In the ongoing battle against abortion, an oft-used strategy by the pro-choice movement is to dismiss those who cite faith in their opposition to the practice.
Such opposition, it’s been said, imposes religious beliefs on others and so should be disallowed, as if moral beliefs that grow from faith are somehow less legitimate than those learned from familial influence, a political party, prevailing culture, or a Magic 8 Ball.
But the real tragedy of the faith-only argument is that it often makes it easier for those who support abortion to ignore the inconvenient, but undeniable scientific fact that human life begins at conception. Before anything else, this fight is about the simple principal that killing innocent human beings is wrong. It’s about the humanity of the unborn and if we as a civilized people, value life.
You don’t have to be part of a church or denomination to know the answer to that one.
Right to Life of Kern County is nonsectarian and nonpartisan, but it would be disingenuous to suggest that the organization would exist without local people of faith; mostly Catholics and Protestants bonded by the belief that every human being is of inestimable worth. But it’s just as true that – grounded in science and hard reality – a growing number of non-Christians are opposed to abortion as well.
For that reason, Right to Life of Kern County applauds the efforts of Feminists for Life of America who believe a “woman deserves better than having to choose between sacrificing education and career and sacrificing her child.”
We’re thankful for Democrats for Life, who actively encourage their party to “provide social and economic support that can lead to reductions in abortion.” We can look past our faith differences to appreciate the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-life League for its “nontheistic and non-religious opposition to the life-denying horror of abortion.”
Abortion has set us on a dangerous course. If that tide is to be turned, the continued conviction and efforts of people of faith are crucial. But as a civilized society, we all must be guided by the principal that our moral lives are defined by the way we treat the innocent.
Jessica Stump may not know yet exactly what she’s going to do with the rest of her life, but she is certain whatever path she takes, pro-life advocacy is going to play a big part in it.
“I want to work for an interest group doing something I’m really passionate about,” she said. “I know what I advocate for isn’t my truth, it’s God’s truth.”
Already a confident and capable advocate, Jessica has spoken in defense of life at RTLKC events and was recently chosen by the RTLKC Board of Directors to receive a $350 Student Leaders for Life scholarship based on her winning pro-life essay.
She is grateful, she says, for the “firm foundation” education she received at BCHS and feels well prepared to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall. There, she will consider political science and philosophy, among other majors, with an eye toward a career in law.
Jessica ends a very active high school career with a 4.3 GPA at BCHS where the slim six-footer also made her mark in varsity volleyball and as a Ford Dimension Student with the Ford Dream Builders.
Jessica is the daughter of Michael and Jillian Stump.
Defending the unborn isn’t easy in the current culture, but 18-year-old Sarah Ashbrook can’t imagine staying silent, even if it means risking the end of a friendship.
“I’ve always been really pro-life and it’s hard when a lot of your friends are pro-choice,” Sarah said. “But the truth is that a human life is not ours to take – it’s God’s decision when someone is born or dies, not ours.”
Sarah’s ability to communicate that passion for the sanctity of life earned her a $350 Student Leaders for Life Scholarship.
Graduating with a 3.7 GPA from Turner Christian Academy (through the Home Educators Resource Center), Sarah will attend Bakersfield Community College this fall, then hopes to transfer to Cal Baptist University.
Though she “isn’t 100 percent sure” just yet, she expects to major in justice administration with an eye toward law enforcement and forensics. A second choice would be a career in emergency medical services.
“I’ve never wanted to sit an a desk,” she said. “Besides, helping people is really cool.”
Sarah is the daughter of Mark and Carol Ashbrook.