Are you pro-life? Yes? You are being mocked. Republican? Democrat? Federalist? Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish? It doesn’t matter. If you claim to be pro-life you are being mocked, and they are not basing their mockery off the usual arguments that we have grown accustomed to defending like woman’s rights or ‘Science’. No, they are making fun of us because our energy and enthusiasm for protecting life seems to end where they argue life begins, at birth. They accuse us of being ‘pro-birth’, not ‘pro-life’.
Consider the below tweet.
Or this political cartoon.
What do you think of this one?
I will be the first to speak up and defend this argument as being utterly false. There are many “pro-lifers” in the trenches at this very moment doing the things our accusers claim we ignore. Right now conservatives are “waiting in line” to adopt in an effort to provide a second option for unwanted babies. There are also many, albeit fewer, pro-lifers providing safe-haven for children as foster parents. However, if we are being honest with ourselves we have to admit their arguments are not without some merit. Child-welfare is a serious issue in our world, but the conservative voice becomes noticeably quieter after birth.
At this point I should disclose that I am an adoptive and foster parent as well as an ardent defender of life in the womb, so I am not without bias on this issue. I do further acknowledge that abortion gets more time in the debate simply because the liberal and conservative views generally converge upon birth. While there are some disturbing exceptions, you don’t hear too many people calling for the right to murder toddlers. Child-welfare after birth is clearly a bipartisan issue, and the left is warranted in asking where the conservative enthusiasm is once children are born.
Ask any state child-welfare employee and they will tell you there is a vast shortage of individuals willing to foster children with an even greater shortage of child-welfare workers themselves, most pregnancy centers are under-resourced and understaffed, and domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is enough of a problem to have its own acronym for easy reference. Furthermore, the latter issue of trafficking is growing at a terrifying rate, often in our own communities without our knowing. Child-welfare is truly a matter that embodies Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:37 – “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
As the side claiming the moral high-ground we must bridge the gap between abortion and child-welfare. First, the perception that conservatives cease to care about children once they are born must be altered. Make the welfare of all children, born or unborn, part of the discussion. If you are grieved by the murder of unborn children then surely you are grieved by the neglect, abuse, and trafficking of children as well. Bring those issues to the table. Second, get involved. Be a part of the solution by finding tangible ways to contribute. Admittedly not everyone can adopt or become foster parents, but contributions to the cause can take many forms. Write to your government representatives, and hold them accountable. You can mentor, volunteer, or donate. The next time you buy groceries pick up a pack of diapers for your local pregnancy center. Chances are you know of a child living with a relative because, for one reason or another, their parents are not in the picture. Mentor that child. Play catch. Go fishing. Make an impact.
While the perception is certainly flawed we can not deny the amount of work left undone. Abortion is simply one battle in the war on children. If we are to be taken seriously we must show the world that all children matter to us. We are not just pro-birth, we are in fact pro-life.