I've been thinking lately about what it means to be pro-life. Right now things like political activism and prayer vigils outside abortion mills are not in the cards for me. As my mother-in-law and husband often say: duty before devotion. I have duties that preclude doing such things.
So what does being pro-life mean in my life, right now?
It means not complaining about being pregnant. Being pregnant is not that bad, certainly not nearly as bad as some women make it out to be. Yes, I'm uncomfortable. Yes, my ankles are swelling. Yes, it's May in Louisiana and I'm hot. Yes, I'm tired. But ... I'm healthy and my baby is healthy and I can do everything I need to do. Pregnancy is not a huge inconvenience, so I'm not going to complain about it. Honestly, it's not half as bad as I thought it would be based on the whining I heard as a young single woman (and I had major surgery mid-way through my first pregnancy.
Being pro-life also means being positive about my 11-month-old. I don't consider her an inconvenience, and I want people to see that she doesn't inconvenience me. She sweet and good-tempered. I can take her to the store and she behaves beautifully. I can take her out to dinner, and in most restaurants I can find something for her to eat. The other day, we took her to a social event at a museum. She looked at the paintings and she smiled at people and she didn't fuss at all. Being six months pregnant while caring for a child under a year old is not a nightmare scenario (many people would consider it so). I want people to see from my appearance, demeanor, and conversation (and the appearance and behavior of my children) that children are a blessing, not a burden.
People are tempted to prevent the conception or birth of children because they consider children a burden. We can do things to change this perception. We can start by speaking well of our children, just as we ought to do for our spouse. In churches and other public places where we have influence, take measures to make them baby-friendly. For example: make sure there are changing tables in restrooms, and make sure nursing mothers of newborns have a relatively comfortable, private place where they can take their babies to nurse (this means making it clear to fathers of toddlers that it is not a space to take a misbehaving older child).
For me, being pro-life means showing the world how wonderful my children are.