Arguing in defense of pro-life rights


Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

Illustration by Andrea Nebhut

This column is a response to Frannie Kennedy-Long’s column “Arguing in defense of pro-choice rights” published on March 28, 2019.

Kennedy-Long has stated in her article that she does not believe that life begins at conception. To deny that the fetus/embryo/baby — whatever you want to call it — is a human life is to deny basic biology. From the moment of conception, that cell is undeniably human with its own unique set of DNA distinct from its parents. It is alive, and it is human, and therefore it is a human life. Regardless of whether or not you are religious, many people believe that abortion is a human rights issue because of this, hence the advocacy of criminalizing abortion.

“Much of the discussion surrounding abortion has focused on morality. However, political and legal decisions do more than represent our moral beliefs; they impact human lives.” I agree with this statement of Kennedy-Long, but not for the same reasons she implies in her article. The discussions surrounding abortion focus on the morality of the taking of a human life before its birth, and the human lives impacted by political and legal decisions include the human lives of the unborn.

And this brings me to Kennedy-Long’s belief that “there is simply no valid argument for criminalizing abortion.” While criminalizing abortion may not reduce the numbers of abortions, it is a big step in changing how we think about abortion. For example, by recognizing from the scientific basis that the unborn are human and alive, the government can change how we think about abortion in that abortion ends human lives, and more specifically, that abortion is murder and therefore immoral.

I believe that all that was said above are valid reasons for criminalizing abortion.

I also agree with Kennedy-Long that research shows that one of the most effective ways of reducing the number of abortions is through the availability and affordability of birth control. Fortunately, we do not have this problem in the U.S. as the numbers of abortions in the U.S. have already been dropping. That is why the pro-life movement in the U.S. moves toward legislative means.

In regards to Kennedy-Long’s statement that “real solutions address the cause of a problem, not the side effects of it,” I completely and wholeheartedly agree. Criminalizing abortion should not be the only way or main way to advocate pro-life values, and we should target the core of the problem: the unwanted pregnancies themselves. Other means of the pro-life movement include nonprofit pregnancy crisis centers, sidewalk counseling and talking to people on an individual level.

Here is even a link to find pregnancy resource centers nearest you at

A good example of a pregnancy resource center would be A Woman’s Haven right here in San Antonio. They address the crisis directly and help these women up to three years after their pregnancy to help them find jobs, homes, etc. if needed. Their free services include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, maternity and baby clothing assistance and pregnancy, parenting and post-abortive counseling.

You will see all of these at the Marches for Life all over the U.S and even all over the world. Unfortunately, media bias stops many from seeing this side of the pro-life movement, only labeling us as “anti-abortion” or “anti-women.” I’ve talked more about this in my article for The Tower: “Roe v. Wade, Media Bias, and the March for Life” published on Jan. 22, 2019.

One last thing that confused me in Kennedy-Long’s article: “Making abortion illegal … takes the lives of women in addition to their unborn fetuses.” Wouldn’t that mean she believes the fetus is alive, contradicting herself when she said that life doesn’t begin at conception?