a complete genetic code, she needs only the proper environment and nutrition to develop herself through the different stages of life as a member of our species.

"Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote," explains the textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology . "This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

The scientific evidence , then, shows that the unborn is a living individual of the species Homo sapiens , the same kind of being as us, only at an earlier stage of development. Each of us was once a zygote, embryo, and fetus, just as we were once infants, toddlers, and adolescents.

Related articles

Why the unborn is a human being

Why unborn humans have rights

Equality and abortion are mutually exclusive

The three main arguments for abortion—and where they go wrong

Pro-life persuasion: How to discuss abortion with logic and grace

How a shallow view of the self underlies arguments for abortion

More articles

Justice: All human beings have human rights

Second, all human beings have human rights. Everyone counts. This is a principle of justice.

Unborn humans are different from most born humans in a number of ways, but those differences aren't relevant to whether or not someone has rights. Unborn children may look different from older human beings, but appearance has nothing to do with value. Unborn children are less physically and mentally developed, but toddlers are less developed than teenagers, and that doesn't make them any less important. Unborn children are dependent on someone else , but so are newborn children and many people with disabilities.

Defenders of abortion often argue that unborn humans aren't "persons" who have rights because they lack certain characteristics. One problem with this view is that it excludes more human beings than just unborn children. If unborn children aren't persons because they lack higher mental functions , for example, then human infants , people in temporary comas, and patients with advanced dementia aren’t persons either.

Another problem is that this approach undermines equality for everyone . If characteristics like cognitive ability or physical independence make us valuable, then those who have more of those characteristics are more valuable than those who have less. None of us are equal according to this view.

Historically, every single attempt to divide humanity into those who have rights and those who are expendable has proven to be a colossal mistake. Why think abortion is any different?

The truth is that we have human rights simply because we are human —not because of what we look like, or what we can do, or what others think or feel about us , but rather because of what (the kind of being) we are. That's why every human being matters, and every human being matters equally.

Why abortion is unjust

The argument for the pro-life view, then, may be summarized like this:

The unborn is a human being.

All human beings have human rights, which include the right not to be intentionally killed.

Therefore, the unborn human being has human rights.

This is why abortion—the intentional killing of human beings in utero (through lethal suction , dismemberment , crushing, or poisoning )—is unjust. It's why both pregnant women and their unborn children deserve our respect, protection, and care.

Answering arguments for abortion

Here are some of the most common arguments offered in defense of abortion—and why they don't work.

Many abortion supporters say that women have a right to choose , or that we should trust women and let them decide . People do have the right to choose to do lots of things. But there are some acts that aren’t just and shouldn’t be permitted by law because they harm innocent people. The question at hand is whether abortion is one of those harmful acts. There are good reasons (see above) to think it is. ( Read more about this argument.)

Bodily autonomy

Women have a right to control their own bodies, many defenders of abortion argue. Bodily autonomy is very important, but it must respect the bodies and rights of others . Most people agree, for example, that pregnant women shouldn’t ingest drugs that cause birth defects. And if harming unborn children is wrong, then dismembering and killing them (through abortion) is even worse. Moreover, parents should provide basic care for their children (including during pregnancy) because they are responsible for the existence of those children. ( Read more about this argument.)

Tough circumstances

Pregnant women often face very difficult circumstances. But if unborn children are valuable human beings, like born children, then killing them is no more justified in tough situations (e.g., financial hardship) than killing born children in those same situations. Our response to the difficulties women face should be to provide support, resources, and ethical alternatives —so no woman feels like abortion is her only option. ( Read more about this argument.)

Although rape and incest account for less than one percent of Minnesota abortions, these cases are very real. Rape is a truly horrific crime, and the crime is made even worse when the woman then becomes a pregnant mother against her will. Abortion, however, compounds the violence of rape by taking the life of a vulnerable human being who has done nothing wrong. Both the mother and child deserve support and care in the midst of this very painful and unfair situation.

Adverse diagnoses

An adverse prenatal diagnosis is heartbreaking. But just as disease and disability don't justify killing born children, they aren't good reasons to kill unborn children either. Moreover, support and alternatives to abortion are available, including adoption for children with special needs and perinatal hospice in the event of a terminal diagnosis. ( Read more about this argument.)

Saving the mother

In rare and tragic cases, saving a pregnant woman's life requires ending her pregnancy (such as through premature delivery or C-section)—even though the child may not be able to survive outside the womb. This is uncontroversial, though, because it's better to save the mother's life than to let both mother and child die. It is not the same as intentionally killing the child, which is never medically necessary .

Imposing a view

Some people express personal opposition to abortion, yet don't want to impose that view on others by making abortion illegal. But the reason to personally oppose abortion is that it unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being. And surely the law ought to protect basic human rights and prevent violence against the defenseless. No one would say, "I'm personally opposed to sex trafficking, but I don't want to impose that view on everyone else." ( Read more about this argument.)

Forcing religion

People often say that pro-lifers are trying to force their religious beliefs on the rest of society. But the pro-life position is supported by science and reason and is held by many non-religious people . Opposition to killing unborn children is no more inherently "religious" than opposition to killing teenagers (or anyone else). Moreover, the fact that a person's position on an issue may be influenced by religion should not exclude it from public consideration. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work in the civil rights movement, for example, was heavily influenced by his religious convictions. ( Read more about this argument.)

Danger of illegal abortion

Before abortion was legalized, some say, many women died from illegal abortions—and this will happen again when abortion is banned. The truth is that antibiotics and other medical advances produced a dramatic decline in maternal deaths through the middle of the 20th century. This drop occurred before the 1973 nationwide legalization of abortion, which had no apparent effect on mortality rates. Indeed, a wealth of evidence shows that we can protect the rights of unborn children and have a high standard of maternal health at the same time. ( Read more about this argument.)

Punishing women

Some abortion supporters warn that when abortion is illegal, women who have abortions will be put in prison. That's not true. Before the legalization of abortion in the United States, women who underwent abortion were virtually never prosecuted (practitioners of abortion were targeted instead). Post-abortive women deserve compassion , not condemnation.

Gender equality

Some feminists argue that gender equality requires legalized abortion. The challenges of pregnancy and childbirth do fall uniquely on women and not men (though men are equally responsible for their children). But the burdens of caring for five-year-old children fall on the parents of five-year-old children and not on everyone else—and laws against killing or abandoning five-year-olds are not unjust for that reason. Despite differing circumstances, everyone should be equally prohibited from taking innocent human life. More can and should be done, however, to hold men to their responsibilities as fathers and to accommodate the essential role mothers play in our society. ( Read more about this argument.)

Men and abortion

Some people say that men shouldn't express an opinion about abortion. It's true that men can't fully understand the experience of pregnancy, but it's also true that abortion is either right or wrong irrespective of the experience of any particular person . The pro-life view is held by millions of women. That view cannot just be dismissed because of a trait of a person who happens to be advocating it. If abortion really is the unjust taking of innocent human life, then both women and men ought to speak up on behalf of the unborn girls and boys who have no voice. ( Read more about this argument.)

Additional arguments

Do laws work to stop abortion?

No, abortion is not health care

Are pro-lifers misogynists and hypocrites?

Is abortion actually good for unborn children?

The frozen embryo rescue argument doesn't show that some humans are expendable

Abortion is the opposite of love

Is there a moral right to abortion?

The values of pro-choice people actually support the pro-life position


Pregnancy help

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Pro-life Speech & Essay Guide

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Are you daring to be bravely and boldly pro-life, and giving a class speech or writing an essay on a life-related issue?

If you are, YOU ROCK! And we put together a few tips and tricks to help you knock it out of the park.

Choosing a topic.

The first, and sometimes, most challenging, part of writing a speech or essay is choosing what to write about. Fortunately, if your aim is to compose your paper on a pro-life topic, you have lots of great options.

There are a variety of life issues impacting our society today. Choosing to speak or write about one of these from the position that all life deserves dignity and respect is very admirable. Your paper is not just a homework assignment, but a chance for you to educate your fellow classmates (and teachers) about the facts surrounding life issues and even change their minds.

When choosing your topic, keep in mind that some are very specific and others are broader. How precise your topic is will determine how you outline your composition, what evidence you research, and what you choose to explain in further detail later on. Here are some examples of broad and specific topics:

Broad topics:

  • Healing after abortion
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Development of the unborn child/the science of Life
  • Human dignity
  • Physician assisted suicide
  • Organ donation

Specific topics:

  • Abortion hurts women
  • Abortion hurts men
  • Abortion procedures
  • Why do women have abortions
  • Abortion around the world
  • Abortion clinics in Illinois
  • Is it a baby, or is it just tissue?
  • When does life begin?
  • Milestones in the first nine months of pregnancy
  • The 20 week ban on abortion (when can a baby feel pain?)
  • Pro-life is pro-woman
  • A man’s role in the abortion debate
  • Why Planned Parenthood should be defunded
  • Alternatives to In Vitro Fertilization/Alternative solutions to fertility problems
  • Healthcare directives
  • How to choose the best hospice
  • The dangers of physician assisted suicide
  • Why are you pro-life?

Knowing your audience.

Before even thinking about how you’re going to write your speech or essay, take a minute to think about who your audience will be. Will it be your fellow classmates? Your teacher? An organization or student group?

Knowing who you are talking or writing to can dramatically change how you present your information. Students in your class may have no background knowledge on the topic you are about to present, so more detailed information and explanations might be necessary. Your audience might also include some individuals who are pro-choice or indifferent on your topic. In this case, it would be helpful to spend some time reviewing common pro-choice arguments so you understand where they are coming from. On the other hand, a church group or pro-life club may be very receptive to your position and have some knowledge of your topic. This means you might adjust your presentation to focus only on information they will find new or helpful.

Also, when talking about topics such as abortion, don’t forget fact that there may be someone in your audience who has had an abortion or has been impacted by it in some way. Hence, the tone which you choose to take is extremely important. It can influence how well your audience responds to you and how open they are to listening to what you have to say.

In our experience as an educational organization, we recommend being very factual and realistic, but doing so with a loving and compassionate tone. It’s also helpful to bring along or provide a resource to those in your audience who may need healing, counselling, assistance, or more information – such as Illinois Right to Life.

Gathering your sources.

Before you begin your research, it’s helpful to start gathering your sources first. Based on the subject or argument you choose, you are going to want to obtain your information from sources that have special expertise on your topic. For example, in researching the development of the unborn child, scientific and medical studies in the field of neonatology may be ideal. Information from those who specialize with pregnancy and birthing, such as Obstetricians and Gynecologists, could give tremendous credibility to your speech or essay as well.

Rest assured – all the information found at Illinois Right to Life (on our website or in our printed materials) is fact based and credible – so go ahead and use it! We only choose from the best sources when we research our information. Furthermore, our sources are intentionally linked or cited in all our articles and webpages, so you can refer to them directly.

Note: It is best practice to link or cite your information to the primary source (the study, article, or data report where the information came from) rather than a secondary source (the place where you found the link).

When researching information on life-related issues, here some suggested, credible sources you might find helpful:

  • American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG)
  • Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Charlotte Lozier Institute
  • Alliance Defending Freedom

Facts, facts, and more facts.

One of your greatest tools when supporting your claims is science, because the reality is: science is pro-life! For example – the scientific and medical communities are both in agreement that life begins at fertilization. A human being, separate from the mother, is created, with its own unique set of DNA. Hair color, eye color, skin color, sex, and body type are already determined. All of this = scientific fact.

That’s why, don’t be afraid to embellish your speech or paper with facts, statistics, and studies. The truth is in the science.

Note: Make absolutely, positively, sure you reference and cite ALL your researched information with your sources, using either MLA or APA format (or what is required by your teacher).

Tell a personal story.

There are many, many individuals who have come forward to share their personal stories and experiences with abortion, adoption, euthanasia, and other life-related issues. Some of these include people who have been hurt by abortion, survived abortions, chose life, were placed in adoptive homes, and more. Perhaps, you have a personal story or experience as well that you feel comfortable sharing.

Testimonies like these can be incredibly powerful and informative at the same time. Students and teachers alike can be captivated and moved by a real-life story (note: a story can make a great attention getter).  Combining real-life experiences with facts is an extremely effective way to educate your audience.

Researching the opposing arguments.

As we mentioned before in “Knowing your audience,” there may be students, teachers, or other individuals among those you are speaking or writing to that are pro-choice or indifferent on life issues. One strategy is to put yourself in their shoes, identify the key questions and arguments they may have, and address them in your presentation.

Regardless of who you are speaking to however, reviewing and refuting the common pro-choice arguments is a great practice that can really bolster the credibility and persuasiveness of what you present. Some common opposing questions and arguments are:

  • It’s a woman’s body.
  • It’s not a baby. It’s just tissue.
  • No one can really know that human life begins before birth.
  • I’m personally against abortion, but I’m still pro-choice.
  • Everyone should have the right to choose.
  • This is a religious issue.

Like we’ve said before, science and the facts are on your side. Check out our website for information and answers to arguments and questions just like these. “Our They Say, You Say” video series is also a great place to find pro-life responses to many common pro-choice claims.

Being interactive.

There’s nothing better than listening to a presentation that’s both informative and engaging. To help your audience better understand what you’re presenting and get them involved at the same time, things like visual aids, props, games, and questions for the audience can be great additions to your presentation.

When deciding what to use, think outside the box. Visual aids and props can be multimedia presentations, pictures, handouts, or items. For example, you might use a fetal development model to show the development of the unborn child with actual, life size, representations that your classmates can see, touch, and hold.

In addition, games and questions to get your audience interacting with you can be both fun and educational. It’s often helpful to design your activity so that it conveys a specific scientific fact, concept, or statistic. For example, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that because of abortion, one-third of your generation is missing today. One way to help your audience understand this reality might be to have one-third of the class stand up and then ask the rest of the students how they would feel if their friends who are standing had never been born. Then, follow this up with an explanation that this is exactly what abortion has done to your generation – wiped out one-third of your friends and peers that could be in your class today.

So be creative! And have fun with it.

Using Illinois Right to Life as a resource.

Through all your research, writing, and preparing, we want you to know that Illinois Right to Life is here to help! We have tons of information on several different pro-life topics and life-issues, published and made easily accessible on our website at Also, don’t forget to check out the some of our neat handouts and brochures. You can be absolutely sure all our materials are 100% fact-based and credible.

If you have a specific question you’d like answered, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call 312.422.9300.

Thank you for sharing the pro-life message and helping us turn Illinois pro-life.

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Science Is Giving the Pro-life Movement a Boost

Advocates are tracking new developments in neonatal research and technology—and transforming one of America’s most contentious debates.

A 1980s March for Life protest in front of the White House

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET on August 25, 2021

The first time Ashley McGuire had a baby, she and her husband had to wait 20 weeks to learn its sex. By her third, they found out at 10 weeks with a blood test. Technology has defined her pregnancies, she told me, from the apps that track weekly development to the ultrasounds that show the growing child. “My generation has grown up under an entirely different world of science and technology than the Roe generation,” she said. “We’re in a culture that is science-obsessed.”

Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movement’s arguments in scientific fact. “The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus … is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have,” she said. “That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so.” But, she added, “when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping,” it becomes “harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”

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Scientific progress is remaking the debate around abortion. When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade , the case that led the way to legal abortion, it pegged most fetuses’ chance of viable life outside the womb at 28 weeks; after that point, it ruled, states could reasonably restrict women’s access to the procedure. Now, with new medical techniques, doctors are debating whether that threshold should be closer to 22 weeks. Like McGuire, today’s prospective moms and dads can learn more about their baby earlier into a pregnancy than their parents or grandparents. And like McGuire, when they see their fetus on an ultrasound, they may see humanizing qualities like smiles or claps, even if most scientists see random muscle movements.

These advances fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion. New technology makes it easier to apprehend the humanity of a growing child and imagine a fetus as a creature with moral status. Over the last several decades, pro-life leaders have increasingly recognized this and rallied the power of scientific evidence to promote their cause. They have built new institutions to produce, track, and distribute scientifically crafted information on abortion. They hungrily follow new research in embryology. They celebrate progress in neonatology as a means to save young lives. New science is “instilling a sense of awe that we never really had before at any point in human history,” McGuire said. “We didn’t know any of this.”

In many ways, this represents a dramatic reversal; pro-choice activists have long claimed science for their own side. The Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy organization that defends abortion and reproductive rights, has exercised a near-monopoly over the data of abortion, serving as a source for supporters and opponents alike. And the pro-choice movement’s rhetoric has matched its resources: Its proponents often describe themselves as the sole defenders of women’s welfare and scientific consensus. The idea that life begins at conception “goes against legal precedent, science, and public opinion,” said Ilyse Hogue, the president of the abortion-advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a recent op-ed for CNBC. Members of the pro-life movement are “not really anti-abortion,” she wrote in another piece . “They are against [a] world where women can contribute equally and chart our own destiny in ways our grandmothers never thought possible.”

In their own way, both movements have made the same play: Pro-life and pro-choice activists have come to see scientific evidence as the ultimate tool in the battle over abortion rights. But in recent years, pro-life activists have been more successful in using that tool to shift the terms of the policy debate. Advocates have introduced research on the question of fetal pain and whether abortion harms women’s health to great effect in courtrooms and legislative chambers, even when they cite studies selectively and their findings are fiercely contested by other members of the academy.

Not everyone in the pro-life movement agrees with this strategic shift. Some believe new scientific findings might work against them. Others warn that overreliance on scientific evidence could erode the strong moral logic at the center of their cause. The biggest threat of all, however, is not the potential damage to a particular movement. When scientific research becomes subordinate to political ends, facts are weaponized. Neither side trusts the information produced by their ideological enemies; reality becomes relative.

Abortion has always stood apart from other topics of political debate in American culture. It has remained morally contested in a way that other social issues have not, at least in part because it asks Americans to answer unimaginably serious questions about the nature of human life. But perhaps this ambiguity, this scrambling of traditional left-right politics, was always unsustainable. Perhaps it was inevitable that abortion would go the way of the rest of American politics, with two sides that share nothing lobbing claims of fact across a no-man’s-land of moral debate.

When Colleen Malloy, a neonatologist and faculty member at Northwestern University, discusses abortion with her colleagues, she says, “it’s kind of like the emperor is not wearing any clothes.” Medical teams spend enormous effort, time, and money to deliver babies safely and nurse premature infants back to health. Yet physicians often support abortion, even late into fetal development.

As medical techniques have become increasingly sophisticated, Malloy says, she has felt this tension acutely: A handful of medical centers in major cities can now perform surgeries on fetuses while they’re still in the womb. Many are the same age as the small number of fetuses aborted in the second or third trimesters of a mother’s pregnancy. “The more I advanced in my field of neonatology, the more it just became the logical choice to recognize the developing fetus for what it is: a fetus, instead of some sort of sub-human form,” Malloy says. “It just became so obvious that these were just developing humans.”

Malloy is one of many doctors and scientists who have gotten involved in the political debate over abortion. She has testified before legislative bodies about fetal pain—the claim that fetuses can experience physical suffering, perhaps even prior to the point of viability outside the womb—and written letters to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Her career also shows the tight twine between the science and politics of abortion. In addition to her work at Northwestern, Malloy has produced work for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a relatively new D.C. think tank that seeks to bring “the power of science, medicine, and research to bear in life-related policymaking, media, and debates.” The organization, which employs a number of doctors and scholars on its staff, shares an office with Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent pro-life advocacy organization.

“I don’t think it compromises my objectivity, or any of our associate scholars,” says David Prentice, the institute’s vice president and research director. Prentice spent years of his career as a professor at Indiana State University and at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group founded by James Dobson. “Any time there’s an association with an advocacy group, people are going to make assumptions,” he says. “What we have to do is make our best effort to show that we’re trying to put the objective science out here.”

This desire to harness “objective science” is at the heart of the pro-science bent in the pro-life movement: Science is a source of authority that’s often treated as unimpeachable fact. “The cultural authority of science has become so totalitarian, so imperial, that everybody has to have science on their side in order to win a debate,” says Mark Largent, a historian of science at Michigan State University.

Some pro-life advocates worry about the potential consequences of overemphasizing the authority of science in abortion debates. “The question of whether the embryo or fetus is a person … is not answerable by science,” says Daniel Sulmasy, a professor of biomedical ethics at Georgetown University and former Franciscan friar. “Both sides tend to use scientific information when it is useful towards making a point that is based on … firmly and sincerely held philosophical and religious convictions.”

For all the ways that the pro-life movement might be seen as countering today’s en vogue sexual politics, its obsession with science is squarely of the moment. “We’ve become steeped in a culture in which only the data matter, and that makes us, in some ways, philosophically illiterate,” says Sulmasy, who is also a doctor. “We really don’t have the tools anymore for thinking and arguing outside of something that can be scientifically verified.”

Sometimes, scientific discoveries have worked against the pro-life movement’s goals. Jérôme Lejeune, a French scientist and devout Catholic, helped discover the cause of Down syndrome. He was horrified that prenatal diagnosis of the disease often led women to terminate their pregnancies, however, and spent much of his career advocating against abortion. Lejeune eventually became the founding president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, established in 1994 to navigate the moral and theological questions raised by scientific advances against a “‘culture of death’ that threatens to take control.”

When scientific evidence seems to undermine pro-life positions on issues such as birth control and in vitro fertilization, pro-lifers’ enthusiasm for research sometimes wanes. For example: Some people believe emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill or Plan B, is an abortifacient, meaning it may end pregnancies. Because the pill can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus, advocates argue, it could end a human life.

Sulmasy, who openly identifies as pro-life, has argued against this view of the drug—and found it difficult to reach his peers in the movement. “It’s been very difficult to convince folks within the pro-life community that the science seems to be … suggesting that [Plan B] is not abortifacient,” he says. “They are too readily dismissing that work as being motivated by advocacy.”

And at a basic level, the argument for abortion is also framed in scientific terms: The procedures are “gynecological services, and they’re health-care services,” Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, says . This alone is enough to make even gung-ho pro-life advocates wary. “Science for science’s sake is not necessarily good,” said McGuire, who serves as a senior fellow at the Catholic Association. “If anything, that’s what gave us abortion … When the moral and human ethics are removed from it, it’s considered a medical procedure.”

Even with all these internal debates and complications, many in the pro-life movement feel optimistic that scientific advances are ultimately on their side. “Science is a practice of using systematic methods to study our world, including what human organisms are in their early states,” says Farr Curlin, a physician who holds joint appointments at Duke University’s schools of medicine and divinity. “I don’t see any way it’s not an ally to the pro-life cause.”

Pro-lifers’ enthusiasm for science isn’t always reciprocated by scientists—sometimes, quite the opposite. Last summer, Vincent Reid, a professor of psychology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, published a paper showing that late-development fetuses prefer to look at face-like images while they’re in the womb, just like newborn infants. As Reid told The Atlantic ’s Ed Yong , the study “tells us that the fetus isn’t a passive processor of environmental information. It’s an active responder.”

After his research was published, Reid suddenly found himself showered with praise from American pro-life advocates. “I had a few people contacting me, congratulating me on my great work, and then giving a kind of religious overtone to it,” he told me. “They’d finish off by saying, ‘Bless you,’ this sort of thing.” Pro-life advocates interpreted his findings as evidence that abortion is wrong, even though Reid was studying fetuses in their third trimester, which account for only a tiny fraction of abortions, he said. “It clearly resonated with them because they had a preconceived notion of what that science means.”

Reid found the experience perplexing. “I’m very proud of what I did … because it made genuine advances in our understanding of human development,” he said. “It’s frustrating that people take something which actually has no relevance to the position of anti-abortion or pro-abortion and try to use it … in a way that’s been pre-ordained.” He’s not going to stop doing his research on fetal development, he said. But he “will probably be a bit more heavy, perhaps, in my anticipation of how it’s going to be misused.”

This fate is nearly impossible to avoid in any field that remotely touches on abortion or origin-of-life issues. “There [are] no people who are just sitting in a lab, working on their projects,” says O. Carter Snead, a professor of law and political science at Notre Dame who served as general counsel to President George W. Bush’s Council of Bioethics. “Everybody is politicized.” This is true even of researchers like Reid, who was blindsided by the reaction to his findings. “You can’t do this and not get sucked into somebody’s orbit,” says Largent, the Michigan State professor. “Everyone’s going to take your work and use it for their ends. If you’re going to do this, you either decide who’s going to get to use your work, or it’s done to you.”

That can have a chilling effect on scientists who work in sensitive areas related to conception or death. Abortion is “the third-rail of research,” says Debra Mathews, an associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins who also has responsibility for science programs at the university’s bioethics institute. * “If you touch it, your research becomes associated with that debate.” Although the abortion debate is important, she says, it can be intimidating for researchers: “It tends to envelop whatever it touches.”

As often as not, scientists dive into the debate, taking funding from pro-life or pro-choice organizations or openly advancing an ideological position. This, too, has consequences: It casts doubt on the validity and integrity of any researcher in bioethics-related fields. “Anybody with money can get a scientist to say what they want them to say,” Largent says. “That’s not because scientists are whores. It’s because the world is a really complex place, and there are ways that you can craft a scientific investigation to lend credence to one side or another.”

This can have a fun-house-mirror effect on the scientific debate, with scholars on both sides constantly criticizing the methodological shortcomings of their opponents and coming to opposite conclusions. For example: Priscilla Coleman is a professor at Bowling Green State University who studies the mental-health effects of abortion. Coleman has testified before Congress, and pro-life advocates cite her as an important scholar working on this issue. At least some of her work, however, has been challenged repeatedly by others in her field : When she published a paper on the connection between abortion and anxiety, mood, and substance-abuse disorders in 2009, for instance, a number of scholars suggested her research design led her to draw false conclusions. She and her co-author claimed they had made only a weighting error and published a corrigendum, or corrected update. But ultimately, the author of the dataset Coleman used concluded that her “analysis does not support … assertions that abortions led to psychopathology.”

“If the results are questionable or not reproducible, then the study gets retracted. That’s what happens in science,” Coleman said in an interview. “The bottom line was that the pattern of the findings did not change.” She expressed frustration at media reports that questioned her work. “I’m so past trying to defend myself in these types of articles,” she said. “To me, there isn’t anything much worse than distorting science for an agenda, when the ultimate impact falls on these women who spend years and years suffering.”

At least in one respect, she is correct: Many of her opponents do have affiliations with the pro-choice movement. In this case, one of the researchers questioning her work was associated with the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization. In an email, Lawrence Finer, the co-author who serves as Guttmacher’s vice president for research, said that Coleman’s results were simply not reproducible. While Guttmacher advocates for abortion rights, the difference, Finer claimed, is that it places a priority on transparency and integrity—which, he implied, the other side does not. “It’s actually not difficult to distinguish neutral analysis from advocacy,” he wrote in an email. “The way that’s done is by making one’s analytical methods transparent and by submitting one’s analysis—‘neutral’ or not—to peer review. No researcher—no person, for that matter—is neutral; everyone has an opinion. What matters is whether the researcher’s methods are appropriate and reproducible.”

“There is a false equivalence between the science and what [Coleman] does,” added Julia Steinberg, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health and Finer’s co-author, in an email. “It’s not a debate, the way global warming is not a debate. There are people claiming global warming is not occurring, but scientists have compelling evidence that it is occurring. Similarly, there are people like Coleman, claiming abortion harms women’s mental health, but the scientists have compelling evidence that this is not occurring.”

Yet, even the academy that establishes and promotes transparent methodologies for science research has its own institutional biases. Because support for legal abortion rights is commonly seen as a neutral position in the academy, Sulmasy says, openly pro-life scholars may have a harder time getting their colleagues to take their work seriously. “If an article is written by somebody who … is affiliated with a pro-life group or has a known pro-life stand on it, that scientific evaluation is typically dismissed as advocacy,” he said. “Prevailing prejudices within academia and media” determine “what gets considered to be advocacy and what is considered to be scientifically valid.”

Pro-life optimists believe those biases might be changing—or, at least, they hope they’ve captured the territory of scientific authority. As the former NARAL president Kate Michelman told Newsweek in 2010 , “The technology has clearly helped to define how people think about a fetus as a full, breathing human being … The other side has been able to use the technology to its own end.” In recent years, this has been the biggest change in the abortion debate, says Jeanne Mancini, the president of March for Life: Pro-choice advocates have largely given on up on the argument that fetuses are “lifeless blobs of tissue.”

“There had been, a long time ago, this mantra from our friends on the other side of this issue that, while a little one is developing in its mother’s womb, it’s not a baby,” she says. “It’s really hard to make that argument when you see and hear a heartbeat and watch little hands moving around.”

Ultimately, this is the pro-life movement’s reason for framing its cause in scientific terms: The best argument for protecting life in the womb is found in the common sense of fetal heartbeats and swelling stomachs. “The pro-life movement has always been a movement aimed at cultivating the moral imagination so people can understand why we should care about human beings in the womb,” says Snead, the Notre Dame professor. “Science has been used, for a long time, as a bridge to that moral imagination.”

Now, the pro-life movement has successfully brought their scientific rallying cry to Capitol Hill. In a recent promotional video for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Republican legislators spoke warmly about how data help make the case for limiting abortion. “When we have very difficult topics that we need to talk about, the Charlotte Lozier Institute gives credibility to the testimony and to the information that we’re giving others,” says Tennessee Representative Diane Black. Representative Claudia Tenney of New York agreed: “We’re winning on facts, and we’re winning hearts and minds on science.”

This, above all, represents the shift in America’s abortion debate: An issue that has long been argued in normative claims about the nature of human life and women’s autonomy has shifted toward a wobbly empirical debate. As Tenney suggested, it is a move made with an eye toward winning—on policy, on public opinion, and, ultimately, in courtrooms. The side effect of this strategy, however, is ever deeper politicization and entrenchment. A deliberative democracy where even basic facts aren’t shared isn’t much of a democracy at all. It’s more of an exhausting tug-of-war, where the side with the most money and the best credentials is declared the winner.

* This article has been updated to clarify that Mathews helps run science programs at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, rather than the institute itself. This story also originally stated that doctors perform surgeries on genetically abnormal fetuses while they are in utero. Fetuses that are treated this way are not necessarily genetically abnormal, however.


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National Right to Life 2024 Pro-Life Essay Contest

Essays should address this question:

Why are you pro-life?

Senior Essay Contest - Grades 10 - 12 Junior Essay Contest - Grades 7 - 9

First Place - $400 Second Place - $300 Third Place - $200 (Prizes awarded in each contest.)

The Essay Contest is part of a number of programs from the National Right to Life Committee that is molding and empowering the future leaders of the pro-life movement, such as the NRL Academy, NRLC Internships, the NRLC Oratory Contest, the Video Contest, and a host of pro-life leadership camps that are held by state and local affiliates.

Essay Contest Rules

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For more information, please email Scott at [email protected]  or visit the NRLC website at .

2023 Senior Division Winners

Elizabeth B -- Minnesota

Joshua K -- Rhode Island

Sarah F -- Pennsylvania

2023 Junior Division Winners

Laela J. -- Minnesota

Roy J. -- Oregon

Ashton A. -- South Dakota

We want to thank all of the contestants and their respective teachers and schools for being a part of the 2023 National Right to Life Essay Contest! 

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Guest Essay

When an Abortion Is Pro-Life

pro life essay with facts

By Matthew Loftus

Dr. Loftus is a family doctor who teaches and practices in Kenya. He worked in South Sudan in 2015 and 2016.

This guest essay contains graphic descriptions of a doctor performing an abortion.

The operating theater in our mission hospital in South Sudan was dark except for one big, bright spotlight to guide our work.

“You will probably have to decompress the skull,” my mentor said as he guided the ultrasound probe over our patient, a woman in her 20s with a life-threatening pregnancy. I saw the familiar outline on the screen, a half-circle of bone surrounding brain tissue. My ring forceps flickered on the screen as I moved them up into her uterus.

I had already spent five minutes slowly pulling out blood clots that had collected below the approximately 18-week-old fetus, but as I worked my way upward I produced a gush of fluid as I punctured the amniotic sac. The soft, balloon-like pressure at the end of my instrument gave way to a firmer sensation as I brushed the head.

I squeezed the forceps and the bony outline disappeared.

I have always been pro-life , perhaps even before I was conscious of it. When I was conceived, my parents were not just unmarried but also considered themselves completely unready to be parents, both having recently recovered from addiction. Many abortions happen in these circumstances, and very soon after I was old enough to know what abortion was, I learned that I had escaped it.

My family is a blessing that I still cannot fully comprehend. Sometimes it feels like a debt I cannot repay. My parents’ love for each other and God’s love in them worked to create a home environment where my siblings and I learned a fierce, unrelenting love for one another.

My mother taught me that abortion was wrong because it was a desecration — it destroyed something precious. Sex and childbirth were good, sacred, and holy, reflecting God’s goodness to married couples.

It was this conviction that took our family to march on the Maryland state house, advocating for laws protecting the unborn. Our other political views were mostly as conservative as you might expect for a family of home-schooled evangelicals, but even these convictions were shaped by the understanding of human need and frailty that comes from screwing up and receiving grace upon grace. My mother always resisted the arguments on some talk radio programs that women who unexpectedly got pregnant should be punished, and our family was grateful for the government largess we received in the form of WIC vouchers and child tax credits.

The sanctity of the human body that my parents impressed on me has fueled my missionary work as a family physician and teacher in East Africa, where I do my best every day to care for those in need and help others learn how to do the same. This sanctity has also driven most of my political opinions to the left of my parents. I think the state should generously subsidize the necessities of life and health such that children can be born into safe and secure families.

However, I’ve changed almost nothing in my basic position on the political question of abortion: It should be illegal under nearly all circumstances to kill a baby in the womb because doing so deprives a human being of the right we afford to any other human being.

As devastating as pregnancies created by incest or sexual assault are, and as challenging as genetic malformations can be, the circumstances of one’s conception are not used to justify ill treatment postnatally — so why would we discriminate prenatally? Rather, we assume that any disadvantage to a breathing child caused by poverty, violence or poor health are meant to be reckoned with by means of extra generosity and care. Some countries, like Poland and Malta, have both severe abortion restrictions and generous welfare states that provide robust support for families.

There is only one circumstance in which I think it is permissible — even right — to kill a baby in the womb: when the existence of that baby is killing the mother and removal is the only way to save her life. With the Supreme Court of the United States likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, about 26 states are poised to enact new abortion restrictions. Any law that restricts abortion should always permit the exception of abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother.

The moral urgency of abortion in my patient’s case was clear. She’d already lost about half of her blood volume by the time she reached our doors. Without immediate action, she would have continued to bleed until she and her baby died. But the necessity of the abortion did not make performing it any easier. It shook my faith and tore apart my simplistic ethical ideals. If God does not want us to perform abortions, why did he put me in a situation where I would have to do one?

It is difficult for me to describe the physical process of a second-trimester abortion, and reading about it is just as unsettling. However, I cannot communicate how this experience shaped my perspective about abortion without including those details. I have to give an honest account of what happened.

The parts were distinguishable as I removed them — limbs, a spinal cord, internal organs — but soon it all became a mess, a mixture of amnion, chorion and blood. The anxiety of performing an ethically troubling procedure that our patient might not survive receded as I carefully removed everything inside her uterus. I didn’t want to cause any more bleeding, but I also didn’t want to leave anything in her uterus that would cause more bleeding or infection.

We turned on the lights and took the ultrasound machine back up to the labor ward. Our patient, still under anesthesia, was stable and was moved to our postoperative recovery area. We discussed whether it would be worth it to show her husband all the blood she had lost — our usual practice in life-threatening situations to underscore the danger to her life before her procedure — but there was far more than just blood to show, so we decided to simply tell him what had happened. I volunteered to carry the basin out to the pit where we normally deposit placentas after childbirth.

The cool, dark night was a relief from the suffocating heat of the poorly ventilated operating theater. I opened the wooden cover to the placenta pit and emptied the basin. Down the hole his body went.

In our daily work in a hospital for women and children in one of the most dangerous countries to be a mother or a child, my colleagues and I saw babies die before, during and after childbirth and even sometimes their mothers, too. With no ventilators, few lab tests and many patients arriving for care far later than they would in other countries with reliable roads and accessible health facilities, tragedy was frequent enough to make me ask God “Why?” over and over.

Still, what happened to my patient that day six years ago could happen anywhere.

In our case, the patient had been slowly bleeding for about two weeks before she made it to us, brought in on a motorbike by her husband only after she passed out from blood loss. A mother of several other children who lived far from our hospital, she’d not had any other prenatal care up to that point. Through an ultrasound, I quickly determined that her baby was still alive and about 18 weeks old, give or take a few weeks.

Then I saw the clot.

It was much bigger than the baby — so big, in fact, that I mistook it for an overly full bladder the first time I scanned her. It probably represented half a liter of blood just sitting at the bottom of the uterus, slowly leaking out. We didn’t see the placenta anywhere else in the uterus, so it must have been buried somewhere in that mess of old blood.

We had only one unit of blood in our tiny refrigerator, which we needed to save in case a child with malaria or another woman sicker than our patient needed it. The only way to save her was to get everything out of her uterus so that it could contract against itself and stop the bleeding. Waiting for a time when the baby could have been delivered safely was impossible. We were convinced that he would have died along with his mother before reaching viability.

I was the doctor on call, but I was still learning all that was necessary to run a small mission hospital. With me, the medical director and our senior nurse on duty all in agreement about the necessity of a procedure that in other circumstances would violate our consciences, we obtained verbal consent from the patient and her husband and got to work.

Later, relieved that our patient was slowly recovering, I went up to the labor ward. I had checked one mother earlier and now, hours later, she had not made much progress and would be unlikely to deliver on her own. I gathered my colleagues again and we did a C-section, delivering a healthy baby to a happy (if somewhat ketamine-drunk) mother who might not have lived if we hadn’t done the surgery.

I went home and read nothing in particular on the internet for a few hours. I wanted to sleep, but didn’t want to lie down and be still. When I did, I kept hearing a rhythmic pounding from outside my window — at least I thought it was coming from outside my window. Was it the distant sound of the fetal monitor from the hospital? My own heart? Drums from a spiritual ceremony in a nearby village? A demonic hallucination?

I kept praying and remembering. I closed my eyes, but I saw the picture of the skull on the ultrasound machine. I finally fell asleep at 4 a.m. and awoke a few hours later to more deliveries and seeing sick children.

I view my work as a physician as part of a battle against brokenness in the physical health of my patients, a battle whose tide was turned when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The Bible teaches that our physical bodies will one day be resurrected as Christ’s was, mysteriously transformed but somehow also continuous with our present flesh and blood — like a seed is transformed into a plant. I teach and work alongside local health professionals so that we can care holistically for people in need, following in the footsteps of Jesus, the healer.

By caring for others now, Christian doctors seek to honor the goodness of our bodies and anticipate this future resurrection. Occasionally we have to amputate, give toxic chemotherapy or otherwise tear apart the body for the sake of healing. This power shouldn’t be used lightly, and in the case of a living human person in the womb it should be only the most extreme circumstances that permit its use. But the power is there, and sometimes we must use it in an irreversible, life-ending way.

Before I performed an abortion, I had thought about questions of theodicy — the struggle to reconcile God’s goodness with the presence of evil in our world — in a passive sense, wondering why or how God allows suffering to happen to people. Now I think about why God would force someone to make a choice like I did. By 18 weeks, the rough age of my patient’s child, bone gives enough resistance to the surgical instruments to make its humanity known. Here, I think the exception proves the rule: Ending a child’s life before birth is so wrong that only saving another life could be worth it.

As a missionary doctor, I was willing to sacrifice the comforts of home to care for others, but I didn’t realize that this vocation would also require me to make many moral decisions where all courses of action were heart-rending in one way or another. I was familiar with the idea that becoming a doctor would take a toll on my body, as sleepless nights and strained muscles get introduced very early in training, but I have learned that the power to kill and heal leaves a different sort of mark over time.

My patient left the hospital a few days later, needing to care for her other children at home. We advised her to come back for follow-up care but I never saw her again, and a few months later civil war drove me (and most likely her) out of the country. We sent her home with iron tablets and pain medications. What else we left one another with is something I will spend the rest of my life pondering.

And as I ponder this, I think about the resurrection. It’s the only way any of this makes sense to me. Christ’s resurrected body still bore the scars of crucifixion such that Thomas knew he was the Lord by touching and seeing. I trust that the child I will meet in heaven one day will unmistakably bear some mark by which I will know what I did to him. Still, the hope of the resurrection is that I will be able to clutch the hand that I once dumped into a pit and dance with that child to the praise of Christ. It is in that hope my colleagues and I keep working.

Matthew Loftus is a family doctor who teaches and practices in Kenya. He worked in South Sudan in 2015 and 2016. You can learn more about his work at .

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  • The meaning of ‘pro-life’

The meaning of ‘pro-choice’

Misconceptions about the pro-life position, arguments against the pro-life position, references/further reading, what does it mean to be pro-life.

pro life essay with facts

  • Being pro-life means believing that all humans, born and unborn, have a right to life.
  • Because of this, pro-lifers are morally and legally opposed to abortion, embryo-destructive research and assisted suicide and euthanasia.
  • People who are pro-life often disagree about what precisely the law on these issues should be and how it should be implemented.
  • The term pro-choice refers primarily to support for legal abortion. It exists on a spectrum. Some who identify as pro-choice think abortion should be legal up to a certain number of weeks gestation or under certain circumstances, and some advocate an extreme view where abortion should be legal up to birth.
  • Pro-lifers believe that mothers and their unborn babies have a right to life.

The meaning of ‘pro-life’

The following article is more of an explanation of the pro-life view and not primarily a justification. Individual articles on specific topics featured on the Knowledge Base provide a more detailed overview of specific arguments offered for a particular position.

To be ‘pro-life’ means that you believe that all human life, from conception to natural death, is morally equal or is equal in dignity. Pro-lifers believe that all human beings have a ‘right to life’, which means they have a right not to be killed.

There is no uncontentious definition of ‘pro-life’ (or ‘pro-choice’). Many people who identify themselves as pro-life have disagreements about what that term means. 

For many people, the pro-life movement is most strongly associated with being anti-abortion. This is certainly part of the pro-life position, but it is not exhaustive of it as the above definition indicates.

Importantly, from the above definition, a number of implications can be drawn out.

The ‘pro-life’ view does not discriminate – the right to life applies to all human beings without restriction. The following considerations are irrelevant when it comes to a human’s right to life:

It does not matter how big or small a human is. Whether they are a zygote or fully grown, they have a right to life.

Physical or cognitive development

It does not matter how physically or mentally developed a human is. Whether they have a  severe or mild mental disability; whether they are cognitively immature (as is a late-term unborn baby or a newborn infant); whether their physical development means they do not yet have a brain (as in an embryo in early-stage pregnancy or in vitro); whether they have advanced dementia and no short or long-term memory: all of these human beings have a right to life.

It does not matter where a human being exists. Whether that be inside or outside his or her mother’s womb, they have a right to life.

It does not matter how dependent one human is on another. Whether they have a physical and/or mental disability that means that they are unable to wash or feed themselves; whether they are a newborn who relies on his or her mother’s breast milk for survival; whether they depend on their mother for nutrition (via their placenta) and the appropriate growing environment (their mother’s womb): they all have a right to life.

Unborn humans are humans too and have a right to life

Importantly, pro-lifers recognise that since the right to life belongs to all human beings without exception, it also applies to unborn human beings, even from the earliest moments of their existence. The science of embryology shows that life starts at conception. 

  • A survey of 5,577 biologists in 2018 showed that 96% of respondents agreed that a human life begins at fertilisation. Steve Jacobs, who conducted the survey said: “The majority of the sample identified as liberal (89%), pro-choice (85%) and non-religious (63%)”.
  • “ Human development begins at fertilization , when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, the zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell (capable of giving rise to any cell type) marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual ”. – Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology , (10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2016. p. 11) [emphasis added]
  • “ Development begins with fertilization , the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the female gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote ”. – Sadler, T. W. Langman’s Medical Embryology (10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11) [emphasis added]
  • “ The main results of fertilization are as follows: Restoration of the diploid number of chromosomes, half from the father half from the mother. Hence, the zygote contains a new combination of chromosomes different from both parents. Determination of the sex of the new individual. An X-carrying sperm produces a female (XX) embryo and a Y-carrying sperm produces a male (XY) embryo. Therefore, the chromosomal sex of the embryo is determined at fertilization ”. – Sadler, T. W. Langman’s Medical Embryology (13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015. p. 42) [emphasis added]

From these core definitions and the fact that all humans, unborn or otherwise are still fully and completely human, a number of pro-life views follow by simple logic.

  • Intentionally ending the life of an innocent human being is wrong (pro-life view)
  • Abortion intentionally ends the life of an innocent human being (empirical fact)
  • Therefore abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason is morally wrong .

Assisted suicide and euthanasia

  • Assisted suicide and euthanasia intentionally end the life of an innocent human being (empirical fact)
  • Therefore assisted suicide and euthanasia are morally wrong .

Embryo destruction

  • Embryo destruction intentionally ends the life of an innocent human being (empirical fact)
  • Therefore the intentional destruction of, or disregard for, human embryos is wrong .
  • This follows from the pro-life belief in the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
  • The creation of human embryos for research purposes, as well as their subsequent destruction, is a violation of their right to life.

Killing any innocent human being for any reason is morally wrong

For pro-lifers, their belief in the right to life forms the basis for all moral and legal prohibitions on killing.

The pro-life view makes no judgement about the character of those who do any of the above things . Saying that ‘abortion is morally wrong’ is not saying anything about the culpability of those who perform, engage with or have abortions. For example, pro-lifers recognise the often difficult circumstances of women who choose abortion and make no judgements about her character.

In the case of abortion, the pro-life view recognises the right to life of both mother and child (cases where there is a supposed conflict will be addressed below).

Pro-lifers usually hold that the above practices should be illegal too. The intentional destruction of, or disregard for, human embryos, should not be funded at all, and the collection of human embryos for this purpose should be illegal.

There is considerable disagreement about how these legal ends should be achieved as well as any specifics of law.

There are politicians who have called themselves pro-life but have either said or acted in ways contrary to this. Such persons either have a different, much looser, definition in mind or perhaps do not understand what it means to be pro-life.

As with the definition of pro-life, there is no uncontentious definition of ‘pro-choice’. The term pro-choice could refer to anyone who is in favour of choice about almost anything. Most people are pro-choice about what flavour of ice cream people should be allowed to buy and what mode of transport to take to work.

However, most people are not pro-choice about whether the law should permit someone to steal from their neighbour, or choose whether or not to drive through a red traffic light.

The pro-choice movement is far more restricted in its scope than the pro-life movement in the sense that the pro-choice movement is concerned only with abortion and not assisted suicide and euthanasia or embryo destruction.

Being pro-choice typically exists on a spectrum from radical supporters of abortion who advocate for abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, to people who support abortion up to a certain point such as 24 weeks, 16 weeks, 12 weeks or earlier. 

Only 1% of women in Great Britain support making abortion legal up to birth, whereas 70% of women believe the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower .

Pro-choice definition: the belief that, in some or all circumstances, abortion is morally and/or legally permissible.

Many arguments against the pro-life position are based on misconceptions.

Misconception #1 : Pro-lifers only care about babies before they are born

Reality : Pro-lifers care about babies before and after birth

  • As a matter of principle, it is untrue that pro-lifers only care about babies before they are born. As the definition of pro-life makes clear, all human beings, babies born and unborn, have a right to life and their lives ought not to be intentionally ended.
  • As a political matter, it is also not true that pro-lifers only care about babies before they are born. Since there is no organisation campaigning to remove the right to life of babies outside of the womb, pro-lifers tend not to discuss this issue. If there were a political movement to remove the right to life of children after birth or supported infanticide , the pro-life movement would oppose it.
  • As a matter of fact, there are numerous pro-life organisations that provide practical support and assistance to mothers and families particularly those with newborn babies, the biggest of these in the UK being Life Charity , which raises millions of pounds each year from pro-life people to provide emotional and practical support to mothers and their babies, which includes providing housing and community support around the country. Over 12,000 mothers have been provided with housing by Life Charity. 

Misconception #2 : Pro-lifers do not care about the lives of women

Reality : Pro-lifers care about women (both born and unborn) and their babies

  • As a matter of principle, pro-lifers care about the lives of women. As the definition of pro-life makes clear, all human beings, unborn babies and their mothers, have a right to life and their lives ought not to be intentionally ended. They are each worthy of respect and protection under the law in virtue of the dignity of being human.
  • As a political matter, one of the pro-life movement’s slogans is “ Love Them Both “. The pro-life movement does not believe that society must choose between mother and baby, but that both can be loved, helped and protected.
  • As a matter of fact, there are numerous pro-life organisations that provide practical support and assistance to mothers and families particularly those with newborn babies. See the above section for more details.

Argument #1 : Abortion is a personal choice. If you don’t like abortion don’t have one.

Reality : Abortion is a choice that profoundly affects more than one person. It ends the life of one person and can seriously affect the life of at least one other. “If you don’t like chocolate ice cream, don’t have it” is a reasonable thing to say. Given that abortion ends the life of an innocent human being with a right to life, “If you don’t like abortion don’t have one”, is not.

  • As a matter of principle, the pro-life movement believes in the right to life of all humans, including the mother and her child. There are all kinds of choices that society rightly opposes. For example, society does not accept the choice to steal from someone else, nor to discriminate against someone based on the colour of their skin. While the choice to steal from another or to discriminate based on skin colour are personal choices, we do not accept that these things should be morally or legally permissible.
  • As a political matter, laws, in general, are a form of restriction on actions. Red traffic lights, for example, impose a restriction upon drivers, but it is a restriction we all recognise as perfectly reasonable. Given the pro-life commitment to the right to life, it is equally reasonable that unborn babies should be protected under the law.

Argument #2 : Being biologically human is not morally important. What is morally important is being a ‘person’ and humans do not become persons until some time after conception/fertilisation.

Reality : Being biologically human is morally significant. To say otherwise is to reject any notion of human equality and dignity of human life.

  • To base our moral value on our being ‘persons’, and then defining ‘person’ by some psychological trait or other, is to reject any basis for human equality whatsoever.
  • Abortion already has devastating consequences for the most vulnerable in our society but a denial of the pro-life view, if extended beyond the womb (and, logically speaking, there is no reason why it should not be [see below]) will have far-reaching and devastating consequences for the most vulnerable in our society.
  • As a matter of fact, there are academics and activists who argue in favour of the moral and legal permissibility of infanticide. They reason, consistently, that if late-term abortion is morally permissible because the unborn baby is not self-aware and therefore not a person, then ending the life of an infant shortly after birth is also morally permissible. This is a direct consequence of the rejection of the pro-life view.
  • “ Embryology: Inconvenient Facts ” by William L. Saunders, Jr.
  • “ The Wrong of Abortion ” by Robert P. George and Patrick Lee from Andrew I. Cohen and Christopher Wellman, eds., Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics(New York: Blackwell Publishers, 2005)
  • “ The Pro-Life Argument from Substantial Identity ” by Patrick Lee
  • “ Human Beings are Animals ” by Patrick Lee
  • “ Human Personhood Begins at Conception ” by Peter Kreeft
  • “ I Was Once a Fetus: an Identity-Based Argument Against Abortion ” by Alexander Pruss
  • “ I Was Once a Fetus: That Is Why Abortion Is Wrong ” by Alexander Pruss
  • “ When do Human Beings Begin ?” by Dianne N. Irving

Dear reader,

In 2021 abortion campaigners brought forward an amendment to the UK Government’s flagship Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that would have introduced abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth (including sex-selective abortion).

Thanks to the support from people like you, this amendment did not go to a vote and pass, but we expect the abortion lobby to make another attempt to introduce this extreme abortion law change shortly.

This would be the single biggest change to abortion legislation since 1967 and would leave England and Wales with one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world.

Please sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to ensure that his Government does everything in its power to stop the introduction of abortion up to birth.

Explainer Why it is time to reduce the abortion time limit

Explainer - Why it is time to reduce the abortion time limit

Explainer - how pro-lifers in malta achieved a major victory and stopped abortion coming to…, roe v wade overturned: what does it mean, abortion time limits.

Parliament to vote on lowering abortion time limit after cross-party group of 25 MPs table amendment to Criminal Justice Bill

Parliament to vote on lowering abortion time limit after cross-party group of 25 MPs table…

Uk government launches baby loss certificates to recognise grief of parents, baby weighing less than a kilo at birth celebrates his first birthday, petition launched against pro-life students in manchester, over half of mothers who had an abortion say it was due to the cost….

RTL KB Sex Selective 1

Sex-selective abortion

RTL KB Disability 1

Disability-selective abortion

Abortion time limit in the UK

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Key Arguments From Both Sides of the Abortion Debate

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  • Reproductive Rights
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Many points come up in the abortion debate . Here's a look at abortion from both sides : 10 arguments for abortion and 10 arguments against abortion, for a total of 20 statements that represent a range of topics as seen from both sides.

Pro-Life Arguments

  • Since life begins at conception,   abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life.
  • No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.
  • Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
  • An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancies is increased if other factors such as smoking are present, the chance of a miscarriage increases in some cases,   and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases.  
  • In the instance of rape and incest, taking certain drugs soon after the event can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant.   Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished.
  • Abortion should not be used as another form of contraception.
  • For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through the responsible use of contraception or, if that is not possible, through abstinence .
  • Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it's morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion.
  • Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterward.
  • Abortion sometimes causes psychological pain and stress.  

Pro-Choice Arguments

  • Nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester when a fetus is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord to the mother.   As such, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot be regarded as a separate entity as it cannot exist outside her womb.
  • The concept of personhood is different from the concept of human life. Human life occurs at conception,   but fertilized eggs used for in vitro fertilization are also human lives and those not implanted are routinely thrown away. Is this murder, and if not, then how is abortion murder?
  • Adoption is not an alternative to abortion because it remains the woman's choice whether or not to give her child up for adoption. Statistics show that very few women who give birth choose to give up their babies; less than 3% of White unmarried women and less than 2% of Black​ unmarried women.
  • Abortion is a safe medical procedure. The vast majority of women who have an abortion do so in their first trimester.   Medical abortions have a very low risk of serious complications and do not affect a woman's health or future ability to become pregnant or give birth.  
  • In the case of rape or incest, forcing a woman made pregnant by this violent act would cause further psychological harm to the victim.   Often a woman is too afraid to speak up or is unaware she is pregnant, thus the morning after pill is ineffective in these situations.
  • Abortion is not used as a form of contraception . Pregnancy can occur even with contraceptive use. Few women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and that is due more to individual carelessness than to the availability of abortion.  
  • The ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil rights. Take away her reproductive choice and you step onto a slippery slope. If the government can force a woman to continue a pregnancy, what about forcing a woman to use contraception or undergo sterilization?
  • Taxpayer dollars are used to enable poor women to access the same medical services as rich women, and abortion is one of these services. Funding abortion is no different from funding a war in the Mideast. For those who are opposed, the place to express outrage is in the voting booth.
  • Teenagers who become mothers have grim prospects for the future. They are much more likely to leave school; receive inadequate prenatal care; or develop mental health problems.  
  • Like any other difficult situation, abortion creates stress. Yet the American Psychological Association found that stress was greatest prior to an abortion and that there was no evidence of post-abortion syndrome.  

Additional References

  • Alvarez, R. Michael, and John Brehm. " American Ambivalence Towards Abortion Policy: Development of a Heteroskedastic Probit Model of Competing Values ." American Journal of Political Science 39.4 (1995): 1055–82. Print.
  • Armitage, Hannah. " Political Language, Uses and Abuses: How the Term 'Partial Birth' Changed the Abortion Debate in the United States ." Australasian Journal of American Studies 29.1 (2010): 15–35. Print.
  • Gillette, Meg. " Modern American Abortion Narratives and the Century of Silence ." Twentieth Century Literature 58.4 (2012): 663–87. Print.
  • Kumar, Anuradha. " Disgust, Stigma, and the Politics of Abortion ." Feminism & Psychology 28.4 (2018): 530–38. Print.
  • Ziegler, Mary. " The Framing of a Right to Choose: Roe V. Wade and the Changing Debate on Abortion Law ." Law and History Review 27.2 (2009): 281–330. Print.

“ Life Begins at Fertilization with the Embryo's Conception .”  Princeton University , The Trustees of Princeton University.

“ Long-Term Risks of Surgical Abortion .”  GLOWM, doi:10.3843/GLOWM.10441

Patel, Sangita V, et al. “ Association between Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Abortions .”  Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS , Medknow Publications, July 2010, doi:10.4103/2589-0557.75030

Raviele, Kathleen Mary. “ Levonorgestrel in Cases of Rape: How Does It Work? ”  The Linacre Quarterly , Maney Publishing, May 2014, doi:10.1179/2050854914Y.0000000017

Reardon, David C. “ The Abortion and Mental Health Controversy: A Comprehensive Literature Review of Common Ground Agreements, Disagreements, Actionable Recommendations, and Research Opportunities .”  SAGE Open Medicine , SAGE Publications, 29 Oct. 2018, doi:10.1177/2050312118807624

“ CDCs Abortion Surveillance System FAQs .” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Nov. 2019.

Bixby Center for Reproductive Health. “ Complications of Surgical Abortion : Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology .”  LWW , doi:10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181a2b756

" Sexual Violence: Prevalence, Dynamics and Consequences ." World Health Organizaion.

Homco, Juell B, et al. “ Reasons for Ineffective Pre-Pregnancy Contraception Use in Patients Seeking Abortion Services .”  Contraception , U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2009, doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2009.05.127

" Working With Pregnant & Parenting Teens Tip Sheet ." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Major, Brenda, et al. " Abortion and Mental Health: Evaluating the Evidence ." American Psychological Association, doi:10.1037/a0017497

  • The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision
  • Roe v. Wade
  • 1970s Feminism Timeline
  • Analysis of 'Hills Like White Elephants' by Ernest Hemingway
  • Female Infanticide in Asia
  • Quotes from Contraceptives Pioneer Margaret Sanger
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  • Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
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  • 15 Surprising Facts About Susan B. Anthony

Home / Essay Samples / Social Issues / Abortion Debate / Pro Life

Argumentative Essay on Pro-Life

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Social Issues

Abortion Debate

Abortion , Pro Choice , Pro Life

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Pro-Life Debate Argumentative Essay on Abortion

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Table of Contents

Introduction, the analysis of society's perception of abortion, reasons for abortion, the side effects and complications of abortion, the argument for legalized abortion, the case of sherri finkbine, abortion as a murder and right to life, abortion alternatives.

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pro life essay with facts

  • Abortion , Constitutional Law , Family , Human Dignity

The One and Only Pro-Life Argument

  • April 25, 2022

pregnant, baby, life

For the sake of argument: Let us stipulate to every “good” reason for abortion. Abortion is necessary to vindicate women’s equality in society, economic opportunities, and full sexual liberty. Abortion is necessary because women are oppressed, because they are often unable economically to care for children, emotionally unprepared to do so, and left abandoned by predatory males. Abortion might be thought necessary to spare a child a miserable life, an unwanted life, or a life hampered by disability. Abortion is sometimes necessary as back-up birth control to end an unintended pregnancy and avoid motherhood. Abortion is necessary to avoid pregnancy and childbirth resulting from rape or incest. And abortion may be necessary to safeguard pregnant women’s health—physical, psychological, and emotional. All of these things make abortion’s availability necessary and desirable.

And let us assume also (again, for the sake of argument) the existence and prevalence of every possible “bad” motivation for restricting abortion. Abortion restrictions or prohibitions are intended as devices to keep women in socially subordinate roles. Abortion restrictions are advocated and enacted for religious reasons, to force various churches’ religious views on others. Abortion restrictions are advanced by the worst of moral hypocrites, unwilling themselves to bear the oppressive burdens they so cavalierly pile on women. Anti-abortion folks do not care about women and their lives. All these terrible motivations are present and are what really drive the so-called “pro-life” position.

Let us assume that all of this is true, and stipulate to it—for the sake of argument. Assume the very best arguments for abortion and the very worst of motivations for laws against it. (Please note, my friends, that I am not embracing any of these views myself. I am merely noting them, and conceding them, for the sake of argument.)

Here’s the key question: Would any of this justify a freedom to kill a born , living child? A six-month old? A newborn? Would any of these things—poverty, economic or social stress, lost or delayed opportunities, single-motherhood, male abandonment, sexual autonomy, conscientious but unsuccessful use of contraception, the child’s disability, rape or incest, the emotional or psychological distress of parenthood—justify what we would otherwise recognize as the simple murder of a living newborn, infant, or toddler? Would any ostensibly bad motive for forbidding mothers to kill their children—hypocrisy, callousness, intentional subjugation of women, discrimination, a desire to impose unwelcome religious beliefs upon others—render the deliberate killing of born, living human children right? Would such factors make child murder sufficiently defensible that the decision should be left to the choice of the mother?

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Hopefully, you are repulsed by this notion. Of course, none of these factors, even if true, would justify child killing!

Even if you are an abortion-rights proponent, you are repelled by any such suggestion. Offended even: For the unstated implication, obviously, is that the same argument should hold true with respect to abortion—that abortion is exactly like child-murder. And that notion is (I am assuming) highly offensive to the defender of abortion rights: abortion is not like child murder because the fetus is not at all the same thing as a child!  

That, I submit, is, in the end, the entire issue. If taking the life of the living, unborn human fetus amounts to the same thing as taking the life of a living, born human child, then all or nearly all the “good” reasons for such killing, and all the “bad” reasons for banning such killing, tend to wash away. (There would still be situations of genuine, tragic necessity—self-defense—but that is essentially all.) Everything turns on whether the living, unborn human child in utero is a separate, living human being possessing a moral status as such, so that killing him or her is the same as killing a born human child.

Everything turns on whether the living, unborn human child is a separate, living human being possessing a moral status as such.

If the living, unborn child is a living human being, morally entitled to be treated as such, nothing else matters. It does not matter (does it?) that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood impose real burdens on women because, no matter that reality, it would never justify killing another human being (would it?). It does not matter that a pregnancy is not the woman’s “fault” (as if that were somehow relevant) or that the pregnancy was the result of a reprehensible sexual partner who abandoned her, or worse, a predatory or violent male criminal. All that might be true, and still, it would not justify killing an innocent, completely vulnerable, separate human being (would it?).

Conversely, if one collates all of the other, collateral pro-life arguments for restricting abortion—the age or stage of development of the unborn child; the seemingly greater illegitimacy and reprehensibility of certain reasons for abortion, such as sex-selection of a child to be born , race hostility or disability eugenics , spite of an ex-boyfriend, social pressure or convenience , or simply callous moral indifference—one is, in the end, adding only a series of makeweights. They add persuasive, rhetorical force only, in the sense that they serve to make clearer, or place in starker relief, the central point: the humanity of the living human fetus.

Finally, there are the pro-life arguments that constitute irrelevant and perhaps even harmful distractions: the woman’s sexual ethics, the failure to use contraception, or “waiting too long” to abort. These are beside the point. As I’ve argued previously, by the time of any abortion, these matters are long in the past and do not bear on the question at hand: the right of the unborn child to live “does not depend on any kind of judgment about the parents’ sexual morality. The decision on the table is whether to kill a distinct living human being. Nobody should care about sexual ethics at this point, for purposes of either condemnation or justification of abortion.”

When all is said and done, then, there is one and only one pro-life argument: that abortion kills a separate, living human being. That argument is premised on a simple proposition of biology, not one of theology: the human organism—the entity that is first a zygote, then an embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, teenager, and adult—is the same human biological organism, merely at different stages of his or her life cycle. (If you had killed me at any of those stages, you would have killed me .)

Is there really any room for doubt about this, as a factual proposition? If not, shouldn’t that be the key point in any debate over abortion, and the response to any red-herring argument about women’s rights, social policy, sexual ethics, or men’s behavior? If the unborn child is a human being, does that not profoundly limit the scope of morally allowable arguments that might be made to justify killing him or her? Doesn’t it essentially eliminate all such arguments (except self-defense—where killing the fetus is a tragic necessity to preserve the life of the mother)?

If I am right about this, the focus of pro-life advocacy should always be, first, last, and always, on the human being gestating inside his or her mother’s womb.

Is Killing the Unborn Different from Killing the Born?

Is there any sound basis for distinguishing the killing of unborn living human beings from the killing of born human beings? I can think of just two arguments.

The first concerns the fact of pregnancy itself. In the case of a born child, the burden of pregnancy is past and could not possibly justify killing the child. But enforced, continued pregnancy is a distinct burden on the woman. This is undeniable. Pro-lifers need to be sensitive to this reality, concede its force, and do everything they can to embrace and support pregnant women in need . But the key point remains: however real the burden of pregnancy, it doesn’t warrant the killing of another human being. It warrants something different: the compassion, support, and love of others.

The second distinction one sometimes hears is that abortion is different because unborn children simply lack the same human moral standing as born children—that unborn lives do not matter. Even if biologically the same as the human organism that is later born, the unborn child is not morally worthy of regard as a human life, until birth. The human fetus is a morally inconsequential clump of cells and can be disposed of—killed—for essentially any reason.

The focus of pro-life advocacy should always be, first, last, and always, on the human being gestating inside his or her mother’s womb.

Sometimes the claim takes the form of positing that the unborn child, while perhaps a human being, is nonetheless not a “person”—as if this were a meaningful, coherent, real-world distinction. This gambit tries to hide a morally and philosophically ludicrous position behind an artificial legal construction invented by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade .

That characterization was among the (many) dubious holdings of Roe . (There is a far-more-than-plausible argument that the unborn are properly regarded as legal “persons” for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the “equal protection of the laws.”) But that’s not the point here. The point is that legal “personhood” (or not) is a fictitious construct of law and does not answer the basic question at hand: is there a morally justifiable basis for treating this type of human life as inconsequential and disposable, such that it can be killed without the same concern one would have with killing a born infant? One cannot wave one’s hand, incant the word “person,” invoke the Supreme Court’s ipse dixit , and have done with it. One must address the question and the facts.

That is where the moral debate should be joined. The unborn are surely not less human because not yet born. To be sure, they are vulnerable, fragile, and not fully developed. But the same can be said of newborn infants. Exactly what is it that supposedly makes members of this class of living human beings sub-human, such that they can be killed at will for the assumed benefit of others? And isn’t it more than a little bit disturbing how closely such a position resembles claims made in the past to support slavery or racial genocide?

The onus should be on those who would permit some human beings to kill other human beings simply because they are young, weak, dependent, vulnerable, or undesired.

How Does This Affect the Argument over a Constitutional Right to Abortion?

How does all this affect the legal argument for abortion as a constitutional right, the issue currently before the Supreme Court in the Dobbs case? (I wrote about Dobbs in two essays here last summer, and one for First Things last October.)

Hugely: once the humanity of the fetus is recognized, the game is up, for two reasons.

First, it gives the lie to Roe v. Wade’s risible characterization of the living human embryo or fetus as only “potential” life. Such a characterization is, really, if one thinks about it, almost laughably preposterous—either intellectually incompetent or willfully obtuse. Did the justices really think that the living human fetus is not living? That is simply factually false. Or did they think the living human fetus is not human? That is false, too. Roe’s foundations rest on one or the other (or both) of these literally fatally flawed premises.

Second, even under any of the odd, oxymoronic, question-begging legal theories offered for Roe —“substantive due process,” or “privacy,” or “equal protection,” or “bodily autonomy”—the claimed individual right to abortion must yield, under the Court’s doctrine, to a “compelling” interest on the other side. But what could be more compelling an interest than protection of living human beings from willful killing by others? The protection of human life—protecting the weak from the violent depredations perpetrated by the strong—stands at the very apex of the functions and duties of the state. If the unborn child is factually a human life, then saving such lives from the violence of others is a compelling interest if ever there was one. Indeed, it is a moral obligation and imperative.

This is true whether or not the unborn are classed as legal “persons.” For regardless of how one resolves that question of technical legal status, there is undeniably a compelling interest in protecting human life as such. If unborn human life fits that description, the legal case for Roe vanishes—as do essentially all other practical, moral, and philosophical arguments for abortion.

As it turns out, nearly all the “good” reasons for abortion—which I started by assuming to be valid—are in fact severely flawed. And the supposed “bad” motivations for banning abortion are usually complete red herrings, sideshows, or simply untrue. Nonetheless, it is important to keep one’s eye on the ball: the singular focus of the pro-life position should be on the unique, vulnerable, precious, living human being in the womb who is killed by abortion. Compared to that, nothing else really matters.

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Home — Essay Samples — Social Issues — Abortion Debate — Pro Life (Abortion)

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Pro Life (abortion) Essays

Hook examples for pro-life (abortion) essays, personal story hook.

Meet Sarah, a woman who faced the difficult choice of whether to have an abortion or carry her unplanned pregnancy to term. Her experience sheds light on the emotional and ethical complexities of the pro-life stance.

Rhetorical Question Hook

Is every life, no matter how small or vulnerable, deserving of protection? This is the question at the heart of the pro-life abortion debate, and it's one we'll explore in-depth.

Statistical Hook

Did you know that there were [Insert statistic about abortion rates or procedures] abortions performed in [Insert year]? Explore the implications of these statistics in the context of pro-life advocacy.

Historical Hook

Take a journey through the history of the pro-life movement, from its origins to key milestones such as [Insert historical event related to pro-life activism]. Discover how this movement has evolved over time.

Quotation Hook

"The ultimate test of our humanity may be our willingness to defend the most vulnerable among us." — [Insert author]. This quote encapsulates the essence of the pro-life argument. Explore the moral and ethical foundations of this perspective.

Scientific Discovery Hook

Recent advances in medical technology have provided unprecedented insights into fetal development. Discover how these scientific discoveries have influenced the pro-life position.

Legal Debate Hook

Delve into the legal battles surrounding abortion rights, including landmark cases like [Insert case name]. Explore how pro-life activists have worked within the legal system to challenge abortion access.

Ethical Dilemma Hook

Imagine you're a medical professional faced with a choice that challenges your personal beliefs. Explore the ethical dilemmas that healthcare providers encounter when balancing pro-life convictions with patient autonomy.

Comparative Analysis Hook

Compare and contrast the pro-life perspective with other viewpoints on abortion, such as pro-choice and religious perspectives. Analyze the key differences and common ground in the abortion debate.

Human Rights Hook

Are unborn children entitled to the same human rights as adults? Explore the pro-life argument that emphasizes the inherent value and dignity of every human life, regardless of age or stage of development.

An Understanding of The Pro-choice and Pro-life of Abortion

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The Debate Over Abortion and Planned Parenthood

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The pro-life movement is a social and political movement that advocates for the protection and preservation of human life, particularly emphasizing the right to life of unborn fetuses. It opposes the practice of abortion and seeks to restrict or eliminate access to abortion services.

Mother Teresa was an influential voice in the pro-life movement. She vehemently advocated for the sanctity of life, particularly speaking out against abortion. Mother Teresa believed that every life, no matter how vulnerable or disadvantaged, deserved love, care, and protection. Her unwavering commitment to the value of human life and her global impact made her an inspirational figure for many in the pro-life movement. Dr. Mildred Jefferson was the first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and a prominent pro-life advocate. As a physician, she believed that the medical profession should prioritize healing and saving lives, rather than ending them through abortion. Dr. Jefferson co-founded the National Right to Life Committee, a prominent pro-life organization in the United States. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, an American obstetrician-gynecologist, played a crucial role in shaping the pro-life movement. He was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) and actively advocated for abortion rights. However, after witnessing the development of ultrasound technology and performing thousands of abortions, he experienced a change of heart. Dr. Nathanson became a prominent pro-life advocate, exposing the reality of abortion through the documentary "The Silent Scream."

The roots of the pro-life movement can be found in the United States, where it gained significant momentum in the latter half of the 20th century. The movement emerged as a response to the legalization of abortion in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973. Initially, the pro-life movement focused on grassroots activism, organizing rallies, marches, and protests to raise awareness about the sanctity of life and advocate for the protection of the unborn. Religious groups, particularly Catholic and evangelical communities, played a crucial role in mobilizing support for the movement. Over the years, the pro-life movement has expanded its scope to encompass a range of issues related to human dignity and the value of life, including opposition to euthanasia, assisted suicide, and embryonic stem cell research. The movement has engaged in legal battles, lobbying efforts, and educational campaigns to influence public opinion and policy-making. Pro-life organizations have emerged, such as the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, to coordinate and amplify their advocacy efforts.

Public opinion on the pro-life movement is diverse and often influenced by individual beliefs, values, and personal experiences. The issue of abortion, which lies at the core of the pro-life movement, evokes strong emotions and deeply held convictions on both sides of the debate. Supporters of the pro-life movement argue that every human life, including the unborn, deserves protection and that abortion is morally and ethically wrong. They often emphasize the rights of the unborn child and advocate for legal restrictions on abortion, promoting alternatives such as adoption and increased support for expectant mothers. Opponents of the pro-life movement, on the other hand, emphasize a woman's right to choose and argue for reproductive freedom and autonomy. They believe that decisions about pregnancy and abortion should be made by the individual, free from governmental interference. Public opinion polls on abortion and the pro-life movement have shown a range of perspectives over the years, often reflecting a complex mix of religious, moral, and political beliefs. These opinions can vary based on factors such as age, gender, religion, and political affiliation.

The topic of the pro-life movement is important to write an essay about due to its significant impact on society, ethics, and individual rights. It encompasses a complex and deeply divisive issue: abortion. Exploring the pro-life movement allows for an in-depth examination of the philosophical, moral, and legal arguments surrounding the right to life and the autonomy of pregnant individuals. Writing an essay on the pro-life movement provides an opportunity to delve into the historical, cultural, and religious factors that have shaped this movement. It allows for an exploration of the various perspectives, ranging from religious and moral beliefs to legal and political considerations. Additionally, the pro-life movement intersects with other relevant topics such as healthcare, women's rights, reproductive justice, and public policy. Furthermore, the pro-life movement is a subject of ongoing debate and activism, with its implications reaching beyond national borders. Analyzing this topic enables a critical examination of social attitudes, legislation, and the influence of grassroots organizations and interest groups.

1. A Gallup poll conducted in 2020 found that 46% of Americans identified as "pro-life," indicating their belief in the sanctity of life and opposition to abortion. 2. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization focused on reproductive health, in 2017, 58% of women obtaining abortions in the United States identified as religiously affiliated, with 17% identifying as Catholic and 27% as Protestant. 3. The pro-life movement has witnessed significant legislative efforts across different states. As of 2021, more than 20 states in the United States have enacted laws restricting abortion access, including mandatory waiting periods, gestational age limits, and regulations on abortion providers.

1. Guttmacher Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from 2. National Right to Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from 3. Americans United for Life (AUL). (n.d.). Retrieved from 4. Pew Research Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from 5. Pro-Life Action League. (n.d.). Retrieved from 6. National Abortion Federation (NAF). (n.d.). Retrieved from 7. National Right to Life News. (n.d.). Retrieved from 8. Journal of Medical Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved from 9. Family Research Council (FRC). (n.d.). Retrieved from 10. National Catholic Register. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Focus on the Family

After Roe , moms and babies are still at risk of abortion. Give Hope! DOUBLE YOUR GIFT

Focus on the Family

Pro-Life Arguments Explained – Part 1

  • By Lauren Roman
  • February 24, 2022

Two women stand debating pro-life arguments.

Abortion has always been a contentious issue. We encounter and engage people with a variety of deeply held beliefs. Every Christian needs to understand fundamental pro-life arguments and be ready to speak truth with love .

We can passionately argue against abortion while treating people with love and respect. And we must . Regardless of a person’s actions, choices or beliefs, we are not against them . Rather, we are against abortion .

Winning hearts for Christ is infinitely more important than “winning” an argument. In any situation, as we argue for life and against abortion, this is our foundation: we are pro-life and pro- love .

What Are the Top Pro-Life Arguments?

The pro-choice arguments we encounter often revolve around women’s “constitutional right to abortion.” Most on the pro-life side need to better understand why abortion is not a constitutional right before we can address this argument effectively. We’ll unpack this in Part 2 of Pro-Life Arguments Explained .

The heart of the issue isn’t the law. The reality of human life – when does it start, why does it matter – is what determines the interpretation of our legal rights.

A quote from former abortionist, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, saying fewer women would have abortions if wombs had windows.

The Science is Certain: Human Life Begins at Conception

Pro-life arguments stand firm on the biology of the human life cycle. Science focuses on objective information, not religious, political, philosophical or personal beliefs. For this reason, many of the pro-choice people you engage with may not share your faith or biblical worldview. So, start with the facts.

A scientific survey of Americans asked who they believe is most qualified to decide when human life begins. Of five choices – biologists, philosophers, religious leaders, Supreme Court Justices or voters – 80% of participants viewed biologists as the best authority to determine when life begins.

Subsequently, more than 5,000 biologists from academic institutions worldwide were surveyed to answer this question. 96% of biologists affirmed that human life begins at fertilization.

This is a compelling fact for pro-life arguments. The point at which human cells become a human being is central to the abortion debate. The biological truth is clear.

When an egg and sperm cell join, the two become one. It’s called a zygote, a single cell with a unique genetic code. Scientists definitively classify organisms by their DNA. A biologist asked to identify an unknown zygote would turn to genetics. That single cell has the same DNA as the adult organism – is this zygote Homo Sapiens or Pteromys Volans ?

Pteromys Volans happens to be a Siberian flying squirrel. How could a biologist determine a specimen’s exact species? That’s right: DNA.

Related Article: Science vs. Bible: When Does Life Begin?

The Moral Imperative: Human Life Has Innate Value

Upon conception, a Homo sapiens zygote exists. But is it a person ? Are all people equally valuable?

Every human being is precious to God. Jesus made that clear on the cross! Every person is an image-bearer of God Himself – even before birth. As Psalm 139:13-14 explains (NLT):

13  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body      and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!      Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

A woman expressing her pro-life views because she believes in science and in scripture.

Pro-Life Arguments and Christian Beliefs

A biblical exposition on the value of human life would take far more space than we have here. Pro-life arguments are typically more persuasive if they don’t stand on religious morality. Many pro-choicers disregard faith-based arguments against abortion.

We can reframe the moral question with a hypothetical scenario. Suppose an omniscient philosopher presents a man with two zygotes: one Homo Sapiens , one unidentified. This man must choose which one will live. He thinks, “The world’s already overpopulated… a single cell can’t feel pain… let’s see what the other one turns out to be.” It’s decided.

The philosopher then reveals the human zygote would have grown into a woman who became a medical researcher and discovered a cure for cancer. The woman’s life would’ve saved countless people from terrible suffering, grief and death!

Does that change the equation? Is the human zygote now more worthy of life? This fantastical scenario illustrates the pro-life saying:

"Each Unborn Life Isn't a Potential Person – It's a Person With Potential"

We all know it doesn’t take extraordinary accomplishments for a person’s life to matter. Generally, people instinctively know that preserving life is right and taking life is wrong.

If murder laws were repealed, would most people suddenly decide it’s acceptable to take the life of any person they choose? Of course not!

Objective Truth is a Slippery Slope

We have a human conscience that guides our morality. I would argue the basis for conscience is objective truth, which requires a source of objective truth – i.e., God. Without conscience, human existence devolves into Lord of the Flies .

There’s no definitive “good” or “evil” without objective truth – people live to dominate or be dominated. The value of each person is subjective, determined by those in power. Their calculus is self-interest, i.e., “Does this person enhance or detract from my enjoyment of life?”

Fortunately, that is not our reality. People generally believe that compelling justification is needed to take a life with moral impunity. The reasoning may be circumstantial (e.g., self-defense), or it may hinge on the other person’s state of being, as it does for abortion and euthanasia. Many justify these practices based on a person’s degree of development, decline or infringement on other people’s rights. But this is a dangerous slippery slope.

Who Can Rightly Assess a Person's Worthiness to Live? By What Criteria?

If the assessment is up to society, the results may preserve life or promote death. Consider the unintended consequences of China’s 35-year One Child policy. The socio-economic factors of Chinese culture have historically made male children more desirable than females. Many couples decided their child must be a son to preserve the family.

Once technology allowed parents to learn the sex of a preborn child, tens of millions of girls were aborted. This horrific tragedy created a massive gender imbalance. As of 2021, there are approximately 35 million more Chinese men than women. And this societal crisis adversely affects more than 1 billion people.

A quote graphic of a child beneath a Scott Klusendorf quote on preborn children mattering.

Selective and Elective Abortion

Ironically, many pro-choice advocates oppose selective abortion while supporting elective abortion.

In a 2014 press release , a prominent abortion provider decried the proposed “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.” Although the bill was intended to prevent selective abortion (based on gender, race, etc.), they declared it a veiled threat to reproductive rights. The same release unequivocally stated: “ We oppose sex selection abortion.”

So, it’s wrong to take a life based on sex or race, but acceptable if the mother’s reason is… anything else ? This is logically untenable!

The Pro-Choice Argument Can't Be Both

One cannot advocate for unrestricted abortion access while morally condemning sex-selective abortion.

Our human way of life, underpinned by common morality, testifies that every person has inherent value. We must hold this to be true from conception to natural death. If not, we create “gray areas” that invite unethical abuse of the most vulnerable among us.

We’ll explore this further when examining the legal aspects of “choice” in Part 2 of Pro-Life Arguments Explained .

Related Videos:

  • See Life Episode 1: The Truth About Life
  • Level of Development ≠ Equal Personhood
  • How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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About the Author

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Lauren Roman

Lauren Roman is a truth-telling creative communicator and irrepressible encourager! She speaks, sings, and writes with bold transparency, motivating others to pursue true freedom in Christ. Lauren’s acting background (All My Children, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nashville, Grace Unplugged) shines through her entertaining style, captivating diverse audiences. With the humility and humor of a “recovering perfectionist,” she shares practical biblical insights that inspire us to put faith into action! Lauren’s debut children’s book ThinkGood, BeGood! arrives in the Summer of 2023. Learn more and order at .

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A significant aspect of advocating for the pro-life movement involves engaging and educating others with compassion and truth. Often, we think this means rallying against

pro life essay with facts

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“Precious Life”- A Pro-Life Essay by Ashley Osbahr, first-place winner in junior category of Pro-Life Essay Contest

Precious Life

Pro-life. What does that mean? Pro-life to me, means that I believe that a new human life is created at the moment of conception and has the same rights as any other human, therefore abortion is wrong. I have three reasons why I am pro-life. First and foremost, I am a Christian. I am pro-life simply because God wants me to be. Secondly, I believe any human life taken intentionally is modern day human sacrifice. Third, is that I have lost a sibling while he or she was only weeks old and know the heartache of a lost life.

The number one reason I am pro-life is because God is in charge of life and death. He did not create us to do this for him. In the Ten Commandments, God tells us “thou shalt not kill.” Yet millions of unborn babies are killed every year worldwide. We are created in the image of God. “We” means everyone – big or small, young or old, disabled or not. God created us all.

The second reason I am pro-life is that ending a human life by abortion is modern day human sacrifice. In studying ancient history, I learned that humans were killed as sacrifices to false idols. Now we “sacrifice” our unborn children to our modern idols such as money, self-desires and convenience. People are taught that children are expensive, a burden to carry and will prevent them from pursuing their own dreams. All people are to be treasured and motherhood received as a gift from the Lord.

Not only am I pro-life for the reasons above, but I have also seen first hand how precious life is even when it is small. When I was around ten years old, my mom was pregnant and we had already seen the baby’s heartbeat on ultrasound. Sadly, when the baby was only eleven weeks old, my mom had a miscarriage. She had the baby at home and even though the baby was smaller than my thumb, I could see that it was a human being. The baby had arms, legs, eyes, ears and a nose. I knew this baby was a true gift, made by God. Since then, my family has been blessed with two more children and I have realized that no matter how small, babies are a gift from the Lord.

In conclusion, the three reasons that make me pro-life are God, knowing that abortion is human sacrifice, and how much I still love my lost sibling. I believe as our founding fathers did when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” All human life, born or unborn, has value. It is time we all start respecting and protecting it.

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Comparison/Contrast Essays: Two Patterns


First Pattern: Block-by-Block

By Rory H. Osbrink

Abortion is an example of a very controversial issue. The two opposing viewpoints surrounding abortion are like two sides of a coin. On one side, there is the pro-choice activist and on the other is the pro-life activist.

The argument is a balanced one; for every point supporting abortion there is a counter-point condemning abortion. This essay will delineate the controversy in one type of comparison/contrast essay form: the “”Argument versus Argument,”” or, “”Block-by-Block”” format. In this style of writing, first you present all the arguments surrounding one side of the issue, then you present all the arguments surrounding the other side of the issue. You are generally not expected to reach a conclusion, but simply to present the opposing sides of the argument.

Introduction: (the thesis is underlined) Explains the argument

The Abortion Issue: Compare and Contrast Block-by-Block Format

One of the most divisive issues in America is the controversy surrounding abortion. Currently, abortion is legal in America, and many people believe that it should remain legal. These people, pro-choice activists, believe that it is the women’s right to chose whether or not to give birth. However, there are many groups who are lobbying Congress to pass laws that would make abortion illegal. These people are called the pro-life activists.

Explains pro-choice

Abortion is a choice that should be decided by each individual, argues the pro-choice activist. Abortion is not murder since the fetus is not yet fully human, therefore, it is not in defiance against God. Regardless of the reason for the abortion, it should be the woman’s choice because it is her body. While adoption is an option some women chose, many women do not want to suffer the physical and emotional trauma of pregnancy and labor only to give up a child. Therefore, laws should remain in effect that protect a woman’s right to chose.

Explains pro-life

Abortion is an abomination, argues the pro-life activist. It makes no sense for a woman to murder a human being not even born. The bible says, “”Thou shalt not kill,”” and it does not discriminate between different stages of life. A fetus is the beginning of life. Therefore, abortion is murder, and is in direct defiance of God’s will. Regardless of the mother’s life situation (many women who abort are poor, young, or drug users), the value of a human life cannot be measured. Therefore, laws should be passed to outlaw abortion. After all, there are plenty of couples who are willing to adopt an unwanted child.

If we take away the woman’s right to chose, will we begin limiting her other rights also? Or, if we keep abortion legal, are we devaluing human life? There is no easy answer to these questions. Both sides present strong, logical arguments. Though it is a very personal decision, t he fate of abortion rights will have to be left for the Supreme Court to decide.

Second Pattern: Point-by-Point

This second example is also an essay about abortion. We have used the same information and line of reasoning in this essay, however, this one will be presented in the “”Point-by-Point”” style argument. The Point-by-Point style argument presents both sides of the argument at the same time. First, you would present one point on a specific topic, then you would follow that up with the opposing point on the same topic. Again, you are generally not expected to draw any conclusions, simply to fairly present both sides of the argument.

Introduction: (the thesis is underlined)

Explains the argument

The Abortion Issue: Compare and Contrast Point-by-Point Format

Point One: Pro-life and Pro-choice

Supporters of both pro-life and pro-choice refer to religion as support for their side of the argument. Pro-life supporters claim that abortion is murder, and is therefore against God’s will. However, pro-choice defenders argue that abortion is not murder since the fetus is not yet a fully formed human. Therefore, abortion would not be a defiance against God.

Point Two: Pro-life and Pro-choice

Another main point of the argument is over the woman’s personal rights, versus the rights of the unborn child. Pro-choice activists maintain that regardless of the individual circumstances, women should have the right to chose whether or not to abort. The pregnancy and labor will affect only the woman’s body, therefore it should be the woman’s decision. Pro-life supporters, on the other hand, believe that the unborn child has the right to life, and that abortion unlawfully takes away that right.

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Abortion Facts

From the Alan Guttmacher Institute

  • 862,320 abortions were committed in the U.S. in 2017.
  • As of 2016 , there are 186 abortions per 1,000 live births (about 1 in 5). This means for every five people, there is one missing because of abortion.
  • 18% of pregnancies end in abortion.
  • 46% of abortions are committed on women less than 25 years of age. That breaks down to 12% on adolescents, and 34% on women ages 20-24.
  • Approximately 1/4 of American women have had an abortion by age 45.
  • Abortion disproportionately affects black and Hispanic women. Black women make up 13% of the population, yet obtain 30% of the abortions.

View more non-graphic educational videos about abortion procedures from former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino HERE .

Dilation & Curettage (D&C) Used through the 12th week. After dilation of the cervix, a curette is inserted into the uterus. The baby’s body is cut into pieces and extracted, often by suction. The uterine wall is then scraped to remove the placenta and confirm that the uterus is empty.

pro life essay with facts

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) Committed up to 18 weeks. Forceps are inserted into the uterus, grabbing and twisting the baby’s body to dismember him/her. If the head is too large, it must be crushed in order to remove it.

pro life essay with facts

Dilation and Extraction (D&X or Partial Birth Abortion) Committed in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. The cervix is dilated. Forceps extract the live baby by the feet until the head is just inside the cervix. Scissors then puncture the skull, allowing the abortionist to collapse it by suctioning out the contents. The dead baby is then fully removed from the mother.

Hysterotomy Used in the last three months of pregnancy. The womb is entered by a surgical incision in the abdominal wall, similar to a Caesarean section. However, the umbilical cord is usually cut while the baby is still in the womb, cutting off the oxygen supply and causing suffocation. Sometimes, though, the baby is delivered alive and left unattended to die.

Intracardial Injection Performed at about four months. The chemical digoxin is injected into the baby’s heart, causing immediate death. The dead baby’s body is then reabsorbed by the mother. This method is often used as “pregnancy reduction” when a mother carrying multiples wants fewer children.

Prostaglandin Committed during the second half of pregnancy. A hormone-like compound is injected into the muscle of the uterus causing intense contractions and pushing out the baby. The violent contractions often crush the baby to death, though many babies have been born alive using this procedure, then left to die.

RU-486 Known as chemical/medical abortion. Used through the seventh week of pregnancy, RU-486 is a synthetic steroid that blocks the hormone progesterone. Women then take a second drug, prostaglandin to induce contractions and expel the dead baby.  Ella , another abortion drug which is falsely labeled as birth control, works in the same way.

Saline Injection Usually committed during months four through seven. A 20% salt solution (the normal salt solution is .9%) is injected through the mother’s abdomen into the baby’s amniotic fluid. The baby ingests the solution and dies of salt poisoning, dehydration, and hemorrhaging of the brain. The baby’s skin is burned off. A dead or dying baby is delivered. A baby born alive is usually left unattended to die, though some have survived.   Gianna Jessen  is a survivor of a saline abortion.

Suction Abortion After dilation of the cervix, a suction curette (a tube with a serrated tip) is inserted into the uterus. The strong suction (29 times the power of a household vacuum cleaner) tears the baby’s body apart and sucks it through the hose into a container. This is the most common method of abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Heart Attack Abortion Late-term abortion is a multi-day procedure and is typically done through a lethal injection of Digoxin. On the first day, the woman will go into the abortion facility to begin the dilation process with seaweed sticks called laminaria. These sticks naturally expand after placement, and they allow access to the baby. The abortionist will then use an extremely long needle to inject Digoxin into the fetus’s heart, which will cause a cardiac arrest (commonly known as a heart attack).

On the second day, the woman will continue to be artificially dilated while still carrying the dead fetus. She will be administered Misoprostol, the drug to stimulate labor. There may also  be a second injection of Digoxin.    On the third or fourth day, the mother will deliver the dead child.


Medical Complications

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Incomplete abortion
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Scarring of the uterine lining
  • Uterine perforation
  • Damage to internal organs

Psychological Complications

  • Eating disorders
  • Relationship problems
  • Flashbacks of the abortion
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

Higher Risk of These Issues Later :

  • Breast cancer  
  • Cervical, ovarian, and liver cancer
  • Placenta previa
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Endometritis
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Click here for more on Abortion Risks.


Unraveling the Science Behind the Pro-Life Movement: A Comprehensive Introduction

pro life essay with facts

  • By: McKenzie Hammons
  • Thought Leadership

With an abundance of information at our fingertips, the science behind the pro-life argument has never been more understood than it is today.

Women can now learn more about their pregnancy than their grandmothers ever could. The information we know now was not readily available to the average woman of the Roe generation. Scientific discoveries, technological advancements, and increased access to new information all point to the sanctity of human life.

For example, the use of fetal ultrasound machines only started to become more widely used in the 1970s, changing the way women were able to connect with their preborn babies. Science continually validates the humanization of preborn lives, favoring the pro-life argument.

Introduction to Pro-Life Science

People look to science to give them insight on topics like the mental health ramifications of women post-abortion, the biology of fetal development, whether fetuses can feel pain, the physical and emotional effects of abortion on women during and after various abortion procedures, and more.

Religious, moral, and ethical arguments can be better amplified through science. Although we are living in a time where objective truth is offensive to many, perhaps biological and scientific fact can grip the hearts of those swayed by the world’s confusion

Defining pro-life: Terminology and perspectives

When discussing the pro-life movement, it’s essential to understand the terminology and various perspectives that exist. Pro-life refers to the belief that a fetus has a right to life, and thus, abortion should be restricted or prohibited.

The opposing view, pro-choice, advocates for a woman’s right to choose whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. While some may identify as pro-choice, not all would advocate for unlimited abortions.

The relevance of science in the pro-life debate

Science plays a crucial role in the pro-life debate by providing evidence-based information on fetal development, abortion procedures, and their consequences. This knowledge is vital in shaping informed opinions and promoting constructive dialogue.

pro life essay with facts

Fetal Development & Viability

The life of a preborn baby is often described in a way that minimizes its value. Because if we avoid humanizing fetuses, abortion is deemed okay. The PR machines of the abortion industry try to justify the horrendous acts it commits, yet many are ignorant of the reality of fetal development.

The preborn heart begins beating and pumping blood in the earliest stages of heart development, between 21 and 24 days after conception. Thankfully the Texas Heartbeat Law brought national attention to this fact. The heart is the first organ to function in a human embryo, as it pumps blood to create rapid growth.

Milestones in fetal growth

While a pregnancy may be callously referred to as a “clump of cells” by some, a fetus (defined in the dictionary as an unborn baby) is not a mere ball of tissue.

First, a fertilized egg is considered a germinal that becomes an embryo that quickly becomes a rapidly developing fetus.

Fetal development progresses through various milestones:

1. Fertilization : The sperm and egg unite, forming a zygote.

2. Implantation : The zygote attaches to the uterine wall, becoming an embryo.

3. Organogenesis : The embryo’s organs start to develop.

4. Fetal stage : After 10 weeks, the embryo becomes a fetus and continues growing and developing.

Ph.D. Andréa Becker found it interesting how little public attention is given to fetal development in all stages of pregnancy. Becker examined countless research papers, pondering how various groups define and refer to the fetus. Becker found that one, “Abortion provider and scholar Lisa Harris (2008, 2019) describes acknowledging that abortion ends potential life, especially once a fetus starts to resemble a small baby. This is both danger talk and one of the ˜things we cannot say’ in abortion care.”

Abortion providers know that humanizing the life they’re terminating affects their bottom line, so they must be careful to maintain ambivalence and sterile boundaries to avoid mothers creating emotional connections to their children.

The viability debate: When does life begin?

Some argue that life starts at conception, while others believe it commences at a later stage, such as when the preborn baby can potentially survive outside the womb. This discussion has significant implications for the pro-life movement and informs legislative decisions on abortion restrictions.

A new scientific discovery found that the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg, light is emitted in the womb. Scientific Reports describes the light as an explosion of zinc fireworks, the signature that life is formed.

God is in even the smallest of details. John 1:4-5 says, “In Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (NKJV). God stamps his signature at the moment of our creation, marked by light. This is

scientific evidence that even at the earliest stage of gestation, preborn life is precious and should be protected.

But, what does a biologist say when life begins? Americans are no longer unified under the logical consensus that human life begins at fertilization as “only 38% of Americans view fertilization as the starting point of a human’s life.” Another study found that 45% of Americans believe life beginning at conception is a “philosophical or religious belief,” not rooted in biological and scientific fact.

Biologists from 1,058 academic institutions were surveyed, and 96% affirmed that life begins at fertilization. Perhaps the other 4% decided to leave objective truth up to personal opinion and feeling.

Abortion Procedures and Their Impact

Depending on what stage of development the baby is in, abortion procedures vary.

Common abortion methods

Abortion methods vary depending on the stage of pregnancy and include:

Medication abortion (AKA the abortion pill)

Drugs like mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. First mifepristone starves the baby of nutrients. However, if the abortion reversal pill, progesterone, is administered, then the effects of the mifepristone can be countered to save the baby. After the first pill, misoprostol is taken to force contractions to expel the dead or dying baby.

Vacuum aspiration abortion (D&C) Typically this method is performed up to 14 weeks gestation. A suction device removes the baby along with the placenta. Then other tools are used to scrape the lining of the uterus to ensure all baby parts are expelled so that infection should not occur. At this stage in pregnancy, a baby’s nerve cells have developed rapidly, and the baby can respond to touch.

Dilation and evacuation (D&E)

A combination of suction and surgical tools removes the fetus and placenta after 16 weeks. This procedure is used during a second trimester or late-term abortion. First, the cervix must be dilated for one to two days to prepare for the evacuation procedure. Suction is used to vacuum out the placenta, but unlike earlier abortion methods, the baby is too big to fit through the suction instrument. The baby must be removed in pieces with a clamp.

Complications from this procedure may include uterine perforation, cervical laceration, infection hemorrhage, maternal death, and future pregnancy complications.

The physical and emotional consequences

Abortion can have both physical and emotional consequences. Physical risks include uterine perforation, cervical laceration, infection hemorrhage, maternal death, and future pregnancy complications.

Emotional effects are highly individual and can range from relief to regret, guilt, or depression. A new retrospective study found that:

● “Only wanted abortions were associated with positive emotions or mental health gains.

● All other groups attributed more negative emotions and mental health outcomes to their abortions.

● Sixty percent reported they would have preferred to give birth if they had received more support from others or had more financial security.”

Ethical Considerations in the Pro-Life Debate

Although some proudly share their abortion story, other pro-choice advocates simply believe abortion is a necessary evil. While they acknowledge abortion ends a human life, they believe a woman’s right to choose is more important than the life of a nameless fetus.

The retrospective study surveyed women with a history of abortion and found that 43% believed abortion is inconsistent with their values and preferences. However, they elected for the abortion anyway.

Another study showed that 58.3% of the women who went through with an abortion, did so to satify others (family, partner, etc.) and 66% of the women who had an abortion believed they were making a mistake in having the abortion.

Moral arguments for pro-life views

Pro-life supporters often argue that life begins at conception and that abortion is morally wrong because it ends an innocent life. Some base their views on religious beliefs, while others argue from a philosophical standpoint.

There is a misconception that to be pro-life is to be religious, and that pro-life activists are just pushing their religious views. The Secular Pro-Life organization says, “You don’t have to be religious to have a problem with killing humans.” A preborn baby is a human life, and human life is valuable and deserving of protection.

Balancing women’s rights and fetal rights

The pro-life debate involves the complex task of balancing women’s rights to bodily autonomy and reproductive choice with the rights of the fetus. While pro-life advocates prioritize the baby’s right to life, pro-choice supporters emphasize the importance of a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and life circumstances.

pro life essay with facts

Legal Aspects of the Pro-Life Movement

Legislation, politics, and social opinion are all impacted by scientific fact as a basis of understanding. Significant court cases and legislation have shaped the legal landscape surrounding abortion.

Key court cases and legislation

In the United States, the landmark case of Roe v. Wade in 1973 established a woman’s legal right to abortion. However, subsequent cases and legislation have modified and limited access to abortion services because of the scientific facts that the case was founded on.

Roe v. Wade was based on fetal viability being understood to be around 28 weeks gestation. As science has progressed, younger babies can survive outside the womb. The age of fetal viability is still heavily debated. Yet, the logic of Roe stood on faulty grounds wherein the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case could challenge the ruling’s validity. This new landmark decision interpreted that the Constitution of the United States does not grant a right to abortion.

The Role of Education in Shaping Opinions

Often when people are presented with the full picture of what abortion really is, they change their minds. Understanding the intricate details of fetal development humanizes the baby, points to a Creator, and convicts hearts. Becoming aware of the brutality of the various forms of abortion procedures changes perspectives too. They are not simple, standard procedures—they can have lasting physical and emotional effects.

PreBorn! Network Clinics discuss with women about abortion, adoption, and parenting. The Clinics explain the abortion procedures at their various stages so that women are informed of what will happen to their bodies, and their preborn babies, if they were to visit an abortuary to go through with the procedure.

The pro-life message is that a fetus is a life, and it is a human life, deserving the right to life just as much as any of us. We are living in the information age, and technology makes it easier than ever to comprehend the humanity of preborn lives, mimicking each stage of fetal development.

Pregnant moms can track, in real-time, all of the rapid changes their baby is undergoing week by week during pregnancy.

While information is more readily available, we also live in a deceived generation that prefers subjective truth to scientific fact. Women vulnerable to abortion need compassionate lovers of Jesus to speak truth and love into their lives, empowering them to choose life.

PreBorn! Network Clinics offer vital support services for pregnant women, such as prenatal care, counseling, financial assistance, and parenting classes to help women make informed decisions about their pregnancies and access resources that may encourage them to consider alternatives to abortion.



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Why Data Breaches Spiked in 2023

  • Stuart Madnick

pro life essay with facts

And what companies can do to better secure users’ personal information.

In spite of recent efforts to beef up cybersecurity, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023. There are three primary reasons behind this increased theft of personal data: (1) cloud misconfiguration, (2) new types of ransomware attacks, and (3) increased exploitation of vendor systems. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact of each of these factors.

For many years, organizations have struggled to protect themselves from cyberattacks: companies, universities, and government agencies have expended enormous amounts of resources to secure themselves. But in spite of those efforts, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023 . Some of the trends around this uptick are disturbing. For example, globally, there were twice the number of victims in 2023 compared to 2022, and in the Middle East, ransomware gang activity increased by 77% in that same timeframe.

  • Stuart Madnick  is the John Norris Maguire (1960) Professor of Information Technologies in the MIT Sloan School of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems in the MIT School of Engineering, and Director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS): the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. He has been active in the cybersecurity field since co-authoring the book Computer Security in 1979.

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