No cause, whether religious or political, is so debated and so controversial in our time as abortion. One’s individual reasons for being pro-life are often glossed over or forgotten in favor of cheeky, memorable sound bites. However, it is important that we know our reasons for being pro-life, that we showcase the individual humanity of the cause, for it is a cause based on the definition of humanity itself. So why am I pro-life? Here are my top five reasons.
1) Because we’re all human
I think we can all agree it’s wrong to kill innocent people, right? Now, a lot of people like to lump unborn babies into the “not people” category, but their humanity is something that can’t be logically denied. The fetus does not have DNA that could make it anything but human- it could never be a robin or a rosebush. Numerous studies have shown that unborn babies can dream, react to music and sound, and feel pain. They are conscious, and can definitely feel as the instruments of abortion end their natural life. We couldn’t dream of treating an animal that way, but yet, we kill thousands of our own kind with such brutality every single day! Dehumanizing them might make it easier, but a culture that supports abortion only dehumanizes themselves.
2) Because it’s Catholic
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re a Catholic. This is a Catholic site, after all. But did you know that the Catholic Church has been pro-life for 2,000 years? The Didache, a first century guidebook to Christianity, contains the passage, “…do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant.” (2:2) The present day Catechism of the Catholic Church reaffirms this statement, saying “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” (2271) Additionally, the Catechism says, “Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone… he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead” (357) and that man is “endowed with a spiritual and immortal soul… from his conception, he is destined for eternal beatitude.” (1703)
All through the Bible, children are seen as a joyous blessing, and childlessness as something sad. Life is seen as a gift from God, since humans were made in God’s image, and each human person has a God-given right to life.
3) Because I’m a Feminist!
Yes, I do, in fact, have the radical idea that women are as capable, smart, strong, and redeemable as men. I believe that women’s ability to literally hold life, so utterly unique and beautiful, is something that should be celebrated and affirmed in our culture. All too often, though, motherhood is demonized in the name of female “empowerment.” I feel that encouraging women to avoid or even kill their children is dehumanizing to both- it covers up something good about womanhood as though it’s something to be ashamed of! Being a feminist has always been linked to being pro-life. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Victoria Woodhull, the earliest Feminists, all publically condemned abortion as a sign of oppression. Our power to be mothers has never been what’s broken and in need of fixing, but the mindset that motherhood is somehow undignified is!
4) Because I’m disabled!
A popular justification for abortion is that aborting a baby that may be disabled is merciful and compassionate. Terrifyingly, the same logic is now being extended to post-born humans who are terminally ill. The phrase “quality of life” is tossed around by people who have no idea what it means to have a reduced quality of life, as if physical perfection is the only standard with which to determine humanity. I live with a painful degenerative disease, called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It impedes, and will one day entirely claim my ability to walk, leaves me a burden to my family, and will eventually kill me. But does that quality of life, so far below the average pro-choice advocate, mean I deserve to be painfully torn apart? Should physical imperfection really deserve the death sentence? I could go on forever on why killing disabled babies rather than let them experience a peaceful end is wrong, and I have. But this graphic sums up my thoughts on the matter quite nicely.
5) Because one life is never just that
Rape is another excuse for abortion that everyone just loves to trot out, despite the fact that less than 1% of abortions take place because of rape. But let me tell you a story. Many years ago, my great-grandmother found herself raped and pregnant. Pro-choicers say that only one person would have been “terminated,” had my great-grandmother had the option and chosen abortion, but this could not be further from the truth. Many lives have rested upon my great-grandma choosing life. Her daughter’s own children became teachers, EMTs, and members of the military, who, in turn, have saved and changed many lives. She has eighteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild herself. My grandmother’s life, which some would consider worthless due to the sins of her father, has affected hundreds of lives. The circumstances of conception don’t change the fetus’ humanity and dignity, and abortion never un-rapes a woman. It just brutalizes her.
Abortion has affected us all, whether we realize it or not. But by talking about why it’s wrong, and opposing the mindset that calls human life disposable, we can and we will put abortion to rest. We need to move beyond the one-liners that have been repeated until they’re meaningless, and start standing up as individual people. Most importantly, we must be the charitable ones, and communicate this great truth with love and endurance. You can explore others’ reasons by searching on Facebook and Twitter for the hashtag #WhyWeMarch, or simply sound off in the comments! Live pro-life!