This is a “thorny topic”, but is a topic I believe must be viewed in a different way than it has been in the past. Do you consider yourself to be Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush were Pro-Life. Their wives were Pro-Choice.
No doubt women will see this issue very differently than us men, yet I know many women who are Pro-Life and many men who are Pro-Choice, so your gender won’t necessarily decide which camp you are in. Up to now we’ve divided up everyone into one of the two camps. I say there is a third option.
Those who say they’re Pro-Life, quite often are misusing that term. Many of those folks are in favor of the Death Penalty, how is that being Pro-Life? Oh, I get it, they’re all about saving the lives of the “unbirthed” babies, that medically are referred to as fetuses, since they are still inside the mother’s womb. I’m not here to debate the abortion issue pro or con.
That is a very private issue that I’m not qualified to even attempt to tell you which camp you should be in as that is between you and God, and we’ll leave it there. Instead, what I’m here to do, in today’s column, is to challenge the “Pro-Life” folks to up their game.
I believe the "Pro-Life" movement, as it stands today, needs to change their name to "Pro Birth", because they do not put anywhere near the effort to support emotionally, financially, educationally, etc., those young girls who've gotten pregnant once the baby has been birthed.
I know about the various groups that do try to help, but it's minor league compared to the effort, money spent, boots on the ground, etc., that the protests get. I'd be far more impressed with the Pro-Life movement if their actions were reversed. So, protest on a smaller scale, because I get it, you want folks to come to see abortion as you do.
However, what I believe, would speak far more powerfully than your group just being another bunch of folks waving signs and protesting, would be for the Pro-Life movement to do more than simply convince those young women, to not abort, but when they don’t abort then help them financially, emotionally, educationally, etc. so that the baby and its mom can live in a decent manner. In other words, don’t be Pro-Birth, but Pro-Help. Realize that the witness of such love and help for those young moms, who decide to have their baby, would be a difficult story for the media to paint in a negative way.
Back in Roman days, the Plague of Cyprian erupted in Ethiopia around Easter of 250 A.D. It reached Rome, the following year. It eventually spread to Greece and Syria. The plague lasted nearly 20 years and, at its height, it was reported to have killed as many as 5,000 people per day, in Rome.
The Romans were so afraid that they'd catch the plague and die, they’d put a family member out on the streets if they had the plague so they'd not catch it. Their Christian neighbors started bringing in those plagued folks, into their homes, risking death to minister to them, so they might get well. Many Christians did die, but their love of their neighbors didn't go un-noticed by the Romans.
That powerful testimony of love touched the Romans in a way that protests or preaching, etc., could not do. Those Christians lived their faith, not just talked about it. Because of those Christians putting their own lives on the line, to help those folks, did exactly what Saint Francis of Assisi said later, in the 13th century, when he said, Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words. Because of their faithfulness, in how they lived their lives, many Romans became Christians.
It seems that the Pro-Life movement is missing a wonderful opportunity to give the nation and the world that same sort of powerful testimony by being Pro-Help and not just Pro-Birth. Most of the Pro-Life folks do claim to be followers of Jesus. As Christian’s, by helping these women, after the baby has been birthed, in other words, going beyond the “norm”, like those Christians did in 250A.D. would be your group living as Jesus did.
That would bring an amazing blessing to those women, and their babies, and offer such an amazing testimony, to the rest of the world, of what those of us who call Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, are to be doing in our daily lives. Our faith is to be more than just talk, but action in how we live our lives.
Last point, maybe the Pro-Life movement also should be putting some of their efforts towards getting the laws changed so that folks who’d like to adopt could do so without such great expense, thus preventing many qualified folks from being able to adopt. These are Pro-Active things the Pro-Life movement could be doing. So, don’t be Pro-Birth, be Pro-Help.
Mike Cannatelli’s column appears every other week in the print edition of the Avon Grove Sun and The Kennett News.