Life begins at conception, but it doesn't end at birth.
With all the tense, us vs. them, partisan narratives in our media and society recently, I've seen a lot of hate between those who call themselves pro-life and pro-choice. I've heard new terms thrown around, from "anti-choice" to "pro-death." My pro-life beliefs have been questioned by my peers and the media, but I think limiting the term "pro-life" to abortion and "anti-choice" beliefs is problematic.
I'm not anti-choice. I agree all women should have the right to choose whatever they want to do with their body. My issue with abortion is that women shouldn't have to make that choice.
I believe if women truly had equality, they wouldn't believe abortion is the only way to have a future after pregnancy. Women should be able to give birth and still be able to get an education, pursue a career, and enjoy a social life. Men still do all these things during fatherhood, so why not women?
I believe women should have easy access to sex education and contraception, and men should be taught how to respect "no means no." That way, they won't find themselves in a situation where abortion may be necessary in the first place. If women know all their options (adoption, etc.), know how to prevent unwanted pregnancy, have access to the contraception necessary to do so, and if men know not to rape other women, unwanted pregnancy won't be such an issue.
Furthermore, pro-life doesn't only encompass abortion. All lives matter no matter what: immigrant status, skin color, sexuality, or gender. Pro-life means standing up for all lives, including the unborn.
All lives matter and all lives deserve to be protected. That's why I'm proud to call myself pro-life.