Redefining Pro-Life

This preoccupation with calling Pro-Life a child’s right-to-life is totally missing an important part of life’s equation. We do suffer in this country from a blind spot to future responsibilities for our actions. Whether we are talking about water, energy, food, medicine, or life itself, we tend to avoid looking at the long-term consequences of responsibilities we never got around to assuming.

 Children don’t exist in a vacuum. We’re all part of a community. If a child has a right to be born, then that child, in a responsible community, would also have a right to a welcome home, sustenance, and education to prepare for life work. That child has a right to a quality of life which seems to be totally disregarded in the passionate Pro-Life pleas. True pro-life requires a much stronger commitment than simply delivering a child.

 The very voices espousing Pro-Life politically, are the same voices that want to cut taxes, education, and health care. If we do honestly care about the life of a child, it begins before conception and continues throughout growth and development. Without that commitment, who has the audacity to demand that every conception be brought to term?

 While there are success stories of women who have chosen to carry their children to term and placed them for adoption to loving homes, there are too many other stories of children who were not wanted, and were raised in a home that resented them, or an adoptive home that abused them.

 In their book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women, Kristof and WuDunn quote a Muslim woman who said, “You think we’re victims, because we cover our hair and wear modest clothing. But we think that it’s western women who are repressed, because they have to show their bodies- even go through surgery to change their bodies- to please men.”

 Pro-Life/ Pro-Choice cannot be taken out of the context of all of life. We’ve taken baby steps towards women’s rights in the US but the current debate lets us know we have much work to do to define, encourage, and support a quality of life for all people.



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