Pro-lifers only care about fetuses before they’re born. If they were really pro-life, they’d work to care for the mom and her children after the delivery, too!
If you’re pro-life, you’ve heard this comment a thousand times. I heard it again last night on Facebook: a pro-choice fellow scoffed, “‘Pro-life’ is such a misnomer these days. I’m more pro-life than most self-proclaimed pro-lifers.”
Genuinely curious, I asked him to be more specific. He responded:
I tend to focus more on the lives of nonhumans, which are no less precious or important, and I make it a point to preserve life wherever and whenever I can. I’m vehemently and vocally opposed to war, genocide, the death penalty, poverty, abuse, and so on. As for my own public works, I’d rather not toot my own horn, but I do make efforts to help the less fortunate, preferably in person (as opposed to, say, throwing money at the United Way), and they’re always grateful.
I recently earned my certificate in B.S.-To-English Translation, I will decode his statement for you: He has all the socially acceptable opinions, gives tax-deductible donations to PETA, and has so many awareness stickers on his Smart Car that he can barely see out the back window, which accounts for all the pedestrians he nearly runs off the road on his way to see Janeane Garofalo. Also, he once got a Hummus Bistro Box from Starbucks but it turned out he wasn’t as hungry as he thought he was, so he gave it to that homeless guy with the awesome dreadlocks.
As for his remark that nonhuman lives are no less precious and important than the lives of humans . . . well . . . you know how Catholics carry those cards that say, “I am a Roman Catholic. If I am in a serious accident, please call a priest”? I sure hope this guy carries one that says, “If I am in a serious accident but there is also a duckling who needs medical care, please flip a coin.” Oh, me oh my.
It’s a good thing I have a lot of other friends on Facebook. Because most of my friends are pro-life in the traditional (read: useful) way, and let me tell you, they are busy. It’s not that they brag—it’s just that their status updates portray a gorgeous and incredibly varied picture of the pro-life movement, one which includes trying to save unborn lives, but which extends far, far beyond that.
From Facebook, I have learned that pro-lifers:
-adopt abandoned newborns
-adopt and foster older children with disabilities
-raise thousands of dollars so that others can afford to adopt children in need
-volunteer at hospice centers, sometimes sitting up all night with strangers to comfort them as they die
-go grocery shopping for shut-ins
-organize support groups for parents of children with special needs
-offer dental and medical care at reduced rates to people in need
-drive disabled vets to their medical appointments
-fight through mountains of red tape to help foreign refugees find a home
-throw elaborate baby showers for single mothers they just met
-counsel suicidal teens online
-volunteer to help the unemployed write résumés and find work
-volunteer to help the self-employed start their own businesses
-take single moms and their children into their homes, sometimes for years at a time
-support and solace grieving people
-go to bat with government agencies and medical clinics for uninsured people who don’t know how to advocate for themselves
-organize boycotts against corporations that exploit their workers
-collect clothes, food, and temporary shelters for local homeless people
-petition for humane treatment of animals in the food industry
-volunteer at soup kitchens
-travel to third world countries to provide medical care and education to the poor
-take battered women into their homes when their boyfriends abuse them
-organize lists of people to bring hot meals to families whose loved ones are in the hospital
-arrange for new mothers to receive car seats, diapers, and other baby equipment
-volunteer at prisons, teaching literature and film classes
-argue vigorously against human rights abuses like torture, unjust war, and unnecessary use of the death penalty
-give money to a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who is facing eviction
-collect money to support children whose parents died unexpectedly
-visit strangers in nursing homes, just because no one else will.
This is just off the top of my head—and I have specific people in mind who do each of these activities. I’m sure my readers can add many, many more pro-life activities that they and their friends perform.
There is one thing I’ve never heard one of them do, and that’s refuse to help someone because they’re not Catholic, or not Republican. Or because they’re not a fetus.
This is what it means to be pro-life. We are proud to be anti-abortion. But we are so, so much more than that.
Do pro-choicers also do these good works? Of course they do, God bless them. There are decent people everywhere, people who do the work of God without even knowing His name. I give them full credit for doing the right thing, and I wish secular people would extend the same courtesy to pro-lifers.