Pro-life incrementalism: Great for abortion, bad for unborn babies

Recently, pro-life activist and Strident Conservative contributor Lita Adriana wrote an article entitled March for Life: Killing more babies than it saves to explain her decision not to participate in last week’s March for Life in Georgia. Lita felt MFL had abandoned “well-intended, pro-life activism” and the “goal of ending abortion in America” to become “a giant campaign pep rally for politicians who do not share the same goal nor espouse the same intentions.”

As you might expect, some of those working for what we’ve come to call “Pro-life, Inc.” didn’t appreciate having the light of truth shone on the darkness of deeds resembling those of Planned Parenthood; leveraging millions of murdered babies to make money and gain political influence.

How did the pro-life movement arrive at this sorry state? Quite simply, it has compromised values and abandoned conscience to make room for the failed policy of incrementalism.

Pro-life incrementalism takes on many forms; heartbeat bills, pain-capable bills (20-week ban), and born-alive abortion survivor bills are just a few examples. Such “restrictions” tug at the heartstrings of those who want to end abortion, and they look good on the surface. But in the end, they merely serve to create political passivity concerning life that eases guilty consciences but does little-to-nothing to end the abortion holocaust.

Republicans are experts at promoting incrementalism, usually when there’s an election on the horizon. This is why the party adds the life issue to the party platform every presidential election year — 2016 was called the most pro-life platform ever — in addition to making it an issue every midterm election, as we witnessed in 2018 when the GOP held a show vote on the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act.”

None of these pro-life promises became law, and even if they had, it wouldn’t have prevented a single abortion, but that’s the point. The GOP never intends to end abortion because there’s simply too much money in it. But by adopting the incrementalism approach, they’re able to tickle the ears of donors and voters until the next election when they do it all over again.

Pro-life, Inc. uses the same playbook.

Recently, I received an email from Colorado Christian University asking me to contact my state legislator (I live in Colorado) to tell them to support the Born Alive Child Physician Relationship Act. The bill allegedly “establishes a physician-patient relationship between a child born alive after a failed abortion” and “requires the physician to give the abortion survivor medical care.” Failure to do so could result in fines and the possible loss of the abortionist’s medical license.

Like similar bills passed in other states, BACPR will save ZERO babies. In fact, it will indirectly incentivize the abortionist to make sure the baby is dead before removing him from the womb. Ironically, the bill will allow abortionists to conduct business as usual unless they fail to try to save the life of the baby they just tried to kill.

There will NEVER be an abortion survivor under laws like BACPR. When Texas tried a similar bill last year, pro-abortion Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) called it unnecessary because “There have been zero reported instances of any child born alive after an abortion in Texas.” While her motivation was obvious, the facts back up her claim. According to state data, there have been ZERO instances of a baby born alive after an abortion.

Writer and editor Philip Jeffery recently addressed pro-life incrementalism and he wrote:

“Incrementalism is a losing cultural strategy. The left did not gain the cultural upper hand by incrementalism. The sexual revolution that gave us the current abortion regime did not come about by baby steps. Cultural battles are won with bold claims and striking images. The left has been winning the culture, especially on issues of abortion, sex, and gender, by offering materially comfortable middle- and upper-class Americans the chance to imitate Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. Abortion thus becomes a great and noble cause. This strategy works because many Americans, especially young men, feel that their lives are unmoored, banal, and hemmed-in by forces beyond their control. They have an itch for moral heroism.

“The pro-life movement needs to take a clear stand. Vigorous action and bold law-making does not mean giving up on caring about mothers and children alike. And no organization understands this as well as Planned Parenthood itself. Planned Parenthood has managed to convince millions that it “cares no matter what”—even as its supporters march in the streets, rage on the Internet, and pressure legislatures in New York, Virginia, and elsewhere to do their bidding. How much better could the pro-life movement be at playing that game, by providing actual care and actual results in statehouses?”

Incrementalism won’t abolish abortion or save many babies, but Pro-life, Inc. doesn’t really care about that, do they?


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative.

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