Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Being pro-life is not just about defending an idea

It's about defending people.

So often in the pro-life movement, we think of a faceless mass of ‘The Unborn’. They are some nameless entity that we feel it is our religious, moral, or civil duty to protect. Just this year, a friend’s sister-in-law lost her baby at 8 months of pregnancy. When the baby was delivered, she was physically perfect, but was strangled by her umbilical cord, a move none of the doctors could have predicted. Despite my pro-life convictions, I find that I have been moved 100 times more for the death of this child, through an unavoidable accident, than I have ever been for an aborted child.

An abortion is not the result of medical condition, an accident, or a tragedy. It is result of a society that has degraded the position of the unborn to such an extent that we don’t even stop to grieve their absence.

As pro-life supporters, we need to be conscious that we are not supporting some ‘idea’ or ‘collective’ – we are representing individual children, who become adults. They are endued with gifts and abilities that we haven’t had the opportunity to experience. For every child aborted, we should look with sadness and regret at someone who never had the opportunity to be. Just as we wonder what Emily would have pursued after high school, how Travis could have protected the disenfranchised, what that tiny baby’s first words would have been, so too we wonder what sex each of those children would have been, what colour their eyes would have been, what their names and occupations and gifts and talents could have been.

Abortion is a tragedy. It should never just be a statistic.

Every so often, when I consider the meaning of abortion, I break down and cry. You just have to. Otherwise you don't get it.