Even If Abortion Banned Nationwide, Work of Pro-Life Movement Only Just Begun, Says ERLC Figure

People attend the March for Life rally in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018.
People attend the March for Life rally in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018. | (Photo: REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

A prominent member of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has stated that should abortion be banned nationwide, the pro-life movement must focus on becoming a "human dignity movement."

Dan Darling, vice president for communications at ERLC, had a column published Tuesday by USA Today in which he argued that pro-life groups should be advocates for all vulnerable humans.

"For the strength of the pro-life argument is not that it has opposed the grisly practice of abortion, but that it made arguments, in the public square, of the humanity of those who possess the least amount of power," wrote Darling.

"The pro-life movement has the moral vocabulary an unjust world needs, but we must not merely see ourselves as an anti-abortion movement, though we are that. We must see ourselves as a human dignity movement, committed to the idea that every human being has intrinsic value."

While acknowledging that "nobody can be an activist for every single cause," Darling stated that he would like to see "movements who fight for one set of vulnerable people at least [express] solidarity with movements who claim to fight for another set of vulnerable people."

"And what if we resisted the temptation to pit one set of vulnerable humans against another, as if human dignity is a zero-sum game?" Darling asked.

"... if we re-imagine ourselves as a movement for dignity, the pro-life movement will not merely have a legacy of persistently, courageously, and eloquently arguing on behalf of the unborn but as the people who opposed assaults on humanity, wherever it is found."

Don Golden, executive director of Red Letter Christians, a liberal evangelical group founded by Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne, praised the column but opposed its anti-abortion message. 

"Criminalizing a woman's choice is wrong but ⁦@dandarling⁩ appeal for a dignity consensus is much needed. As it stands, Evangelical pro-gun, pro-war, pro-death penalty views puts them among the most death honoring of Americans," he wrote on Twitter. 

Darling replied, "I'm saddened that a self-described Red Letter Christian would dismiss the dignity and humanity of the unborn." 

Darling's column comes as the Senate gears up for debate over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who, if approved, will replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Kavanaugh has gotten much opposition by progressive groups, who believe that if confirmed will slant the high court to the right and lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"There's no way to sugarcoat it: with this nomination, the constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion in this country is on the line," stated Dawn Laguens, executive vice president for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

"The balance of the Supreme Court is at stake — we cannot allow it to be tilted against the constitutional right to access abortion. Generations of women, especially women of color, will be affected."

Darling's column comes a week before the release of his newest book, The Dignity Revolution, which focuses on how Christians should engage others, especially on social issues and the protection of the vulnerable.

"This book shows us how wonderful, liberating and empowering it is to be made in God's image and how this changes how we see ourselves and all other humans, and how we treat them and advocate for them," reads the book's Amazon description.

"Each one of us can be, and are called to be, part of this new movement a human dignity revolution that our societies need, and that we are uniquely placed as Christians to join."

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