Frank Schaeffer on the Evangelical Regard for Human Life

Context: Frank Schaeffer is the son of famed evangelical teacher Francis Schaeffer. The two of them helped bring abortion to the forefront of the American evangelical conscience in the 1980s. Frank has since repented of his conservatism. In May, 2022, after the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Schaeffer was interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

In this excerpt Frank is responding to a statement by the National Association of Evangelicals that their pro-life beliefs stem from an understanding that “every human life from conception to death has inestimable worth” (14:05 in the video):

Yes, well, first of all, the evangelicals do not believe that, because if they did, they would be fighting for paid parental leave so fathers and mothers could go home and be with their children instead of women going back to work, three low-paid jobs, with a terrible minimum wage, while they’re still bleeding from a cesarean section. Evangelicals don’t care about that.

They would not have fought, as the Republicans did, against the child tax credit that for a brief shining moment lifted millions of American children out of poverty. But they’re not going to spend that money. They want to get rid of it. They call it socialism.

If this group of people was pro-life, and actually were consistent in their pro-life position, you could have some admiration for them, while disagreeing on the matter of choice. But they are an anti-family group of people who put the welfare of billionaires in this country ahead of children, ahead of women, ahead of poor people, ahead of families. They’re not even for paid parental leave. They’re not for the child tax credit. They do nothing for children in terms of schools and education. They have never raised the minimum wage. They believe in people working two, three jobs on the margin of poverty, and, tough luck, you’re on your own. So the minute that child is born, they are anti-life. They’re not just anti-choice.

And so this is a hypocritical movement.

For an interesting anti-parallel to Schaeffer’s trajectory, see the story of Norma McCorvey (AKA “Jane Roe”) who, after winning the right to abortion for Americans, became a Roman Catholic and a paid anti-abortion activist.