Learn the Facts

If you’re really pro-life, why don’t you oppose the death penalty?

Many pro-lifers question whether a society that allows the legal killing of more than a million unborn children each year can retain the moral authority to impose the penalty of death. However, the death penalty cannot be considered morally equivalent to abortion.

Abortion is a far more serious threat to human life than the death penalty. For every execution performed in the United States, there are more than 51,000 abortions. Moreover, the basic principles behind these two forms of legalized killing are fundamentally different.

Behind legal abortion is the principle that the life of the unborn child does not have intrinsic value, and therefore the state may withdraw protection from that life. Behind the death penalty is the principle that the life of the convicted criminal has so much value that to take that life constitutes the ultimate penalty society can impose.

Therefore, there is no inherent contradiction between opposing abortion and supporting the death penalty in principle. But there is a clear contradiction between opposing the execution of human beings guilty of heinous crimes and supporting the abortion of innocent unborn human beings.


Death Penalty Information Center. “Execution List 2022.” Accessed November 3, 2023. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions/2022.

Guttmacher Institute. “Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2020.” November 2022. https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/11/abortion-incidence-and-service-availability-united-states-2020.

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