01
Dec
15

On being pro-life

I’m going to claim a mantle I never thought I would: I’m pro-life.

Of course, that means something far different from the mainstream definition.

You won’t see me picketing Planned Parenthood clinics yelling “murderer” at women going in to get their yearly pap smear.

Instead you will see me working to make contraception available freely, so that pregnancies are prevented in the first place, and women for the large part won’t have to make the agonizing choice to abort their fetus.

You won’t see me voting for politicians who work to gut programs aimed at children and families in the cause of “fiscal responsibility”, while they line the pockets of their wealthy backers. Bill Gates doesn’t need a handout; a mother struggling to feed and care for her children does. And it’s not a “handout”: it’s an investment in fostering a strong, healthy society, one in which all its members flourish, rather than just a privileged few.

You won’t see me in church nodding my head in assent over the evils of abortion, and then go out and bray for a murderer’s blood to be spilled in an execution. The idea that life is so sacred that you have to take it in revenge for its criminal ending is a logical pretzel I can’t make. And the past ten years have shown that many of those on death row are there unjustly, years of their lives stolen through prosecutorial malfeasance and the incompetence of defense attorneys. Innocent lives have been ended because of the zeal to extract an eye for an eye.

You won’t see me marching proudly down the street with an assault rifle slung over my shoulder to exercise my “rights”. That is nothing be a show of the victory of death over life, of fear over hope, of the language of violence over the practice of peace. Christ blessed the peacemakers, not those who gloried in fantasies of war.

You won’t see me shaking my fist and yelling at my elected representatives to bar refugees from war-torn countries from coming to the United States out of an unfounded fear that there are hordes of jihadis among them. They’re fleeing the jihadis. They’re fleeing death and misery. The pro-life position is to offer them a place of refuge and hope while their countries are rent asunder. Those who deny them a place in our Republic would have shut the Holy Family from their homes. That they can’t see that shows the paucity of their spiritual experience, a triumph of law over compassion.

Pro-life doesn’t mean to bless the fetus and then condemn it to a life of penury once it’s born. Anyone who calls themselves pro-life should make sure that every human being has a decent life, is not oppressed, can fulfill the sum of his ambitions. Pro-lifers have a very curious conception of life. It is in its fullest expression within the womb; after that wondrous time, its life can be nasty, brutal, and short, and it doesn’t concern them.

It’s the coldness and meanness of the pro-life position which is so abhorrent to me. It is a position which can only be enforced by the state intrusion they so categorically condemn in other parts of life. And, for many of them, the consequences of an abortion merit death in turn. Death is the central idea around which pro-lifers revolve. Theirs is not a celebration of life, but an adoration of death.

Of course, my tongue is slightly in my cheek claiming that I’m pro-life. But I would argue that my positions are much more pro-life than those of the traditional pro-life movement. Their stance seems to be that life begins at conception and ends at birth. It’s quite befuddling, until you realize that their concern isn’t for life, but for control: of a woman, of a society. As long as “pro-life” is concerned with only the nine months of gestation, it will be nothing but a mean and arid philosophy, one which betrays its own stated beliefs.


90 Responses to “On being pro-life”


  1. 2 Allison
    December 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm

  2. 7 Allison
    December 1, 2015 at 5:28 pm

  3. December 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    TELL THE TRUTH!!!

    Thanks so much for this

  4. 11 overseasgranny
    December 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    YES! :
    “Pro-life doesn’t mean to bless the fetus and then condemn it to a life of penury once it’s born. Anyone who calls themselves pro-life should make sure that every human being has a decent life, is not oppressed, can fulfill the sum of his ambitions. Pro-lifers have a very curious conception of life. It is in its fullest expression within the womb; after that wondrous time, its life can be nasty, brutal, and short, and it doesn’t concern them.

    It’s the coldness and meanness of the pro-life position which is so abhorrent to me. It is a position which can only be enforced by the state intrusion they so categorically condemn in other parts of life. And, for many of them, the consequences of an abortion merit death in turn. Death is the central idea around which pro-lifers revolve. Theirs is not a celebration of life, but an adoration of death.”

    I have done nothing but argue with the forced birthers today. Coming here was a relief.

  5. 12 keltuc
    December 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    “It’s quite befuddling, until you realize that their concern isn’t for life, but for control” <—– THIS! Thanks for that, LL. All of it is the sad truth.

  6. 13 Don
    December 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I always believed that whatever a woman did to her body was her decision. The last thing I would ever do is to try to tell a woman what to do with her body, I really don’t understand other people trying to dictate what goes on inside a woman’s womb.

  7. 14 GGail
    December 1, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Hey LL, someone is ripping you off over at TPV! I saw this exact same Post over there and they even used your name!!! 😀

  8. December 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    This toon is just so perfect for your most excellent piece, LL – endless thanks!

  9. December 1, 2015 at 6:18 pm

  10. December 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

  11. 39 mtmarilyn
    December 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Well, LL, you have expressed what I have felt. I always feel I am pro life, not in the way the others say it. I believe in all life being given the chance to live a full life. I do call myself pro choice for the same reason. I believe the should be called pro fetus, since that is the only life they believe in. Thank you LL for an important post.

  12. December 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    • December 1, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      What a disgrace. This is not a man of God.

      • December 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm

        So let’s go endorse a racists, a sexists, a liar, someone who makes fun of disable, someone who think it’s okay for his racists crowd to beat up a black man, someone who said he has never ask the Lord for forgiveness, that means Trump feels he has never done anything wrong, even though the Bible says all have sin and come short of the glory of the Lord. So let’s go endorse this fine man Donald Trump.

      • 44 0388jojothecat
        December 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm

        Mentally ill fake, Jesus spoke of these people who would use the church to enrich themselves in His name.

    • 45 JER
      December 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      • 46 99ts
        December 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        He must truly hate himself to endorse Trump. I think I have gained by missing the news over the past 2 weeks. Also, too – I miss my home of the past 35 years – this too, like Trump will pass into insignificance.

    • 47 idon
      December 1, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      LAWD! LOL! black face pastor is gay but on the down low. Y’all know the louder they scream their hate, the more likely it is they are deep in the closet. Remember Bishop Eddie Long?

    • December 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Oh David Manning? I wrote a piece about him on Dailykos way back in 2008. He had a series of videos attacking Candidate Obama for being a “half-breed” product of a “prostitute White woman”. He was the archbishop of truly vile Obama-hate back then. But before you look up his videos, take Peptobismal or some stiff drink. You’ll need it.

    • 49 jacquelineoboomer
      December 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      OMG. Since I’m trying not to listen to anything trump-ish, I missed this.

  13. December 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    i know that there is a demand to see the dash cams from the other police vehicles…but i have another question…all those police officers who were on the scene…know of the cop…they know his character…they all witnessed what he did…maybe even saw the tape…first…why didn’t they intervene to stop the cop from killing that young black boy…2nd why did they remain silent….

  14. December 1, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    • December 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      soooo niceeeeee….

      i never knew his name…i just called him Mr Baldie…i always felt good when i saw him…..is he leaving the SS….

    • 53 idon
      December 1, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      Does this mean SSA Buster is leaving President Obama’s detail? Please tell me I got this wrong.

    • 54 globalcitizenlinda
      December 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      oh dear, very touching photo!!!

      I was used to this agent being with PBO all the time – he has a reassuring presence that all is going to be well with him around;

      is he retiring from the USSS or he is just transitioning to another post ??

    • 55 jacquelineoboomer
      December 1, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Now that’s called mutual respect, right there. And love for our President, of course. (Sob.)

    • December 1, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Oh my gosh, what a moving photo. There has always been such tremendous respect between PBO and his detail. I know that FLOTUS invites them to dinner and they share gifts. There is great admiration there, always. Best wishes to agent Buster.

  15. December 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Glad to see the Chan Zuckerberg family are truly pro-life ….

    #Hope4ALL

  16. December 1, 2015 at 6:57 pm

  17. 59 yardarm756
    December 1, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Another goodie from me in-box.

    Inspiring story.. A Beautiful Message

    Arthur Ashe, The Legendary Wimbledon Player was dying of
    AIDS
    which he got due to Infected Blood he received during a
    Heart Surgery in 1983!
    He received letters from his fans, one of which
    conveyed:
    “Why did God have to select you for such a bad
    disease??”
    To this Arthur Ashe replied:
    50 Million children started playing Tennis,
    5 Million learned to play Tennis,
    500 000 learned Professional Tennis,
    50 Thousand came to Circuit,
    5 Thousand reached Grandslam,
    50 reached Wimbledon,
    4 reached the Semifinals,
    2 reached the Finals and
    when I was holding the cup in my hand,
    I never asked God
    “Why Me?”
    So now that I’m in pain how can I ask God “Why
    Me?”
    Happiness keeps you Sweet!!Trials keeps you Strong!!
    Sorrows keeps you Human!!
    Failure keeps you Humble!!
    Success keeps you Glowing!!
    But only,
    Faith keeps you Going.
    Sometimes you are
    unsatisfied with your
    life,
    while many people in
    this world are dreaming
    of
    living your life..
    A child on a farm sees
    a plane fly overhead
    &
    dreams of flying.
    But,
    A pilot on the plane sees
    the farmhouse &
    dreams
    of returning home.
    That’s life!!
    Enjoy yours…
    If wealth is the secret to
    happiness,
    then the rich should be dancing on the streets.
    But only poor kids
    do that.
    If power ensures security,
    then VIPs should
    walk
    unguarded.
    But those who live simply, sleep soundly.
    If beauty and fame bring
    ideal
    relationships,
    then celebrities should have the best
    marriages.
    Live simply.
    Walk humbly.
    and love
    genuinely…!

  18. December 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    GE, once again. Clocked in first; then promptly fell asleep while typing another comment…

    Today just has NOT gone as planned. Downers: Infusion postponed until Thursday. Raining cats and dogs, so I didn’t go to the book signing… On a positive note, got some of my paperwork completed; spoke with the author by phone, and a dear friend in B’more will pick-up he eight copies of her book. I’m Blessed!

    LL, another outstanding essay; I did manage to share on FB BEFORE falling asleep.

    Now off to shower and make dinner. BBL…

  19. December 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm

  20. December 1, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    • 70 0388jojothecat
      December 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      The GOP sides with ISIS! I was flipping channels and landed on FOX, Bill-O-The-Clown was talking to Sour-Kraut who was talking about how PBO won’t go after ISIS oil fields…blah, blah, blah, as I changed channels.

      • December 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm

        lol…it is what smartypants and others have spoken about…the GOP can rant and rave about an issue and then turn around and do nothing about it…in fact they will project the problem onto the President

  21. December 1, 2015 at 7:44 pm

  22. 73 carolyn
    December 1, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    LL, thank you for that essay. It expresses what I have believed for years. Never understood how the hating group could call themselves pro-life…..When I was a teenager, abortion was illegal everywhere. I remember the horrors some young girls endured because of that. Contraception was NOT talked about, explained or easily available. Too many young people were forced into marriages so the families could have a “premature” baby. Those marriages usually ended quickly. Very sad.

  23. 74 vcprezofan2
    December 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    ♫♫ Catching up on TOD is so very hard to dooooo. ♪ ♫

    Hi everybody! 😀 😀 Some-body had to work today …and at least for the rest of the week! :/ :/
    How -ev-er, I may be able to negotiate shorter hours IF I have to fill in for the rest of the month. 🙂 🙂 I’ll know by the end of the work day tomorrow.

    Now, I’m off to see what I missed today.

    • 75 globalcitizenlinda
      December 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      wouldn’t it be better to get more work hours in this month and reduce them when the weather gets really nasty cold (hint: I am never looking forward to winter)

      • 76 vcprezofan2
        December 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

        Oh, I’m going to reduce them early in the next year, for sure, for sure GCLinda! 😀 😀 Right now though, one of my locations has an unexpected illness and someone is needed so I have to do some creative re-juggling of my winter strategy.

  24. 77 otter44
    December 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    LL know that you love being a librarian but you are truth teller and your columns should be read by the everyone.

  25. 78 Brookwater
    December 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for this post.! I like to say that I am “pro-whole life. If people who claim to be anti abortion don’t support sex education in schools and safe, inexpensive, and readily available contraceptives, they are, as you said, just trying to control the actions of others.

  26. 79 pickle48
    December 1, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Something I posted on FB earlier:

    Many of our so-called value conflicts revolve around issues of life, death, and sex. Abortion, birth control, premarital and extramarital sex (terms rarely used any more), gun control, assisted euthanasia, etc., etc. But these generally are not the underlying issue. That is often the disagreement over WHO DECIDES? Who has the RIGHT to decide?

    In the traditional hierarchical (patriarchal or dominator) model in Western agricultural societies up to industrialization that hierarchy was generally, from top down, a white male God, white men, white women, white children, animals, earth. Non-Christians and people of color were categorized by majority men as they saw fit. White men were in charge of interpreting God’s will. At each “level” one was subordinate to those above them and dominant to those below them.

    In the more egalitarian societies (partnership or synergistic model) that developed in Western societies with industrialization, categories of groups began to demand the rights of self-determination based on reason, as THEY interpreted reason. Colonial rights (all the revolutions of independence), women’s rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, gay rights, etc. Those who had been defined by and subordinated by others struggled for the legal rights to determine their own fates. Note the current movie about suffragettes, the Paris summit regarding climate change (earth), and the killings at a Colorado Planned Paenthood clinic.

    Who decides? Who has the right to decide? Can I make rational and moral decisions about my body and my reproductive system? Or must I submit to someone else’s religious beliefs?

    • December 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      I would add, I am pro-choice BECAUSE I am pro-life. I am familiar with research on the consequences of being an unwanted child. I know how brain development is affected. I know the data regarding probability of economic problems, child neglect, child abuse, parents fighting, etc. Every child should be intended. Or, at the least, accepted. If circumstances make that difficult or impossible, any decisions regarding a pregnancy must be decided by the pregnant woman.

  27. December 1, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Tears…


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