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Supreme Court of the United States

What You Should Know About “Anti-Abortion Extremists”

October 17, 2017

By: Katie Heller

Before I begin, let me be clear. I believe that all human life is sacred and has dignity, from conception to natural death. All life, all the time. I’m pro-life. And I’m not just talking “pro-baby.” I believe that unborn babies need someone to fight for them just as much as women, the elderly, the poor, and the vulnerable do. To be pro-life is to speak up for life in all circumstances, not just abortion.

Along with being pro-life, I’m also fair and compassionate. I’m 100% sympathetic to a young girl who makes one bad choice and feels scared of telling her family she’s pregnant, and to the women who didn’t choose to become pregnant, but it was forced upon her. These are terrible situations, and pro-life advocates as a whole can do a much better job at listening, offering comfort, and finding solutions instead of automatically condemning—as many have. 

I read an article that was recently published that made some sharp accusations about “anti-abortion extremists” in relation to defunding Planned Parenthood and “women’s rights.”  Here’s the part that cut the deepest:

  • “These are extremists who don't believe women deserve reproductive health care."
  • "These are extremists who don't believe women should be able to plan their families."
  • "These are extremists who are willing to deny women cancer screenings, STD tests and other life-saving health care - solely because of their ideological agenda.” 

Honestly, the whole article made me laugh a little bit. It’s not the first time that pro-life advocates have been portrayed as monsters that want women to suffer—and it probably won’t be the last. 

So, in case this is your view of the pro-life movement, I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions about us so-called “anti-abortion extremists.” 

“Anti-abortion extremists” believe that abortion is wrong.

Not because of any “agenda” we have to suppress women’s healthcare but because science tells us that human life begins at conception. What is conceived in a woman’s womb is not just a clump of cells or tissue. It’s a living, growing, human person.  And when someone deliberately chooses to end the life cycle of a living, growing human person, it’s murder, not healthcare.  That’s just the truth – even if it’s hard to accept.

“Anti-abortion extremists” are pro-women.

I have yet to meet an authentic pro-life person that wasn’t also concerned about helping women get the healthcare services they need.  We desperately want women to have access to affordable healthcare In fact, in most places women have more affordable choices than just Planned Parenthood clinics--choices that take care to support both a woman and her baby (and entire family) in a long term care setting. Many health clinics provide the same (and more) healthcare services that Planned Parenthood clinics do,  and most of them will work with families on cost, sometimes even providing services for free.

 “Anti-abortion extremists” believe women should be able to plan their families.

But, not at the expense of killing an innocent baby. We want woman to have beautiful, healthy families. We want women, when they are ready, to be great mothers to their children, providing for their needs, loving them unconditionally, and setting them up for a bright future. And, we want children to grow up knowing they are loved and wanted by their parents and supported by their communities. 

However, Abortion is not family planning. Family planning happens before a child is conceived—it’s preemptive not reactive. Pro-life advocates believe that family planning can be achieved through means other than abortion, including natural means. It begins with making choices to avoid an unwanted or unintended pregnancy, including avoiding sexual intercourse. (Gasp! She did not go there!)

Pro-life advocates are not anti-women. If our society is going to have real conversations about abortion and women's health, excessive name-calling is not going to get us anywhere. And if we truly have women's best interests at heart, then we will make more of an effort to get to know and listen to the other side. Chances are, each side has valid concerns that must be heard and addressed if we are ever going to make real progress for women.


Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

Non-profit organization

Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for your right to freely live out your faith


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