> Of course he shouldn’t [neglect his kids], but he’ll never change his ways. Are you going to take out your disapproval on his children?
> -To Kill A Mockingbird
DL: Remember high school AP Government?
RL: When we sat at the back with the other conservatives, huddled together for safety?
DL: Yeah. Good Times™. We had that one debate on abortion, remember? Someone, realizing your position, asking what you would do if your wife were going to die unless her pregnancy were terminated?
RL: Yes. We said something like “Well, I’d kiss her and tell her I love her, but we wouldn’t kill the baby.”
DL: Didn’t put a lot of thought into that, did you? Had you been married at the time? Had you even a serious girlfriend?
RL: So I may have been a little hyperbolic to make a point. I mean, pro-life has to be defended…
DL: Fair enough. I’ll forgive us for being 18. I think many who say they are pro-life are actually just pro-existence
RL: What’s the difference?
DL: Well, you’ve heard it said Life begins at conception, but I say unto you that Life may begin at conecption, but it doesn’t end at birth. Life means more than just being alive.
RL: I’m not sure I follow…
DL: You may want to force someone to have a child she does not want, but what kind of life are you condemning it to? Whether you agree with the legailty of abortion or not, a woman currently has the right to prevent a child from coming to term. If a woman were forced to give birth, an unwanted human enters the world.
RL: Those are the consequences of decisions. You know I’m really big on consequences and personal responsibility, right?
DL: Yes. I remember that as a sticking point from our prior talks. What do you think of this though:
> It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.
> Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually)
RL: I’m not in favor of unwanted children.
DL: That’s true. Few are. But do you see that unwanted pregnancies bring unwanted children?
RL: Yes, but the mother – and father – should want the child.
DL: Agreed. But if that were the case, abortion wouldn’t be an option. And the adults’ lack of desire to love and raise a child is not that child’s fault.
RL: I see. So what do you propose?
DL: Pro-lifers need to adopt a posture that involves promoting life in all its forms. This means providing educational and financial opportunities for women, providing daycare opportunities for working women, especially single mothers, providing parenting resources, and especially promoting foster care and adoption.
RL: Is that what provoked our interest in fostering and adoption?
DL: Partly, yes. It seemed to me that being pro-life was more than just being pro-existence. Pro-life thus conceived would also include microfinancing, serving the underserved, promoting under-funded schools, mentoring the fatherless, helping the homeless, etc.
RL: That all makes a lot of sense. So you’re saying if we want to force children into the world, we need to make the world a good place to live?
DL: Yes. Regardless of the abortion debate and outcome, all people need to be pro-life. This should especially be true of people of faith. In fact, I would go so far to say that you shouldn’t be allowed to be against abortion unless you’re actively involved in making the world a better place for the unwanted.
RL: Sounds good to me.