Opinion

Is “personally pro-life” good enough?

A couple years ago, I wrote about why “there is no such thing as ‘personally pro-life.‘” But even beyond the question of whether it’s possible to be “personally pro-life,” there’s the question of whether it’s good enough.

Even if we could be “personally pro-life,” would it matter?

Well, since abortion seems to be a harder topic to wrap ourselves around these days, let’s bring up a few easy ones.

  • Is it good enough to be “personally pro-consent” when it comes to rape?
  • Is it good enough to be “personally pro-designated driver” when it comes to drunk driving?
  • Is it good enough to be “personally pro-paying for what I buy” when it comes to theft?

Sure, if we’re personally convinced of the right action in these situations, it’s likely that, when faced with the situation, we’ll make the right choice.

But if we think it’s important enough for women to have the right to consent to sex and not be raped, why wouldn’t we support a law about that? If we think we’d never drink and drive because it puts innocent lives at risk, why wouldn’t we support outlawing it? If we believe that it’s proper, moral, and right to pay for a sweater instead of holding up Dillard’s with a gun until they give us the sweater and all the money in the cash box, why wouldn’t we want to ban others from committing a violent robbery?

Simply put, if something is truly important, civilized societies often need to put the weight of law behind it.

How many more robberies, rapes, and drunk driving incidents do you think would occur if these actions weren’t outlawed? How many more people would feel free to commit these acts that harm and endanger other human beings if they weren’t against the law?

Making harmful, violent acts against innocent people illegal does reduce the frequency of these acts. It also sets into law that we, as a humane, dignified society, value the lives of innocent, helpless human beings. We do not support, fund, or condone the actions of those who intentionally harm other people.

It's not just wrong for me to kill this baby in her first trimester; it's wrong for anyone to kill this baby.

It’s not just wrong for me to kill this 6- to 7-week-old baby; it’s wrong for anyone to kill her.

So, no, being “personally pro-life” isn’t good enough. Relegating our beliefs to the corner of our “personal” lives does little good for anyone else or for society as a whole. And it surely does nothing to help the innocent people who can’t speak up for themselves.

Plus, when something is only a “personal” belief, it’s a lot easier to change it when your “personal” circumstances change. This is why, sometimes, “personally pro-life” people get abortions anyway. They “personally” thought abortion was wrong, but they also “personally” don’t think they’re ready for a child, and since it’s a “personal” decision anyway, they can “personally” go have an abortion, and no one needs to know.

It just doesn’t work well that way. Either I’m pro-slavery or I’m pro-freedom. Either I’m pro-rape or I’m pro-consent. Either I’m pro-robbery or I’m pro-paying. Either I’m pro-abortion or I’m pro-life. There’s nothing “personal” about it.

These actions — abortion included — either violate the rights of human beings every time they happen (not just when I’m personally involved), or they don’t. And it couldn’t be clearer that a basic human right is being violated every single time abortion happens.

It’s time we took a bold stand. It’s no longer good enough to say what we “personally” are. We either are or we aren’t, and we either support society saving the lives of innocent human beings, or we don’t.

So, are you “personally pro-life,” or are you ready to declare that you’re pro-life?

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