I am ‘Pro-choice’; therefore, I must be Pro-Abortion, Right?

 I am asked (as most will inevitably be in our current outrage nuanced, culturally manipulative ‘baiting’ session of ‘activism’) regarding the abortion issue whether I am pro-life or pro-choice. Or framed differently depending on which side you may land on – pro-death or anti-freedom! 

Well, after much reflection, pondering and considering who or what should/might be the final authority on this, I’ve landed on a pro-choice position. Not a socio-politically charged propaganda satiated meme of pro-choice, but actually defending the right of all to choose. 

When the Good News was new, abortion and even infanticide were commonplace in the culture, requiring little deliberation. In all of history, only one culture had forbidden these practices – that of the Jews…Every other nation, every other empire, every other kingdom, every other people – the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Hittites, the Greeks, the Romans – routinely killed their young. Plato and Aristotle commended abortion and infanticide. As the philosopher Seneca said, getting rid of useless children was simply the reasonable thing to do. “We knock mad dogs on the head, we slaughter fierce and savage bulls, and we doom scabby sheep to the knife, lest they should infect our flocks: we destroy monstrous births and we also drowns our children if they are born weakly or unnaturally formed; to separate what is useless from what is sound is an act, not of anger, but of reason.”

 Abortion was condemned in the first century in the Christian manual called the Didache and in the Epistle of Barnabas; in the second century in the Apocalypse of Peter and by Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage…and in the third century by Origen of Alexandria, Saint Cyprian f Carthage, and many others. The condemnation has been consistent through time, and universal in the Church – from Africa and Asia through all of Europe

As much as I completely align with the Divine and Biblical position that all life is sacred – all people are ‘image bearers’ – all human beings from conception to death are marked as precious and unique by the Creator; I also believe these same unique human beings have bestowed upon, and had programmed with, divine identity, dignity, agency, capacity and dominion – all thus with the divine potential for choice, including the liberty to choose badly, poorly and even self-destructively. 

Since there is not one single person who has lived or died, that did not start as a zygote – at conception – then the rights to choose commence formation there, and thus in the previous context are sacred. 

One of the incredible faculties, capacities and consequent responsibilities of that power of choice in the divinely imaged person, is that the full agency, capacity, identity can only be realized through growth and better enabled through environments that foster, empower and protect that growth through all stages of the human experience. 

The ability and capacity to choose, and choose well, in all human beings is completely reliant on the growth of that capacity, regardless of the geography of that human – in crib, in utero, in creche, in school, in adolescence or adulthood. The capacity, identity, agency of every developing human being, especially at life’s commencement is subject to environments that are shaped and/or influenced by the choices of others with greater capacity, agency, identity and, hopefully, an embraced divine dignity. 

In this context the capacity to choose of those vulnerable, those with limited autonomy, require greater protections and need to be fostered and nurtured, not ignored or worse, removed. 

For this fledgling autonomy, as with all choice developing matrixes for human beings, starts with the security to do so. A safe environment in which that emerging person is protected whilst they learn, as all mature human beings must, the skills, competencies, capacities and agency to be a ‘free to make choices’ human being. 

"The development of the embryo with its staggering panoply of continuously morphing cells...is by far the most complex phenomenon on Earth, fare more complex by many orders of magnitude than the assembly of the most complex human artefact ever built...The unimaginable immensity of spatial and temporal molecular clues and molecular and genetic responses exploited by this innumerable host of nanobots [molecular machines] navigating the embryonic ocean is fare greater than all the maps, charts, and devices used by all the mariners who have ever navigated the oceans of Earth."

If that environment of security is taken away, then so is much of their potential for choice, and if we are pro-choice, then we must ensure that the ability to choose is secured. 

Life must be protected for choice to emerge, as dead human entities no longer have choice. In this space, any choice that completely removes the choice of another is nothing short of tyranny and even more so if it is removed from the most vulnerable – the child. 

Of course, the carrier of that emerging human being has choice, and if they feel their choice to terminate the developing child is not supported, then they too may feel that they are subject to a form of tyranny. This, of course comes down to what outcome choices bring. The emerging child is totally subject to the choice of the one carrying that child. But the mother has more than one choice. They ameliorate the choice to be responsible/ accountable for the child without killing it. The removal of all choice from the developing child by ending its life inconsumable to the genuinely pro-choice activist. 

It is here that the definition of tyranny becomes clearer. It is the tyrant who will choose death of another to actualize their freedoms and the one with no choice at all, is the one truly subject to tyranny. 

But alas, definitions in our ‘outrage’ culture keep morphing to suit the agenda of those with power and control, not the weak and powerless – in this case the emerging child. 

Again, whether the child is in the womb, the crib or kindergarten, its ability to emerge as a choice enabled, capacity building human being is reliant on the continued protection of the right to make choices. That capacity exists because the child is growing, and growth only comes from life. 

So, being pro-choice for all humans means securing the life that enables the growth, ability and power of choice. 

“Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film 4

Post Script - The Covid Numbers, and Counting!!!!

S.W. Varcoe 

For more important resources please go to voice4life


  • Aquilina, M & Papandrea, J.L; Seven Revolutions – How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change it Again, First Edition, pp 42,43 Image, 2015, USA 
  • Ibid pp 51-52 
  • Denton. M., The Miracle of the Cell, Discovery Institute Press, Seattle, p.115. 2020
  • Sarah Knapton, SCIENCE EDITOR, The Moment Life Begins https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/26/bright-flash-of-light-marks-incredible-moment-life-begins-when-s/ The Telegraph (UK)