To be pro-life means you are advocating for a life, not just a birth.
Abortion is one of those controversial topics that has a huge influence on the way people vote. I can’t remember any election in recent years in which the “pro-life vs. pro-choice” issue wasn’t a part. And there is certainly no shortage of passion coming from either side of the argument.
In all the articles that fill our social media newsfeeds, and all the televised debates, one question that always remains in my head is, “What happens to those babies?”
You might assume that this question is referring to all the fetuses cut out of their mothers’ wombs and disposed of. That’s a real concern for many. I certainly share the concern.
But you know what? I have a larger concern for those babies who’s lives we are advocating for. I’m asking about all the babies who live. Where do they go? What happens to THEM?
When a woman chooses abortion, she does not want a baby. Simply telling her she should – or has to – remain pregnant and birth her baby solves very few problems in my mind. It’s great that she remained pregnant and gave birth. But now we have a baby that wasn’t wanted.
A baby that wasn’t wanted, grows into a child that wasn’t wanted, and becomes an adult that isn’t wanted.
It’s all fine and good to fight for the life of a precious, innocent infant. But when that infant grows into the behaviourally-challenged bully that targets your child in the classroom, or becomes the drunk, homeless man who stinks and begs you for change on your way to work everyday (“and why doesn’t he get a damn job like the rest of us do!”), it’s not so cute anymore. It’s not so simple anymore.
We want babies, but we don’t want needy adults who are a drain on society. We want babies, but we don’t want to get messy.
I’m not saying that every unwanted baby become a bully, a homeless man or a prostitute. Certainly that’s the extreme. What I AM saying is that it is not right to advocate for lives just to the point that they make it out of the womb, and then think your job is done. Regardless of the socio-economic status of the mother involved. I am saying that to be pro-life means we stand for life – the mother’s, the infant’s, and whoever that infant becomes in the future.
Being against abortion means that we are going to have many babies – people – born among us who were not wanted. Being against abortion means we will have women in our midst who need support and help. Being against abortion means being willing to foster a child, adopt a child, or to simply step up to help a mom. Maybe it means volunteering with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Maybe it means supporting a single mom financially. Maybe it means working with a ministry that helps street people find and secure jobs. Maybe it means being available to babysit for the worn out mom who didn’t want another child.
One thing I know for sure, is being pro-life DOESN’T mean sporting a sign outside an abortion clinic or sharing a Facebook post to voice your opinion, without any intention to support a mother with an unwanted pregnancy or a child who WAS the unwanted pregnancy.
I know that I want to be pro-LIFE – and all that it entails – and not just pro-birth. Lord, help me be okay to get messy.
“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
-Sister Joan Chittister