This I Believe

Stacey - prairie Village, Kansas
Entered on January 8, 2007

I am pro-life.

This doesn’t mean I’m concerned with outlawing abortion. I don’t know whether life begins at conception or not, but I do believe that making abortions illegal won’t make them go away. Abortion rates are very high in countries like Peru and Chile, where it’s against the law, and in the Netherlands, where abortions are not only legal but free, abortion rates are much lower than in the U.S.

So I’m in favor of creating a country that recognizes the rights of already born children—to adequate nutrition, good education, safety, and security. And the rights of women—to decent health care, strong laws against rape and incest, and free contraception if needed. That would be a country in which very few people would want an abortion in the first place.

Being pro-life also means I’m for stricter gun controls, because guns make it way, way easier for people to kill people. A pro-life country would make it harder to get a gun than a driver’s license.

And of course it means that I think we should take a cautious approach to war. In a few cases, military action may mean that more lives are saved, i.e. interceding to stop genocide. Most of the time, though, going to war is pro-death.

Because I’m in favor of life, I think we should find creative ways to make more room in our national budget for fighting the AIDS crisis. Maybe we could end corporate welfare and invest the extra capital on researching a cure?

Speaking of capital, as a pro-lifer, I’m naturally against capital punishment. Although I don’t think a murderer has much of a chance at being a useful person, you never know.

Pro-life means wanting to protect the environment. If global warming goes unchecked, life won’t survive. There is no moral excuse for willfully killing off a planet.

Pro-life means being against every kind of bigotry, including prejudice against gays, because these can lead to hate crimes and suicide. Common sense and growing evidence both suggest that being gay is a genetic variation, like left-handedness or red hair. Besides, if gays are allowed to marry and adopt, they can be parents to children from very poor countries who desperately need someone to care from them. And what could be more pro-life than that?

I don’t always live up to my pro-life ideals. I don’t recycle all my paper. I wish Bin Laden were dead. I’m not perfect. But a genuine, comprehensive pro-life stance is the best moral compass I’ve found so far.