This is a pro-life response to the article from The Salon, “I am pro-abortion, not just pro-choice: 10 reasons why we must support the procedure and the choice” that came out on Friday, April 24, 2015.
1.) I am pro-life because I believe women are empowered when they understand the consequences of sex and don’t feel the need to run from their responsibilities or femininity.
A woman is naturally empowered when she can plan her family by understanding her own body, and by knowing when she’s fertile. Natural Family Planning is free, it’s chemical-free with no side effects or risks, and helps a couple communicate better, increases intimacy, and engender mutual respect. When a woman wants to avoid getting pregnant, she doesn’t have to have sex when she knows she’s fertile. When she does decide to have a baby, she can take part in an amazing life-giving act. Conceiving a child is not the end of her life, her career is not ruined, and her chances at happiness in life are not diminished. The society that makes a woman choose between her career and her child is not pro-woman. A woman truly has a choice when she can relate to her sexuality this way. A woman truly has the ability to stand on equal ground with a man when she can say NO, when she isn’t prepared to conceive a child. The enemy isn’t men or women, and isn’t abortion restriction - it is the system that does not respect mothers enough to offer them real choices. The societal worldview we have now treats motherhood as a burden to avoid and thus shuns the feminine genius that is motherhood. I am for uplifting women, mothers, and their families by saying motherhood doesn’t ruin lives but creates new and beautiful lives!
2.) I’m pro-life because every child is wanted.
It may not be by their biological parents who want them, but there are many infertile couples waiting to adopt. Some people give the either-or fallacy that abortion is a merciful good because they assume that child will have a terrible life and conflate adoption with foster care. The adoption and foster care system is in bad shape and does need reform — the solution to the problems of foster care should be reforming the system not killing children. It shouldn’t cost more to adopt a child than to kill a child. No one is ever 100 percent ready to be a mom. No matter how financially ready you are, how many books or articles or classes you’ve gone through, actually being a mother is where you learn how to be a great parent. So many people delay having children later or not at all because society imposes the idea that you need to be wealthy or perfectly prepared, or both for your child to live a happy, fulfilling life. This is a misconception. Waiting until you have the house and career you want before you have children is a failsafe. In fact, it’s actually a pitfall. On a smaller scale, the later you have children, the harder it will be to conceive and the risk of miscarriage and fetal abnormalities rise. Children aren’t ever convenient but ask any mother, they are worth it. Besides, real love isn’t supposed to be easy – it’s desiring the best for beloved, even at the expense of yourself.
3.) I’m pro-life because I take motherhood seriously.
Going through a pregnancy and becoming a mother is one of the most positively life-transforming things a woman can do. To dismiss the amazing journey of motherhood by demanding birth control and abortion trivializes women and motherhood. Motherhood is a lot of work, but it’s work that is probably some of the most valuable on this planet. The virtues that derive from motherhood don’t just appear because you were always 100 percent on board with being a mother, had a blissful pregnancy and birthing, or because you were 100 percent ready to be a mother. The virtues you gain, the better person
you become when you become a mother come when you become a mother. They come from a pregnancy that was unwanted or wanted, with a supporting husband/boyfriend, or neither, with wealth or being broke, at 14 years old or 34 years old, ready or not. You don’t go into parenthood knowing all the answers, you learn as you go. We shouldn’t be tricked into fearing this journey of love that is motherhood.
4.) I’m pro-life because humans are the greatest natural resource of our world. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “It is a poverty for someone to die so you can live as you wish.”
Families are the atom of society and when men choose to step out of parenthood, mothers are left in the dust and have two choices: Become one of the 12 million single mothers out there or do the only thing they feel is a valid option, abort their child. We, as a nation, become poor when we snuff out our greatest wealth, and abandon responsibility to children. Single mothers are among the poorest in our nation, and compared to children raised by married husbands and wives, their children have a higher chance of being raised in poverty and staying in poverty. It is a big misconception that large families suffer. I know plenty of big families and they are doing fine and have incredibly fulfilling lives. The families that are suffering are not suffering because they have too many children, it’s because their financial priorities are in the wrong place or they aren’t in the right financial place due to insufficient jobs – and again, the solution isn’t to kill our children but to fix the economy. You might find it hard to believe but the women getting abortions are not among the poorest. Overpopulation isn’t currently an issue because we aren’t anywhere near it; we just have a distribution problem. Also, if the contraception that is so highly praised is working, why were more than half of the women having abortions using contraception at the time of the conception of their child? I believe all life is precious and welcomed – the right to life should not be reserved for only the wanted and the privileged and the healthy.
5.) I’m pro-life because reproduction is a miracle — and miracles are a positive thing.
Reproduction is beautiful and it gives back more than it takes. Nothing compares to the unique gift of a new human life. The miracle of life doesn’t come so easy for all women and infertility is a huge suffering to many. Miscarriages are incredibly heartbreaking for all involved. Some people perceive miscarriages and the fact that an estimated 6-8-% of fertilized eggs (scientifically properly called embryos at that stage) never implant and become healthy newborns as “nature’s way of weeding out imperfect babies.” Be that as it may, those are not intentional decisions coming from the parent’s will to end their pregnancy. To say that abortion complements a natural process is highly offensive to any woman mourning the loss of her miscarried child. Abortion is an intentional and deliberate act decided upon to end the life of your child. Intent is key. It makes all the difference in the world in a court of law to decide whether a death was in self-defense or pre-meditated murder! No mother of a miscarried child would wish that suffering upon any other woman and that is what women are wishing upon themselves when they have an abortion, whether they realize it right after the procedure or on their deathbed.
6.) I’m pro-life because I believe in consistent morals that dictate ALL human lives are real, that each one matters, and EVERYONE deserves the right to life.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a coma or in an airport, whether you’re in a wheelchair or in a bed, comatose. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just been conceived in your mother’s womb or if you’re on your deathbed. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro basketball player or a person with a debilitating medical condition. I can say with confidence that my moral values are consistent. When we say we ought to (and do our darnedest) to practice love and respect towards everyone, we mean it. Do to others as you would have them do to you – it’s called the Golden rule for a reason and gold always beats out silver and platinum.
7.) I’m pro-life because I believe in the empowering act of planning out your family through Natural Family Planning.
Contraception is man-made and is bound to fail, like us. Like I stated, almost half of the women having abortions used contraception at the time of the conception of their child. So sex using contraception, whether it’s used perfectly or imperfectly, can result in a pregnancy. It’s simple. The idea that “slap on a condom or take a pill and you’ll have safe sex!” is doing more harm than good because it spreads the false idea of consequence-free sex, separating the act of sex from its natural end: pregnancy/babies. And when people think sex is a free-for-all, having it for the sole purpose of pleasure becomes the norm and the babies that result from it are unwanted. Babies resulting from sex is not something gone wrong, something to fix, it is something gone right, a miraculous joy to welcome.
Because life begins at conception, not implantation (as defined by the abortion rhetoric after abortion was legalized), we know that the pill, other hormonal contraceptives, the IUD and Plan B can be abortifacient. So, Plan B (a high dose of the birth control pill) starts to work by preventing an egg from being released. Secondly, it also causes a woman’s cervical mucus to thicken, creating an inhospitable environment for sperm. But if those two effects fail to prevent conception, if the egg is released and is fertilized, these methods inhibit the implantation of the embryo by thinning the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). The newly-conceived child is sloughed off, and dies. Any child dying, whether through a miscarriage, an abortion, or even through abortifacient contraception is a tragedy and I don’t wish that pain on anyone.
8.) I’m pro-life because I believe the answer to a crisis or unplanned (crisis) pregnancy is to eliminate the crisis, not the child.
The most merciful thing you can do for a woman in need is help her solve the problems in her life, not end the life of an innocent bystander. We, as pro-life sidewalk counselors, are prepared for any circumstances. I had the chance to talk to an abortion-minded woman outside of an abortion clinic around a year ago. With tears in her eyes, she explained to me that she was actually homeless (she slept in her car the night before), she already had a baby that she was struggling to take care of and had a very un-supportive family, including the abusive father of her child. If she had just gone in for an abortion the only thing that would have happened is they would have taken around $600 from her to kill her baby. I helped her to the pregnancy center across the street where she got a free ultrasound, free STD testing, free counseling. They helped her obtain baby items for her child, resources in finding a job and a place to live, and some of them became and are friends of hers for life. Now, can you tell me that abortion was the empowering and compassionate path? The choice that would have acknowledged this women’s dignity, and needs? Abortion isn’t a life-enhancing surgery like a knee surgery. It’s the only surgical procedure that claims to fix something that isn’t broken and intentionally ends a life. I can think of another story that illustrates the fruits of life vs abortion where a young woman, proud to label herself as pro-choice drove her friend to get an abortion and even paid for it. That friend had become pregnant after rape and was living in poverty, had an abusive boyfriend and was addicted to drugs. Later on, that very friend became pregnant again and this time chose life. She turned her life around for that child and is now clean, free of her abusive partner and is an amazing mother living a productive life. It only makes sense that choosing death would lead you towards darkness and choosing life brings you to the light.
9.) I’m pro-life because one person can make a difference.
Yes, I believe in the butterfly effect that small changes can lead to huge ones that impacts everyone’s future. There are over 55 million people in America whose lives were snuffed out that could have been here on this earth changing the world for the better. Finding cures for cancer, winning Nobel peace prizes, changing lives, helping solve the social security problem. I know the pain in his heart of a special friend, who is so dear to me, who has a sister and three more siblings in heaven that he never knew here on earth. I know there are millions of fathers, mothers, grandparents, and siblings who have felt the loss of a person who has been snuffed out of this world through abortion. I can’t believe how having those people (who died from abortion) here would have changed things for the worse as pro-abortion people imply.
10.) I’m pro-life because I love everyone.
I am standing in the gap for all those who are marginalized because society tells them they have to contribute something to be valued. I’m so very heartbroken to hear the story of Brynn’s sibling, the first child of the mother in the article, the one she decided to kill. The author, Valerie Tarico, claims that if she had not aborted her first child, Brynn would not exist. I still am baffled by how many people use this faulty reasoning. The child they aborted could have had the very traits they love in their other child(ren). They would still love them. They would still have had that second or third child. They have no idea what things would have been like! The birth of the first child wouldn’t have taken away the lives of those children living now, it would have added to them! It could have been a both/and, not an either/or!
We are finding more and more that prenatal testing is often times inaccurate, and doctors oftentimes suggest abortions when there wasn’t even a problem! There is story after story of women who were told by their doctors that their baby was going to live a terrible life or a short life so abortion was the best solution and the mother refused and gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby. I hope that wasn’t Ms. Tarico’s case, but either way, if her first child had fetal abnormalities, I’m sure Ms. Tarico would have loved him/her, and love is what makes a child happy, not perfection. My dearest friend has a brother with Trisomy 18 (who is now in heaven) who positively changed everyone’s lives for the better. Perfectly healthy children or not, perfectly stable living environment or not, all of us are glad to be living here on the earth and would choose life.
Having an abortion isn’t what makes us love and appreciate people who we have in front of us, we can do that on our own – and love everyone born and pre-born. We don’t, and shouldn’t have to, choose between the pre-born or the born children we have – we can love them both!
In conclusion, women aren’t empowered when they have abortions, they are empowered when they respect their innate capacity for the amazing gift of motherhood.
Evie works in Graphic Design & Content Creation at Pro-Life Action Ministries in St. Paul, MN. She also does freelance illustration, animation and even face painting on the side. Evie is a weekly sidewalk counselor at abortion mills in Minnesota and is active in her parish community at St. Raphael’s in Crystal, MN.
This article can also be found online at her blog: forricher4poorerinsicknessandinhealth.blogspot.com/2015/05/why-im-pro-liferesponse-to-i-am-pro.html.
Note: Please, do not take anything said in this post to mean that I think every single woman on the planet should push out lots of babies like a machine, or even be a stay-at-home mom. As someone who longs for motherhood, I just deeply appreciate our capacity we women have to make, nourish & raise children. Every woman should have a choice. But that choice cannot enhance her dignity if it takes the life of a child. Every woman should be able to choose whether she conceives, or to place her child for adoption if she does not want to take on the responsibility of motherhood.