Today in Washington the March for Life is taking place. Every year, hundreds of thousands protest the Roe v. Wade decision. [I think it’s interesting to note that the woman in the Roe v. Wade case, Norma McCorvey (“Roe”) has since converted to Catholicism and is an active pro-life speaker.] For 40 years, abortion has been legal in the U.S. I don’t want to get into numbers or a debate about viability or compromises about abortion being alright in one circumstance but not another; the politicizing of the issue just makes me sad. There have always been abortions, and I won’t pretend that an overturn of Roe v. Wade would put an end to abortions in the U.S. Protesting the Supreme Court decision is really about protesting a culture that legitimizes such an act.
In turn, the only way to truly end abortions is to transform the culture into a society that values and embraces all life. This isn’t done through clinic-closing legislation and calling women sluts. I think a lot of pro-life people have vilified the other side so much that they no longer remember that the “others” deserve just as much love as anyone. The only way pro-life can win the culture is if the pro-life movement practices what it preaches: compassion, charity, and justice for all lives. We have to show that we mean it when we say that everyone has value.
Pro-life means I believe that everyone has the right to live. It isn’t promised that that life will be easy or healthy or happy, but everyone has the right to existence. Pro-life is often presented as anti-abortion, but pro-life means an entire philosophy that is much larger than that. Pro-life means preserving life at every step, not just in utero. It means being against genocide, infanticide, homicide, and suicide. It means condemning abortion, as well as the death penalty and drone strikes. It means working together to insure the inalienable right to life and to make that life as rich as possible. It means helping the poor, feeding the starving, healing the sick, comforting the hurting, freeing the enslaved, and seeing value in every single person, regardless of sex, ethnicity, religion, age, beliefs, or even deeds.