A couple of you just fainted after reading that title. Pick yourself up and keep reading…
Some would call me a left wing, feminazi, snowflake, bleeding heart, liberal New Yorker and therefore assume I’m not pro-life. 20 years ago they’d be right. About the pro-life part – I’m not from NY. But as I’ve come to better understand what pro-life is, my perspective has shifted.
The March for Life happens every year on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I know this because every year on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, my FB feed fills up with posts about the march.
Proud parents sharing pics of their kids on buses traveling from Kansas to D.C. My Catholic high school and grade schools sharing pics of students and crowd shots from the march. I can tell it’s a pretty awesome moment for them.
I support young people getting involved and standing up for what they believe. And of course, as a proud mama, I support parents showing pride in their kids.
In case the March for Life isn’t your jam, here’s some context. The mission is to “end abortion by uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square” and the mission of pro-life people is to “oppose abortion and euthanasia”.
So, like I said, I’m pro-life…just not by this definition. I’m cool with saying Christians have missed the mark on this.
Here’s my simple definition of pro-life: to protect and respect life from beginning to end. Or as Dwight would say, correction, from beginning to middle to end. But this definition isn’t actually that simple. Including the middle messes people up because it requires not judging. I’ve known a LOOOOOT of Christians in my 40+ years and let’s just say many of them could gold medal in judging people.
It’s easier to focus only on the beginning and the end because the middle is messy.
For me, pro-life means to protect and respect both the unborn baby AND the mother carrying her and to protect and respect them even after she gives birth. To protect and respect them whether they’re brown or black, speak Arabic or Spanish, call Her God or Allah, whether she marries a man or a woman, whether she gave birth on this side of the border or that one, whether she chases hydrocodone with vodka and uses WIC to feed her baby or chases a multi-vitamin with La Croix and uses her Amazon discount at Whole Foods to buy organic milk for her baby (and let’s be honest, the La Croix drinker is just as likely to be downing the hydrocodone).
I could say, “hey, you don’t get to call yourself pro-life if you don’t protect and respect all the life that happens in the middle” but we all know that’s not true. Yes you can and yes you do.
So, I’m going to do what any good left wing, feminazi, snowflake, bleeding heart liberal Kansan would do. I’m going to quote the Bible (full disclosure: I’m not a Bible reader and wow, kudos to those who are because this is NOT lite reading!).
“‘For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me’. They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:42-45
All of this is the life that happens in the middle. Protecting and respecting people in the worst circumstances – even when they do something you wouldn’t do, something you think is insane, or even wrong – this is what separates a true value from a self-righteous soapbox. This is when protecting and respecting life really matters.
I can’t imagine terminating a pregnancy but I respect the women who have and will fight to protect their right to do so in a safe manner. I can’t imagine walking 1000s of miles with a toddler in tow to seek asylum in another country but I respect the women and men who have and will fight to protect their right to do so in a safe manner. I can’t imagine helping a loved one who has been in excruciating pain die by assisted suicide but I respect the women and men who have and will fight to protect their right to do so in a safe manner.
For me, this is what it is to be pro-life and I’d march for that any day.
“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.” Revelation 20:12