November 2019

“I’m personally pro-life, but…”

 In a conversation about abortion, some people say, “I am personally pro-life, but I can’t tell anyone else what to do.”

by Clara Auersperg, ProLife Europe

What about other topics in today’s world? When hearing about knife crime, nobody would say: 

“I’m personally against it but I would not judge someone else for committing a knife crime.” When reacting to a newspaper article about genocide, people use words like “horrible” or “terrifying”. How is abortion different? Many people claim that they can’t tell anyone what to do regarding abortion, but at the same time those people say that knife crime and genocide are wrong and no one should commit those crimes. Clearly, there are some things which are right and some which are wrong, such as purposefully violating or killing another human. 

In a discussion about abortion, the first argument for abortion often is: “But what if a woman got raped and – as a result – pregnant?” Rape is a horrible crime. Women who become victims of that crime need every possible support they can get and if that rape results in a pregnancy, they do need even more help. 

Nicole got pregnant after being raped by her boyfriend. She thought if she could separate herself from every part of him, she could get the control over her life back, but after the abortion, this was not what happened. Sometimes abortion seems to be the only option in the eyes of those women. Often, they are not given the support, love and compassion they need in their situation. Often, they are not shown different paths. 

When Louise found out she was pregnant after being raped by someone she knew, she decided not to let her unborn child pay for one man’s intent to hurt her. Louise expressed: “She [her daughter] didn’t hurt me. She provided me with healing and growth and new experiences that I never knew could happen in my life!” 

Rape is a horrible and violent crime. Its perpetrators need to be strictly punished. Yet should innocent life pay for a crime someone else committed? Survivors of rape need every support. They need healing and a chance to find joy in their life again. Though unplanned and likely difficult, having a child brings hope and the ability to bring good out of a horrible situation. 

Abortion advocates often claim that there are cases where an abortion is needed to save the mother’s life. This is not quite true. While there are indeed illnesses that endanger the mother’s and unborn baby’s lives if not separated from each other, a doctor honouring the line ‘to do no harm’ in the oath he took, would consider both mother and unborn child as patients. Sometimes unfortunately very early delivery is necessary to save the mother’s life, too early for the child to live outside of the womb. But it is not the purposeful killing of the preborn child. The Dublin Declaration states: “[…] There is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.” 

A third argument often heard in pro-abortion discussions, is disability or short life expectancy of the unborn child. A couple of weeks ago a woman working with children with special needs explained: “I am pro-life. I don’t like abortion. But I work with children with special needs who are severally disabled, and I think, wouldn’t it be better if they were spared of the pain and suffering?” It is unimaginably difficult to live with special needs or even care for people who do. But even with intense disabilities, life is worth living. Another woman responded to this lady by telling her story: “I have a younger sister. And like a good big sister, I was naturally very protective of her. Slowly it became clear that she wasn’t meeting her milestones. She was very small for her age and wasn’t developing properly. When we went to visit a family member, they said, ‘Since it’s clear your child is brain damaged, I hope she dies before you do.’ Today, she is the main caretaker of our aging parents. She does have a lower intelligence, yet her heart is so kind and thoughtful.” And then with tears in her eyes she said, “I love my sister and think it is so horrible that anyone would wish that she would die.” Raphael Müller is a young German man who is wheelchair bound. His hands are bent; he can’t speak. From the outside, he looks like he is the type of person described earlier as probably better off aborted. But Raphael is a warrior. He is taking university classes and has written several books, including a best-seller and fiction. Life with special needs is different. But Raphael, like many other individuals living with special needs, emphatically argue that it’s worth living. 

To some people it might seem that children with disabilities would be better off being aborted and it is shocking to see the drastically dropping numbers of people with Trisomy 21, for example. Just because the doctor says that there is a higher chance the baby might have Trisomy 21, does not mean that the baby really is going to have that illness. Regardless, talking with families who have a family member with Trisomy 21 conveys the feeling that those family members are real enrichments for the family. 

As horrific as some situations are and as bad as some circumstances seem, abortion is not a solution. A new life not only can change your world but will change it. And with this change comes a new adventure. Being pro-life personally, because you recognize the intrinsic beauty and value of every person, requires being pro-life. Period.