You Say You’re Pro-Life – But Are You Really?

I don’t do politics. Politics is ugly. Especially this election, yeesh. It seems, that one of the major divisive talking points is the pro-choice vs pro-life argument. The more and more rhetoric I hear, I want to ask you (challenge you even) Pro-Lifer, are you truly truly pro-life or are you simply anti-abortion?

What happens when this child you fought to be born needs routine well checks and immunizations and their parents need help affording it? What happens when the child turns out to have more complex medical needs like Down Syndrome, congenital heart defect, or osteogenesis imperfecta? Are you supporting programs like Medicaid? Are you supporting or contributing to local doctors who provide free or reduced services for low income families? You should be. Access to healthcare greatly increases one’s quality of life. And you said you were pro life.

What happens when this child you fought to be born grows into a toddler, a child, a teen. What happens when their family is struggling to simply put food on the table? Do you support such programs like SNAP and WIC that help these families? Please don’t spout retorts like “That system is just full of fraud”. Nerp. Did you know that SNAP fraud has decreased by 3/4 in the past 10 years? The fraud/misuse rate is currently around 3%. Which means 97% of the funds used go exactly where they should – to feed families. You should be supporting these because you simply need food to live. And you said you were pro life.

What happens when this child is school aged? Are you asking how you can support this child at this stage in their life? You could ask a local underfunded school for a list of supplies they are short on. It doesn’t have to be a new laptop – crayons go on sale for .25 a box at back to school time. Spend $2 and take in some crayons. Do you have a special talent or skill? Could you offer tutoring services?  Could you offer assistance to the PTO? Laminate some things for a teacher so they can focus on actual instruction. Make sure this child is equipped with the tools they need to succeed. Because education, especially to an under privileged child, can be a life changer. And you said you were pro life.

What happens when that child that you fought to be born, IS born, and then abandoned. This is going to be my longest point, I can already tell, because this is something that’s very important to me – bear with me. What. Are. You. Doing. Then? I have seen, smelled, heard, and felt unwanted, abandoned children. It is horrific. 

mogolino

Children from Mogolino, a Bulgarian orphanage

We are a secular family. However, I grew up in religious, private schools. I know what the Bible says. If you identify as a Christian and you are not advocating for orphans, YOU are a hypocrite. I’m going to venture to say adoption is at the core of the New Testament. We see adoption mentioned as the means to your salvation in Galatians, Ephesians, Romans, etc. John 14:18 says “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you.” It’s more than clear that one of the groups that Jesus implored his followers to care for the most – is children.  I want to share this beautiful girl with you. Her name is Wren. wren She might look like a baby. She was 6. She was born with those beautiful almond shaped eyes that signify Down Syndrome and for her, it was a death sentence. We tried to add her onto our adoption, knowing she didn’t have much time, but someone had already committed to her. Her mama was racing to her as fast as she could – and there just wasn’t enough time. Wren died without ever being brought home. She starved to death in a Bulgarian orphanage. Where were you, pro-lifer, when she took her last breath? WHERE WERE YOU? This is your idea of ‘pro-life’?  No. I won’t accept that. What happened to Wren (and she’s not an exception, this happens everyday) was 100% preventable and a crime against humanity. We failed her. Please learn her name. Please help me try to prevent this fate from happening to another child. Please remember her. HER NAME IS WREN. Did you know that if just *one* family in each church adopted a child, our orphan crisis would be over? Over. Is that family you? That’s awesome. Please tell me. Tell me so I can support your adoption. Can I buy your t-shirt, cookies, hairbows, whatever you’re selling to fundraise? Is that family not you? That’s perfectly fine. Not everyone is led to adopt. If you’re not, you can still support the families that are. You can share profiles of desperately waiting children (go to reecesrainbow.org and pick someone to advocate for, easy peasy). Adoption IS redemption. Adoption for some children is the difference between literal life and death, like my friend Ryan (Saving Baby Ryan).

ryan

There is approximately a year’s difference between these pictures. Incredible what a year of food, healthcare, and love can do.

 

Ryan is also from Bulgaria. Ryan was about 9 lbs at 7 years old. Nine. Pounds. when he came home about a year ago. Are you advocating for children like Wren and Ryan? You should be. BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU WERE PRO-LIFE.

 

What happens when that child you fought to be born has aged through adulthood and is now nearing the end of their life? Are you visiting with them? Are you writing down your grandmother’s recipes so she knows they’ll live on? Are you having those tough conversations so you ensure their final moments are carried out to their wishes and with dignity? You should be. Because you said you were pro-life.

 

This statement might earn me some side eyes from some of my friends – but I want to be pro-life. Like THIS. I want to care for people from the beginning of their life to the end. I want to remember that life is a fluid stream – it’s not a singular event. When that child is born, that is when our responsibility to that child begins. Not ends. That’s the beginning of their story. If your idea of ‘pro-life’ encompasses the child from the moment of conception to birth…I’m gonna need you to take off that ‘pro-life’ sash you so proudly wear about. I need you to hand it back over. You’re not pro-life, you’re just anti-abortion.

 

 

 

*This is an added note as of Monday evening. This piece was never (and is still not) intended to be a stance on abortion. If that is all you got out of this, then I fear you have missed the point entirely. I’m simply asking you to spend a few minutes in introspection. If you do consider yourself “pro-life” – are you living it? If your answer to that is an honest yes, then to you, I say “thank you” for working to better the lives of people around you, at all stages of life. Please continue to be a positive example. If your answer is “Well perhaps I could work harder at this”, then to you, I say “I appreciate your honesty and even the smallest steps are steps in the right direction”.

 

 

 

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278 thoughts on “You Say You’re Pro-Life – But Are You Really?

  1. amanda says:

    I love this article and completely agree. We are also a secular family who has chosen to adopt. I honestly had NO IDEA there was a problem and that is because no one is sharing like they should. People need to know, and for those who do know if you can bat and eye and not think of this subject again you are not pro-life. These kids are dying.

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  2. Lot’s of truth in this post. Appreciate someone speaking honestly about something that matters. The point is a good one – there is a difference between being pro-life, and anti-abortion.

    I will pray for those children – Wren, and Ryan – and those like them. But I also choose not to just to spout off an empty self-righteous prayer. True Love = action. Christians should care for orphans, widows, and the debilitated.

    Speak truth.

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  3. Thank you for writing this blog post. I’m a pro-life Christian, but you’re right, I should be doing more. Less talk, and more doing. Thankfully my church offers some great opportunities that have allowed me to do some of the things you have mentioned (but I should get more involved), and after I get married I want to adopt a few children if I am able (I’ve wanted to adopt since I was in middle school), but I could be doing so much more!

    This is the second time I’ve read through this blog post and it is so inspiring to me! I need to not wait for opportunities to help to arise, I need to find and make them myself. And you’re right about the Christian community really needing to get this into their heads. We all need to be doing this. Again, thank you for writing and sharing this.

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  4. Reblogged this on a prayer for a life and commented:
    I think this goes well with the thoughts that I was speaking to on Monday.

    I agree wholeheartedly – Christians are called to be lights, to show life. Life encompasses more than just birth. Life includes every part of one’s existence, both physical and spiritual. Jesus brought life – He brought life in the spiritual sense, bringing back those who believe from spiritual death to life. But He also brought physical life – Jesus healed people!

    Adoption is apart of the Christian’s call to be the light and salt in the world. Adoption is hard but fighting for life is hard. Jesus, in order to bring life, died. He endured great suffering; He was persecuted, ridiculed, and ultimately was sentenced to the death reserved for the lowest of the low, for insurrectionists and the like.

    As a Christian I am called to be continually set apart for God (it is the process of sanctification). This setting apart does not mean that I (or any other Christian) am to shun the world and everything in it. Rather, I am to live in the world – to be the light and life of Christ to those around me.

    Humanity was created as BOTH physical and spiritual beings. There cannot be a disconnect between the physical and spiritual. Christians are call to be light and life to both the physical and spiritual aspects of others.

    Adoption speaks to both of these points – the physical and the spiritual. Physically, for many children, adoption brings life. The kids now have access to medical care, food, schooling, and family. Adoption also gives the children a chance at spiritual life. No one should force another to accept a belief system but through adoption the child has an opportunity to accept and hear the Christian message.

    My siblings would never have been presented with who Christ is and what He has done if they had not been adopted. They would also have been physically so much more unhealthy. No one would have known one of my brothers has dislocated elbows since infancy, no one would have known of my sister’s dental issues or her struggles with sensory processing, no one would have known about my brother’s dairy allergy. Health wise they are so much better! I see them today and I see new life flowing through them.

    It is the Christian’s call to bring life. There are so many ways that God calls us to bring life. God has created us all differently and those differences are so beautiful! There is a need for us to embrace these differences and to use them to bring life. There are so many ways that adoption can be supported. Use your differences, use your uniqueness, use your gifts to support adoption and to bring life.

    To Him be the Glory!

    Like

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