While I realize that pro-life and pro-choice are sensitive topics that elicit passion and sometimes downright hatred toward others, it’s an important discussion to have. If you consider yourself pro-life, you simply must read this entire post and share it. Why? Because if you want to actually inspire change, you need to understand and correct the problems that exist within the pro-life movement.
This is not meant as a “shame on you” post. So, if this post leaves you feeling guilty (or convicted as many of my conservative friends would say), I urge you to look at your beliefs and your actions…and make a change.
I consider myself pro-life. By the end of this piece, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that. I’ve never had an abortion. I hold no judgment toward women that made that choice. I can’t imagine their circumstances. With that being said, I think that as women, we must be careful with our bodies. I don’t mean become a nun or celibate. This isn’t 1942. I mean that we must take ample precautions and we should also be highly selective because we are the givers of life. I am not saying that men get a free pass. Yet, the fact remains that women generally bear most of the burden when it comes to a little life. It certainly can’t be healthy for a woman to have multiple abortions, either. Needless to say, the pro-life / pro-choice argument can be highly sensitive and complicated.
With that being said, there are some serious problems that exist within the pro-life movement. Those issues point out the blatant hypocrisy that exists and that causes people to feel so much disdain (and sometimes flat out hate).
Pro-Birth and Pro-Life Are Treated as If They Are Synonymous
The main problem in the pro-life movement is that pro-birth and pro-life are treated as if they are synonymous. They are not the same thing. Pro-birth would classify the majority of people who belong to what we know as the pro-life movement. What do they care about? Pregnancies brought to term and babies being born. Sadly, many of these same people pitch a fit over food assistance, TANF, Section 8, free lunch and reduced lunch programs, birth control, and low-cost (read: affordable) health care. Medicaid? Don’t you dare expand it. Food stamps? Get a job, ya lazy bums. If you’re only concerned about the pregnancy and the birth, you’re not pro-life. You are pro-birth.
Pro-life considers the entire lifespan of that little baby that the “pro-life movement” fought so hard to see born. It means we care that the baby has diapers, formula, baby food, and the likes. The necessities. It means we care about mom. A healthy mom means the baby gets a better chance in life. It means we care about the health of the child as he or she grows. And before someone asks, I am not saying do away the death penalty. That’s a discussion for another day. What I am saying is that if you truly believe that you are pro-life, you care that the little baby who was born has enough to eat and drink. You care about making sure they have clothes on their back. You care enough to help their mom (and/or dad and/or grandparent) get and stay healthy so that the child gets a real chance at life.
Matt. 25:35-36 (AMP): For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in; I was naked and you clothed…
Matt. 25:37-38, 40 (AMP): Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You or thirsty and give You something to drink? And when did we see You as a stranger and invite You in or naked and clothed You? The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.
I don’t really need to point out that those are the words of Jesus. If you consider yourself a Christian, you have a moral obligation set forth by your Holy Book to do for the least of them. It doesn’t say do for the least of them at birth only. If you only care about the pregnancy and birth, you are pro-birth and not pro-life.
The Blatant Hypocrisy of the “Pro-Life Movement” Must Be Addressed…and Changed
First, let me say this: hypocrisy exists in every person and in every movement. No one is perfect. However, if you want to reach more people, the blatant (and extremely harmful) hypocrisy of the “pro-life movement” must be addressed and changed. While you may not be able to change an entire movement, YOU can change your actions and words. By doing so, you CAN affect other people.
Life is a catch-22. We have the “pro-life movement” talking about how all life is sacred…and adoption is numero uno (and I am a big fan of adoption). Yet, the same group primarily falls into the “Not my problem if you can’t get groceries. If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them!” Yet, they don’t support abortion…and most of them won’t adopt on their own because of their own personal / family / professional obligations or because of the associated cost.
As a society, we cannot preach about the sanctity of life while simultaneously telling people who exist that their need for food, water, shelter, and basic medical care isn’t our problem as a society. We cannot expect people to get out of dead-end, entry level, minimum wage jobs if we continue to cut education and not give people a chance. College isn’t a necessity. Some people are naturally gifted (I’m looking at you, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg….you college drop outs!), but when we glorify education (that not everyone can afford) as a means to an end, we’re continuing the cycle. Jobs that don’t pay enough to provide groceries and medical care…and a roof over your head…that’s a problem.
I remember about 12 years ago that I applied for a job at Subway because I just could not seem to find a job as an administrative assistant. I had turned in countless resumes. I filled out countless applications. At the time, I was married to someone who pretty much didn’t want to work (and when he did work, he didn’t contribute to necessities) and I had three small children to feed (one of which wasn’t biologically mine). I got an interview at Subway and the manager told me with sadness in her voice that she just couldn’t hire me because I was “overqualified to make sandwiches.” Save your sexist jokes.
Many people, gender notwithstanding, fall into that same category. They can’t find work in their chosen professions so they look at entry level jobs just to put food on the table…and they are told no.
When was the last time you got a raise? Did it keep up with inflation or are you struggling to make the ends meet? Newsflash: corporations have record profits while their employees need help or do without to survive. The “pro-life movement” vilifies the women who are just like them. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell people to have children because abortion is wrong and then tell them it’s not your problem that they “chose” to have babies they couldn’t afford.
John 12:47 (AMP) If anyone hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge and condemn the world, but to save the world.
If Jesus said that He did not come to judge and condemn, who the hell are you to do it? As a follower of Christ, you should be imitating His life. That means you help those who need it and provide them with support.
Would You Intentionally Put Your Child in Harm’s Way?
As a society, we have some norms. I’m not saying the norms are good or bad. Some may be outdated. How many times have you heard that:
- You should get married because you’re pregnant.
- You should make it work for your kid.
Usually, people mean well by these statements. Being a single parent is NOT easy. Like it or not, there are some differences in the way that the brain works in men and in women. Yes, I am quite aware that some people may have developed outside of these norms. However, for the sake of conversation, let’s keep it simple. I am NOT saying give your daughter only dolls and a play kitchen and give your sons only dump trucks and a set of tools. I am saying that when it is healthy, there are benefits for the parents and the child(ren) if the parents are able to stay together.
Really, there is. You have at least one friend who has the, “I wish my mother / father loved me. I wish that my mom / dad would have been proud of me. I have trust issues because of my mom / dad.” When the parents have a healthy relationship with each other and with the child(ren), the child(ren) are more likely to be well-rounded, functioning adults.
Regardless of whether you consider yourself well-rounded, functional, or healthy ask yourself these questions:
- If I had a magic ball and you learned that you would die from a devastating accident in 15 years, but that next year you’d have a baby, would you have your child knowing they would lose you? What if you had no significant other and no family?
- If I had a magic ball and you learned that you would have a baby in two years and that your child would die before they turned two years (remember, this is a magic ball) and that what killed them would bring them unimaginable suffering, would you still have the baby?
- If you had to go to work and the only person available to watch your child ended up being a child abuser or had abused you, would you leave your child with them? What if missing work meant you lost your job and that it would take you nine months to find a job that paid less?
Sometimes, life isn’t fair and we end up with shitty parents. I know. I had shitty parents. I made it out alive, but not without my own issues. Sure, I run a business. I am married. I have children (one of which is an adult with a job – hooray!). Not everyone learns what NOT to do by watching their parents. Many children mimic that behavior.
There are women whose partners would kill them (and their child) if they tried to leave. Domestic violence is no respecter of income, societal standing, or anything else. No one grows up thinking, “I wanna be a victim of domestic violence when I grow up.” Just read the news.
One of the most common thoughts people have in troubled and violent relationships is how a baby will bring them closer together. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Babies are expensive. They cry. They need things. They get sick. They need attention. You become sleep deprived. Then, throw in work of some kind plus keeping up with your household responsibilities. That sort of stress can cause a volatile situation to fucking explode.
Of course, if you’ve never been in that situation, you think it’s easy to avoid or to leave. It’s not. In fact, abusers are often masterful manipulators who are able to hide their true colors for a very long time. And the most dangerous time for a woman (and her child) is right after she leaves. Now throw in the costs of an expensive legal system. I’ve been there and I was lucky to get out alive.
Now, tell me, would you willingly bring your child into a situation that could result in you or your child being killed?
The same argument could be made with other cultural or societal issues. If you want women to shun abortion, society must step up. We must get rid of double standards.
Psalm 119:113 (AMP) I hate those who are double-minded…
James 1:8 (AMP) …being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways.
Psalm 146:6 (AMP) The Lord protects the strangers…
Valuing One Life Above Another
Abortion is not always cut and dry. Yet, those who claim to be “pro-life” often place value on one life above another. Keep in mind that the woman seeking an abortion was once an unborn life that you sought to protect because “they have rights.” How quickly their rights are stripped away despite already existing in personhood. I won’t make an argument about when life should officially start or lecture you on my personal beliefs. Should we place one person’s life above that of another person?
The mother is just as much the work of the hands of God as the unborn child.
If you didn’t read this and you consider yourself pro-life, shame on you. You’re likely avoiding conviction and are pro-birth and not pro-life.