For many, saying that they are pro-life can lose its meaning over time. It becomes less of a passion and more of an idle label; we forget what it truly means to be pro-life. Many accuse those who are pro-life of only really being “pro-birth” because of emphasis often placed on abortion. So what does it really mean to be “pro-life?”
Womb to Tomb
For many, being pro-life becomes focused on abortion rather than on all life issues. However, it is critical to remember that being pro-life is not just about abortion or just about the death penalty. When we say that we are “pro-life,” that means that we support life from the moment of conception to natural death. This should call the pro-life movement to radical action because few things are as consistently under fire as the sanctity and dignity of every human life.
Pro-Life Means All Life
Anyone who calls themselves pro-life has a responsibility to take a stand for the dignity of all human life, fighting for every human person to be treated with respect regardless of any other facts. To be pro-life means believing that every human life matters. Oftentimes those who need someone to stand up and support their dignity are those that are the most different from us, the most vulnerable, and the most unheard. So, who are those people? Who are the unheard voices in the world and in the Church? Here are just a few:
The Poor and Homeless
Throughout the world, one of the most ignored populations are the poor and homeless. It can be all too easy to identify them as “the homeless” instead of a person who is homeless. This simple distinction in effect strips them of their humanity as they are defined by their living state rather than who they are as human beings. If we say that we are pro-life, we have a responsibility to stand up for our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness. Click here to learn more about poverty in Missouri.
Oftentimes, mothers who choose life during an unplanned pregnancy need a lot of support. This is an incredibly difficult decision that changes their lives and that of their families. Pro-lifers have a responsibility to support these women who choose life for their child. Supporting life does not mean just supporting the birth of the child. It means we support the child and the mother, and help them to find resources that they need.
It is not a secret that many demographics in the United States and abroad still face intense discrimination in this age. It is critical that as members of the pro-life generation, we express love and support to every human person. We do not have to agree with everyone, but we do have a responsibility to care for them and support them as best we can. We do not love others because of what they believe, but because of what we believe. That means promoting the dignity of everyone, especially minorities who often face discrimination, especially members of the LGBTQ community, racial minorities, and those with disabilities. We should approach everyone we meet with love as our first instinct; it is not our responsibility to judge or condemn others, it is our responsibility to love them.
Choose to be Pro-Life
Take a moment to reflect over why you are pro-life, and look to see if your actions match up with that label. If you find that there are areas in which you lack, choose one and see what you can do to better support life. Perhaps that is volunteering some of your time at a maternity home such as Our Lady’s Inn or stopping to talk to someone who is homeless. Maybe it’s sitting with someone in school who you don’t understand or who has a vastly different lifestyle, and then choosing to see them as a brother or sister. If these don’t interest you, click here to check out other ways to get active in pro-life work.
As Saint Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16: 13-14).
In what ways do you choose to be pro-life? What does it mean to you to be pro-life vs. pro-birth? Share your thoughts in the comments so others can be inspired by you.