I’m a father of two, and I consider myself pro-life, even though I’m not anti-choice.
And actually, I view access to safe, legal, and rare abortion as part of women’s healthcare…which is about life. So I see this all as being very consistent.
What I don’t see as consistent is the idea that being “pro-life” strictly means being “anti-choice.” That’s not pro-life at all. That’s pro-fetus. That’s different.
See, I’m pro-life because I not only trust environmental science and scientists when they tell us the Earth is warming at an alarming rate, I try to do things and support legislation that will slow, if not reverse, that tide.
I’m pro-life because I’m pro universal healthcare. If we had universal healthcare, you know what? There would be fewer abortions. I’m almost certain there would. Universal healthcare is pro all life.
I’m pro-life because I’m pro public education. In fact, I’d love more of my tax dollars to head that way. An educated public is in my best interest, and yours, even if you don’t have any children. I want my baristas reading Kant, knowing long division, and well-versed in politics. You should, too. It makes for a better society.
I’m pro-life because I’m for a social safety net that helps those who are stuck in cycles of poverty and oppression. I’m pro-life because I’m pro breaking those cycles at every turn. The biggest farce of the traditional so-called “pro-life” movement is their abandonment of those already born in deference for the fetus. If you force people to have babies, you should be willing to support those children to adulthood.
I’m pro-life because I’m against the death penalty, in all cases. You might see a contradiction there between not being against abortions but being against the death penalty, but here’s the thing: I know that the person on death row is a living, breathing, human. It’s unquestionable. I do not know that a fetus is…none of us do. But we do know a living, breathing, post-birth person is, regardless of what they’ve done.
I’m pro-life because I’m anti-war. I’d love to designate the majority of my tax dollars to education and public safety, and give as little as possible to public defense. Not because I do not enjoy the merits of a free and well-protected society, and not because I do not respect our people in uniform…I certainly do. But because I believe we have over-compensated in that arena since the days of Eisenhower, and have left our children and our homeless and our hungry and our lonely to get the scraps of our social love.
And what’s more: those who do fight in our endless wars, which are well funded, in too many ways become homeless and hungry and lonely and sick when they return from war. We fund them while they’re fighting, and abandon them while they’re mentally and physically and emotionally dying. This is duplicitous on our part, and we can do better.
I’m pro-life because I’m pro-immigration. I don’t believe in open borders, but I certainly don’t believe in walls, either. And I don’t believe in family separation, no matter if a Democrat does it, or a Republican enforces it. Anyone who claims to be “pro-life” but wants to build a wall is playing a game of semantics and lying to themselves. They are not pro-life; they are pro their “way of life.” That is very, very different.
I’m pro-life because I’m pro female healthcare. Women can choose what happens to their bodies. So few abortions happen because a child “isn’t wanted.” So many happen because a fetus isn’t viable, or there are other risk factors involved, and though I cannot imagine ever counseling someone to end a pregnancy, I do not think it is my right to tell them they have to continue it. You just walk with them, give them the best information available, and support them.
The choice is too personal, and too difficult, to legislate in the negative, so we must protect the legislation of the positive, of choice.
We need a re-definition of pro-life in this nation, and I say this as thousands gather in the “pro-life” march at this moment. Our popular definition is far too narrow.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t like that abortions happen, but I understand why they do. I don’t think anyone likes that they happen. I don’t think anyone is “pro-abortion.” I cannot, as a man, relate to having to make the choice, but I can empathize for sure. It’s always tough, always sad, always personal, and, as a medical procedure, should always be legal.
Because sometimes difficult things happen in life, which means difficult choices have to be wrestled with. And the only way to safely wrestle with them is…well…this way.
It’s about safety and healthcare in the end. It is.
You cannot “protect” the fetus in the womb and abandon it the moment the umbilical cord is cut. That’s not protection at all. That’s forced abandonment. That’s pro-fetus.
I think you can be pro-life but not anti-choice.
In fact, I would say that’s the most consistent way to be.