“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. Your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth.”
– Sister Joan Chittister,
O.S.B., Erie, PA
Exploring the honorable Sister’s thesis is meritorious. The prefix “pro-“ means to support a cause. The noun “life” is an organism composed of cells that can grow, learn and respond to stimuli preceding death.
Hence, if someone purports to be pro-life, s/he is a radical proponent that from cell development to death; everything in between is important. Here’s a Sister Joan-like morality test to differentiate between pro-birth and pro-life.
Research is replete the greatest growth of the human brain’s sensory pathways occurs within the first four months of birth and the greatest growth of the human brain for learning a language occurs during the first eight months of life. Therefore, true pro-lifers only support politicians who advocate mandated universal pre-K education for all children, correct?
Since children’s cell, brain development and learning are precious, I’m confident dedicated pro-lifers are appalled that since 2016, Iowa’s Republican controlled Governor’s Office, House and Senate have continually given public schools below inflation (3 percent) funding. Iowa is now the 16th worst financed public school support state in America—how embarrassing.
Pro-lifers obviously embrace life to the end. Therefore, supporting the death penalty would be blatant hypocrisy.
Rest assured, honorable pro-lifers are ticked-off that regular inspections of Iowa nursing homes have substantially decreased under Republican control—shameful—the vulnerable elderly need as much protection as a six-week-old fetus.
Both political parties of Iowa’s 2013 legislature permitted homeschooling with no certified teacher, attendance records or intellectual growth measurements. A pro-life champion would insist upon annual intellectual assessments to the point if a home school child was not growing academically year-by-year, the child must return to public education so the child can grow and prosper as God intended. Concur?
Knowing guns can kill people, it’s understandable that unrestricted age gun usage and weak background gun purchase laws are repulsive to pro-lifers. Logically, pro-lifers ardently support “red flag” laws.
I’m confident honorable pro-lifers did not support Kim Reynolds (R) in her 2018 gubernatorial bid since she proudly signed legislation slashing $4.3 million from the budget of the Department of Human Services, which oversees child protection. I know bona fide pro-lifers are, right now, insisting the Republican-controlled legislature fully fund DHS and hire child abuse investigators for Iowa’s 56 counties where no such personnel exist.
Pro-lifers, I’m sure, are known to be advocates for asylum seekers who are desperately leaving countries rife with crime and coming to the USA where we proudly welcome them as our fellow living souls. Pro-lifers opposition to Homeland Security’s separation of 2,737 families and support of pro-immigration efforts is in concert with Pope Francis’s Feb. 13 Vatican proclamation.
Finally, pro-lifers place women on equal footing with men. As such, women’s health care is paramount, which includes having widely accessible health care centers to give women answers to their questions and provide birth control, cancer screenings, vulva-breast-uterus care, LGBTQ health inquiries, HIV prevention, sex education, STD testing, pregnancy testing, HPV vaccine and overall reproductive health. Legislative and financial support by pro-lifers of multiple 501(c)(3) nonprofit health care centers that provide the above services is understandable so they can publicly proclaim their pro-life cause. Correct?
These pro-life and pro-birth morality challenges are worthy of consideration. As Nelson Mandella said, “there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Steve Corbin is professor emeritus of marketing with the University of Northern Iowa, and a 1966 graduate of Nevada High School.