A Debate: Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice

By Caitlin Fredericks
Shield Staff


Since 1973, Roe v. Wade has granted women privileges to determine whether to terminate or carry pregnancies, and although my convictions differ from those of the pro-choice or atheist, I am still open to evaluating both sides of the issue.

Pro-Life Beliefs

As a Catholic Christian, I understand that many pro-lifers base their morality off the Bible and its teachings. Many who profess this faith are familiar with Genesis 1:27 and Jeremiah 1:5, and I believe that God is trying to portray the message that life has intrinsic value. When God reminds in Genesis 1:27 “he created male and female in his image,” he also states in Jeremiah 1:5 that he “knew us while forming us in our mother’s wombs.” Based on these contexts, Catholics tend to believe that God established a relationship and a purpose for each of them prior to their births, and desires that we serve him through our gifts and talents.

Pro-Choice Beliefs 

Meanwhile and from a differing perspective, those of the pro-choice belief may still base their morality on Christianity and the Bible, but believe that life does not begin at conception, or until an infant takes their first breath.Throughout Numbers 3:39-40, it states “the Lord said to Moses, count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names.” Likewise, the passage in Genesis 2:7 states “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”Therefore, regardless of whether atheists share the same pro-choice belief that life does not begin at conception, and only begins after the first breath is taken, it is justifiable to argue that the definition of when life begins is subjective to what each individual person believes.

Pro-Life Argument: Amniocentesis Test

In another matter, pro-lifers will generally reject the notion of aborting based on the knowledge that their child may possess a deadly genetic disease, or be determined as incompatible with life. According to Merriam Webster, “amniocentesis is defined as a medical procedure that enables doctors to sample a fetus’s amniotic fluid to screen for developmental abnormalities in the womb.” When Life Site News published Colleen Abbott’s story dealing with inaccurate genetic testing, Abbott aborted only to discover in the chromosomal records that “a secretary had mistakenly typed “XY” instead of “XX” in the gender field, and that no defects were present in the fetus’s autopsy." Therefore, pro-lifers will argue that amniocentesis tests are prone to medical errors, and that’s it’s still possible to abort a wanted, viable and healthy pregnancy.

Pro-Choice Argument: Not Equipped to Bring Child Into World

On the other hand, the pro-choice and the atheist movement may base their debate on the idea that they are not equipped to bring a child into the world that may require special needs, suffer or die shortly after their birth. According to an article published on the National Journal, "parents Jill and Iain Kelly are speaking out after being forced to abandon legal action against the medical professionals who did not inform them of the extent of their son, Dylan's disabilities, or the pain he would suffer." Their son, who was born "with severe Micrognathia, a condition which causes an undersized jaw and acute breathing difficulty, admit they wish they would have aborted, because they didn't want a child who wasn't going to be able to ride a bike and do the things that normal children do." Therefore, the Kelly's and others of the pro-choice movement would debate that the quality of life is more important, than seeing a child suffer with a life-threatening breathing disorder.

Pro-Life or Pro-Choice is a Personal Conviction

            Regardless of whether individuals identify as Christians or atheists, pro-life or pro-choice, is a personal conviction. My motive in writing this piece is not to judge, but to inform. Although abortion may remain one of the most controversial and debated issues of our time, it is only when we begin to listen to the voices of society, that we begin to understand their values, and learn to reevaluate our own beliefs to consider both perspectives.