In a recent New York Times editorial entitled The Anti-Abortion Movement Could Reduce Abortions if It Wanted To, lawyer and journalist Jill Filipovic makes the case that an unhealthy preoccupation with birth control at the expense of limiting abortions exposes some ugly truths about the pro-life movement. According to Filipovic, pro-lifers are more interested in controlling women’s bodies than they are in pursuing measures that reduce the number of abortions, those measures being free access to long-term contraception and comprehensive sex education. Filipovic characterizes “many” pro-life individuals as mistakenly believing that contraception causes an abortion. These same people work to deny access to sex education and family planning, preventing the most vulnerable members of society, those most likely to experience unplanned pregnancies and seek abortions, the ability to use the most effective forms of contraception. The editorial is an oddly argued ad hominem attack. She condemns the prolife movement for not doing things to limit the number of abortions, which she believes are a fundamental right for all women and a good thing she has no interest in limiting. In an amazing coincidence, the measures most likely to serve the pro-life cause of reducing abortion happen to line up with the author’s own agenda for free contraception and progressive ideas on sex education. At our best, the pro-life community champions a clear message. Every human being ought to be treated with dignity and respect. Human beings are the imago Dei, the image-bearers of God. The embryonic and fetal humans are one of us and establishing a culture that protects their lives is better for us all. It elevates us to see the most vulnerable members in our community as worthy of our personal sacrifice. It gathers the community to seek creative solutions to life’s most difficult problems rather than seeking a minimally disruptive path that destroys human lives deemed inconvenient. The benefits of a clear and passionate call to respect life are obvious. If we can become convinced to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, the change will immediately protect those most at risk, the unborn, but also those who would destroy the unborn out of fear or selfishness. We endeavor to end abortion because any amount of abortion in our community hurts us all.

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Jay Watts about his online-exclusive article, “Filipovic’s Confused Claim that the Pro-Life Community Must Champion Contraception”.

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