Are You Pro-Life? (or Just Pro-Birth?)

What is Pro Life? Do you only care about fetuses or do you have a holistic view of life? What's really important here?

What is Pro Life?

Those of you who have been around here for awhile know that I like digging — and thinking.

I don’t like to just spout out common thought or regurgitate what I see online.  In other words, I like to seek out the truth and then share it.

This issue is a case in point.

I keep seeing posts on social media, and articles about “You’re really not pro-life if….” followed by a litany of arguments.

The argument goes something like this:

“You’re not really Pro-Life, you are really Pro-birth.

Because you only care about people before they are born.

You are not for government funding for adults and children who are needy, plus you aren’t for open borders, you are Pro-war and I bet you are for the Death Penalty too. “

Is this argument accurate?

Let’s reason it out.

Why This Topic

But before we go there — let me say that I hope you will stick around even if you disagree with me. I’m happy to talk about your thoughts, to listen, and to be open.  These are health-related issues.  I assume that there will be some of you who think this doesn’t belong here, but I think it does.

We can and must talk about these things.  Because they are important.

AND this is about health. It’s about the health (and possibly the life) of the mother, right? And about the health and life of the little one inside.

So it ties into my blog’s mission of healthy living.

It’s often seen as a taboo topic, but I don’t think it should be.  Why should we not talk about tough things?

By listening to each other, we can learn.

And I’m for sure open to hearing what you think on the issue.

Are You REALLY Pro-Life?

First of all, before we get into the argument, let’s talk about what being Pro-Life actually means.

What is Pro Life? Do you only care about fetuses or do you have a holistic view of life? What's really important here?

What Pro-Life Is

The Pro-Life Position is to be opposed to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, and often extends to embryo-destructive medical procedures.

Pro-Choice is the opposite position.

But You Don’t Support Life After Birth

The argument: If you were really Pro-Life, you would support free birth control, free childcare, and extended welfare benefits.

Here’s the deal — this argument is patently wrong on two points:

It’s not the Government’s Job

One can defend the unborn, and the elderly, and the infirm, and yet not think that the federal government should be the provider of birth control, childcare, and more.

Other alternatives (and much better, in my estimation) for such assistance are churches, communities, families, and local government.

Does one have to be for the federal government doing everything in order to be a compassionate human being?

In any event, the expansion of the federal government’s powers both goes against the Tenth Amendment (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”) and has a poor track record of actually benefitting those it claims to help.

We Are Limited People with Limited Resources

Wanting to give someone the privilege of life does not mean that one needs to be just as enthusiastic about or involved in making that person’s life comfortable.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have compassion, but we all have limited resources, whether financial, time, emotional, or otherwise.
Moreover, no one can participate equally in all aspects of helping others.  One person might focus on preventing abortion, while another might focus on stopping human trafficking. Another might be doing his best to eradicate hunger.
Just because each person isn’t equally involved in all of the other aspects of a “full life” does not mean that there isn’t care or concern for the same.
This article makes a great point.  Is a firefighter less dedicated to saving life just because he isn’t equally dedicated to making sure that the person saved from the fire has adequate clothing and food after being saved?

But You Don’t Care About Refugees and Immigrants

The argument: If you are not for welcoming all refugees and immigrants into one’s country, then you are not pro-life.

Again, this argument is a logical fallacy.  Yes, we should be caring about refugees and immigrants.  My heart breaks seeing the horror that these people have to deal with.

However, I don’t think it’s sustainable to open our borders and allow everyone in who wants to come in.

I’m basically a libertarian, but a country is not a country without borders.

Think about it this way — do you think we should all leave our doors open to our houses and give anyone who wants it free access to our food and our homes?  I think this is a valid analogy to what some think we should do regarding our county’s borders.

My position is that we should work on making immigration easier and figure out other ways to help with the refugee issue with better vetting, safe zones, or other solutions.

Having other solutions about the refugee and immigration problem that are different than open borders does not mean that one is not pro-life.

But You’re War Monger

This argument assumes that pro-lifers are fine with having babies born, but they are way too quick to pull the trigger to get involved in military action in other countries that will lead to many deaths of soldiers and innocents.

I am personally deeply concerned about the amount of military aggression in other countries. However, even many libertarians (who are typically isolationist) are seeing that the current world situation at times demands using force.

It’s a terrible conundrum, but at times using force might be necessary to save the lives of others.

Sorting through the pros and cons of military involvement at any particular time is very complicated because it’s hard to discern what the truth of the matter is. However, killing in the womb and euthanasia are obvious life and death situations when there is nothing tantamount to self-defense or preventing aggression involved in the situation at hand.

What About the Death Penalty?

This is a Red Herring argument.

An unborn child is never guilty of anything deserving of punishment, let alone death.

Many of those who oppose abortion are, in fact, against the Death Penalty, and I myself am generally against it, mainly due to injustices in the court system and because it is often unjustly applied in our society.

On the other hand, I recognize that this also is a very difficult topic.

The main thing to remember here is my first point — that this is false logic.  You can’t compare the death of, for example, a convicted serial killer with that of an innocent unborn child.

Conclusions

There are more topics within this argument that could be covered, however, these are the main ones that I typically encounter.

In conclusion, the definition of the Pro-Life position is basically to be opposed to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

Of course we should all strive to figure out ways to address the ills that surround us of poverty, unwanted pregnancies, the refugee crisis and immigration and more.  However, those issues are not integral parts of the Pro-Life position.

Someone once said this regarding this issue. “I can be wrong about the best way to combat poverty, help refugees, or federal fiscal policy, but I can’t be wrong on the life issue.”  The right and wrong in this situation is far too clear.

I agree.

What really is disconcerting about such articles is that typically (always?) they are written by people who embrace the Democrat Party which has a staunch pro-choice stand including a history of their Senators voting to remove all limits on abortion, for all 9 months.

Instead of allowing such illogical arguments to flourish, let’s look at the facts and then move forward with conversations from there, now that we have clarity on what Pro-Life really means.

What do you think?
Is the Pro-Life position hypocritical?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Ada’s Feet by Christian Haugen is licensed under CC by 2.0.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

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  1. I’ve been following your blog for a while and usually I don’t comment, but I wanted you to know I appreciate your post and I agree with you that the federal government is not responsible for our health, our choices, and especially not enabling our sex lives (as far as contraception goes).

    Thank you for addressing this controversial topic in a gracious way.

    • Thank you so much, Georgia. I think we should talk about any and all issues – no matter how touchy – and hopefully learn and grow while doing it. Thanks especially for taking the time to comment since you typically don’t do so. It means a lot! Hope to see you around again. It’s a real encouragement to us bloggers when we know we’ve blessed someone :).

  2. Kudos for tackling a BIG subject. All life is precious. Which is more important quality of that life is it more important than its duration? PRO life yes. Euthanasia no. But I have also been with patients begging for the end of pain that is not stopped by medicine and prayed for and end to their suffering and that of their family..
    Either way we are not God.

    I’m not sure if you want to edit the rest of this out and I understand if you do.
    The illness, pain, disease that can affect both. Endless scenarios .
    No one person can decide that for another.
    I and my girls were abused because the birth control didn’t work, I wouldn’t abort, they were not male children, divorce was not allowed, my lost income and the cost of having a child. The deadly violence that finally gave me courage to leave? On n on.

    Regardless. l love each and would never have been able to give away or abort. But it has taken its toll on me and them.

    • Hello Deb,

      Thanks for commenting. And no, I do not want to edit that out. Bless you for the decision you made. My situation wasn’t nearly as bleak, but my grandparents wanted me to be aborted. I hope to see you around again and bless you for loving you children in so many ways!

  3. I absolutely agree with you! Thank you for stating the arguments against the pro-life position and giving clear answers for them. I and my husband, as well as a number of families we know, have adopted children nobody else wanted. To say that those who are pro-life don’t care about children outside the womb shows that they haven’t looked very hard to find them. Again, thank you!

    • Thank you, Rhoda! You are a special family. Even doing work to teach people how to live healthier, I guess, is caring for those outside of the womb. I hadn’t even thought of that :).

  4. Very well put and laid out. The only thing that I would add is that pro-choice people are usually only open to the choice of having an abortion, not on other choices for children, including the right to refuse abortion in cases where the child may not be “perfect” in the pro-abortives’ eyes or even on things like school-choice. Then we hear the old canard that people are pro-choice due to girls who become pregnant due to rape or incest. This is also a straw-man argument since this actually accounts for less than 1% of ‘reported’ abortions in most studies. And this assumes that the baby is guilty of the attacker’s crimes, when he won’t be charged for a capital offense. There have also been rape victims who stated that having an abortion felt like they had been raped again.

    • Thanks, Vicki. I will say that mostly I hear that people are upset about babies reminding mothers of the rape. And I can only imagine how terrible that that must feel. I would be horrified. That being said, you are right – killing the baby is not the answer. I hadn’t heard about what you said about feeling like they had been raped again. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  5. Thank you for your article. You shared the frustration of not being able to do everything for everyone and being accused of doing nothing because of it.

  6. Bravo for posting this topic!
    [Hillary Clinton is “in Awe of” Racist Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger](http://ijr.com/2016/10/718189-even-democrats-were-cringing-when-hillary-gave-her-late-term-abortion-answers/)

  7. Thank you for your post. People have become so brainwashed by the constant repetition of a lie that they begin to believe it as true. Murder of the innocent unborn person is not a reproductive right. It is murder. If I said there was a man in the church nursery or school pouring a solution on the children that was burning them or piercing their skulls with scissors we would be horrified and yet this is just some of what happens to these babies. With regard to incest and rape, why should an act of violence be followed by another. Why also, should one have to pay for things they don’t agree with on a religious or moral basis. There are forms of natural birth control that are extremely effective. Abstinence is 100% . I could go on, however I will just thank you for your courage, tact,and kindness. Thank you for lending a voice to those who have none.

    • Thank you so much, Dawn. I have been very puzzled and bothered by the articles that I have read on the topic and felt I really needed to think deep and hard about it and put my thoughts in writing. Yes, unwanted pregnancies are messy. My mother’s was. I was almost aborted. That is not why I am pro-life but it does add to the discussion.

      We personally used NFP and it was such a great learning experience. Thanks for the kind comment. It means a lot.

  8. Well articulated.

    • Thank you so much, Julia. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this and wanted to get my thoughts out there.

      • I knew when I read it that your post was going to cost you significantly in readership, and was hoping you were ready for that. The issue is a polarizing one, and most people prefer echo-chambers filled with their own opinion. I know that I do. 🙂

        I am wondering, however, if your two messages (health/nutrition and socio-political/moral/ethical) might be better if targeted differently. Most of your readership signed on for the health/nutrition updates, with little expectation of the other type of topics, so this topic may have been jarring. Perhaps a separate page on your site to accommodate alternative topics that you are passionate about? Even better if it could have its own email subscription, separate from the health/nutrition updates.

        Anyway…this has just been me, musing “out loud,” and as such, the musings may be worth what you paid for them. 🙂

        • I thought it might. But I had 2 things in mind.

          Actually, so far it hasn’t been too too bad. We’ll see where it ends up but I might not even look.

          Here are my thoughts.

          1. I think that we need to think holistically. Abortion is about health. And life. If we are going to talk about GMOs and vaccines killing us, then why not this?

          2. There has been too much silence. In conversations and in churches. Those on both sides of the aisle on all topics should be able to talk about such things without insulting, etc.

          I’m not sure what other alternative topics I would write on — I did one on Planned Parenthood once and one on ISIS. Just not sure. It’s something to think about, however. I will consider it.

          On the other hand, my being more bold may hopefully encourage others to do the same. I tried to be fair and tactful. So hopefully that will inspire others to do the same. Does that make sense?

  9. I’m with Brenda. Goodbye.
    I don’t read your blog for this type of content.
    Anyone who would advocate for forcing a woman to have a child she couldn’t support and compare it to a fireman saving a life?!? I do not follow that logic. Maybe firemen should let children and adults who don’t pay taxes burn?
    Children are precious and innocent but forcing women to bring them into a situation like poverty and/or violence and saying, “Oh well, your parents should’ve abstained from sex or not eaten so they could afford birth control. You were born, you’re welcome and good luck because you’re on your own.” Women should have the right to terminate their pregnancy and if she decides to carry to term have access to guaranteed government assistance if she needs it.

    • Hi Julie.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      I’m sorry that you feel that way. I had already written a post on Planned Parenthood (perhaps you missed it) and this is for sure a health related issue. It’s about the woman’s health and the baby’s health so I think it’s very pertinent.

      The fireman logic is actually quite good – we are talking about life and death and support after saving the life. As for your comment about the taxes, I do not follow that logic – can you explain, please?

      As a side note, not all birth control costs money. The point I made in the post was that I don’t think that the federal government should be responsible for these things and regardless of your opinion on that, it is not a requirement to think it should in order to be truly pro-life. So it sounds like you think that the federal government should. I think the less government control the better.

      Can I ask you this – do you think that it is OK to kill a 3 month old baby outside of the womb b/c it lives in a house of poverty and/or violence? I know that those are hard questions to ask but they must be asked. I actually was born into poverty and I am glad that I am alive. Thanks again and I hope you will reconsider and add to the conversation. Your viewpoint is welcome.

  10. Goodbye

    • Hello Brenda,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry if you feel that you have to not read my blog any more due to what appears to be your disagreement with my post. If you would care to share what your concerns are I would be more than happy to address them. I think it’s best to continue to dialogue about tough issues and not simply refuse to consider another side. I’m for sure willing to hear your opinion. Thanks again.

    • Jackie Albaugh says:

      I don’t mean to sound rude but Im willing to go there. If we can not even be willing to have the conversation then that close minded thinking should just excuse themselves as Brenda has done. People have life experiences for a reason and they are meaningless if they are not shared. I myself am pro-life as pertaining to the unborn. As for the death penalty I am for it. I understand that there are innocent people who are wrongfully imprisoned however the multitude of criminals deserve to be held accountable and have consequences. When we are talking about the unborn inoccent that has only one person who can protect them, it is the mothers responsiblity to do just that. How about we think about all of the women who aren’t able to give birth to a child and those who can not take care of a baby give the wonderful gift of life to them. I know that there are terrible things that happen to some woman but the millions of babies who die every year, yeah you head me right, MILLIONS, something has to change.

      • I appreciate your comment. Thanks for reading and taking the time to share. I agree that if one has an experience that makes this topic have certain meaning to them, them I would like to hear it.

  11. I disagree with your view about being pro-choice. It is obvious that you are a mother, as am I for the better part of 27 years. Because I am older, and lived a very difficult life, I am pro-choice. No one will ever tell me what I can or cannot do to my own body. No one. For those victims of rape or incest who find themselves pregnant, I would never tell them that they should be forced to endure a pregnancy that screams in the victims face as their belly expands. That, to me, is cruel.

    • Hi Marny,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. So if it’s OK I have a few questions for you. Do you not think that there is another person involved in the decision about “doing something to your own body” when one is pregnant?

      And as for rape or incest, yes they are terrible things, but of course the main reason to have an abortion in those cases is that the mother does not wish to be reminded of a terrible event, correct? Do you think that an innocent baby should be punished for this and do you think that a mother should be able to kill her 3 month old to not be reminded of a terrible incident?

      I really do mean this. I think these become hard issues as we talk about specifics and I would like to reason it out. Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

  12. FABULOUS post & VERY REFRESHING to read the comments so far… people who REALLY get it! Kudos to you for standing up & speaking out! You put words to many of my own thoughts, & I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    ANOTHER GREAT post! Keep them coming :).

    • Thank you so much! I have been thinking about this for a long time. It took awhile to pull it all together but I think it finally worked out well. Thanks again.

  13. People just aren’t capable of thinking anymore, so if you’re not in favor of the one solution that’s been thrust in front of their noses, they assume you’re opposed to solutions.

    Regarding the death penalty, those of us in favor are in favor BECAUSE we value life. Pragmatic issues aside (like “the system is corrupt so how do we know we won’t be executing innocent people?”), being opposed to the death penalty says the value of the life taken by a murderer is less than a life. The death penalty is not about devaluing the life of a criminal guilty of murder; it’s about placing such a HIGH value on innocent life that the taking of it exacts an equal price.

  14. I appreciate your your article!

  15. The other side of this coin, IMO, is the legal right to suicide. I feel this is a very slipper slope for our older loved ones, and for those who are both older and living in poverty.

    • Yes, you are very right. I have grave concerns about this as well. I don’t want to minimize the pain that many with chronic illness go through but it is cheapening life for sure.

  16. Excellent post!