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No Stereotypical Pro-Lifer

No Stereotypical Pro-Lifer

I’m no stereotypical pro-lifer.

No Stereotypical Pro-Lifer
Growing Up In A Pro-Choice Family

I’m no stereotypical pro-lifer. What is that? I think we all know. What do you mentally associate with a pro-life person? If you’re a typical person, I feel safe in guessing. Identified with the Republican Party. Calling themselves conservative. Thinking Democrats are evil. Can’t understand how you can be pro-life and Democrat. Focused on laws to reverse Roe vs. Wade. Indifferent to laws that would help poor pregnant women and low-income families. Having to drag Jesus and religion into every pro-life statement made. Perceive the baby as primary and women only in relation to their babies. Anti-choice. Pro-birth. Fetus-loving. Indifferent to the findings of science. Anti-feminist.

I understand these stereotypes. In times of conflict with fellow pro-lifers, I’ll declare: “So many of them seem just pro-birth! Not pro-life!” “How can they base their support of a political candidate solely on one issue? In spite of his character or morals?” Indeed, I want to see Roe vs. Wade be repealed. But I know that hearts must first change. People need to see that we don’t need abortion. They have to know about and prefer alternatives. We need to work as hard to change conditions that push so many toward abortion. AS we do to make it unavailable. I never stop lamenting over how we have so politicized abortion. Our political leaders, along party lines, have made it a sharply divisive issue. How sad and wrong!

Democrats run on a pro-choice platform. As we know well, they couch their advocacy in words like “choice,” “reproductive rights,” “bodily autonomy,” and “women’s equality and health care.” Planned Parenthood (PP) contributes millions to Democrats’ campaigns. In turn, Democrats fund PP by the millions. And they won’t allow pro-life Democrats to have a voice within the party. And the Republican Party? They are known as the anti-abortion, pro-life party. Because of this, Christians and pro-lifers have traditionally supported the party. Pro-life PACs like National Right to Life and Susan B. Anthony LIst, typically support Republican Candidates. Republicans, as opposed to Democrats, call for the government to defund PP. Result? As politics is a taboo topic, so is abortion.

No Stereotypical Pro-lifer
The Role of Politics In Our Family Dynamics

I grew up in a family of Democrats. Dyed-in-the-wool Democrats. Even when I grew up, my dear maternal grandmother, Nana was warning me about rape. And then she brought up the topic of conceiving a baby in rape: “You don’t want a rapist to get you pregnant. I, for one, would not ever want to have his baby!” I’m not sure of the context of this statement, but I’ll never forget her words about conceiving in rape. Of course, I know that many who call themselves conservative, favor “exceptions.” And Nana said this before abortion became legal. From as early as I can remember, I heard my mom recount how awful her pregnancy with me had been. Sixteen at the time and in 1959, she was forced to leave high school. As she tells me, “I remember to this day the many hours of hard labor. You coming out as a breech birth. And the year of having to marry your dad and living in an awful marriage.”

At age 13, in 1973, abortion became legal. Then I did become vaguely aware of it. I remember the day I was reading an article in Good Housekeeping. The article was about a young girl who found herself in a crisis pregnancy. I felt sorry for her, even when I read about how she had inserted a coat hanger up herself to terminate her pregnancy. I realize now that while we must have compassion for any pregnant girl in need, we don’t help her by offering her abortion. All that does is kill her baby and set her up fr failure. Not to mention that it hurts her spiritually, emotionally, and maybe physically. Pro-choice advocates and supporters usually aren’t mean, malicious people. They really believe they are serving women. Promoting the good of society. At least they believe this at top level of consciousness.

As I said, my parents raised us as Democrats. “Democrats care about people.” “Their policies favor the middle-class and the poor.” And Republicans? “They are the party of Big Business. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy.” “The GOP wants to go after Social SEcurity, Medicare, and Medicaid.” “Most of them are racist.” And the pro-life stance of the GOP party platform? My Mom and stepdad would say things like: “They don’t care about other people’s babies. They just exploit that to get pro-life and religious votes.” “If they were really pro-life, they would fund Family Leave. Raise the minimum wage. Give everyone health care. Give women equal pay for equal work.” As I grew up, I heard these things over and over. Now, I know that my mom and stepdad were right about much of these things. But they did not raise us the respect the sanctity of life or to follow Jesus. I got much of my influence from books.

My pro-life worldview was born when I became serious about Jesus as a young adult. But never did I leave behind most of the ideals of the Democratic Party that I was raised to support. But I no longer felt comfortable voting for Democrats. In my state, voting for pro-life Democrats wasn’t an option. As I’m sure is the case in most states. Then and now. Still, I don’t really like the GOP. Never did I like their indifference toward the working-class, the poor, those with disabilities, immigrants, and minorities. Sure, Republicans give lip service to caring for these people. But their “limited government” policies give the lie to what they say. But must I vote to protect the unborn, and sacrifice the interests of all these others? Soon, I learned about what is called the consistent life ethic. Both our major parties lack this. As a Christian, I know that only Jesus is perfect. Only Jesus has always displayed the consistent life ethic in both word and deed.

No Stereotypical Pro-Lifer
My Discomfort with Pro-Choice People

I’m not totally comfortable with pro-choice people. I gave reasons above To this day, I hear the same familiar pro-choice arguments from my own mom’s lips. Now she and I agree on many things. We agree that the minimum wage should be raised. We’re on the same page about protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. She and I see eye to eye on women getting paid for equal work as men. We’re both for improving but not repealing the Affordable Care Act. But, this is where she and I part company. I can’t agree with her that women should have access to legal abortions. Not even “just for the first trimester of pregnancy.” Not even in cases of rape, incest, or fetal deformity. This causes some friction between us. I’ll hear arguments like this: “It’s no one’s business. It’s between a woman and her doctor. No one else.” “If abortion becomes illegal, women will just start sticking coat-hangers up themselves. And they will die!” “It’s cruel to make rape or incest victims have their rapists’ babies.” “Why should babies with disabilities be born to suffer?”

My mom is just repeating typical pro-choice arguments. Nothing unique. But it’s sad. I don’t know where she got her rosy-eyed view of Planned Parenthood (PP). To my knowledge, she has never set foot in PP. THanks to the media and politicians, Mom really believes that PP is a safety net for low-income women. And the idea of PP getting defunded horrifies her. Nor can she make any sense of my involvement with the pro-life movement. So, on this core issue, we can’t agree. For this same reason, I don’t feel comfortable with anyone who identifies as pro-choice. Even when they claim to follow Jesus. We used to belong to a church where a pastor said: “The Bible is silent about issues like abortion and homosexuality. That’s why we’re also silent about them here.”
Sadly, I know that this congregation is not unique. Certain denominations agree with SCriptural silence on the core issue of abortion. And they remain 100% silent about it.

No Stereotypical Pro-Lifer
My Discomfort with Pro-Life People

Yet I don’t feel totally at home with those who identify as pro-life. Because of my encounters with many of them, I believe a number of stereotypes are valid. At least, people who hold them have a point. This holds for those pro-lifers I know online. And in person. This past 2016 has brought out the worst in many of us. And that includes many in the pro-life movement. I’ve seen vile posts about Hillary on my Timeline and in some pro-life groups. “Killary!” “Wicked witch!” “Murderer!” Footage of Trump rallies revealed calls to “Lock her up! Lock her up!” And there were a TRump sign said, “Life is a {female dog]. Don’t vote for one.” I was so upset at some vitriolic posts in a pro-life group, that I stated that I did not want to be in a group that seemed devoted to bashing a pro-abortion Candidate. I soon found that I was banned from that pro-life group. And I have received nasty, anonymous comments over posts, simply because I pointed out the need to pray for Hillary Clinton. Instead of bashing her as a “baby-killer.”

I hesitate to reveal my ideology to my fellow pro-lifers. Many seem to think that it is impossible to be pro-life and be a Democrat. Some don’t even seem to want to hear the word “pro-life Democrat,” as if such a person is a pariah or something. Once, I dared to mention the PAC, Democrats for Life. Once pro-lifer said, “Let’s not get political. Leave the Democrats out of it.” And they had made reference to other political topics in this same setting. On this same date. It seems that if you’re pro-life, there’s an unwritten expectation. If you’re a follower of Jesus, there’s an unwritten expectation. Fellow followers of Jesus seem to expect you to support a certain party. And pro-lifers seem to require the same thing. So I’ve learned to not bring up politics with anyone strongly and openly pro-choice. Or pro-life. Abortion has become far too polarizing. But on this site and on my blog, I express myself freely. And I invite anyone who has a story or article to share, to do so. Go here if interested in expressing yourself and letting me post for you.

-Lisa DeSherlia-

Visit My Sister Site. At AllLivesAreSacred, I deal with sanctity of life issues, not just abortion.

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