To Be "Pro-Life" You Must Also Be "Pro-Woman", This Is Not Up For Debate
Lifestyle

To Be "Pro-Life" You Must Also Be "Pro-Woman", This Is Not Up For Debate

My Catholic approach to pro-life may not fit into the normal conservative mold.

240
Pexels

The controversy over abortion has developed along two lines: pro-life or pro-choice (read: conservative or liberal, religious or feminist, republican or democrat). As far as most people are concerned, you can either be one or the other. Just like the United States' two-party system, you have to pick a side and there isn't much room for a "gray" area.

On Sunday, January 14th, Chicago's streets welcomed 6,000 pro-life citizens for the city's largest March for Life to date. On the following Sunday, January 20th those same streets were filled with 300,000 pro-women supporters of the Women's March.

I suspect that there was not a lot of overlap in participants.

To be clear, the Women's March handles a wide variety of women's issues, not just abortion rights. Anyhow, my point is that as thousands marched over the last couple weekends, I realized that my views on controversial matters (such as white feminism, co-opted intersectional feminism, and the topic of this article: abortion) don't always fit so neatly on picket signs.

In my ideal world, no woman would ever abort her unborn child. But instead of marching at rallies for pro-life legislation to be passed, I want to spend my time creating the kind of world in which having, raising, and supporting a child is equally accessible to all populations, especially those most vulnerable to abortion.

History and research show that anti-abortion legislation does not necessarily change the number of abortions that take place. What DOES affect the abortion rate, however, is increased services and increased access to services for women.

I would argue, then, that the best way to push a "pro-life" agenda is to push for more accessible, comprehensive health services for all, especially those populations most vulnerable to abortion.

For example, according to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates are highest among economically disadvantaged women, partly because of high pregnancy rates among poor and low-income women and partly because of decreased access to health services. Additionally, 34% of all women who had abortions already had two or more children. Comprehensive sex education, family planning counseling, access to healthcare, and free childcare, then, are possibly more valid options for lowering abortion rates than simply outlawing abortion.

Let us not forget that black women are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and over half of these deaths are preventable. Furthermore, according to the 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports, African Americans have more than twice the infant mortality rate than non-Hispanic whites do (try 2.4 times).

These health disparities are severely affecting the black community, which not only has worse access to care but worse quality healthcare across the United States, according to the 2010 reports. It's no wonder then, that black women are ALSO disproportionally represented in abortion statistics: In the year 2000, 49 out of every 1,000 black women had an abortion-- almost four times higher than the abortion rate for white women (13 out of every 1,000 women).

My point is that we should be targeting the most vulnerable populations with healthcare, not angry white feminists with political rallies, when we seek to decrease abortion rates. We should use our money to buy diapers for disadvantaged mothers rather than to support campaigns for pro-life legislation. We should improve the foster care system so that abortion doesn't seem like the better alternative. We should use our political clout to increase services and access to services for women, especially poor women of color, instead of using our resources to try to overturn Roe v Wade.

Our resources are far better spent "on the ground", supporting women and future mothers.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, almost 30% of all women having abortions are Catholic, and an additional 43% are Protestant. To me, this means that, as believers, we need to take a step back and figure out how to truly help expecting mothers in our churches. Obviously, just telling women that "abortion is wrong" isn't cutting it.


I understand that legislation is often the first step to social change, and abortion contradicts Catholic morals. However, do not forget that legislation cannot on its own fix the "abortion problem". We need individuals, churches, and governments willing to step up in pragmatic solidarity with expecting mothers. We need to create a world where expecting mothers are supported rather than forgotten. In my ideal world, no woman would ever abort her unborn child because she would never feel as if she had to.

This perspective is a lot more nuanced than "pro-life" vs "pro-choice". But it is the only way to save our women and girls-- and their unborn babies.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments