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Lately, I’ve been mulling over what it means to be pro-life.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
I define pro-life as valuing life above all else. Being pro-life means seeking abundant life for all.
While people usually associate being pro-life with the issue of abortion, I believe that it has a much greater scope. However, I will begin with the issue of abortion.
Perhaps my feminist friends (I consider myself a feminist) will scorn me for my position, but I cannot morally reconcile abortion, especially late-term or partial-birth abortion. As for abortions that would happen early in the pregnancy, I’m a little hazy on that. I don’t really have a problem with contraceptives or the morning after pill. Maybe this is nothing more than my anthropocentrism, but when the being begins to form appendages resembling my own arms, legs and head… it becomes difficult for me to justify its termination.
I also understand that there are more factors to consider than simply the status of the baby. The mother’s predicament must also be taken into account. Health risks and rape have serious repercussions for the mother and are wholy out of her control. I also understand the significant stigmas related to sexual assault and single motherhood. It is unfair in cases such as these for society to necessitate that the mother must care for the child. Doing so places zero responsibility on the father of the child, who should be required to accept half of the responsibility. I understand the legal difficulties of verifying the father’s identity. But, if society makes it difficult to ascertain the identity of the father, then that society must accept at least the father’s responsibility for the child.
If we, as a society, decide that abortion is wrong and should therefore be illegal with a few extenuating exceptions (which I believe we should), then by necessity we must assume full responsibility for children of unwanted pregnancies. Whether that be through financial support of state/social programs to provide daycare, tutoring, nutrition, transportation, education, welfare, and all other needs, or through actually adopting children from unwanted pregnancies, our society must be willing to care for our children.
If you vote pro-life but are unwilling to adopt or support institutions to do likewise, you are as morally reprehensible as those who carry out abortions.
Furthermore, being “pro-life” has greater implications than simply determining one’s opinion on abortion.
By its very definition, pro-life values life. Therefore, a pro-lifer seeks to dismantle any system which degrades, devalues or destroys life. Such systems include the American penal system, white supremacist groups, anti-gay movements, radical Islam, the war on terror, torture, and greedy corporations. To support such systems is to support death; they must be dismantled or subverted.
If you support the death penalty, then you’re not actually pro-life. If you support war, you’re not pro-life.
These are agents of death. Jesus came that we may have abundant life. This is our mission to carry out.