Canada’s National March for Life is this Thursday, May 14th. Provinces around the country will be holding their own individual marches in solidarity with the larger march in Ottawa.
In preparation for this event, I’ve been reflecting on how we present ourselves as pro-life people and how we interact during these gatherings. Let’s use this time and this space as an opportunity to hear things we may have never heard before and to reshape the perspective. We can use this time and space to reintroduce ourselves, because being pro-life is largely a misunderstood position.
Firstly, we are about love, being pro-life is not firstly about legislation, it is about love. The kind of love of your fellow human being that made Canada great in the first place. The kind of love, overflowing into action, that makes Canadians willing to pay higher taxes to provide healthcare for the poorest of its citizens.
Being pro-life is about making Canada safe and welcoming for women and their children, it’s about reaching out to those in the margins and giving them the help they need, it’s about valuing the sick, the poor and the dying. It’s about overcoming isolation and poverty and fear in a violent system, a system that devalues human life, to attain a more perfect society.
There’s not going to be a person holding a sign on Thursday, across the country, that doesn’t feel love for their fellow human being. How do I know? Because you’d have to, because holding that sign doesn’t make you more popular, it doesn’t come with money, and it doesn’t come with accolades.
Holding that sign is a testament of your love overflowing. You love your fellow human beings, and that love has overflowed into action, into community. That sign is your “Hello.”
Holding a pro-life sign comes with suffering and it comes with discrimination and it comes with unjust vilification.
So why do it? Why hold that sign?
Because being pro-life is about love, and it’s also about speaking the truth. Truth that is not diminished or increases by the number of people who believe it, it is the truth, and it is unchanging.
And the truth is that we do not empower women by making them dependent on abortion. We offer hope and truth instead, hope and truth are our “Hello.”
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted, exploited. Abortion arrives as the perceivable “option” for vulnerable women, but in reality it is a violent exploitation of their situation. A situation that places a woman who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek out the option of abortion that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others.
Abortion is a form of prostitution, that convinces a woman to pay with her body and mind for affection and care which should be freely given. Because abortion is NOT love, abortion is NOT compassion, abortion is the cheap and careless handout we as a society offer to women in need and not a lasting change for the better. Our offerings, our compassion, these are also our “Hello.”
Who turns to abortion? Overwhelming it is the poor, the marginalized, and those already struggling with the demands of parenting. 2 out of every 3 women having an abortion already have children. These women need our help. Helping is our “Hello.”
Hierarchy, inequality, and violence have always been part of human social structures. There were always rulers and ruled, leaders and followers, the fortunate and the needy, the powerful and the weak. Various cultures have treated disparities in status, power, fortune, and ability in different ways. Buddhists emphasize the aspect of karma and destiny, while in the modern West the focus has been on freedom and choice, and the individual’s control of destiny. In this Western worldview, inequalities and differences are often associated with injustice and victimization.
But there is not enough money, not enough staff and volunteers in the world, to support a permanent population of rescuers and victims. We must raise up women and children and parents from this dark corner of victimhood, in all forms, both real and imagined. And we do that by valuing them. Until we restore the proper dignity and perceived social value of parenting, women and their children will continue to be victims of poverty. There will never be “gender equality” until we value mothers. Without mother’s rights, there cannot be women’s rights, only assimilation. Motherhood is the basic biological reality for the majority of women in the world, let’s accept that fact and move on up. Value, dignity and understanding are our “Hello.”
This Thursday, say “Hello” to everyone you meet.