SHENTON: We need pro-life policies that span the length of our lives

To the editor:

What does it mean to be Pro-Life? I consider myself pro-life but feel at odds with both Democratic and Republican views.

I am so on board the pro-life attitudes of:

  • Government and private programs to help lift the poor.
  • A Just wage for workers, namely, being able to work full-time and not remaining in poverty.
  • Health care as a human right and not as a reflection of how big your bank account happens to be.
  • Equal pay for men and women alike.
  • Allowing men and women to have control over their own bodies.
  • Treating all people with respect: black, white, gay, straight, etc.
  • Having a humane immigration policy.
  • No torture, including no water boarding,
  • No capital punishment,
  • Not impulsively resorting to war when conflicts arise.
  • Not using drones to launch attacks on foreign soil, further radicalizing hatred.
  • Respect for the environment and movement towards renewable energy.

And so the list goes on.

However, what really bothers me is that many people who agree with the pro-life attitudes above are also strong advocates of abortion. I do not understand this. I agree that a woman should have as much control over her destiny as any man. But the fact is that we have to consider that inside a pregnant woman is a NEW LIFE, genetically distinct from the biological father and mother. This new life is also unmistakably human. For me it is that simple.

Each generation has its blindness. Undoubtedly there were many good people who genuinely believed that slavery was good and right. However, they were clearly wrong! Cultural blindness can be a powerful thing that stops us looking at the truth. I fear that abortion has become the cultural blindness of this generation.

A woman should have rights over her own body but this should not include rationalizing away the rights of the new human life she carries, a life that requires her protection and the protection of society.

It seems shocking to me that on one side of the birth canal we talk about murder or infanticide and on the other side we talk about termination of a pregnancy as if it is just a medical procedure. On one side of the birth canal no rights are afforded to that new human life and on the other side that new life has the full protection of the constitution.

I am reminded of the movie “Avatar,” where the statement is made: “We will see if your insanity can be cured”. I now ask the question, can our insanity be cured, the insanity that allows us to attack fresh, pristine, new, innocent, human life at the most vulnerable stage of its development.

Being pro-life can never be as simple as just forcing a woman to have her baby. If abortion is ever going to diminish we need pro-life policies that span the length of our lives. A just wage, the right to affordable healthcare, and a reasonable distribution of wealth are also PRO-LIFE attitudes. Think narrowly about PRO-LIFE and abortion is here to stay. THINK WIDELY and GENEROUSLY and abortion will go into decline.

Matthew Shenton
Big Rapids

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