The Pro-Life movement is traditionally associated with one thing—a continual struggle against the legalization of abortion.
Since 1973, conservatives have sought to overturn this ruling in the name of protecting innocent life. While this is a noble task, abortion is not the problem. Legislation often legitimizes what is already condoned. Abortion is one symptom of the devaluing of life that is everywhere in America.
Perhaps some other symptoms are obvious, like when physician assisted suicide seems legitimate so people will not become “a burden.” But other instances of dehumanizing attitudes seem harmless or even good. Celebrities become sources of trivia. People that are not very likeable are projects, instead of friends. These types of thoughts are resoundingly opposed to a pro-life message because they also see people one-dimensionally, some having more value than others. As soon as people are classified and ranked, the lowest segment becomes expendable. In a world that worships efficiency, those who lag behind are unwanted.
Beyond seeing those around us as having worth, we need to change how we handle miscarriages. In a Feb. 2014 blog post on The Lewis Note titled “Why miscarriage matters when you’re pro-life,” Rachel Lewis reflects, “Do you really believe life-personhood-begins at conception? If so, standing up against abortion is understandable. But so is treating a miscarriage as a real death of a real person.” We cannot expect an unbelieving world to grieve what they consider discarded tissue when we are slow to mourn our own losses. Sorrow may be the best tool we have. If someone was not loved enough to be missed, is he or she being treated as a human? If aborted children are worth a social and political battle, which comes to our campus during Sanctity of Human Life Week, do not miscarried children deserve some recognition?
Politics are a reflection of what already exists in the culture. Often a battle is already won or lost before the legal system addresses it. Overturning Roe v. Wade will only happen after we experience a profound cultural change. We have to embrace a non-hierarchical view of those around us in order to recover a fully Pro-Life stand.