The pro-life ethic shapes our understanding of the value of human life because we believe that all people are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). And as Christians, we live out our pro-life ideology by championing life.
Over time, the traditional scope of the pro-life ethic has rightfully broadened to include the valuing of all life, not just the life of the unborn. Being pro-life is certainly being anti-abortion, and it’s also much more. It means valuing life from the womb to the tomb. And it boldly contradicts the value system of the world by championing the vulnerable. Russell Moore says in Onward, “The spirit of every age seeks to define human worth in terms of power and usefulness, while the gospel of the kingdom defines human dignity in strikingly different terms, as Christ himself identifies himself not with the powerful but with the vulnerable.” Christians, like their king, value the vulnerable.
One of the things valuing the vulnerable means is being a champion for orphans. Certainly, being pro-life means being pro-foster care and pro-adoption. But family placement is a small, albeit valuable part of engaging the global orphan crisis. Orphan prevention is a more comprehensive part of the solution and requires Christians to engage their voices and expertise. To be effective, though, we must first understand what we’re trying to prevent.