I originally wrote this before the election when I was hoping people could see that pro-life policies include creating a healthy life for the next generation; that climate justice, healthcare, and good education are all part of a pro-life political platform. I post this again, on the day the electors meet, with a prayer, that they will vote for the next generation's well-being.
I listen to a friend say that her parents will vote for Donald Trump because of one issue only – abortion. They don’t care what else as long as he is anti-abortion.
I have heard this over many election cycles but have wondered what it really means to be “pro-life.” When Quakers say they are anti- war they talk about “Taking away the causes of war” They consider those attitudes and practices that lead to war.
And so it is with abortion. What are the attitudes and laws and policies that lead to an always difficult and painful decision? When you look a, you can see that progressive Democrats do more to take away the need for an abortion and to prevent problems with childbirth and pregnancy.
1. Countries with socialized medicine have fewer abortions. Yes, if you want fewer abortions health care for all will lower that rate. Mothers will be able to proceed with a pregnancy knowing they and their child will have healthcare.
2. High quality birth control prevents abortion. A political party that funds birth control and makes it easy to access is a party committed to lowering abortion rates.
3. Many countries with lower abortion rates, give mothers longer and better maternity leaves so they can fully recover and care for their baby. The US maternity leave law does little to encourage mothers to move forward with an unplanned pregnancy. A pro-life stance includes high quality and supportive maternity leave.
4. Free education. Wow. My baby can have the opportunity to go to community college for free. I may not have much money but I can be assured this baby will have this opportunity.
5. Free or low cost daycare. If you want to lower abortion rates, a political party that supports high quality daycare is a must. Few families can afford to have one parent stay home for their entire childhood. Daycare is a pro-life policy.
6. In Finland and many other countries, all mothers receive a “Baby box” in which they get everything they need for their baby. All mothers get this. There are no baby registrations and showers. All babies are cared for by a loving community.
7. Clean air, clean water, clean soil and clean food. Climate change and the effect of industrial waste are causing massive birth related health problems. If a party is pro-life they clean up the rivers, work to stop climate change, demand clean air. They give a baby a chance at good health, no matter where they live.
8. Respect for women and their bodies. Rape, sexual harassment and abuse all undermine a woman’s confidence and ability to move into mother hood secure that she and her daughters will be care for and supported. Pro-life means pro respect for women in language and all we do.
9. Control of guns so that parents can be assured that there unborn baby will be safe.
10. That their baby will not grow up to be teased or discriminated against for their religion, skin color or ethnic background or sexual orientation.
So when you vote pro-life I hope you will consider all the many ways that a candidate or a political platform supports a country and a society that makes sure that every baby is planned and cared for.
Pro-life equals climate justice, universal healthcare, good education, clean water and air, a loving respectful attitude towards women, free birth control. When looking for pro-life candidates, consider those people who paint a picture of a country or community that supports life in all its many ways.
In this way we will greatly reduce the need for abortion. As our level of love and support and respect for women rises, as a society, the need for abortions will decrease.
Donald Trump, under this definition, is not pro-life. He does nothing to assure reproductive security.
Fracking causes premature birth which is one of the greatest causes of the US’s dismal infant mortality rate. Therefore you cannot be pro-life and continue this practice. If you frack, you are ultimately causing death and harm to the unborn.
My plea is that you consider what it really means to be pro-life. I hope you will join me in re-defining the term pro-life to mean policies that assure each chosen baby a healthy, clean, non-violent place to be born into and thrive.
My pro-life candidate is Hilary Clinton and all the down stream candidates who support a healthy, equitable, peaceful world. If we use the needs of the yet to be born as a measure of our vote, you cannot vote for Donald Trump and be pro-life.