Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
As Evangelicals committed to the sanctity of human life from conception to death, we need to be prepared to respond to questions we receive when asked about our commitment to being pro-life, all of life for the whole of life. It is a privilege to be able to speak this truth and to speak on behalf of the weakest and most vulnerable of humanity. Truly God is the God of the living, which means our doctrine and ethic is committed to the same – life.
There is also another important side to a defense of our pro-life position. Not only do we engage in “defensive” apologetics, i.e., we respond to the questions raised against our position, but we also engage in “offensive” apologetics in which we ask those who are pro-choice to defend their position.
Trevin Wax raised this matter in a recent blog post. During election seasons, pro-life candidates often get asked numerous questions about their positions, and they often consist of the hard cases. This should be expected, and responses should be given respectfully. But Wax points out that seldom, if ever, are pro-choice candidates asked about their position, much less the hard cases. Wax writes the following:
Here are 10 questions you never hear a pro-choice candidate asked by the media:
- You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any restrictions you would approve of?
- In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?
- In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?
- If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?
- Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement of a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?
- Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?
- Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?
- You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical procedures?
- Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?
- If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?
Trevin Wax, “10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate is Never Asked by the Media,” Kingdom People blog (October 24, 2012)