What is the Sanctity of Life Ethic
What is a life worth? For many, this is a difficult question to ask. At the heart of the issue, it comes down to who and what you believe deserves a chance to live.
Whether you realize it or not, you innately carry some belief about the sanctity of life. That also includes how far that belief extends to different situations and who it may involve.
This article will explore what the sanctity of life ethic means, why it matters, and how you might better understand your own sanctity of life ethic.
What’s the Definition of the Sanctity of Life?
The Sanctity of Life is a belief that all life – whether human, animal, plant, or any other living creature – carries intrinsic value, regardless of age or ability to contribute.
Many sanctity of life ethicists also believe it’s wrong for others to use up resources on earth in harmful or wasteful ways when other human beings need those resources. Some sanctity of life ethicists believe even animals have the right to live their lives without harm from humans, and that it’s wrong for people to harm themselves or others if they don’t want to be harmed.
At Alternatives Pregnancy Center, as followers of Jesus, we firmly believe all humans, including unborn children, hold the same sanctity of life as any other being in creation. This belief stems from the very beginning of creation when we see how God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Gen. 1:27, ESV
As humans made in the image of God, we are imprinted with the sanctity of life simply by the Creator of Life creating us in His image. We see in other areas of the Bible, God’s Word to us, how the image of God in our lives as humans shows our innate worth to our Creator. King David wrote “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalms 139:14, ESV)
The incredible miracles of life from conception to a baby’s birth to the body’s ability to heal after injury or surgery, and even the fragile parting of death show there is a sacredness in living this life.
Life is truly a gift so then what is our responsibility as we consider this issue?
What Is the Sanctity of Life Ethic and How Does It Apply?
If we believe every life matters, we have a moral responsibility to help protect that life with the dignity and respect it deserves. Sanctity of life ethicists emphasize that all humans are valuable, no matter their stage or condition of life:
- An unborn child deserves the chance to be born, to live, and to receive love from others.
- A drug addict deserves the chance to receive treatment and reach sobriety through the love and care of others.
- A convict deserves to be aware of the consequences of their choices through love and truth – and the forgiveness our Savior Jesus Christ offers to any of us who recognize our sin and ask for redemption.
- A terminally ill patient deserves to be comforted in their pain and condition and allowed to die with as much grace and dignity as possible.
- A person who is contemplating suicide or self-harm deserves to be protected from themselves without allowing anyone, including physicians, to harm this vulnerable person, even if this individual wishes for help in harming themselves.
From this perspective, taking innocent human lives is never justified under any circumstances, regardless of the alleged benefits to society as a whole.
How Does the Sanctity of Life Ethic Speak to the Issue of Abortion?
The sanctity of life ethic tells us that no one has the right to take an innocent human life – including that of an unborn child. The writer of Proverbs encourages the reader to “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Prov. 31:8, ESV) We cannot be silent as abortion has harmful effects on women, men and ends the life of a developing baby.
Many pregnant women feel tremendous pressure to have an abortion because of complex situations and circumstances.
How Does Alternatives Pregnancy Center Address the Sanctity of Human Life?
Alternatives recognizes every human being – born and preborn – as an image bearer of God with inherent worth and dignity.
We serve women and men experiencing unplanned pregnancy. We help them process their unique circumstances and explore pregnancy options including parenting, adoption and abortion. Alternatives does not ever refer or offer abortion services. We provide accurate medical education and compassionate care to those faced with making a life-altering decision.
We also serve women and men who are struggling with mixed emotions after an abortion decision. There are individual counseling opportunities as well as group support.
How Can I Get Help With My Unplanned Pregnancy?
No matter the situation, Alternatives is here to help you navigate even the hardest of stories. For 40 years, our team at Alternatives Pregnancy Center has worked with thousands of women and their partners to protect the sanctity of life for themselves and their unborn.
Protecting the sanctity of human life starts with having a respectful conversation where each person is seen, heard and loved for who they are as a child of God. If you want to talk with our team, send us a message today. We are here for you.
More than anything we want you to know your life is extremely important to Jesus. His words in the book of John remind us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 ESV
Want to Learn More About Alternatives?
Are you passionate about protecting the sanctity of life? Learn how you can get involved with the mission of Alternatives Pregnancy Center!
Alternatives Pregnancy Center cares for Denver-area women and men in pregnancy-related crisis and offers them a meaningful alternative to abortion.