I could post on this subject a million times and have something different to say each time. Today, I want to give the un-reasons. The I'm not pro-life becauses.
- I'm not pro-life because I'm conservative. Yes, I am more conservative than liberal, but I am not a "my side at all costs" conservative. I'm liberal on several issues, at least at heart. I oppose the death penalty. I believe that society must help those who need help (though I frequently disagree with modern liberal thinking about how that help should occur, I tend also to disagree with conservatives on the subject). I am not afraid to disagree with the "conservative" canon when I think it's wrong.
- I'm not pro-life because I'm a Republican. In fact, I'm only marginally a Republican in many ways, because I believe that conscience must always come before party affiliation. This ties in with the previous comment, because I believe that conscience must always come before political persuasion of the non-party type, also.
- I'm not pro-life because I hate women. I love women, and I love being a woman. In fact, I am pro-life because I'm sick of the bum deal that men are giving women in abortion. Abortionists (mostly men) are making a pretty penny off of women by selling their wares, and pushing, and hawking, and instructing, and indoctrinating, and luring. I've seen women (girls) forced into abortion clinics to have abortions against their will. I've known women who were in situations where someone tried to force them to have abortions against their wills. I know three such women very closely.
- Which brings me to my next not. I'm not pro-life because I'm anti-choice. I have seen too many instances where "pro-choice" politics and individuals have fought against individual and group choice. When "pro-choice" organizations like Planned Parenthood fight against informed consent (the right to a sonogram and accurate pregnancy information before making a choice about abortion, for example) it tells me that they are not concerned with women's choice at all, but only with the bottom line.
- I'm not pro-life because I'm judgmental. I want people to stop judging girls and women for being pregnant. First of all, I am, and you are, a sinner and unworthy to cast the first stone. Second, premarital sex may be a sin, but babies are never a sin. Let me reiterate that: Babies are NEVER a sin. Got that?
- I'm not pro-life because I'm mean. I think it's mean to pressure women into a painful and psychologically damaging procedure. I think it's mean to dismember a human being because he or she is an inconvenience. I think it is mean to treat any human individual as a political issue or tool, rather than as a person. I believe that whenever possible, we as a society should be compassionate. And killing people is not compassionate.
- I'm not pro-life because I'm Catholic. Yes, my faith requires me to uphold the value of human life. But frankly, I would be pro-life even if I were an atheist, because every human being has inherent value and I do not believe that one has more value than another, just because of age. And I do not think you have to be a Christian to believe in human worth.
- I'm not pro-life because I "just don't understand." Yes, I do understand that for many women carrying a child and having the pregnancy become public knowledge can be traumatic and even have devastating repurcussions. Yes, I do understand financial difficulty. (Ask anyone who knows me; boy, oh boy do I understand that one.) Yes, I do understand fear, and having one's life plans interrupted, and having to make sacrifices. I've been through all of those things. Yes, even in conjunction with some of my own pregnancies. But having been through those difficulties, I've also learned that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even when we are too far away from it to see it yet. I've learned that every single time I've made a sacrifice because it was the right thing to do, blessing has resulted. Long term, permanent, beautiful, life-altering blessing. Blessing of a sort that we cannot create for ourselves.
I know all the stereotypes about why people are pro-life. I've even known a few (very few) people who fit those stereotypes. But most of the people I know who oppose abortion do so for very similar reasons to my own.
My friends, and even those who might think themselves my enemies, if you are pro-choice, I beg you to spend half an hour today considering the other side. Nobody but you has to hear your thought processes. Nobody will judge you for it, and nobody will force you to change your views. But please, in the name of kindness, just spend half an hour thinking about it. Then, if you remain unchanged on the subject, you can return to your regularly scheduled thoughts. And may God bless you.