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Anti-abortion is not pro-life

| Thursday, March 25, 2021

To be anti-abortion is to not be pro-life. More often than not, pro-lifers I have met have not been so vocal about causes like education, income equity and healthcare as they have been about their hypocrisy and moral superiority. There is nothing Christian about restricting healthcare and chastising women who are faced with an impossible choice. Those same individuals who are so vocal about saving fetuses because they are also human lives are the ones who turn their cheeks to injustices committed against brown and Black folk, the LQBTQ community, disabled folks, the poor and the marginalized.

Right to Life week is no exception. 

Right to Life week prides itself on following Christ’s mission by advocating for the sanctity of life. It focuses on abortion, discussing Roe v. Wade, hosting a “safe” space to debate abortion (this year, the debate is hosted by two male students!) and praying for lost unborn lives. While at its core, the intentions of the club and those who share similar views are good, the sanctity of human life does not end after you convince a woman not to have an abortion. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with being pro-life — as long as you are actually pro-life. Often, the pro-life movement begins and ends at conception.

Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes that life at all stages should be respected and protected, from conception to natural death. We should each be advocating for the protection of all lives, starting with the ones actively suffering. Very often, I hear silence from the same students and peers who claim to be pro-life when faced with civil and human rights violations, especially of the marginalized. Last summer, when so many of our peers were hurting and mourning the lost lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other lives to police brutality, I only heard silence. When Hyun Jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz, Yong Ae Yue, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park and Daoyou Feng were murdered in an act of xenophobic domestic terrorism, I only heard silence. When immigrants detained in ICE detention centers at the border were revealed to have inadequate care, limited access to food and had to endure abuse, I only heard silence. When the U.S. Government rewrote Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, allowing health providers and insurance companies to deny and discriminate against trans people, I only heard silence. 

Their selective outrage speaks volumes. To be pro-life is to protect human life at all stages, of all races, gender identities, sexualities and ethnicities. Being pro-life means advocating for better education, fighting to break the cycle of poverty, for equality in medicine, housing and jobs to make sure every person gets to live a life consistent with their inherent human dignity — not one plagued by poverty, illness, inequality and lack of basic resources. 

I call on all of my peers who label themselves as pro-life to reconsider what their definition of pro-life means to them. If your definition of pro-life does not include the marginalized, the impoverished, the sick, sinners amerand all of your peers, I ask you to reconsider calling yourself pro-life.

Natalie Ortega


March 22

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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