The March for Life occurred recently and many people all over the country gathered in metro areas to protest abortion. It is likely that most people at this university alone know at least one person who attended the march in Washington, D.C. However, through all the yelling crowds, energetic speakers and the president broadcasting a message, it is easy to forget about some other aspects of what it means to be in favor of life.
When many people refer to anything pro-life, they are usually referring to abortion, pre-born topics, fetal development or something along those lines. I do not believe the idea of being pro-life should only apply to the abortion debate though.
To me, being pro-life means, along with opposing abortion, opposing all forms of murder and slavery against people and helping people receive the resources they need to survive after they are born. The death penalty and euthanasia are brought up sometimes in the pro-life movement, but I’m going to focus on bigger problems in the world that the pro-life movement does not seem to encompass as much.
The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, where 68 percent of those are trapped in forced labor. It is not pro-life to support the slavery, a restriction on someone’s life of others. I sincerely doubt anyone who is reading this supports human trafficking or slavery, but these 20.9 million people are definitely not worth forgetting. We should be fighting for those people just as much as we fight for the unborn. There is not a lot the average person can do to fight against human trafficking unfortunately, except to keep it in mind when you are shopping for new clothes and electronics that are made overseas where human rights are blurred in the workforce.
Genocide still happens in the world, too. The Rohingya in Myanmar, the Nuer in South Sudan, Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, and Darfuris in Sudan are some of the groups being murdered and displaced in the world today. Thousands of people did not go to D.C. to protest outside the Myanmar embassy though.
The most important part of being pro life, in my opinion, is the criticism of war and the advocation of world peace. How someone calls himself pro-life and then advocates for the murder of innocent people is beyond me. There is no justification to go and start a war today with any other sovereign nation on Earth. It is not wrong to defend yourself in the case of an unjustified direct attack on your security and livelihood, but no nation on Earth is threatening the livelihood of United States citizens enough to go to war over.
I would love to see a march against war in Washington, D.C. where the attendance is greater than both the March for Life and Women’s March combined. I think it is something a lot of people could get behind and support. However, to get to that point, we as humans have to learn to respect each other again.
There are many small things you can do to be pro-life that do not involve abortion or going to the March for Life. In fact, some people who do the most pro-life things have probably never gone to the March for Life. There are many organizations and people out there that feed the hungry, support the needy and displaced and fight against human trafficking, slavery and abuse. There are organizations in the world that smuggle people outside of places like North Korea or war-torn nations just so those people can have a better life. It does not get more pro-life than that. You can freely donate to any organization that helps others.
Even on a smaller scale, just being nice to people goes a long way. You may never know if a stranger is suicidal or hates his or her life for whatever reason, but your kindness can help convince that person otherwise. You should be nice to people regardless of how different they are from you. Actions brought about by hate is the opposite of what it means to be pro-life.
In my opinion, it is very possible to be against abortion, but not pro-life if you support other policies that result in the murder of people or the destabilization of their peaceful lives. The pro-life movement should not stop short at abortion. It has the potential to expand into a movement where all murder and slavery is abhorred and the potential to seek to create a world where people of vast differences can all live peacefully.