The Pro-Choice Language Pro-Lifers Need to Drop

“Have I really been sending mixed messages about when life begins?” Mary asked herself as she drove home from her coworker’s baby shower.

Mary looked at her two kids through the rearview mirror and remembered the “Repeal Roe v. Wade” bumper sticker she had displayed on the back of her minivan. Mary bit her lip and continued to mull over a comment a pro-life friend had made at the shower.

“I wish Christians would stop using ‘parent-to-be’ labels,” Mary’s friend had whispered as a “mommy-to-be” sash was draped over the guest of honor. “It sends such a poor message about life in the womb.”

Mary had never thought of this before. She considered herself to be as pro-life as they come, but she also knew she’d used the terms “mommy-to-be” and “daddy-to-be” at baby showers, gender-reveal parties, and in celebratory comments for ultrasound pictures posted on social media.

Now, she was questioning whether such language squared with her belief that life begins at fertilization.

“To be” or not “to be?” That’s the question

Mary’s concerns are well-founded. “Parent-to-be” language for expectant families is inconsistent with a worldview that seeks to honor life before birth.

Logic states if a pregnant woman is a “mommy-to-be,” what she is carrying must be a “child-to-be.” And if this were the case, why would pro-lifers be surprised when parents consider aborting someone they’ve been told isn’t yet a person?

Sadly, a “parent-to-be” label communicates that parenthood, and thus personhood, isn’t achieved until after a child’s birth. This message runs counter to a biblically informed ethic that claims life begins at fertilization — a belief grounded in passages such as Psalm 51:5Isaiah 44:2Psalm 139:13-14 and Luke 1:4144.

Since “mommy-to-be” and “daddy-to-be” language sends a mixed message to the world, those who believe life begins at fertilization may want to retire the terminology. This is especially true considering the ambiguity that overshadows some Americans’ claim to be pro-life.

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Source: Baptist Press