It's time to come clean. The self-proclaimed "pro-life" movement is a lie. And we so desperately need a robust pro-life movement in this country. This is an invitation to those who fancy themselves pro-life: To merit that weighty title, here are some profound "right-to-life" challenges you will need to become advocates for:
-Any pro-life group would have to seriously struggle with the complicated ethical dilemmas presented by non-viable pregnancies, and the physical and emotional health of the mother in any pregnancy. Religious truth is only as strong as its ability to foster meaningful engagement with complicated issues.
-An authentic pro-life movement will send as many people as possible into our under-served neighborhoods and our inner-cities to advocate for the lives of those often forgotten. You'd be inundating with funds organizations like the Institute For the Study and Practice of Non-Violence, the Pico National Network, the Boston Ten Point Coalition and Homeboy Industries. This group would have to be front-and-center in the current gun debate in our country, loudly advocating for the solution that would save as many lives as possible.
-A true pro-life movement would be on the front lines advocating for the protection of marginalized children. The moment you see (or hear of) a human bullied, beaten, and diminished -- your right-to-life bona fides demand you speak up.
-Any pro-life movement could not help itself from spreading resources and support into our immigrant communities, looking for the solution that most compassionately addresses the deep pain being experienced by those looking for a better and more dignified life.
-A movement worthy of the title "pro-life" would significantly support Planned Parenthood (and similar organizations) and the life-affirming work they do for so many thousands of women (breast cancer, STDs, body image, etc.) They would thoughtfully engage in areas of dispute and seek compromises where they are warranted.
We could obviously go on and on. And we know for each of these issues reasonable people may disagree on the best solution to the challenge.
But if these items do not compel your passion, then it is time to be honest in the way that you self-title your movement: the anti-abortion movement. It's accurate and truthfully describes your agenda. Own it.