It has been exactly 10 years and 10 days since I first posted my pro-life grade school speech on YouTube. Which means that it has been almost exactly 10 years since my family and I first realized just how viral the video was becoming, as tens of thousands of people watched the video each day, sometimes each hour. Looking back, I am amazed at how much time has passed so quickly. I am shocked at how many incredible opportunities and experiences I have had the pleasure and privilege of partaking in, all because of that one video. And, if I am perfectly honest, I am somewhat nostalgic as I meditate upon the memories of cheeky, opinionated 12-year-old Lia Mills, who believed—and still believes—that she will see abortion end in her lifetime. I was young, naïve, and ready to take on the world. Now, I am just ready to take on the world.
It is fascinating to have that video still floating around, still reminding me of what I was like at 12 years of age. It functions, in many ways, as a blunt reminder of just how much I have changed over these past 10 years. I have grown wiser, more eloquent, and (dare I say!) more beautiful. But I have also grown harder, more strategic, and (I fear) exponentially more cynical.
However, there are some things that have not changed. I am still opinionated (some would say too opinionated for my own good). I am still cheeky (you should hear my response to the “Men-don’t-have-uteruses-and-therefore-can’t-talk-about-abortion” argument). And, above all, I am still passionately pro-life.
This last fact is of no surprise to me, although I suspect it is of immense surprise to the thousands upon thousands of pro-abortion radicals and third wave feminists who patronizingly reassured 12-year-old me that I would grow out of this “pro-life phase”. Well, here I am. I am 10 years older, I have a degree in Feminist & Gender Studies, and I am still 100% pro-life. No exceptions. No compromise.
(That paragraph probably warranted a trigger warning… I can practically hear all the pro-abortion feminists cringing, even as I write this.)
Now, I’m sure there are many a pro-abortion activist out there who feel defeated and heartbroken at the knowledge that I have not swung over to the dark side. (Somehow, their calls of “Come to the dark side! We have death and aborted fetal tissue!” were just not appealing…)
Why are you still pro-life/anti-abortion/anti-choice?, they wonder (writhing, I imagine, at the pain they experience when they think about a young woman making it through the feminist indoctrination program called university without losing her pro-life identity).
Well, I’m glad you asked! Because I’ve conveniently compiled a list of the top 10 reasons why I am still pro-life. Enjoy!
#1: Because Science
I have long believed that the ultimate question that needs to be answered in the abortion debate is the question: Are the unborn human? Why does this question matter? Because, if the unborn child is not human, then abortion would not “kill” anything, and I would have wasted the last 10 years of my life fighting against a procedure that is of little moral importance. But, if the unborn child is human, then no justification for abortion is adequate, because abortion would then end the life of a separate, living, unique, human entity that deserves the same rights, freedoms, and legal protections as the woman.
So we come to this question: Are the unborn human?
I will not go into the complexities of the evidence behind this, because otherwise you would be reading a book, not an article. For my simple explanation, you can watch my Rapid Response video addressing this very question. But don’t just take my word for it. Read what the American College of Pediatricians says on this question of when human life begins:
“The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature. This statement focuses on the scientific evidence of when an individual human life begins.”
The fact that we have this type of scientific information available to us, and yet countries like Canada still have laws that define human life as beginning at the moment of complete emergency from the birth canal (which, for the record, is a legal position that is justified by science that is now over 400 years old), is pitiful.
The unborn child is human. Abortion ends the life of that human child. Ending the life of an innocent human being is murder. Murder is immoral and should always be illegal. Therefore, abortion is immoral and should always be illegal. Enough said.
#2: Because women deserve better than abortion.
Again, I could write a book expanding upon this sentiment, and part of my book actually does go into this idea. For now, what is important to highlight is that abortion is physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually harmful to a woman’s wellbeing. The physical effects alone are enough to warrant a deeply critical reconsideration of our society’s abortion-on-demand worldview.
For those who are unfamiliar with the physical and emotional side effects of abortion, I would strongly recommend that you watch a documentary called “Hush”. Hush is an incredibly well-researched, pro-information, and pro-science documentary that outlines in detail the health consequences of abortion on women, specifically the relationship between abortion and breast cancer, premature birth, and mental health issues. Pro-choice feminist filmmaker Punam Kumar Gill helps lead viewers through the scientific research, and she adopts an incredibly pro-woman, pro-information approach, despite her personal stance in support of abortion.
Watch the film. And then you will know what I mean when I say that women deserve better than abortion.
#3: Because human rights matter.
I reject the belief that human rights should only be given to pre-born human beings after they have exited the birth canal. If women’s rights are human rights, then children’s rights are also human rights. And human rights begin in the womb, when human life begins. It’s that simple.
#4: Because “my body, my choice” is really “our bodies, my choice”, and I believe in bodily autonomy, not coercive control.
As the brilliant, eloquent, give-this-woman-an-award-talented Laura Klassen outlines in her cheeky pro-life video, when a woman has an abortion, she doesn’t abort her own body. She aborts the body inside her body. So “my body, my choice” is wrong. Really, that slogan is saying “our bodies, my choice”. And this fundamentally violates my belief in personal liberty, bodily autonomy, and security of the person.
To believe that a woman and her doctor are entitled to use their bodies to coercively control—and end the life of—another human body is to welcome in the same arrogant, entitled, authoritarian mentality that permitted—and, through the horrific phenomenon of human trafficking, still permits—the enslavement of innocent human beings to dominant, privileged oppressors. Slave owners used the same tactics of dehumanization and degradation to justify using coercive control to enslave—and often murder—other human beings, particularly African American men, women, and children. If slave owners had created a pro-slavery movement, then “our bodies, my choice” undoubtedly would have been one of their favourite slogans.
So am I suggesting that, by exercising coercive control over the body of an innocent human child, a woman and her doctor are functioning as dominant, privileged oppressors? Yes. Yes I am. And any movement—whether you call it pro-abortion or pro-choice—that shields, justifies, and protects this type of oppressive behaviour is a movement that I will openly condemn.
#5: Because women deserve true choice.
“My body, my choice!” I’ve heard this mantra again and again and again. And yet, as I discuss in my “Pro-Woman, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life” spoken word video, most of my friends who are post-abortive have shared that their abortion decision was not the empowering experience that pro-choice activists make it out to be.
Many of my close friends were harassed, pressured, and coerced by their boyfriends, family members, friends, and medical professionals into “choosing” abortion. (You can watch this video, this video, and this video to hear their stories directly.)
So you can tell me all day about “a woman’s right to choose” and you can yell “my body, my choice” until you’re blue in the face. The voices of the women I have spoken to—women who were supposed to have been “empowered” by their abortion decision—make it crystal clear that, in the name of choice, women have lost true choice.
For this reason, I am still pro-life, and I will continue to oppose abortion. Because no woman should be coerced into having an abortion. And that is exactly what happens in countries like Canada, where our lack of laws and our hyper-polarization is allowing women to slip through the cracks and be forced to have abortions that they never wanted.
If you want to know the next 5 reasons why I am still pro-life, stay tuned for tomorrow, when I will be releasing Part 2 of this reflection! Until then, my dear readers!