When I was in elementary school, almost everyone I knew had their birth parents in their lives. When there would be parent-student events in the classroom, all I saw was each physical trait a student got from either their mom or their dad. Then, when my peers would see my parents, they’d usually tell me, “You look nothing like your parents”. They were right, because I’m adopted, I really don’t look like either of my parents. I’m brown/olive skinned and they’re… not. The kids’ egocentrism makes sense now, but back then it hit me differently. This is where constant thoughts of the adoption subject would circulate in my brain. It was a special time for me to meet someone else who was adopted because I had someone I could relate to on a unique level. To this day it’s still special for me. Now that I’m older, I truly believe I can be the person to help orphans find a successful adoption like mine. Usually I hear from people that they want to give a life to their kids that they never had, but that’s different for me. The copious amount of blessings in my life after my adoption have led me to believe that it is my duty to not only help sustain life in the womb, but to also help that life flourish after birth. I was given a chance, and so should they.
When I was a young teenager, I knew that I defended the lives of those unborn, but I originally thought it was okay to be pro-choice too, because it wasn’t really my decision. After learning that biological life starts at conception, my thoughts really changed. I took human development classes and I took the time to learn each stage of prenatal development in detail. These taught me that life in the womb is another individual. I hear all the time that the womb is the safest place for a baby, but seeing a lot of lives being terminated there confused me. As a society, we should be doing our best to keep that baby safe and healthy in the womb. This made me realize that being individually pro-life and socially pro-choice still doesn’t benefit the unborn. At the end of the day, supporting someone else to purposefully terminate a pregnancy is sickening to me. It increases the chance of future pregnancy abnormalities, and it can lead to major mental health issues down the road for the woman. This isn’t empowering to women, it’s hurting them and the life inside of them.
The argument of when life starts isn’t efficiently discussed. People tend to skew the argument between when life begins, and when personhood begins. Biological life starts at conception, and if left to its natural processes, that fertilized egg will mature into the grown human beings we are today. The discussion on when that life becomes a person is truly dangerous. If you think about it, throughout history, some societies have declared that some people are “less of a person” just because of skin color, class, or religion. If we have to debate when life in the womb is a person or not, it allows for a scary amount of power over the defenseless. Why are we continuing that evil trend to the most vulnerable humans?
The Movement’s Inefficiency:
I want to start this topic off with criticism to the pro-life movement because I know we can do better. We cannot be truly successful at stopping this problem without helping that baby/mother in need during pregnancy and after birth. I have seen so many “anti-abortion” pro-lifers, but it’s sad to see how rare it is to see them talk about the baby’s life after birth. To be truly pro-life is to help that baby flourish in society too, and the fact that we don’t talk about this enough is truly disheartening. This is why the motto “keep the option in adoption” hits home for me. We have to increase the quality of our adoption system so that keeping the option in adoption is worth it.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 75% of abortion patients terminate their pregnancy because they don’t have enough money for prenatal/child care. They don’t think that baby will have a good enough life, so let’s use that statistic and learn from it. The pro-life movement is massive in the United States and across the globe, so if we’re so passionate about saving life, lets find a way for these women to save that life and stop leading them to believe that abortion is their only answer.
How We Can Make It Efficient:
As I previously stated, the pro-life movement is huge. Unfortunately, we’re not firing on all cylinders. If we care this much about life, why can’t the movement invest in better women’s health clinics to help continue pregnancy? If there are so many people across the United States who care, why can’t we start donating to orphanages so the pregnant mother knows that baby will have a better chance at a good life? When someone has an unplanned pregnancy, the initial thought process is more of a scare than it is hopeful. We can fix this as a society. It’s sad to see that we tend to demonize teenage pregnancy, as peers or teachers. Whether it’s emotional or financial support from peers, teachers, bosses, or family members, this could be the difference between saving that life or ending it. If so many abortions are done because the life after birth isn’t thought to be stable enough, let’s help stabilize them.
I’m a firm believer that you must take responsibility for your own actions. If you act in a risky behavior like sex, you must remember that while it can be recreational, it is still for reproduction. In my (very unpopular) opinion, society has completely cheapened sex. The media has become more sexualized, and many companies sell their products through some level of sexualization. When people see this, whether it be in the adult media or life in general, it makes them forget what the main purpose of sex is. If they do remember its initial purpose, due to its cheapening normalization, they don’t think these outcomes will happen to them. Why are we making the most vulnerable lives pay the price for a couple’s mistake? Whether the precautions were taken or not, that life shouldn’t suffer.
I’m told that I shouldn’t have an opinion on this topic because I’m a man. This always concerned me, why does any gender have the right to kill unborn life? Being pro-life isn’t anti-woman, and this whole issue isn’t a womens right’s issue, it’s a human right issue. If men took more of a “help women through pregnancy” approach, we could actually get somewhere. Men everywhere shouldn’t have to feel silenced on this issue. If you’re human and care about the sanctity of life, you should be able to talk about it. I think women everywhere deserve a lot better than what they’re getting right now, and the inefficiency of the movement so far isn’t helping them.
The only way we can start saving the unborn is if we start helping them after they’re born. I know this issue is one of the toughest to change, and I rarely see my angle being discussed, so let it start with me. I am more than willing to devote my life to being the change these unborn lives need.
– Matt Kesterson