Being Pro-Life Shouldn't Just Be Pro-Birth

by Caila Smith
Originally Published: 
Hagen Hopkins/getty

If you were to tell me, “My religion says I can’t have an abortion,” I would say that’s fine and go about my day. But if you tell me, “My religion says you can’t have an abortion,” which is what states all over the country are doing with the abortion bans or restrictions, then we have a big freaking problem.

I have to admit, I’m genuinely baffled. If we are all about “We, The People” — if we were about protecting actual lives — we would advocate for humans long after birth, not just before.

We wouldn’t be cutting funds to Planned Parenthood because we would look at the statistics that tell us that lives are already saved by free or low-cost access to birth control, vaginal and breast exams, and abortions.

Programs offering these services not only supply individuals’ medical needs, but they actually decrease the number of overall abortions. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Guttmacher Institute (GI), an institute surveying states for abortion information, the overall number of abortions has significantly decreased in the last 25 years.

In fact, by 2014, abortion rates were at the lowest numbers ever since their legalization took place in America in 1973. Coincidence? I think not.

If someone wants an abortion, they will find the means to have an abortion, and some will die while doing so. Banning abortions isn’t going to reduce the number of abortions already seen today. But it will make the process and procedure of undergoing abortions far riskier and more dangerous.

These laws do not take the wellbeing of a mother into consideration, and they do not look after the welfare of children during pregnancy or after birth.

Pro-lifers have it all wrong, because pro-life should be about protecting humans. This includes advocating for those with missed miscarriages who might suffer — physically and mentally — if not for a D&C, which these new laws could very well deny to someone in need.

It includes mothers who are pregnant and terminally ill, or carrying a child with a fatal condition. Because to refuse them an abortion is to roll the dice on another human’s life. Or worse, to say, “My religion is more important than your or your child’s life.”

And it includes those who want to have a safe abortion, for whatever reason at all.

But if pro-lifers were truly for every heartbeat out there, the “every life matters” mantra would be lived out, and not just so frequently harped on and preached about.

If those who opposed abortion really cared about life, they wouldn’t attempt to cut funds to WIC or food stamps, because they would know how much those programs benefit over 40 million Americans who struggle with hunger and meal-rationing because they are food insecure — 12 million of them being children.

When we start seeing pro-lifers actually become pro-life, that’s when we will see our schools funded with better security, nutrition, and resources. Children will be treated like individuals and not just statistics. Hungry mouths will be fed in the cafeteria, and the lunch lady won’t be fired for bending the rules for needy children.

The wall wouldn’t be a subject worth pursuing, because refugees would be given the same compassion that’s shown to a six-week fetus. Families wouldn’t be separated at our border. Children wouldn’t be abused, neglected, and malnourished by U.S. hands on our soil, because this should be an utter outrage to anyone taking the pro-life stance today.

If pro-lifers were truly for all life, then the energy spent to ban abortions would be used to enact common sense gun laws so more lives aren’t lost in another preventable mass shooting. In 2018 alone, America bore witness to a tragic 340 mass shootings. Americans shouldn’t have to fear an active gunman terrorizing our public spaces, but these days, we do have to worry. Because we are seeing almost as many mass shootings as there are days in a year.

Pro-lifers, when will you realize the contradiction in your statements? How can you be for the fetus but leave the newborn hungry?

Why is the rapist free, but the impregnated mother left to carry a pregnancy to term or face legal consequences?

How are you able to act surprised when you cut funding for free birth control and then abortion rates fly through the roof? Where is the logic?


And, most importantly, when will you stop forcing your religious beliefs onto other human beings? I’m ready to see the separation of church and state again.

This world isn’t pretty, and the decision to have an abortion isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. To assume otherwise is to add insult to injury in already torn beings.

Advocating for someone’s right to an abortion isn’t saying you would have one yourself. What it does say is that you wouldn’t dare make that personal decision for anybody else, because it is not your body, not your life, and not your business.

Those with the means to conceive and become pregnant are not merely hosts. Yes, we have the ability to bring a child into this world, but we are more than a vessel. We are humans too, and our sole purpose is not to procreate. We deserve a say in what happens to our bodies.

Privilege has made certain pro-lifers arrogant, lacking the ability to empathize with those who live a different life or think differently, and caring only about fetuses up until they are birthed.

So I ask, when will the ones who say they are pro-life actually stand up and protect actual lives?

Until then, you’re just pro-fetus.

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