In a July 7 letter following the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, Tony Beam, director of the Office of Public Policy for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, expressed the full support of thousands of South Carolina Baptists for a bill that will protect life in the womb, beginning at conception, to Rep. John McCravy III, chairman of the state’s House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee.
“The only exception we believe is appropriate is to protect the life of the mother,” Beam clarified. “Since 1973, between 60 and 70 million precious babies have been swept out of the womb with no regard for their life or the contributions they might have made to society,” he said.
Noting that all South Carolina Baptists recognize and respect every woman’s reproductive rights, Beam added, “But once the decision is made to engage in unprotected sexual activity with the result being the creation of another human being, a woman’s reproductive rights end and the baby’s rights begin.”
The right to life belongs to the baby who is conceived, he maintained. “What grows inside the mother is not a problem, a financial liability, a mistake, a bad decision, or a hindrance to the mother’s life goals,” he said. “What grows inside the mother is a human baby with a soul, created in the image of his or her Creator, that deserves all the protections offered to any other human in a civil society.
“The baby’s temporary residence should never be a place of violence where life can be swept away. It should be a place of safety and security where life is cherished, protected, and allowed to grow,” he said.
The recent overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision will allow South Carolina to lead the way in protecting life in the womb because of its intrinsic value that comes from the fact that life bears the image of God, he continued.
“That image is never marred by the method of conception,” he continued, referring to an exception allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest. “But civility, compassion, and common sense should tell us a baby conceived by a crime is not the one who should bear the penalty,” he observed.
For years, the pro-life community in South Carolina has been stepping up to meet the needs of mothers who believe their pregnancy is a crisis and to care for the babies of mothers who choose life, Beam observed. Through crisis pregnancy centers, churches, Christian adoption agencies and foster care facilities, and other pro-life ministries will continue working together to make abortion unthinkable and unnecessary, he said.