Third, not just abortion but poverty, lack of health coverage, racism and climate change are also pro-life issues. The statement notes that the official public policy document of the National Association of Evangelicals (For the Health of the Nation) says: “Faithful evangelical civic engagement and witness must have a biblically balanced agenda”. Therefore the new Pro-life Evangelicals for Biden document says that “we must oppose ‘one issue’ political thinking because it lacks a biblical balance.”
Prominent evangelical leaders have just released a statement urging pro-life evangelicals to vote for Joe Biden. The signers include John Huffman, board chair emeritus of Christianity Today; Richard Foster, best-selling author of Celebration of Discipline; Jerushah Duford, Billy Graham’s granddaughter; Brenda Salter McNeil, author, speaker and long-time I VCF leader; John Perkins, founder of the Christian Community Development Association; the two authors of this piece; and a number of former presidents of evangelical universities.
Ronald J. Sider is president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action | Photo: evangelicalsforsocialaction.org
The signers are diverse: a Trump voter in 2016; a lifelong Republican who refused to vote for Trump or Clinton in 2016; people who never before in their life publicly endorsed a presidential candidate until this year.
Their statement acknowledges that “as pro-life evangelicals, we disagree with Vice President Biden and the Democratic platform on the issue of abortion.” “But we believe,” the statement continues, “that a biblically shaped commitment to the sanctity of human life compels us to a consistent ethic of life that affirms the sanctity of human life from beginning to end. “
The statement points out that many problems that better politics could correct violate the sanctity of human life. Poverty, lack of health care, racism and climate change all kill persons created in the image of God. They are all pro-life issues.
Richard J. Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary. | (Photo: Fuller Theological Seminary)
Poverty and diseases we know how to prevent kill millions every year. The World Food Program estimates that by the end of 2020, 265 million people around the world could be pushed to the brink of starvation. PEPFAR (President George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) has saved the lives of 17 million people around the world. But in repeated budget proposals, Donald Trump has proposed cutting this effective program. Other effective US funded foreign aid programs have saved the lives of millions. But Donald Trump has also repeatedly tried to cut that help for starving people. Poverty is a pro-life issue.
Lack of health care kills people. Studies have shown that people without health insurance are less likely to visit a doctor, are more likely to have poor health, and die younger than persons with health insurance. The Affordable Care Act provided health insurance to an additional 20 million Americans – and prohibited insurance companies from refusing to cover persons with pre-existing conditions. Donald Trump has repeatedly tried to abolish the Affordable Care Act and has not offered any genuine alternative. Health care for all is a pro-life issue.