30 July 2008

Pro-Life a Liberal Notion?

I already started putting up my old articles from The Pitt News when I was an opinions writer. Here's another one that I thought was one of my better ones.

Pro-Life a Liberal Notion?

When I think liberal in reference to the abortion issue, I usually think pro-choice; on Saturday, February 26, however, my notions changed. I had the pleasure of listening to Mallory Crawford, founder of Earth Mother Enterprises, speak at this year’s Pro-Life Saturday presented by Students for Life. She spoke about her pro-life stance as a liberal, hippie and Suffragette, sharing basic concepts enunciated in current liberal vocabulary (obviously, conservatives also use some liberal terminology).

“Social justice” is a phrase used in liberal circles to obviously highlight the individual’s need for justice in society. This notion of social justice reaches all people regardless of race, creed, or position in life. According to the Declaration of Independence, all people have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Wouldn’t justice for all include the right of life for the unborn child?

The next word in standard liberal vocabulary is “inclusion”. With a liberal viewpoint, the more inclusive something is, the more valuable that entity. By definition, exclusion would not allow certain individuals to participate in something if they didn’t measure up to certain standards. Recently, the standard measure of life is the value of its productivity. If a particular life is a burden or inconvenient, it is deemed to have less innate worth. This is some of the reasoning behind abortion, euthanasia and suicide. In the case of abortion, the unborn human is excluded on the basis that they would not only be unable to produce enough but actually hinder a mother from certain tasks or a valued role if they were present. However, aborting the child would exclude him or her from participating in the most basic entitlement: life. As Mother Theresa said, “It is a poverty that a child must die so that [the mother] can live as [she wishes].”

I love the next word. It is “progressive”. By definition, one with a liberal perspective loves things that are new. New technology and medicine enlighten us to things that we could never even imagine in the past. These new technologies, social programs and medicines make the possibility of bringing a life into the world more possible and successful. When we know better, we think better. A picture of an unborn baby on an ultrasound makes it clearer that the moving fetus within the mother is alive. As said by Harrison Hickman, pollster for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, “Probably nothing has been as damaging to [the pro-choice] cause as the advances in technology which have allowed pictures of the developing fetus, because people now talk about the fetus in much different terms than they did 15 years ago. They talk about it as a human being, which is not something that I have an easy answer on how to cure.” As Mallory Crawford put it, the “lack of imagination for a person [thinking of] having an abortion” can be supplemented by the real image of a sonogram.

Certainly pregnancy can pose practical concerns. However, new social programs have made bringing a baby boy or girl into the world more feasible than ever. Project Women in Need (Project WIN at 1-888-LIFE-AID) is a PA state “government-aided pregnancy care service that is a model for a congressional bill that would enact a similar [program] on a federal level”. There are about 100 Project WIN and 100 private pro-life crisis pregnancy centers like Birthright in PA alone. They all provide free pregnancy testing and offer real, practical measures to allow the mother to bring her baby into the world. This, by the way, is many more than the current number of pro-choice directed sites like Planned Parenthood. There are indeed progressive options for pregnant women who have an unexpected “life detour” in their own lives.

The ideals of social justice, inclusion and progressiveness are indeed embraced in liberalism just as they were for the old hippies and Suffragettes, two groups by which Mallory Crawford identified herself. Hippies valued life, while abortion was contrary to love and life. On the other hand, the Suffragettes, or the original feminists tackled many women’s issues in the earlier part of this century as well. Women like Susan B. Anthony talked about motherhood as a woman’s right while, at the same time, not attacking their unborn children. They were trying and succeeding to gain equal rights for themselves as women, mothers, sisters and daughters: created equal by their creator and in their mother.

1 comment:

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