Friday, April 21, 2017

the value of life

As I sat among Right to life members on Tuesday waiting for the committee to get to SB 1180 on the agenda, I kept asking myself one question. What do all these pro-life people do for a living? 

Pro-life groups are probably the most well-organized and out-spoken groups of people I've ever encountered. They have the numbers, they have the funding, they have the passion and they are everywhere. Outside Planned Parenthood, at pro-choice rally's, online, in state and federal hearings...I don't think I have participated in any advocacy work thus far without coming across a large group of them. And they aren't all old retired people, either. They are middle aged men, young women, teenaged kids. So I honestly want to know, what do they all do for a living that they have all this extra time to be everywhere at all hours of the day? It's impressive.

If the strength in numbers and the amount of energy these groups have were put to use to actually support people's lives, imagine the amount of amazing things they could accomplish. 

We wouldn't have any unplanned pregnancies because birth control and contraceptives would be easily available. We wouldn't have any young, single mothers on welfare. We wouldn't have any children go hungry. And we wouldn't have any children stuck in foster care or up for adoption.

A friend of mine has been battling the US adoption system for over a year now. Her and her husband are probably the most fun, sweet and compassionate people I've ever met. To say that they would make amazing parents is an understatement. They've filled out all the forms and passed all their home inspections and have literally just been waiting for that perfect match. And the most honorable and beautiful part about their intentions is they don't want to adopt a baby (which is absolutely honorable, too), but they want to adopt siblings between the ages of 3 to 12 so they can remain with their family.

I've had quite a few conversations with my friend about the struggles with the adoption/foster care process. Each time we talk about it, I leave with a heavier heart. Did you know approximately 75-80% of children in foster care have been either physically or sexually abused? In turn, many of these kids have behavioral issues and lash out by hurting others or themselves. Many of the kids are on behavioral medication and antidepressants. Many of the children with disabilities never find a forever home because people can't take on the financial burden to care for them. The more I learn, the angrier I get that these sweet children have to endure such horrific things.

So I'm trying to wrap my head around it. If these groups are all about the life of the unborn, wouldn't they want to support the lives of these children once they ARE born? Wouldn't they want to support birth control and contraceptives so that abortions wouldn't have to happen in the first place? Wouldn't they support the mother's life AFTER they decide to keep their unplanned pregnancies so that no child would be born to a mother who couldn't physically, emotionally or financially take care of their children (thus no children would ever need to go into foster care)? Wouldn't they all foster and adopt the children currently in the system?

So when did pro-life and anti-abortion become synonymous? To me, pro-life means to support life. And I'm honestly not trying to be snarky here because I truly believe the majority of pro-life activists are good people. I just think their efforts are being directed at the wrong thing.

What is the value of life? I believe it's more than just a heartbeat.