Why Are You Pro-Life?

I just came across a very honest post about why nearly 50% of America is pro-choice. It’s a good read. Whether one agrees or not, it’s important to understand other perspectives so that each of us can make informed, rational decisions for ourselves.  

But I’m not pro-choice. I think I listen to and understand that perspective well. I empathize. But I’m not convinced abortion is the right answer for unwanted pregnancies.

–I feel unborn women deserve rights also.

–I believe men must be held legally responsible and more accountable for their actions in unwanted pregnancies. Read that again.

–I believe churches should do less preaching against abortion and start funding and operating more maternity centers.

–I believe taxes should be lower so that parents may keep more of their money and thereby avoid daycare if so desired. (That makes more sense than keeping taxes high but offering childcare tax credits and/or deductions.) Here’s an idea: do both.

–More churches could & should offer low cost daycare.

–Universal Healthcare for young children should be seriously considered. We do it for the elderly. (P.S. Social Security is failing because abortion has eliminated expected future workforces in our economy.) That was free.

–Adoptions should be less expensive: no child left behind.

–Finally, abortion should be rare. A last resort to save the life of the mother.

A selfish, intentional abortion is the worst sort of child abuse. Abortion always ends a life. There’s no way around that. Our society should be one that welcomes and protects our most innocent life.

What are your thoughts?


9 comments so far

  1. hurricanecandice on

    “I’m pro-choice because it’s the pro-choice movement, not the so-called “pro-life” movement, that genuinely strives to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by providing accurate sex education and access to birth control and women’s health services,” she says in her blog.
    That point makes me side with Raging Red. The pro-life camp preaches and preaches about abstinence, never onceackowledging that condoms and birth control would have reduced the issue in the first place.

    Otherwise, I agree with you about adoption cost and universal healthcare.

  2. sabesi on

    Here here.

    I’ve never considered myself pro-life as much as I am morally opposed to the act of abortion. It’s always seemed to me that there were too many issues that weren’t being addressed in the pro-life vs. pro-choice argument: economic issues, biological defect issues, mental illness issues, etc. But if the bullet points you indicated above were actually implemented, I could probably be pro-life, no problem.

    I wish this were the political platform of ANY of the candidates running for president in 2008. I would vote for it.

    Very well thought-out.

  3. Neil on

    Great list!

    Re. those who are morally opposed to abortion but worry about economic issues, etc.: Economic issues are important, but we should deal with first things first. Either killing an innocent human being in the womb is wrong or it isn’t. If it is wrong, we ought not do it (except to the save the life of the mother, which is consistent with the pro-life ethic).

    Any economic issues should be dealt with separately. The pro-abortion movement loves to cloud the issue and pretend that as soon as we solve 100.00% of societal ills, such as poverty, then we can talk about abortion. Don’t take their bait.

    The same logic applies for the condoms/birth control argument. If someone wants to argue for that, go ahead, but nothing justifies killing the unborn. FYI – Based on Planned Parenthood’s own research arm, 56% of abortions are done to humans conceived while the parents used birth control.

  4. Jay on

    Thank you for the comments everyone.

    @ Neil,

    I guess I’m not 100% convinced either that the morality of the abortion issue should be the sole basis for government intervention. There are many things considered morally wrong (or even sinful in the context of Christian teachings), but not all such things are appropriate for legislation or criminal legal action. For example, evil thoughts or sexual activity between unmarried consenting adults are and would be extremely difficult to regulate or enforce. Despite being a nation founded upon Christian principles, Constitutional liberties and Christianity are not necessarily always in agreement.

    I’m very pro-life, but I recognize that it’s nearly impossible to legally require a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to full term. What’s to stop an intentional miscarriage? An unborn child has almost no legal rights whatsoever in the first trimester (unless the child is wanted). A state’s interest, however, in protecting an unborn child grows as the preganacy progresses. (That is why partial-birth abortions will one day be illegal.)

    But after 30+ years of the abortion debate, it’s obvious to me that the moral argument needs a boost, even if it’s the best and strongest argument. What’s wrong with cultivating an environment that welcomes the unborn through other societal changes?

    When a woman finds herself choosing between her job/career and an unexpected pregnancy, what’s wrong with creating something called the Family and Medical Leave Act? Nothing’s wrong with that. But prior to 1993, women actually and unnecessarily faced that decision and risked losing their jobs permanently without legal recourse before FMLA. But it’s fair to say that the FMLA is a type of pro-life legislation or can have a pro-life result.

    Finally, we Christian types are good at preaching all day long about the morality of something, but we struggle when it comes to practicing true religion: “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). If the pro-life movement is as interested in saving babies as we claim, we will start advocating for changes that make the abortion decision rare and exceptional–not necessarily illegal. If we wish to minimize the market for abortion, we must understand the economics of abortion. If pro-life churches were serious about ending abortion they would prepare for the 3,700 women PER DAY that would be seeking assistance. Those pro-life churches would have already opened their doors to the married, unwed and/or poor mothers who need help. We would advocate more tax policies, etc., that would allow families to flourish. It’s time the pro-life movement think outside the box.

  5. Neil on

    Hi Jay – are you familiar with all the things Crisis Pregnancy Centers do? They cover many of the things you are (rightly) expecting of churches. They get most of their support from churches and individual Christians.

    Re. how to enforce abortion laws – I’m not a professional legislator, but it seems like the laws would focus on the abortionists, not the women. Remember, most of the women don’t want abortions – they are doing so because boyfriends / husbands / parents are pushing them to do so. Making them illegal would make it easier for them to resist this pressure.

    Would laws be difficult to enforce? Perhaps. But so are rape and murder laws. I’m not asking for a nanny-state. But laws ought to protect life first.

  6. raging red on

    Most of the women [who get abortions] don’t want abortions? You got some proof to back that up? I smell b.s. I’ve always found it quite telling that most pro-lifers don’t want to punish the women, just the doctors. If abortion = murder, why shouldn’t the women be punished as murderers? It’s incredibly paternalistic to assume that women are incapable of making their own choices.

    Read up on places where abortion is illegal. It’s not a pretty picture. Women with ectopic pregnancies have to wait until their fallopian tubes burst before they can undergo surgery. There are “forensic vagina specialists” (no, I am not making that up) who examine women who have had miscarriages to determine whether or not they intentionally terminated their pregnancies. For a woman who has a miscarriage, her uterus quite literally becomes a crime scene. Illegal abortion disproportionately harms poor women, because women who can afford to will travel somewhere where it’s legal. Effectively, illegal abortion just means illegal abortion for poor women.

  7. Neil on

    Hi RR – I’ve seen lots of versions of this, but here’s one for starters – http://www.unfairchoice.info/pdf/PortraitsOfCoercion.pdf

    Are you claiming that pro-lifers in the U.S. are against abortions for ectopic pregnancies? That’s something I’d like to see some backup on.

    “It’s incredibly paternalistic to assume that women are incapable of making their own choices.”

    That is a classic pro-choice sound bite that fails like the rest of them because it assumes what it should be proving: That abortion doesn’t kill another human being.

    Should a woman have the “choice” to kill a toddler in her private bedroom along with her doctor and priest because they have consulted each other on this difficult decision? Of course not. So the only question is, “What is the unborn?” If it is not a human being, then no reasoning is necessary. If it is a human being, then no reasoning is valid (except to save the life of the mother).

  8. Jay on

    @ RR

    I had several thoughts after reading the NY Times article entitled Pro-Life Nation that you posted.

    First, it is heartbreaking to consider DC’s story, but her story validates Neil’s observation that most women do not want to choose abortion. In fact, DC is never once quoted as wishing to abort her child. Only after her friend, her baby’s father, and her own mother refuse to support a choice for life does DC opt for an illegal abortion.

    Second, the article and some of your comments hint at classism or discrimination against people less wealthy than others. “Poor” is in many ways nondescript. Yet you and the author seek to build consensus and justification for abortion based on that one simple word. Poor? From who’s perspective? “Poor” assumes a certain quality of life determination by another person. And it is interesting that the cure being promoted for poverty is aborting poor people. That’s the dirty little secret of the compassionate liberals who spread the message of the need for population control, etc: killing “poor” people = curing poverty. That’s classism and all too often the stench of racism.

    Since when does having children necessarily keep someone in poverty anyway? I submit that abortion perpetuates poverty.

    Now, I know first-hand that raising a child can be difficult. But as children grow older, rather than strain the family resources they begin to contribute to the family. Healthy families are self-sustaining built in support systems. One day my child (and hopefully children) will be around to care for myself and my bride in our old age as my siblings and I plan to do for our parents. As people age and are physicaly or mentally unable to care for themselves, they likely will return to a state of poverty without assistance (family or other).

    If we want to end poverty in this world, we will do everything to promote healthy families and we will stop destroying families through abortion. But I guess the compassionate liberals and defenders of the little guy also have a solution for the lonely “poor” elderly folks of the future after Social Security runs dry: euthanasia.

    Third, DC’s story in San Salvador is likely the equivalent to a working middle-class mom in the American suburbs. And citing unique aspects of laws against abortion in San Salvador really does not carry any predictability on the issue in the United States. In both countries there is no such thing as a choice between legal or illegal “back alley” abortions and raising an unwanted child. That is a false choice. Both nations provide for adoption which is always a great option to honor life.

    I applaud San Salvador’s efforts to protect unborn human life even if I might disagree in all the particulars. If I had to choose between 9 months of pregnancy or 5 to 50 years in prison, the adoption option sounds pretty good and guilt free to me.

    Fourth and finally, I would find the NY Times newspaper more credible and unbiased in promoting women’s rights if they would champion abortion reform laws here in the U.S. that would expose abortion providers to the same medical malpractice liability & consent and disclosure requirements as any other medical providers. Almost secretly, many American women are harmed physically, emotionally and even killed in “safe and legal” abortion clinics every year. I’d like to see the NY Times report about that if they truly cared for women’s rights.

  9. theobromophile on

    There is a chicken-and-egg issue with the social structure surrounding abortion. During the not-so-woman friendly 1950s onwards, there was very little socially to help women through pregnancy (and to avoid it in the first place). 2007 is not 1972, though, and a lot of social structures (good adoption options in terms of compensating the birth mother, allowing a variety of adoption set-ups to accomodate her needs, etc) are non-existent because abortion is so common that there is no need for them. Furthermore, as Neil points out, 46% of women who abort (about 500,000 every year) were not using any birth control: abortion is needed because it is available.

    In short, abortion creates its own exigency. If we eliminate abortion as an option, there will be a huge, driving need for political and personal change. Men will no longer talk about “why not just get an abortion? Can’t we just have sex?”and start wondering about child support. People might actually consider whether or not they want to have a child with the person they are heading to bed with. People might realise that condoms are not reliable, that the Pill is not reliable, and that if you are having sex and want to avoid pregnancy, you better be using at least two or three redundant methods of birth control. (Let’s be honest about the chances of getting pregnant when using condoms, the Pill, and a diaphram, gel, or IUD: something like one in a half-million. So shove it about “What happens if the condom breaks?” and try saying, “Well, the Pill and the sperimicide will work, and besides, I can handle having a baby with this man.”)

    Done ranting for now…

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