The term “pro-life” sounds so pretty, doesn’t it? It speaks of dedication to all those supposed American ideals: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Motherhood and apple pie. Think of it, all those happily (or not) pregnant ladies (oops, girls?) busy with household chores and baking meals for the family, kissing hubby on the cheek as he sets out for work as the revered breadwinner of the family. This is the dream of those folks – let’s face it, mostly men – who have successfully maneuvered for decades to take away a woman’s right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
Let’s not give them what they want ... that is, to turn back the hands of time to an era where women had little or no self-determination. Short of a sometimes deadly, and always dangerous, procedure to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, our predecessors were consigned to a life not of their choosing.
As someone who has two adult children, I know what it is to be pregnant and to raise a family. For me, it was a joy because I was able to choose the right time in my life and I was ready for motherhood. This is critical – because even when you’re ready, as other parents reading this letter will acknowledge, it is challenging. The challenges are emotional, physical, financial and practical.
Thrusting this life on someone emotionally, financially,or physically unstable is not just an inconvenience, it is an act of aggressive cruelty. It is cruel to that individual and the baby they are forced to deliver and care for.
Where are the men who are 50 percent responsible for pregnancies in all of this? They are rarely held accountable. I have volunteered in a health clinic as a pregnancy counselor and I was tasked with overseeing child support enforcement at the U.S. Department of Justice. I can speak with certainty to the fact that many men simply walk away. This leaves women in the precarious position of raising and financially supporting their children on their own.
In a society that still fails to adequately address affordable health care, childcare, housing and education -- just to name a few important concerns -- the safety net is virtually non-existent.
There isn’t enough room in this letter to list out all the cynical, hypocritical aspects to the term “pro-life” because in every sense this movement was never about life per se, it was always about birth. Further, it was always about big government and religious institutions exerting power over vulnerable women.
Let’s take our power back ladies and the men who support us! Vote on November 8th for those candidates who will enact sweeping legislation to protect choice. That is the real pro-life position.
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