Activate Series: #5 – The Pain-Capable Bill Is a Message Bill, So What’s Its Message?

Educe online pro-life curriculum

Our weekly #Activate vlog series uses clips from Educe® online courses to illuminate the truth behind the cultural battles of today (and tomorrow) and move Christians from education to action in their communities, churches, and circles of influence.

In this week’s #Activate vlog, we ask pro-lifers to pause for a moment to recognize the preborn children who are absent from the Pain-Capable victory celebrations.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR36), which just passed the House and is now headed to the Senate, is what’s known in the pro-life movement as a message bill. A message bill is an incremental strategy to end abortion by educating an apathetic and/or uninformed public on the injustice of it. The message conveyed by HR36 in particular is a heart-breaking one—that at a certain stage of development, preborn children feel excruciating pain, so we must protect them from suffering. A strong argument can certainly be made that a human’s ability to feel pain has no bearing on her right not to be killed at any stage, but in this post, let’s focus on HR36’s message, and its fatal flaw. In its noble effort to extend mercy to innocent, defenseless humans, HR36 failed to protect children conceived in rape and incest—children who are no less pain-capable and no less deserving of equal protection under the law.  

Think about this: When we include exceptions for some humans in a powerful message bill like HR36, we compromise the integrity of the pro-life argument as a whole. And even more detrimentally, we sacrifice some lives to save others. So as you watch this week’s clip, which provides some historical context behind the two distinct approaches to pro-life legislation, consider:

  • How much sooner might we see an end to abortion, both legally and culturally, if incremental efforts were no longer at the expense of others?
  • How do exceptions in pro-life laws contradict our goal to protect and defend human life, from conception to natural death, and undermine our efforts to change hearts and minds?
  • What is the most effective and compassionate way to defend the lives of those conceived in rape, those with special needs, and other human “exceptions,” while also advocating for the women who carry these children?

Finally, and most importantly, how much more will God bless our efforts to end the injustice of abortion when we align completely and without exception to the sanctity of life ethic woven throughout His Word? We welcome your comments below.

To learn about the growing movement of pro-life organizations, leaders, and activists who are calling for a restoration of principles, click here.

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If you’d like to dig deeper into where we’ve been, how we got here, and where we’re headed, but aren’t sure if online learning is right for you or your group, we can help! Enroll for FREE in our 10-minute introductory course to see how our Rise Up in the Truth curriculum helps Christians build the historical, philosophical, and biblical foundation that’s necessary to compassionately engage the culture and defend human life, from its earliest biological beginning to its natural end. Visit our FAQ page to learn more and contact us with any questions you have.

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