Pro-Life: An Essay

Copyright © 2004 Jordan White




            What does it mean to be pro-life?


            Silly question, right?  Of course, it means that one values life and regards all life as sacred, given to us by God and to be protected, at all costs.


            That’s what it should mean.  Unfortunately, a relatively small percentage of the population has decided that it should be the arbiter of that term.


            These people, for whatever reason, have decided that the term essentially applies to only one definition of life: that of an unborn child.


            They take this to rather absurd extremes.  In effect, they seem to have decided that an unborn fetus has more so-called “rights” than a 2-month old Palestinian girl or an 11-year-old Iraqi boy.  To abort or not to abort one’s fetus is a moral choice.  Yes, it’s a choice, in spite of a certain trucking company’s assertion that it’s not.  It’s a choice because, in the US, we have a constitutional amendment guaranteeing that choice.  No trucking company or anyone else can change that reality.


            The purveyors of this point of view, that is, that being pro-life refers solely to those who oppose abortion, are arrogantly asserting that they have all wisdom, all truth, all understanding of very deep issues, all on their side.  They blatantly refuse to accept the fact that the law is not on their side, and there are some very important issues they are ignoring and glossing over.  Have they ever been asked to bear the child of their rapist?  Or the child of their own father?  Or have they ever found themselves in such dire need, that being pregnant again will cause the destruction of the family they already have, including that of other children?


            Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments about placing kids for adoption, but adoption, too, is a wrenching choice, and, if the child has birth defects (as children of incest often have), it may be very difficult to place the child in a good home.  I don’t see many of these people who decide so glibly that “the baby could have been put up for adoption!” running forward to adopt any of these kids.


            I actually witnessed a situation where a mother-to-be was lauded as a heroine because she insisted on carrying her baby to term, and giving birth “naturally”, even though it had been known for months that the child would be born without a head.  She and her husband, dewy-eyed, talked of putting a cap on what was there of its head, and cradling it, while it was still warm.


            Now, as I have said, I believe thoroughly in the realm of “choice”, and carrying the child to term was that woman’s choice.What I am objecting to is calling this choice as being pro-life.  That baby was not alive.  A cancerous tumor, while inside the human body, receives blood supply, and therefore is warm and pink.  But it’s not alive.  A baby which has no head, and therefore no brain, is not alive.


            I believe that woman, who is a medical doctor herself, should have recognized the risk she was putting herself through by carrying that non-viable fetus to term.  And how about the emotional impact on her family? 


            Let’s change our definition of pro-life.


            Let’s truly show that we respect life, life that already is.  Let’s stop fighting wars for oil and imperialistic gain.  Let’s stop accepting war as being “about freedom”, “the establishment of democracy”, and “the destruction of tyrants”, etc.


            Let’s call it what it is: wholesale slaughter and the murder of innocents.


            Let’s tell President Bush to come up for exit strategies for Afghanistan and Iraq, and to come up with them now.  Let’s tell Congress that we refuse to continue to send aid to Israel, until it ends its brutal occupation of Palestine, lets the refugees come home to an independent, sovereign state.


            Let’s show the world what it means to be truly pro-life.