Recently Thomas Friedman wrote, “You don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and be against common sense gun control…. You don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children.”
Yes, indeed. And you don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ unless you create policies that support the health, education and welfare of ALL of our children, including the 25% who presently live in poverty and despair. Support for public schools (because that’s where 80% of U.S. children are), and support for affordable and accessible healthcare (because sick children cannot learn), and funding for early childhood education that is open to all children (not just those who can afford to pay) are the real pro-life issues.
You get to call yourself “pro-life” (defined as respect and support for the sanctity of life) when your vision is clear and your advocacy is unwavering for the quality of each life. And this includes a strong commitment to enhancing each life with education, health and an economically secure home.
This is quite different from saving a few children in private schools at the expense of the many who attend poorly funded public schools. And it is quite different from blaming teachers, schools or parents for what we as a society have failed to do.
What happens when pro-life policies include:
- early childhood education for every child,
- fully funded public schools with well supported and respected teachers,
- universal healthcare for all children and families,
- stipends for mothers to stay home with their young children?
You get the most successful education system in the world. And Finland has already achieved it.
Pro-life in the fullest Biblical sense does not end at conception. If you think it does, you can only call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative,” according to Friedman. Pro-life as a Judeo-Christian value includes all of life, with the assurance that “whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brethren, you do also to me.”