Is there a pro-life evangelical argument for Biden?

Pro-life demonstrators hold up signs during the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24, 2020.
Pro-life demonstrators hold up signs during the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 24, 2020. | The Christian Post

The Christian Post fully endorses the conviction that whichever candidate a pro-life voter chooses to support in the electoral process is a matter of individual conscience. However, while people are certainly entitled to their own opinion they are not entitled to their own facts. When a guest opinion article employs arguments that severely lack factual context, The Christian Post believes it has a journalistic responsibility to its readers to provide that context and perspective in order to help our readers to decide for themselves the best way to express their pro-life convictions in the voting booth.

Recently a group of pro-life evangelicals, some of them noted biblical scholars, argued in favor of voting Joe Biden into the White House in November, asserting “as pro-life evangelicals, we disagree with Vice President Biden and the Democratic platform on the issue of abortion. But we believe that a biblically shaped commitment to the sanctity of human life compels us to a consistent ethic of life that affirms the sanctity of human life from beginning to end.“

Certainly every Christian in America has the constitutional freedom to weigh the panoply of issues confronting America and to vote Democrat or Republican accordingly. Moreover, expanding the concept of sanctity of life to encompass pre-birth to death, the so-called “ethic of life” as described by this group, is a worthy biblical exercise.

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The group cites four examples of Democratic post-birth policies that outweigh their opposition on Roe v. Wade. But do these examples really outweigh the fact that more than 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973? Let’s take a closer look.

Their first example of a “consistent ethic” concerns the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief. PEPFAR is a highly successful international program launched by President George W. Bush that seeks to fight AIDS through fundamental improvement of healthcare in developing countries. The program has enjoyed bipartisan support ever since it was implemented and has already saved an estimated 17 million lives. The pro-life for Biden group asserts that a proposed $800 million Trump administration cut to the program is a sanctity of life issue.

What the group doesn’t point out is the fact that other first world countries have stepped up coordination with PEPFAR as a result of Trump’s overall effort to get other rich nations to shoulder their fair share of humanitarian aid. According to then U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Dr. Debra Birx (now of COVID fame), Trump’s proposed budget “has actually helped me in communication with governments to talk about how the expectation of this administration is that our programs become more and more impactful with the dollars we have.” Dr. Birx asserted in a briefing: “In 2009, I think we had 4 to 5 million people on treatment. We now have 15.7 [million]. That doesn’t happen without developing amazing efficiencies and effectiveness.”

The group also doesn’t point out that more than half of the $800 million would be plowed back into domestic AIDS-fighting programs under the Trump budget, including more money to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide additional testing, treatment and prevention services, including the hiring of more public health staff in local jurisdictions. The Trump plan would also add funding to Community Health Centers to boost access to HIV prevention services. In addition, the U.S. Indian Health Service would get more funds for HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This is part of Trump’s policy to bring more focus to Americans in need, while asking other nations to step up their humanitarian aid internationally.

The “pro-life for Biden” group’s other examples are even less compelling. They argue that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is sanctity of life issue, as if the Democrats’ federal option for health care is the only option to save lives and all other health care options, such as Trump policies for more price transparency, consumer-based decisions, and interstate competition, are definite killers. There are legitimate arguments on both sides. It is too simplistic to assert that only one side supports the sanctity of life.

Then the group argues that racism is a killer and that the Trump administration is more racist than a Biden administration would be. They ignore significant Trump efforts to improve the lives of black Americans, including record low unemployment, criminal justice reform (which could have easily passed in previous Democratic administrations), and stable funding for historically black universities. Moreover, a new Federal Reserve report issued late last month reveals that the Trump economy helped improve median wealth for black families by 33 percent and by 65 percent for Hispanic families, compared to only a 3 percent increase for white families, over the same 2016-2019 period. Once again, it is too simple to label one party in this debate virtuous and the other party evil.

In fact, Roe v. Wade is considered to be one of the most racist policies ever adopted in American politics, since five out of every eight aborted babies in the U.S. over the last 47 years were people of color. That’s almost 40 million black citizens! The “pro-life for Biden” group never addresses this.

The last argument, on climate change, is by far the weakest. Picking up on standard climate alarmism language, the group simply calls Trump a denier and argues his energy policies threaten to kill millions. The group ignores any counter arguments, such as those recently voiced by noted environmentalists Bjorn Lomborg (who won the Nobel Peace Prize) and Michael Shellenberger (founder and president of Environmental Progress), that current climate change trends are not apocalyptic and that climate alarmism has done more harm than good. In fact, Shellenberger argues that some global warming may significantly reduce the world’s hunger problem by turning places like Greenland into a productive food-producing region.

So in conclusion, the “pro-life argument for Joe Biden” consists of one problematic half-truth and three well-worn Democratic talking points easily exposed as more bombast than critical political thought.

These four arguments do a poor job countering the fact that Biden-Harris is the most pro-abortion ticket in political history.

Is there a pro-life argument for Joe Biden? We think it’s a hard sell.

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