To those who identify as pro-choice:
Abortion has once again made it into the headlines. It was not that long ago that Kermit Gosnell was caught doing some illegal activities in his abortion clinic. I am sure that the pro-choice community does not hold up Gosnell as the ideal abortionist. It was obvious by the media’s hesitancy to report on him that his activities were an embarrassment to the pro-choice movement.
Now we have the videos that suggest that Planned Parenthood had an interest in selling body parts of those who were aborted. My intention is not to argue the details of this controversy, but only to acknowledge that this has brought abortion back into the spotlight.
To be upfront, I am very much pro-life. This is not because the Church tells me to. I became pro-life when I was an atheist. My view is strengthened by my own family situation. I have two biological children with severe autism and three adopted children who were born addicted to crack cocaine. I understand that there are some who could argue that all five of my children should have been aborted and yet I am so glad that they are alive and a part of my family.
The purpose of this letter is not to argue against abortion. But it is to address something that I encounter frequently. I have seen some people in the pro-choice movement who suggest that the entire conflict is about an attempt to take away women’s rights. A misogynistic, patriarchal church wants to put women in their place. First it will be taking away the rights of women to choose what to do with their bodies, then it will be taking women out of the workplace and then taking away the right to vote.
I don’t know of anyone in the pro-life movement who is like that. I am pro-life, I am not anti-woman. I believe that women have the right to decide what to do with their bodies. But I also believe that babies within the womb have a right to live. The question is more about competing rights.
We are seeing this in other areas. Countries like Canada and the United States are trying to negotiate the conflicts that come between gay rights and religious rights. Does a religious group have the right to speak against homosexual acts? Does a gay person have the right to not encounter offensive speech? It is obvious that the legal system is going to have to decide which rights win in such conflicts.
There is a similar conflict when it comes to abortion. A mother has rights and a baby has rights. But a baby’s right to live may be in conflict with the mother’s choice to not be pregnant. This is what people are fighting over.
When it comes to abortion, I want you to know that myself and many like me, are not anti-women. We believe that there is a real baby within that pregnant woman. We believe that baby has a right to live. We believe that baby has value that is not determined by whether the mother wants the baby or not.
You are welcome to disagree with those who are pro-life. But please do not accuse us of being anti-woman when that is not part of the equation. There is a reason why we use the term, “Pro-life.”