Understanding Pro-Choice Arguments, Part II

prochoice-prolifeMy last article proposed the option of converting pro-choice minds by listening to their arguments. Aside from the fact that a world without abortion is very bleak for pro-choicers, what does a world with abortion look like? Obviously they’re not happy with the way it looks now, otherwise they wouldn’t be marching around, topless, screaming, throwing tampons in peoples faces, and making up catchy chants. For pro-choicers, a world with abortion is the more humane of the 2 sides of the abortion debate. Indeed, the more abortion, the better. But why?

Pro-choicers really consider themselves more pro-child than pro-lifers. Why? Because pro-choicers don’t believe that a child should be forced upon a mother that doesn’t want him. Rather, pro-choicers argue that every child should be wanted.  Every child deserves a home that will love him (or her), and so it really is more humane to be “pro-child, pro-choice,” because if parents choose their child, the child will be more loved.

This also explains why pro-choicers favor late term abortion. (Another thing that always struck me as odd; isn’t 1 trimester enough time to decide if you want your child or not?). They are pro-choice-to-have-an-abortion-at-any-moment-when-the-mother-decides-this-is-not-best because if the mother ever decides that she does not want the child, then the child risks coming into a world where he is a burden to his parents, not a gift. Isn’t that humane? Isn’t it caring and right that every child should enter the world in a home that wants him, loves him, and will care for him? Pro-lifers and pro-choicers actually agree on this front, but for pro-choicers, if a woman was using contraception, then she obviously didn’t want a child. Thus, she should have access to an abortion because her first, responsible, attempt at not having children failed. Moreover, preventing this abortion, aside from making her have a child (and a life) that she doesn’t want, now makes the child have a life he doesn’t want…or at least, a life of not being wanted, which must be the same thing.

Here is where being pro-life diverges from our call to end abortion. In their attempts to protect women and children from pain, pro-choicers have made love conditional. Love now is no longer something that people merit by the mere fact that they are people. Rather, people merit love by the answer to the question “is this convenient or not?” Thus allowing parents, and society, the right to decide if a person merits love solely based on when he is, not that he is.

Put another way, pro-choicers have forgotten what love is. The age old question “what is love” is not something that I am going to attempt to answer here, but if we look to the One who is love, we may find some inkling as to how it’s supposed to work in our world. There are certain factors that we know are necessary for true love – self gift, sacrifice, desiring the best for the other person, and perhaps more pertinent to this post, a certain amount of inconvenience. Love is something that people decide to do, regardless of its convenience. They are not victims to it; love doesn’t take you hostage and hold you, bound, unable to fight back. Instead, true love empowers and emboldens people to make decisions and to be active in the face of factors and reasons not to.

Was it convenient for Christ to hang on the cross? Did He stay there because He couldn’t leave? No and no. Love is something that Christ decided to do; it is something that people decide upon. The very love man chooses to demonstrate to others is the very love that empowers him to choose it. True love, then, is not conditional, and relationships of love – whether they be romantic, friendships, parental, whatever – involve some aspect of deciding to love the other person. Why decide to love the other, even when it’s hard? Because that other person is a person who need ministering to, just like everyone else.

Most people find it abhorrent when parents make their love of their children conditional. We inherently know it’s wrong. Something inside of us screams in protest at the unfairness of conditional parent-child love. Yet this is the relationship pro-choicers advocate for: a parent-child relationship of contract and ease, something that one must earn, rather than something one merits simply by being.

Abortion advocates have forgotten, or denied, a fundamental, loving relationship: the relationship of Father to beloved child; the relationship of self-giving and denial that allowed Christ to fully love humanity. They have denied the very nature of love by stating that they are the ones who get to determine who is loved and when. They have hardened their hearts and shrunk them – afraid of the love that might open their hearts, make them larger, and ask for that self-sacrifice. Moreover, the supposed pro-choice humanity in wanting all children to be desired has left us with the conundrum of what to do when no child is desired. Pro-choicers have attempted to argue that humanity can continue to exist without large hearts, but true love, sacrificial love, forces man’s heart to open and grow. It forces him to desire all children, all people, all of the time.

Indeed, the love which allows man to desire all people all of the time is a reflection of the One who is love. Doesn’t Christ desire all of His people all of the time? And Christ longs to pour this love into the hearts of those who reject Him. He wants to love pro-choicers and open their hearts. He longs to show them true, sacrificial love. He longs to teach them what love is, so that they may know how to love again.

This is where the ministry of being pro-life comes in. Pro-lifers must be the heart of Christ in the world. We must teach those who have no idea how loves works how to love again. We must be the feet of Christ in the world. We must carry His message of love and redemption to all people. We must be the hands of Christ and offer them to those who have fallen to the desires of the Evil One. In essence, Christ longs to pour His love back into the world, but how will He do it if we deny Him the very tools He uses to do so? If the church, made up of the faithful, is the body of Christ in the world, then we, as members of that Church – of that body – are called to be Christ to those who no longer know Him.

Pro-lifers are called to demonstrate to pro-choicers that true love is not only a possibility; that it’s not just a nice idea. No. True love does exist. It can be attained. It does make you happier, and it only hurts in the best way possible. Pro-lifers face the excruciatingly tough challenge of being as loving as we call pro-choicers to be.

The only way to do that is by example, that is, by loving those who have no idea how to do so anymore. Pro-lifers are called to shower the world with the true, sacrificial love of Christ, because it is only in His love, redemption, and mercy that the wrong of abortion can be righted.

Emma Smith graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Philosophy from Hillsdale College in May, 2013. While in school she served as Vice President of the pro-life club for 3 semesters and as On-Campus Mass Coordinator and Events Director for the Catholic Society for 4 semesters. Emma is passionate about her faith, her God, and all things pro-life. She currently works in both pro-life and Catholic ministries for high school and college youth in the Diocese of Columbus. More of her work and writing can be accessed on her blog: http://paxlumen.blogspot.com

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