1. Frequently Asked Questions About Abolitionism

From a Pro-Life Perspective

Why do abolitionists oppose incremental, pro-life legislation?

5 Reasons to Embrace Immediatism and Reject Pro-Life Incrementalism

First, some definitions:

Incrementalism is advocacy of change by degrees. This means advocating for 15-week bans, heartbeat bills, clinic regulations, etc.

Immediatism is advocacy for immediate, uncompromising abolition. This means advocating for abolition bills alone.

1) Immediatism Is Biblical

Isaiah 10:1-2 tells us "Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees...that they may make the fatherless their prey!" It can be argued that an incremental pro-life bill is less iniquitous than the status quo. It can't be argued they aren't iniquitous. As Pastor C.R. Cali puts it in his book, The Doctrine of Balaam, “Regulating abortion gives more than tacit permission; it definitionally governs, directs, and controls the killing of pre-born children through rule and law. Rather than engendering an attitude of abhorrence for this slaughter, regulations legitimize the practice by dictating where, when, and how it is acceptable. Any law which sanctions the unjust killing of a human is by nature unjust.”

2) Immediatism Is Prophetic and Gospel-Centered

Immediatism is simply the gospel applied to national sin. The nation needs to repent and calls for repentance in Scripture are never calls for gradual repentance. Imagine a man in an affair. If you tell him to reduce his adultery to once a week, then once a month, then once a year, and then to leave his mistress, you have not called him to repentance. You've given him a pragmatic, worldly strategy that is doomed to fail.

That is what pro-lifers are doing to the culture when they call for a heartbeat bill or 15-week ban. There is no call to repentance. And there is no coming back from where we've gone as a nation without national repentance.

3) Incremental Bills Undercut Abolition

An example: in 2019, the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act (HB896) was referred to Rep. Jeff Leach's committee. He didn't want it to pass but he also know he would be excoriated by Christians if he killed it. So he hatched a plan. Texas has no filing deadline, so 10 days after the abolition bill was assigned to him, he introduced an incremental bill: HB16, the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. While Leach killed the abolition bill, he and his pro-life allies ensured HB16 passed into law. Leach became simultaneously the man who kept abortion legal in Texas while also being a pro-life hero. Texas Alliance for Life gave him their "Courageous Defense of Life" award. He was a headline speaker at March for Life.

This play (the legislator responsible for killing the abolition bill carrying the pro-life bill du jour and being celebrated as a hero for it) was ran in many other states including Oklahoma (Sen. Greg Treat) and Missouri (Sen. Bob Onder). In this way, incremental pro-life bills are the lifeblood of the political careers of the Republican politicians who are preventing the abolition of abortion.

This play was also run by the enemies of Wilberforce. On 4/2/1792, the House of Commons debated Wilberforce's motion for the abolition of the slave trade. It was into the early morning hours of April 3 when incrementalist Henry Dundas motioned to amend the abolition bill: "My honourable friends… have very known that I have long entertained the same opinion with them as to the Abolition of the Slave Trade, though I have differed from them as to the mode of effecting it."

After his speech professing agreement with the abolitionists’ end goal, Dundas successfully motioned to amend Wilberforce’s abolition bill so that it merely removed the right of slave owners to possess the children of their slaves. What a great achievement! What a step in the right direction! Nevermind the fact that Dundas literally saved the slave trade. He was an incremental pro-life hero. I wonder where Jeff Leach and Texas Alliance for Life learned their tricks? Pro-life incrementalists continue to celebrate the Henry Dundas' of our day who put their wicked, deceptive "incremental steps" in the place of abolition bills.

Because of his experience with men like Dundas, Wilberforce wrote in "A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade" that the incrementalists were the real upholders of the slave system: "Let me be forgiven if I speak strongly, where I feel so very deeply. It is not only because the gradual Abolitionists have been, in fact, the only real stay of that system of wickedness and cruelty which we wish to abolish; though that assertion is unquestionably true; but it is trying beyond expression that they should be the real maintainers of the Slave Trade."

In this way, incremental bills and those who celebrate them make the passage of an abolition bill extremely difficult. Politicians want to compromise. They want to do the easy thing. If you celebrate them for the easy thing, they will never do the hard thing.

4) Incremental Bills Dehumanize Preborn Children

When I, Abolitionists Rising Communications Director James Silberman, lived in Ohio, he met with the office of Sen. Andrew Brenner, a pro-life stalwart. I explained to his aide what an abolition bill contained and why we needed one in Ohio. When I was done, she said, “This was very interesting, but it’s Senator Brenner’s personal religious conviction that life begins at a heartbeat.” Where did he learn that ridiculous, evil idea that humans don’t have value until their heartbeats can be detected? He learned it from the Heartbeat Bill. Brenner was one of its primary champions.

Abolitionists Rising Director T. Russell Hunter discovered the same thing while pleading with a woman going into an abortion mill in Norman, OK in 2016. She told him, “It’s okay. My baby won’t even feel any pain.” Where'd she learn it’s okay to murder a baby as long as he doesn’t feel pain? From the pro-life movement and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which highlights pain as the reason abortion should be illegal.

While doing activism at a college campus, a female student, intrigued by the display, approached Abolitionists Rising Media Director Sam Riley and asked whether he opposed abortion even in the case of rape. Sam explained to her that abortion is wrong for the same reason that rape is wrong – it’s a violent act of aggression against an innocent human being, and that it’s unacceptable for us to give the death penalty to a child for the sins of the father. The young woman broke down in tears. “Thank you for saying that,” she told him. “I was conceived in rape and when people talk about a rape exception for abortion, what I hear is that my life is less valuable.” Not all pro-life bills have rape exceptions, but many of them do. These bills dehumanize those conceived in rape.

5) Incremental Bills Do Not Significantly Reduce Abortion

Every incremental bill provides blanket maternal immunity which, in essence, protects a woman's right to an abortion. Not addressing self-managed abortion is not addressing abortion at all. Brick and mortar abortion pill facilities are popping up in states that have "banned abortion." These sites coach women in how to order abortion online and take them, which is perfectly in accordance with pro-life laws.

Do abolitionists want to criminalize women who have abortions?

Abolitionists do not seek to "criminalize women." We seek to criminalize the act of abortion. That cannot be accomplished without prosecuting those who have abortions. The Pro-Life Movement, on the other hand, seeks to make sure that every abortion law contains immunity for the mother so that she cannot be prosecuted for having an abortion. This protects a woman's right to abortion. If a woman can perform her own abortion without being prosecuted, then abortion is legal. By insisting on blanket maternal immunity, the pro-life leaders protect a woman's right to abortion.

Can't we end abortion without prosecuting mothers?

To put it simply, no. If someone is legally permitted to commit an act without any possibility of legal penalty, then that act is legal. In no way, shape, or form has abortion been abolished if mothers are permitted to self-manage an abortion with legal immunity.

The video on the right demonstrates exactly how easy self-managed abortion is.

Aren't abolitionists and pro-lifers on the same team? Why do abolitionists criticize the Pro-Life Movement?

Pro-life organizations and politicians have been the primary people standing in the way of legislation to abolish abortion in more than a dozen pro-life states. In a state like Oklahoma, if we are to criticize those preventing abortion's abolition, there is no one to criticize but pro-lifers. They do this because worldly pragmatism is their standard, not God’s Word. One of the best things that could happen for preborn children would be for National Right to Life, SBA Pro-Life America, and Americans United for Life to fold tomorrow. This podcast episode explains the various reasons why this is the case.

Why do you call yourselves abolitionists instead of pro-life?

The leaders of the Pro-Life Movement are the enemies of justice for preborn children. They have opposed abolition bills and abolitionism at every turn. They believe mothers should be free to have self-managed abortion with impunity. They teach heterodox beliefs and strategies which blatantly violate God’s Word. It is necessary to distinguish one’s self from them. It is necessary to draw a clear line between their unbiblical beliefs and our Biblical ones. Language is an important part of that.

The pro-life groups know that differentiation between us and them is key to the growth of the Abolitionist Movement and that’s why they often steal our language and pass themselves off as abolitionists. They don't want us to be able to create a clear, category distinction between us and them. This is a clear lesson to abolitionists about the importance of linguistic differentiation.

Was Dobbs a step in the right direction?

The Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, essentially turning over the responsibility for abortion policy to the state governments and to Congress.

But in order to say that the States and Congress can write whatever abortion policy they want, you have to deny that the preborn child is a person. If the preborn child was a person, the Constitution mandates that they receive the rights to life and the equal protection of the law. In Dobbs, the Court ought to have recognized the humanity of preborn children and ordered that their rights be protected. The conference presentation to the right explains this in detail.

But, one might say, at least the states are now free to abolish abortion if they want to. The problem with this sentiment is that the states were always free to write whatever abortion sentiment they wanted to. From the get-go, Roe was an obvious violation of the Constitution and was therefore not binding on the states. Abolition bills prior to Dobbs contained nullification clauses directing state officials to ignore Roe and any subsequent similar court opinions.

Are pro-life people the enemy of abolishing abortion?

While the pro-life leaders have dug in their heels and opposed abolition, most pro-life people are open to abolitionist ideas. Most pro-lifers who don’t have a close connection to a pro-life leader or group are persuaded by abolitionism when they encounter it. We just have to draw clear lines between pro-life and abolition, explain the unbiblical thinking and treachery on the pro-life side, and call pro-lifers to cross the line.

Since not everyone is a Christian, shouldn't we argue against abortion from a secular perspective?

We aren’t as interested in personal opinions as we are with objective truth, and the only objective standard of truth is God’s revelation to man. An atheist can have a personal opinion that abortion is good or bad, but he cannot ground his opinion in anything objective.

As William Lloyd Garrison wrote, “Take away the Bible, and our warfare with oppression, and infidelity, and intemperance, and impurity, and crime, is at an end: our weapons are wrested away—our foundation is removed—we have no authority to speak, and no courage to act."

God, the transcendent source of all morality, is the only standard by which evils like abortion can be adequately rebuked. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can open the eyes of the wicked abortion supporters who do not have an intellectual problem but a moral one.

How did the Abolitionist Movement start?

In 2011, T. Russell Hunter was asked by his church to give a presentation about how the body could get involved in different pro-life organizations, so Russell began reading various pro-life websites. At the same time, for his doctoral studies, Russell began reading about the history of the abolitionists of slavery.

In short order, it became clear that many of the very practices and strategies that the abolitionists blamed for the delay of the abolition of slavery were being practices and strategies being employed by the Pro-Life Movement. Russell became convinced of the need for an alternate movement, one that would bring God's Word to bear on the subject and which would not compromise.

Can People Who Disagree With You Join The Abolitionist Movement?

The Abolitionist Movement is an explicitly Christian movement. That should hopefully be extremely clear after reading through the Norman Statement. But can people who have disagreements with us work with us or join the Abolitionist Movement? Well, it depends on what the disagreement is. We love and rejoice in the great privilege of working together with many Christians in the Abolitionist Movement who disagree on a whole variety of different doctrinal matters. The movement is represented by Presbyterians, Baptists, Southern Baptists, Free

Will Baptists, reformed believers, non-reformed believers, Calvinists, Armenians, post-millennials, a-millennials, pre-millennials, dispensationalists, and we could go on. But what we all agree on (as laid out in article 11 of the Norman Statement) is that:

“We affirm that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone.⁶ We affirm that all sinners are commanded to repent and believe the gospel and upon doing so are justified before God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and caused to love God and His Law and to walk in zealousness for the good works that God has prepared.⁷ We affirm that Christ’s kingdom is at hand and that He will continue to work until all His enemies are defeated and justice is established in all the earth.⁸

WE DENY that there is any salvation from sin outside of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as described in the Bible alone. We deny that a man’s works contribute in any way to his salvation.⁹

And since the Abolitionist Movement is an explicitly Christian movement, it is impossible for us to partner with non-Christians, or for non-Christians to join the movement. But also an unbeliever who fully understands the five tenets of abolitionism would be inconsistent to still want to be recognized as an abolitionist. You see, three of the five tenets of abolitionism are: 1) Gospel-Centered 2) Biblical, and 3) Body driven/Obligation of the Church, the Body and Helpmate Bride of Christ.

You are not Gospel-Centered if you hold to no gospel, or a false gospel (as sadly, the Roman Catholic Church - for example - does.)

It is not Biblical to hold anything other than the Word of God as your sole infallible rule of faith.

It is impossible to be driven and led by the body/church of Jesus Christ if you are not part of that church and cannot identify who the church of Jesus Christ is and is not.

Many unbelievers do believe in nullification, immediatism, and criminalization because these are strong, biblical ideas. But abolitionism is far more than this and has much more theological depth than just these applications of what we believe. Holding some ideas that are part of the abolitionist position does not make you an abolitionist, any more than a Roman Catholic agreeing with a protestant that Jesus Christ is God and the Son of God does not make the Roman Catholic a Protestant. No, partial agreement with abolitionists only means that you hold to or agree with some abolitionist ideas.


Abortion is murder, yes, and it must be abolished. We can agree on that, and thanks to God’s common grace we do agree with many unbelievers on this point. But the reason murder is wrong is because God says so. Murder is a sin against our Thrice Holy God, a violation of His law, and an unjustly taking of the life of one of His image-bearers. Abortion is sin, but the only cure to sin is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which has been entrusted to us, His bride, the church.


There are plenty of people who embrace a worldview of darkness that has been set up against the kingdom of God, and yet they are also anti-abortion. But even though they agree with us that abortion is wrong, they are on the opposite team in this battle. They love and cling to a worldview that opposes the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself has commanded us love our preborn neighbor as ourselves, and whose instructions and teaching we look to for our marching orders. When abortion is abolished, He alone will get the glory. So, when someone holds a worldview apart from the Christian worldview and yet opposes abortion, since their worldview cannot justify their opposition to child sacrifice, they are living in hypocrisy – they know the truth of God’s law written on their hearts that murder is wrong, and yet they spit in God’s face by clinging to a worldview that is rebelling against Him.

Dear reader, if this description fits you, or you find your spirit rising up in protest against what we are saying here, we urge you to hear us on this: you must repent of your sin, turn to Christ, and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. You need the substitutionary atonement and the saving righteousness of Jesus Christ - just as much as every abortion-supporting person does.


You see, we are not merely at war with abortion. We are at war with EVERY. SINGLE. WORLDVIEW. that has been set up against the knowledge of Christ, and this is why we cannot partner with those who hold our enemy’s worldview. When those holding our enemy’s worldview say they are in support of our end goal, usually they assume that our end goal is merely “abolishing abortion.” And they are wrong. Our end goal is abolishing abortion to the glory of God. The measure of our success is not how many babies we see saved, how many abolition bills are passed, or even the number of people whose hearts are changed, but rather the measurement of our success is faithful obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.


So yes, unbelievers do support abolition bills, they may even donate to an abolitionist organization, which are good things to do. But whatever level of support they give, their actions must never change how abolitionists are seeking to evangelize and convert these very same people. We do want Roman Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Agnostics, self-professed Atheists and Agnostics, and everyone who falls into this category to support the abolition of abortion, but more than that, because we love these people and we know that there is no salvation for their souls to be found in these false teachings, we long for them to come to faith in Christ alone. And therefore, because we recognize anti-abortion unbelievers as part of our mission field alongside the unbelieving abortion supporter, we do not seek to partner with them to play any role in our organization or in the Abolitionist Movement.


What does this mean practically? If a Muslim or otherwise unbelieving lawmaker comes to us telling us that he wants to run a bill of abolition in his state, would we bid him good riddance? No, we would be glad to see God’s common grace in his life through the fact that he opposes abortion and wants abortion to be abolished, and we would call him to repentance in Jesus Christ for his sin, while explaining how Jesus is the reason why we are going about this work of abolition. Yes, we could also give him the language for the bill that we would want him to use, but when we have a rally for the bill, instead of calling the people to celebrate the lawmaker running the bill, inviting him to speak on stage, and putting him forward as a hero, we would encourage the audience to pray for his repentance and salvation, and as they have conversations with him, to implore him to turn to Christ in faith for his salvation.

For further understanding our position on this, check out:

Dusty Deevers: The Five Tenets of Abolitionism

The Liberator Podcast: Episode 62 on The Five Tenets Of Abolitionism

Dr. Steven Lawson on Roman Catholicism and Ecumenism

2. Frequently Asked Questions About Abortion

From a Pro-Choice Perspective

What about bodily autonomy? What about my body, my choice?

The body inside a pregnant mother's body is not her body. Bodily autonomy is not an absolute license to use one's body in any way they choose. Specific to this case, you cannot use your body or the idea of bodily freedom to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

What about rape and incest?

Rape is a terrible crime. It should be a capital crime. For some reason, the secular culture is not willing to go this far. Those who commit this heinous act should face swift justice and victims of rape should receive the support of their families and communities. But it is insane and evil to murder a child for the sins of the father.

The argument for murdering babies conceived in incest is pure eugenics. That a child has a higher likelihood of having certain disabilities does not mean we should murder them.

What about children who will be born into poverty or suffering?

Can you kill a born child because they are poor? No? Then you can’t kill a preborn child because they might turn out to be poor. Help the poor, certainly, but don’t murder them. Murder is only an appropriate answer to poverty or suffering if you’re a psychopath.

What about the violinist argument?

Psychopath Judith Jarvis Thompson invented a famous thought experiment in an attempt to defend abortion: You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.”

There are a myriad of reasons why the thought experiment does not work.

  1. Parents have obligations to their children that strangers do not have to each other. The parents of a newborn cannot simply deny necessary nutrients to their child, but strangers do not have the same level of obligation to each other.
  2. Unplugging yourself from the violinist who then dies by natural causes is not the same as using forceps, a suction catheter, a pill that starves, or a poisonous injection to actively murder a baby.
  3. In all cases except for rape, a mother was not attached to her child against her will. She acted in such a way that directly resulted in the child now being dependent upon her.

Isn't forced birth just like forced organ donation?

Outlawing abortion is not the same thing as forced organ donation for four reasons.

1) There is a difference between ordinary and extraordinary levels of care. Donating organs to someone in need is an extraordinary level of care that should not be mandated. Simply not murdering your child is an ordinary level of care that should be mandated.

2) Children are only in the vulnerable position of needing their parents' care because their parents created them in that vulnerable situation. When you put someone in a vulnerable position, you have a greater obligation to care for them.

3) Giving up an organ permanently is not the same thing as allowing offspring to live for nine months in the reproductive organ that was made for them to live in. In the same way that children have a right to their mother's milk after they is born, they have a right to their mother's uterus before they are born.

4) Not giving up an organ permanently is not the same thing as using forceps, suction devices, or chemical to actively kill a baby.

Isn't consciousness what makes us valuable?

Some people will acknowledge the humanity of a human embryo but will argue that they are not worthy of protection until they have consciousness or sentience. Such people reject the notion of human rights. They believe that only a special class of humans have value. They are bigots, no different than those that perpetrated the holocaust and race-based chattel slavery.

The image of God in human beings is where we get our objective value, and we all bear the image of God equally. We thus have equal value and are equally deserving of the protection of the laws. The view that value derives from consciousness would result in those who with greater cognitive capabilities and consciousness being of more value than others. Putting human value on a sliding scale like that will always end in a atrocities.

What if someone isn't going to grow up to be a contributing member of society?

 Don’t be a psychopath. You don’t murder people because they might grow up to be unproductive.

You can't legislate morality, right?

You can ONLY legislate morality. Every law legislates based on someone’s view of morality. Every law is an instance of those in power establishing what citizens must not do because it is wrong. Speed limit laws are based on the immorality of risking your life and that of others. Child support laws are based on the immorality of a father leaving his family. Laws are inescapably moral. The question is not whether morality will be legislated but whose morality will be legislated? In the case of abortion, the question is will pro-child sacrifice people or anti-child sacrifice people be writing the laws?

What about ectopic pregnancies?

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy, also referred to as an extrauterine pregnancy, is a pregnancy in which the baby has implanted in an abnormal location outside of the uterus. In most ectopic pregnancies, the baby is inside the fallopian tube. This is called a tubal pregnancy. In tubal ectopic pregnancies, the mother presents symptoms of pelvic pain, spotting, nausea, and abnormal hCG levels.

Tubal ectopic pregnancies are often diagnosed before 7 weeks LMP, (dated from last menstrual period). By this time, the baby has usually already died, as the fallopian tubes are not equipped to sustain a growing baby. The danger with a tubal pregnancy is that fallopian tubes have lots of blood vessels (meaning lots of potential for bleeding if ruptured) and are not very elastic (meaning it cannot appropriately expand as the baby grows). If it ruptures, the mother will suffer internal bleeding which can cause maternal death if immediate treatment is not administered, usually involving surgery to remove the fallopian tube, as detailed later.

Tubal pregnancies are 90% of ectopic pregnancies, but 10% of the time, the baby implants elsewhere in the abdominal cavity (such as on the cervix, ovary, myometrium, interstitial portion of the fallopian tube, abdominal cavity wall, or within a cesarean section scar). These babies have a better chance of survival, especially if the mother has endometriosis which means an abnormal placement of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. There are many reported cases of babies surviving non-tubal ectopic pregnancies. (See links at the bottom for examples.)

Using technologies including ultrasounds, doctors can detect where in the abdomen the baby has implanted and whether the baby is still alive. Whether or not the baby is still alive, we will be able to see chorionic villi (the primitive cells that would make the placenta), maternal blood, pregnancy cells and debris, and a microscopic baby. 

Current Medical Practice

As we address in the following paragraphs the current medical practices contrasted with what we believe are morally acceptable treatment practices, be sure to understand clearly our distinction between the case of a living child in an ectopic pregnancy, and the case of an already deceased child in an ectopic pregnancy.

Whether or not the baby is found alive, the current approach for medical professionals is often to immediately intervene to remove the baby. This intervention can take the form of surgery to remove the baby from the fallopian tube or to remove all or part of the fallopian tube, (salpingostomy, salpingectomy, or partial salpingectomy). It can also take the form of a drug called Methotrexate used to chemically stop pregnancy growth and kill the baby if the baby is still alive. Even if the baby is not living, other pregnancy cells, such as the chorionic villi and amnion, can be, and this cell growth needs to be halted, in some cases immediately. Chemical treatment is not as effective as surgery, but it is less invasive, and some doctors give it a try at first to see if it will dissolve the area of concern. Methotrexate can only be used if the baby is very small, and the mother is stable.

None of these surgical and chemical interventions, if performed when the baby has already died, is an abortion. It is always ethically permissible and often medically necessary to use medical intervention to remove a deceased baby from the mother. In many cases, however, no medical intervention is necessary, so doctors sometimes do not pursue either surgical or chemical intervention, but instead practice watchful waiting, also referred to medically as expectant management. Research has shown that, in patients with an ectopic pregnancy who are properly assessed and their hCG levels are dropping, roughly 50% will end and be passed naturally with no need for surgical or chemical intervention.

Our Position

Most babies have already died by the time the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed. However, when the baby is still alive, we do not believe the above surgical and chemical interventions, which cause the death of the baby, are morally permissible. The ethical treatment in these cases is watchful waiting/expectant management and an attempted transplant of the baby to the uterus if the mother’s condition worsens.

If the doctor and patient choose to pursue expectant management and the mother is stable, she can be sent home with very strict instructions about what to watch for and what to do if things start going downhill. If she is already in an unstable condition, she should be admitted to the hospital immediately. In either case, doctors should monitor her vital signs, hCG levels, and perform regular ultrasounds.

All of the current surgical and chemical intervention options, performed while the baby is still alive, result in the death of a living baby. We believe that such actions are premature and unethical. On top of being premature, we believe that this response, even though it may not be the intent, is a sort of shrugging off the value of the life in the womb, proverbially throwing one’s hands in the air as to anything that could be done to attempt to save the baby. The oath medical professionals take to “do no harm” and their duty to attempt to save every life should require them to recognize they have a second patient in the womb and at least try to save the life of the baby through a procedure that involves surgically removing the baby from the fallopian tube and placing the baby in the uterus with the hope that he or she will reattach. Most medical professionals do not believe that successfully reimplanting the baby in the uterus is possible, but there are some who do, including a hospital in China that reports an embryo reimplantation success rate comparable to IVF! 

Imagine the current medical field’s response to a situation like ectopic pregnancy, but instead of a preborn child and a mother, it was happening with a newborn child and a mother. In the thought experiment, doctors do not believe it is likely or possible that a newborn can be saved with (x) condition, a condition that also somehow threatens the mother’s life. So instead of taking any (even long shot) action attempting to save both or expanding research efforts to find ways to save the newborn child, they immediately take a course of action that they know will directly result in the newborn’s death. They would likely lose their license to practice medicine if they intentionally killed the newborn without lifting a finger to try to save him. Depending on the exact situation, they could even face criminal charges. But because our culture and laws do not recognize the life in the womb as equal in value to born humans, the medical community has disregarded ectopic life and shown a lack of interest in current research on saving ectopic babies. The current medical response is irresponsible and negligent to their oaths and duty to equally treat every human being as a patient with intrinsic value.

Ultimately, our position is that the ethical treatment of an ectopic pregnancy in the case of a baby who is still alive involves watchful waiting/expectant management or an attempted transplant of the baby into the uterus. If, during watchful waiting/expectant management, the mother’s condition worsens and there are signs of a fallopian tube about to rupture or some other medical emergency while the baby is still living, a transplant should be immediately attempted.

Important note: some ovarian cysts mimic early ectopic pregnancies. When a woman is stable under watchful waiting, sometimes, what was first thought to be an ectopic pregnancy turns out to be just a corpus luteal cyst and the fact that she has a normal intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) is then later seen. For this reason, some medical professionals advise against the use of chemical intervention of Methotrexate due to risks and misdiagnosis of both mother and baby. Misdiagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy and subsequent treatment could lead to the completely unnecessary death of a healthy baby in a normal, intrauterine pregnancy and sometimes complications for the mother.

Another note: when someone at a surgical abortion facility tells you that they are there to have an ectopic pregnancy treated, they are lying. Ectopic pregnancies are real medical conditions which need to be monitored and treated through a hospital. They cannot be treated at an abortion facility. Surgical abortion facilities are designed to dilate and scrape the inside of the uterus only going through the vaginal vault and cervix. There are no abdominal incisions. No surgery on tubes. These facilities are not set up like that because they are not in the business of true medical care. That is not their purpose. And although they can dispense pills for an intrauterine (normal) pregnancy, they cannot dispense pills for an extrauterine pregnancy. Abortion pills to contract the uterus are different from pills to treat an ectopic condition. Also, ectopic pregnancy situations are true medical emergencies which require prompt attention, she needs to go to the ER, not make an appointment for next Wednesday at Planned Parenthood.

Links for Further Research:

Innovative Ectopic Pregnancy Intrauterine Transfer Surgery: Granting a Lifeline for Life

Could This Lead to Saving Ectopic Babies?

Miracle baby was carried outside mother’s womb

I carried ectopic pregnancy for nine months without knowing

Baby is born alive after growing in mother's abdomen for 29 weeks

The mother who risked everything to have her ectopic baby

Baby born after rare ectopic pregnancy

Surviving Fetus from a Full-Term Abdominal Pregnancy

Ectopic triplet makes medical history

If abortion is criminalized, won't it just happen in less safe ways, unsafely?

If abortion is criminalized as murder, there will be far fewer abortions. Many expecting couples will not risk murder charges, and many other couples will be more sexually responsible and not make babies until they are prepared for babies.

But there certainly will be some who risk murder charges and get the abortion anyway. How do we know that? Because killing born people results in murder charges and people still do it. There will be men and women who violate the law possibly in back alley-type abortions. That is not the fault of people who believe that murder should be illegal and that all humans have rights. It is fault of people pursuing abortions in back-alleys.

That's just your belief that life begins at fertilization/conception. Can you find any scientist who thinks that?

  • Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).” - Keith L. Moore BA MSc PhD DSc FIAC FRSM FAAA, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

  • "Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception). "Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being." - Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2

  • "The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are...respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development." - Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17

  • "The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote." - Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3

  • "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity." - O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29.

  • “Every human embryologist in the world knows that the life of the new individual human being begins at fertilization. It is not belief. It is scientific fact.” C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D., Author, When Does Human Life Begin? The Final Answer, Human Embryologist, professor, University of Arizona College of Medicine.

  • “In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.” - Kaluger, G., and Kaluger, M., Human Development: The Span of Life, page 28-29, The C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1974.

  • “It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.” - Clark Edward and Corliss Patten’s Human Embryology, McGraw – Hill Inc., 30

  • "The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are...respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development." - Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17

  • Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote." - England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31

  • "Zygote: This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression 'fertilized ovum' refers to the zygote." - Keith L. Moore BA MSc PhD DSc FIAC FRSM FAAA, T.; V. N. Persaud MD PhD DSc FRCPath (Lond.); and Mark G. Torchia MSc PhD. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1

  • "Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus." - Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146

  • "Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus." - Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.

  • "In man the term 'embryo' is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy." - Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160

  • "Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism... At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun... The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life." - Considine, Douglas M. (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943

  • "Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual." - Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3

Aren't preborn humans just clumps of cells?

In the atheistic worldview, we’re all just clumps of cells, including the person raising this argument. But we're not just clumps of cells. Humans are not simply the matter that makes them up. We are eternal souls. We are image bearers. And that begins at the moment we begin to exist, which is at fertilization.

3. Frequently Asked Legislative Questions About Abolitionism

If I had an abortion prior to the passage of an abolition law, will I go to jail?

No. Every abolition bill applies only to crimes committed after the passage of the bill. OK SB1729, for instance, says "This act is prospective only and shall not apply to conduct committed prior to the effective date of this act." This is consistent with American law which prohibits ex-post facto prosecution.

Under an abolition law, would ever single aborting mother be charged with 1st degree murder?

No. An abolition bill simply makes preborn children equal under law. So all the immunities, justifications, and mitigating factors considered in all other criminal cases would also be considered when charging and trying people for abortion. Each instance would be considered on a case-by-case basis based on the facts of each case. Some men and women would get charged with first degree murder. Some would get charged with third degree murder or manslaughter. Some would not be charged at all, such as those women being coerced. It all depends on the facts of the case.

Wouldn't an abolition bill outlaw miscarriage treatment?

Miscarriage and abortion are two completely different things. Heartless, psychopathic abortion supporters have worked to linguistically and legally link miscarriage and abortion so that they can scare people into believing that abortion bans outlaw miscarriage treatment. It’s no surprise that murderers are also liars. No abortion ban ever written would outlaw the removing of a deceased fetus from the uterus. OK SB1729, for instance, has language establishing that "This chapter shall not apply to...a spontaneous miscarriage."

How would ectopic pregnancies be handled under an abolition law?

Abolition bills mandate that preborn children be treated as equal human beings. This means they cannot be simply killed, but it also does not mean that a potentially life-threatening situation like ectopic pregnancy can't be treated. An abolition bill like OK SB1729 establishes that "This chapter shall not apply to...the undertaking of life-saving procedures to save the life of the mother when accompanied by reasonable steps to save the life of the unborn child." This means that doctors can and should treat ectopic pregnancies, but should also attempt, to the best of their ability to save the life of the unborn child. See our FAQ called: "What about ectopic pregnancies?" for more details and what that looks like practically.

4. Frequently Asked Medical Questions About Abolitionism

Do you support the use of birth control?

It depends on the method of birth control. Barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms, or sponges which prevent the sperm from reaching the egg do not pose any risk of causing an abortion. All forms of hormonal birth control, on the other hand, pose a risk of causing an early abortion.

Hormonal birth control has three functions which serve to prevent pregnancy.

1) Stop ovulation from occurring.

2) Thicken cervical mucus so that sperm are not able to reach the egg.

3) Thin the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived zygote is not able to implant in the uterus.

If 1 and 2 fail while 3 succeeds, an abortion is induced and a newly conceived human being dies. The frequency with which this occurs is not known precisely, but the total number is likely high given the widespread use of hormonal birth control.

Do you support IVF?

Common IVF practice includes the fertilizing of more eggs than can be implanted, the discarding of "low grade" embryos, and selective reduction abortion if too many embryos successfully implant in the uterus. The result is 32 human beings are conceived for every one live birth.

Such practices are self-evidently wicked. But some Christians believe there is an ethical way to practice IVF that entails only creating one or two embryos at a time and immediately implanting all created embryos. While this is certainly more ethical than standard IVF procedures, we believe that the creation of life should not be done by scientists in a lab, but rather through the God-ordained method for creating life: intercourse of husband and wife.