Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Pro-life Should Mean

I'm a firm believer that every baby has a right to life. I know there are many that share this belief too. This is not a post to convert people to become pro-life. This is a post to challenge people who are already pro-life. 

When you believe that abortion is wrong, then you believe that every child born with all sorts of medical and developmental challenges should be given a chance at life. I believe this. I believe the world we live in is full of diseases and conditions that God never intended for anyone to have. Yet, the world is full of evil and bad things because the world is not heaven-it's not perfect. Perfect souls are born in bodies that are imperfect. Regardless of your thoughts on this subject, let's just talk about what happens after a pro-life decision is made after a prenatal diagnosis. Then what....

Raising children with special needs (or special purpose as I call it) is difficult. Outsiders do not often know how to support these families. When my daughter was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect, I got more "I'm sorry" statements then "congratulations." We had a few people literally cry with sadness while seeing our baby for the first time. The attitude of most Americans is basically-anything outside the realm of typical is considered undesirable.

It's hard to know what to say and do in situations when a disability is involved. But I wonder how many people are pro-life champions but go on to look at babies and people with disabilities with wrong attitudes. I think if we truly believed every life is worth something and is a blessing, we would stop saying things like:
-I'm sorry your baby was born with ________.
-I don't care what gender our baby is as long as it's healthy.
-Maybe you miscarried your baby because something was wrong. You wouldn't want that would you?
-Maybe your miscarriage was actually a good thing in disguise.

Instead we would say things like:
-I know it's going to be hard because your baby was born with ____ but your baby is a gift. I'm here to help you.
-Congratulations on your baby.
-I'm blessed to be pregnant and blessed to have any child.
-I'm sorry you had a miscarriage and your baby's life ended abruptly.  How can I help you?

Maybe if people were truly pro-life, they wouldn't stare at people with disabilities. They would teach their children to respect and value all people. They would make an effort to reach out to families who are raising children with disabilities. People in church would be more willing to accommodate children with disabilities even if it's not convenient.

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