I heard Bryan Kemper speak at the Right to Life Conference in Portland, Oregon about a week ago. What impacted me most was a main theme of his talk: Pro-life is a verb, not a noun. Pro-life is something we do and live, not some sort of political affiliation we identify with. Too many people see "pro-life" as a position or stance and not a reason to take action.
The media champions "women's health" and "social justice" as being related to abortion, yet they are not. Nothing is more oppressive to women and more unjust to society than abortion. Lately, our government and many celebrities have been promoting ideas that make absolutely no sense- like how being a mother-to-be is an illness and that this is unjust to society.
I'm the sort of person who did not benefit socially from taking a public pro-life position. I spent the first forty years of my life as a liberal who was secretly pro-life. It just isn't "cool" to be a pro-life liberal. You're at least supposed to say it's not okay for you but it's alright for others to decide for themselves. Taking a stand that taking human life is wrong for anyone, regardless of the situation will result in losing friendships. When I "came out" as pro-life, I became anathema to many old friends. I also found out who my real friends are. My real friends still like and accept me. I still like and respect them, even if I don't agree with them about abortion. But, I can not bend or yield in any way on the subject because abortion is always wrong.
So, when I became active and vocal about pro-life, it has definitely always been a verb. Pro-life is something I live and express and believe in so strongly that it is impossible for me not to act.
I wasn't able to stand up for what I know is right until I came to terms within my soul that I want to live my life in a way that God wants and not necessarily a way that other people want. Since then, I've been around pro-life people a lot. I don't like them all and I'm not friends with them all. Opinions and political positions should not dictate friendships.
One third of the Democratic party is pro-life, even though "pro-choice" is now an official "plank" in the Democratic political platform. Many pro-life democrats are like I was, afraid to let it be known that they believe the taking of innocent human life is wrong.
Yet, some people who identify with conservative politics believe that pro-life is something they just "are," regardless of what they do. I came to understand this more at the Right to Life Conference. Many people do not feel compelled to act because pro-life is a noun or an adjective to them. Even though pro-life is a part of the Republican platform, that doesn't mean everyone is doing something about it.
If everyone on both sides of our political world could speak out, Roe v Wade really wouldn't have a prayer. Our nation is already pro-life by a slim majority. The millennial generation is overwhelmingly pro-life. The problem is that nobody is saying anything and nobody is doing anything.
If you are reading this, you can make a difference just by doing little things. Really. You don't have to make pro-life advocacy a primary part of your working life. Just speak up for the unborn once in a while. If you are liberal and pro-life, consider "coming out of the closet." If you're conservative and pro-life, consider redefining pro-life as something you do and not something you are.
In one of our afternoon sessions, Gayle Atteberry, President of Oregon Right to Life, presented a list of small things people can do in thirty minutes or less that can make a difference to the pro-life movement. I'll be posting some of those ideas soon.