This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationally. I am not even going to attempt to discuss the law, rather, I’d like to examine the next step.
What happens after birth?
What happens when children are born with disabilities, and in an instant a parent becomes a caregiver?
What happens when a parent gets addicted to opioids or dies of an overdose?
What happens when parents hurt their children because of human frailty, or neglect, or substance abuse?
What happens when children have enormous medical challenges?
What about services and support for people living with mental illness?
And so much more.
Wouldn’t robust support of families caring for children with exceptional needs be pro-life? Would women be less likely to terminate a pregnancy with a child who has a prenatal diagnosis of disability if they knew that access to everything their child would need to thrive would be available and affordable?
Wouldn’t it be pro-life to fund research and resolution for opioid addition? And while we’re at it, there are record numbers of children in foster care at present, in large part related to opioid addition, being a foster parent is, in my humble opinion, the most stunningly beautiful example of pro-life imaginable.
Do you get what I’m saying here?
There are dozens of ways to embody a full-circle, lifelong pro-life stance without even bringing abortion into the conversation.
But it’s hard.
It’s easy to talk about changing a single law, and to carefully hand select politicians who have a certain box checked on their platform. But if that’s your stance, can you answer what should happen after the children are born?
But wait, is it right to separate a child from their ancestry for life? Biology is enormously important, and while infant adoption is sometimes necessary, far too often it’s a lifelong solution to a short term problem when better solutions for both the child and parents are available.
I don’t claim to have answers, in fact, it’s the questions that overwhelm me.
But as a person who has spent my adult life focused on the children who are already born, the ones with disabilities, the ones whose parents are addicted, the ones who have been orphaned, the ones with mental illness, the ones with so little support. I have come to believe that if everyone who made sure that they voted for the pro-life candidate took a step or two to care for the children once they’re born that it would transform everything. We have the ability and the obligation to fill in those vast gaps for the children who are already born.