What does it mean to be “pro-life?”
Don’t answer that yet. Not until you completely finish reading this.
Last week, I read an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where a famous actress called on the powers of Hollywood to pull their business out of Georgia in response to the Georgia Senate’s passage of House Bill 481 — also called the ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill. Once it receives the governor’s signature, it will be among the strictest abortion laws in the country, limiting the legal window for abortions to only six weeks. From what I researched, many women have no idea that they’re even pregnant by that time.
Naturally, several hundreds of people drew to the Internet to voice their support and opposition to the bill — and naturally, I sat back and read the comments as earnestly as I read one of Brad Thor’s books. Like any other observer of human interaction, I started reflecting on my own perspective regarding the issue and chose to share them with you.
I am a pro-lifer. I am a pro-choicer. I believe in life and all that life can be for those who live it while also believing in the right of a woman to govern their bodies in the matter that they see fit. Confusing? You see, I’m not the same kind of “pro-lifer” that you see protesting in the streets and hiding behind the cover of being the “voice to the voiceless.” Believe it or not, many of them are not pro-lifers — they’re pro-birthers — therefore that’s what I will call them henceforth. The misuse of that term bothers me unimaginably. The thing is, they don’t believe in ‘killing babies,’ but they also don’t believe in doing what it takes to provide those babies with the quality of life that all humans deserve after they’re born. Many of them don’t believe in appropriating taxes to provide universal healthcare or advocating for social safety nets which will assist in the development of children to become productive members of society. Are we rooting for the baby to be born, but then abandoning them to live a life in a country where racism, social injustice and other vices run rampant?
Pro-birthers seek to fulfill a set of values which is driven by the innate desire to not bring harm to the unborn. Movements have sprung up around the world demanding that governments take more action to protect the lives of unborn children. Many have advocated that adoption be the alternative to abortion. However, according to statistics retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Administration of Children & Families, a total of 123,437 children were waiting to be adopted as of September 30, 2017. Of that total, 26% of adoptable children were less than a year old. The other 74% were a year or more and were incrementally less likely to be adopted as they grew older. As a result, the majority of children who enter into the care of the state are not adopted and eventually age out of the system altogether.
In summation, think about what it really means to be pro-life. Being pro-life should include your concern and your actions for the betterment of children and their development into healthy and productive adults. If a woman makes the decision to abort her child, consider the health and life conditions of both the woman and child. I do. Which is why I am also pro-choice.
It is tantamount to our character as a nation to respect women’s’ rights to choose how to govern their bodies. Women have fought for decades to change the archaic perception of womanhood and be treated as equal to men — equal opportunity, equal pay, equal suffrage. They have come so far to achieve all that they have once been denied. Who are we as a society to deny them the most basic right of self-determination?