It is possible that life begins at conception…
but it is indisputable that it does not end there.
At the height of the Syrian refugee “post-ocalypse”, I stumbled across the following blog post: “That Other Refugee Problem is Much Bigger than the Syrian One.”
Okay, No. 1: Bullshit.
And, now that that’s out of the way…
We need to revisit the parameters of the pro-life/pro-choice debate in this country. Because at its heart, it is neither one nor the other. But then, that is what labels are for: focusing attention on the sound bite so that the content ceases to matter.
What we need is not more rhetoric; what we need is a new definition of life.
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance while ignoring the ongoing plight of the Syrians at our borders. Let’s get that out of the way up top. Last I checked, they were alive, living beings…at least for the moment. So get off your high abortion horse and try some introspection on for size.
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance and insist that our fellow citizens do not have a right to affordable, adequate healthcare. Are we really protecting life if we do not provide for the continual well-being of the lives we have protected?
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance if we are not willing at least to reconsider our positions on capital punishment. If it is murder to take a life at its inception, is it not also murder to take it at any point along the way? And why is it we’re more concerned about the death penalty than about life sentences handed down for ridiculous reasons? What about those lives? Do we simply slam the door and forget about them?
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance and proceed to ignore the “strangers” on the other side of the planet.
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance and insist that rampant capitalism, guided only by an invisible hand (apparently attached to the invisible arm of an invisible sociopath), is the most promising approach to global economics.
- We cannot claim a pro-life stance without calling to account the employment practices, at home and abroad, of the merchants and corporations with whom we do business on a daily basis.
- And (I hope it goes without saying) we cannot claim a pro-life stance and proceed to shoot up Planned Parenthood clinics. To do this is both to give the lie to our supposed position and to misunderstand the work that Planned Parenthood does. The value of a woman’s life goes far beyond her ability to give birth, and PP does much to ensure that this value is recognized in full, start to finish, as it should be.
Whether or not life begins at conception (and, personally, I tend to think that it does), there is no escaping the fact that it doesn’t end until death. But here’s the problem: the period between the two is often measured by our own understanding (too often political rather than principled) of the meaning of life. And if we insist on limiting our concept of “pro-life” to the nine months preceding birth, many of those full lives will end far too soon.
As for myself, I am neither “pro-life” nor “pro-choice.” I am pro-nuance. And that poor little guy goes begging every single day.