One of the best quotes I have heard in a while came from Mother Teresa: “The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.” I think this gets at the heart of what it means to be pro-life. Pro-life doesn’t just mean abortion; pro-life begins with the desire to preserve life. And, if the desire to end life begins with those who are closest to us, at what point will it stop.
I think that there is a misconception, or maybe an incomplete understanding, of what it means to be pro-life. When people tell me they’re anti-abortion, I think how wonderful that is. But, where does this person stand on violence? Poverty? The death penalty? If being pro-life stems from the urge to take another life, how can we say that it is okay to take away this life but it’s not okay to take away that life? How can we justify war in the Middle East but say people killing each other in our neighborhoods is okay? And, if we value human life so much, why are we not concerned with homelessness or people starving? Does life lose its sacredness after we leave the womb?
Abortion is rooted in the issue of violence. And, as Greg Boyd has said, “Abortion is predicated on the pervasive, fallen, anti-Christian assumption that violence solves things.” The issue of violence around the world stems from what Mother Teresa said, a destroyer of peace. If Christians are under the assumption that violence is okay elsewhere, how can we declare ourselves to be a people of peace, following the prince of peace? If we don’t value life everywhere, we don’t value life anywhere, we can’t call ourselves pro-life.