What it really means to be pro-life. Early in December, the following headline appeared on bgr.com: Switzerland approves Sarco assisted suicide pod.
A friend of mine commented that it made her heart sad. I’m not entirely sure where I stand on assisted suicide. But I’m leaning towards my views on that being similar to my views on abortion. I think that our inclination is to make these issues black or white, but they are not. I agree that life is sacred. Let me say that first and foremost. And, for someone being in so much pain at the end of their life to have to consider using one of these pods or someone being in the position of having to rip apart their body to abort their child brings me unimaginable sadness. And in a perfect world, no one would ever have to consider these things.
But, we don’t live in a perfect world, and to pretend to would be nothing short of sticking our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.
People Die, some with infinite suffering
The fact is that we live in a world where people die. Some go quietly and peacefully in their sleep. Others go quickly in an accident or as a result of an act of violence, but there are those whose deaths are long and lingering, drawing out their pain even though there is no hope left. These are the people who might use the suicide pods in Switzerland or who, in other countries, might apply for assisted suicide.
Are We Overlooking Someone’s Pain?
If we simply look at the black and white of it, are we overlooking their pain? Perhaps we need to rethink what it really means to be pro-life. Just like if we look at the black and white of abortion, are we overlooking the pain of a young woman who was raped and now finds herself pregnant? What about the young woman who does not have health insurance? Yes, government insurance in the US will cover the woman during her pregnancy, but as soon as she gives birth, that insurance stops. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than half of pregnancy related deaths happen after childbirth.
What about the low income woman who barely makes enough to feed herself, let alone a child? Or a low income couple? Expenses of childcare in the US? I could go on and on and on because there are so many things wrong in this country that contributes to the number of abortions that occur that we could be working on instead of punishing women who find themselves in this situation and anyone who helps her. Those who stand up for abortion often don’t care about any of these other issues–they are the same ones trying to restrict health care for the poor, who don’t want a livable wage for workers, who don’t want free child care.
I think perhaps we need to start looking at taking care of the people that are already here on earth and that don’t want to die before we start complaining about abortions and people who don’t want to prolong their suffering.