Mommy, What’s It Mean to be Pro-life?

By Sarah McDonald

One afternoon after picking my children up from school, my 8-year-old asked me a question I was not ready for, “Mommy, what’s it mean to be pro-life?”

It’s an easy question to answer, right?

We all think we know what it means until you have to put it into words for an 8 year old and are joined in the car by a 6 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old who all want to be part of every conversation.

I paused for a moment and thought about it, and then – by what must have been the power of the Holy Spirit, the words started coming.

To be pro-life means:

  • You treat everyone with respect and dignity, and you love everyone whether it is the baby in her mommy’s tummy, the elderly person in a nursing home or anyone in between.
  • You care for all of your gifts and share them with those who are in need.
  • You don’t pick on those who are different or not as good at something as you are.
  • You stand for truth and justice, even when it is not popular.
  • You care for God’s creation because he entrusted it to us.
  • You try every day to love like Jesus taught us to love.

At that point, I was proud of myself and felt truly inspired by the “spirit.”

But, in the way that children always manage to keep their parents humble, my son replied, “Oh, ok,” and moved on to another conversation with his brothers and sisters. I don’t think I said another word the rest of the car ride.

Lately, I have been pained that “pro-life” has become a political and polarizing word. It hurts my heart that “one” word divides society, when the truth is it should be unifying.

It hurts my heart that there are those that declare themselves “proudly pro-life” but denounce basic principles of social justice that care for the most vulnerable among us.

“Pro-life” has become a defining term that allows each side to stereotype the other, and it is regrettable.

I have family and friends on all sides of all kinds of issues. I love them, I respect them, and I disagree with them. These things do not have to mutually exclusive.

I am pro-life, and I pray every day that I am raising my children to be pro-life. I want them to know their God-given, inherent value and understand that each person on this earth deserves to know their value too.

I want them to treat EVERYONE they meet with dignity and respect.

I want them to be beacons of light in a dark society. I want them to truly know what it means to be pro-life.

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