A world where every human life is valued and protected.
The above statement is the vision statement of the March for Life. Sounds like a laudable position, yet when I look at their Life Principles page I discover that they only talk about life up until the point of birth. They never mention the lives of women prior to getting pregnant or the lives mothers, fathers, or children after the baby is born. This makes me wonder if they are truly interested in valuing and protecting every human life.
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.
~Catholic Nun Joan Chittister
I hope any group or person who considers themselves pro-life would be comprehensively and not selectively pro-life. I hope when they are advocating for the immediate end to abortions they are also advocating for policies that support women, children, men, and families, at all stages of life. If March for Life really wants to reduce (or end) abortions, I hope they are advocating for policies that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
A truly pro-life position would advocate for the following:
- Comprehensive sex education based on medically accurate information about male and female reproductive systems, the mechanics of sex, the varieties of sex, pregnancy, and birth control
- Universal reproductive health services, including family planning, cancer screenings, disease screenings, and affordable birth control
- Universal pre-natal and post-natal maternal and infant care, including counseling on nutrition, exercise, and postpartum depression
- Mandatory paid parental leave for mothers and fathers to foster healthy attachments to the newborn and allow adequate recovery time for the mother
- Food and nutrition support that ensures every child, no matter the parent’s economic status, has proper nutrition to grow and develop
- Affordable and safe childcare so that parents can work and support their families
- Universal healthcare so that parents can tend to their own health needs and remain healthy and vital as they raise their children
If find it hard to believe the cry of “pro-life” if a person is silent on issues that support vibrant, healthy lives for children, women, and men.
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
1 John 3:17