Last week, the pro-life group at the University of Notre Dame put on its annual Respect Life week. As a member of the club and an avid supporter of the pro-life cause, I was thrilled to see so many people passionately engaged in the pro-life movement. I also enjoyed seeing all of the Respect Life signs and decorations spread around campus. However, not everyone seemed to share my feeling of appreciation for the week. In fact, someone even felt compelled to cut several signs belonging to a pro-life display. I was quite saddened when I heard such news. I was distraught not only because such a blatant disrespect for property is disheartening in and of itself, but also because I believe the vandal, like many others, fundamentally misunderstands the pro-life movement. Therefore, I would like to clarify what the pro-life movement is about and what it aims to accomplish.
1. Firstly, the pro-life movement is not a religiously-fueled crusade. By this, I do not mean to mitigate the importance of the work of many religious organizations or the Church itself. Neither do I intend to ignore the fact that many in the pro-life camp are religious; in fact, I myself am a devout Christian. Rather, I am saying that the case against abortion is legitimatized and grounded upon scientific facts and religious doctrine.
There is consensus within the scientific community that human life begins at conception. The moment when a male sperm and a female egg are fused, a distinctly unique human life is formed. This is taught in biology textbooks and is generally accepted within scientific circles. Such scientific certainty is the true foundation of the pro-life movement.
2. Secondly, it is important to emphasize that the pro-life cause is not anti-women. In fact, being truly pro-life means supporting women who undergo unexpected pregnancies and encouraging them to explore options such as adoption. After all, abortion is often one of the most damaging procedures a woman can endure. While pro-choice advocates often criticize pro-lifers for inflating or fabricating statistics related to the mental health consequences of abortion, there are many independent research reports outlining the correlation between abortion and detriments to mental health.
The British Journal of Psychiatry found women who had an abortion faced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems down the road. Additionally, the research found women who had abortions 110% more likely to abuse alcohol and 155% more likely to commit suicide. Those who are pro-life are not ignorant of the fact that women who experience unwanted or unexpected pregnancies face extreme difficulties, but they also recognize that abortion tends to only make things worse.
3. It is also vital to highlight that the pro-life movement is radically forward-thinking. Abortion is an archaic practice that has existed for thousands of years. The pro-life cause is about finally ending such an inhumane practice that we can prove, via science and technology, murders human beings. The pro-life cause is not regressive, but rather it seeks to move society forward, away from engaging in such morally despicable behavior.
4. Lastly, I would like to highlight that being pro-life is about fighting for both cultural and legal change. In order to save lives and promote life, the law of this country must change, but so must the hearts. Simply outlawing abortion will not end it from occurring. It is important that people understand that abortion is, by its very nature, the termination not of a pregnancy, but of a human life.
The pro-life movement is not, as some disingenuously portray it, a coalition of sexist, religious fanatics intent on impressing their own beliefs on others. Rather, the movement is a reason driven effort, founded upon science, aimed at eliminating basic moral atrocities occurring in America. And the movement is growing. Millennials are far more pro-life than previous generations. People are finally realizing that abortion is truly horrid and abominable. It will not be long until the pro-life movement is written about in history textbooks, as the movement that ended legalized murder in America.