What would America look like if abortion were not only illegal but socially unthinkable?
I remember the first time someone challenged me to envision what would be different about an abortion-free country versus our current one. How would our nation act if the violence of abortion was considered abominable? Might it change how we support pregnant women, view children, care for the disabled and so on?
This query changed the way I view the world and live my life.
I suggest we also consider this question as we make daily decisions. I don’t believe that an abortion-free society necessitates a utopia. Yet I believe it is within reach to achieve an anti-abortion America — a culture that would positively impact us all, no matter our age or socioeconomic status.
A pro-life USA would have so many readily-available resources for pregnant women facing all kinds of circumstances that abortion is no longer attractive. A pro-life country is one in which every school, college and university has a plan of action to support students who unexpectedly become parents. A pro-life culture looks back on its history of practicing abortion with disgust, similar to how we now view slavery or other barbaric normalcies that were once culturally acceptable. A pro-life world is one in which all humans are truly treated as having equal value.
One reason I find the exercise of envisioning a pro-life world to be helpful is in considering ways that our well-intentioned words or actions might have unintended consequences.
Take the stigma surrounding unmarried pregnant women. While many words and actions that contribute to this stigma are not intended to cause harm, they ultimately add to the pressure to have an abortion. “How will you finish your degree with a baby?” or “You’re too young for pregnancy and parenting!” can push a mother over the edge.
While we remain focused on making abortion illegal, which is absolutely necessary, I encourage us to reflect on other, perhaps small, ways your daily life might impact society to be more hospitable to life. Whether it’s speaking up for differently-abled individuals when you hear them being devalued or finding ways to support a single mom, I believe we can change our culture together.