Tomi Lahren’s recent comments on abortion have caused quite the controversy. But her logic behind why she’s pro-choice returns me to a problem that’s bugged me about the pro-life movement for some time.
We call for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, but we offer nothing in return. We’re a movement devoid of actual solutions and choices. We preach life but fail to actually help the lives of struggling women right in front of us. Lahren, shockingly, is right.
We are hypocrites.
Now, before you freak out and scroll down to the comments section to call me names, let me explain myself.
I’m a pro-life libertarian, which seems like an oxymoron. As much as I hate the government telling anyone what to do, I can’t get beyond my Christian faith and belief that an abortion ends a life. But I’m not here to debate the semantics on when life begins or any of that other stuff. (Or how dumb the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” monikers are.)
I am here to talk about how we, as a movement, can actually help women and children. At the end of the day, we have to convince people that a child (intended or not) is worth having. Unfortunately, though, we don’t have anything substantial beyond, “overturn Roe v. Wade.”
It’s sad we trumpet how much we care about life while, in effect, vilifying the other side, when we have nothing else to offer. No wonder women feel as if they have no other choice but abortion.
How do we change that?
In a perfect world, we’d make abortions illegal and they’d stop. But the world isn’t perfect. So we’re faced with a quandary. We have to actually help women and provide them with choices.
Now, pro-choice supporters say their solution provides a choice. An impoverished woman, Sandra, has an unwanted pregnancy and has the option whether or not to terminate it. An abortion alleviates Sandra having to support a child who will drive her further into poverty. That solution seems straightforward enough, until you really think about it. Sandra was poor before the pregnancy. After her pregnancy’s termination, Sandra is still poor.
So how have we helped Sandra?
We haven’t. In fact, we’ve failed Sandra and other women like her completely. Mary Hallan Fiortio puts it best in her article, “The Cruel Way of Catholics for Choice”:
Abortion leaves a poor woman no better off the day after her abortion than she was the day before. It doesn’t help a woman find a better place to live, or a better job. It doesn’t find her day care for the children she already has, or provide her with a path to self-sufficiency. Beyond paying the clinic fee, publicly funded abortion requires not one iota of investment in a poor woman’s life. It is, in the words of Olivarez, a “cruel way out.” And poor women know it.
Most people, especially Millennials, have split views on abortion. According to USA Today, most Americans do not have a binary view of abortion, which makes total sense and lines up with the ‘ole man-on-the-street test. Ask anyone you know, and most people who say they’re pro-choice will also add that they’d never have or want an abortion, but they don’t want to take away someone’s right to choose. In fact, I’ve met countless Christians who say they believe abortion is wrong but can’t, in good conscience, deny someone’s choice. But neither side really provides any choice but simply the illusion of choice.
It all comes down to choice.
As more and more Millennials oppose abortion, we face a great opportunity to revitalize the movement by offering real choice. Pregnancy-resource centers (PRCs) offer women more than just the choice between an abortion or no abortion. They actually allow women the chance to make a home for their children, despite economic circumstances, by providing housing, medical care, and job training. At the end of the day, when a woman considers an abortion, it’s because she feels she has no other choice, and PRCs provide those choices.
Unfortunately, PRCs are largely religious, volunteer-based, and funded by donations, meaning they cannot reach as many women as, say, secular Planned Parenthood. But PRCs do provide an excellent blueprint for how to reduce the number of abortions.
So what if the government provided, or at least funded, that service?
I’m serious, and I’m talking especially to my pro-life conservative and libertarian readers. You care about life. Hell, it’s in the name – pro-life. It’s time to put our money where are mouths are, literally.
So you want to end funding to Planned Parenthood? Great. It’s an organization with an incredibly sketchy history and present. But why not take that money and put it toward PRCs or a PRC-like program aimed at helping women? If we believe life to be sacred and that every child deserves a chance to live, why shouldn’t we do everything we can to provide women with choices that will increase the likelihood they turn away from abortion and embrace life?
Yes, government services generally suck and have plenty of fraud, but I’d rather help women have a choice and have some fraud than continue down our current path. Nothing else has worked so far. And if it costs us more than the cost of an abortion, fine. We can provide choice and leave women like Sandra better than the day she entered the clinic. Life sure as hell is more than worth a few extra dollars.