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Do Pro-Lifers Force Women to Give Birth?

Updated: Feb 23

Often pro-lifers are labelled as being restrictive or forceful because they are against abortion. Do pro-lifers restrict women in opposing abortion? Do pro-lifers force women to give birth?

I'll say this right off the bat - each and every individual has free will. Whether you believe it's God-given or not, trivializing the will of another is immoral. That being said, most laws limit our freedoms to some degree.

The question is: if you are active in living your pro-life conviction, are you unjustly imposing your will upon that of others?

Consider this: when it comes to born children, our culture's consensus is that we must protect them. In fact, when it comes to the rights of a born child, parents are arguably forced not to harm them, or to otherwise be subject to the consequences of the law. That is because when someone's choices begin to harm another person, they are violating the rights of the other person. In this instance, laws against child abuse are not forcing people to be caregivers of children - they are, in fact, forcing people not to hurt their children.

Our society sees nothing wrong with this limitation of free will. Why should it be any different when it comes to abortion? Especially since, in the case of abortion, the harm is far more severe.

Of course, no analogy is perfect. There's a difference between an unwanted born child and an unwanted pre-born child. It is heartbreaking to consider any child as 'unwanted', born or pre-born, but it is possible for born children to be for adopted or for some other alternate arrangement to be made so that the parents are no longer the caregivers. However, pre-born children cannot be adopted. If a parent of a pre-born child desired to no longer be the responsible caregiver of her child, there are less options available. This is part of the reason why abortion is seen as an acceptable alternative to defend parents who do not wish to care for their children before they are born. However, a larger part of why abortion is seen as acceptable in such a case is because people refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the pre-born. Why is it okay to end the life of a child before they're born, but after they're born, it's not?

Consider this scenario: a parent wants to choose adoption for their child instead of parenting. However, a pandemic has hit (too soon?) and these services are not available for a predicted 9 months. This parent is told to continue caring for this child in the meantime, and once 9 months is over, the adoption process can happen. This parent has a moral obligation to care for this child because she is the only possible person able to do so in this situation. She could not intentionally end the life of this child without being charged for murder, A parent with a pre-born child is facing a similar situation. They are the only person who has the ability to care for this child. If they wait 9 months they will be able to transfer that duty to someone else.

Why is it okay to end the life of a child before they're born, but after they're born, it's not?

The perspective of pro-lifers is that no matter how young or developed you are, you are still a human being who deserves human rights. There are times where some rights usurp other rights. For instance, the right of motorists on the road to be safe from harm precludes a right to drive if they are impaired. Likewise, the right to freedom from being a parent at one's immediate convenience doesn't overpower the right for a unique, whole individual human to continue living. You can't have any rights at all if you don't have the right to life.

Pro-lifers do not force women to give birth; we advocate for pre-born children to not be killed.

How do we do this, exactly?

What We do at The Back Porch

I can't speak for other pro-life organizations or individuals on this, but I can speak to what we do at ALIES. At The Back Porch, the main project of ALIES, we affirm the choice of life for women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. Located directly across the street from the abortion clinic, our clients are mostly women who accidentally come in to our building, while they are looking for the clinic where they already have their abortion appointment booked.

We do not lie and tell them that we are the clinic, nor do we attempt to appear to be a clinic in any way. If a woman says she is here for an abortion appointment, we let her know that it would not be here. We explain to her what we do and how we support women and men facing unplanned pregnancies. It's a chance for us to ask if she has considered the options of parenting or adoption, and to provide information on what that would look like. If she feels comfortable, we'll sit and chat about her situation and provide confidential support.

Although we do everything we can in the moments we have with her, we cannot stop her from still choosing abortion when she leaves our building.

Our approach is loving, compassionate, and non-judgmental. We create an environment that is comfortable and welcoming for women and men who may find themselves in a difficult or stressful situation. As they leave, we will provide a gift which includes small pampering items like lotions or creams. We explain that there is a card for the Abortion Recovery Centre included, which is a place they can go if they begin to feel negative emotional effects after their abortion. This is an opportunity for us to explain to them that some women may feel those effects a month, or sometimes, several years after the fact.

We understand that no woman desires an abortion - she chooses it because she feels like she doesn't have another way around her unplanned pregnancy. With each visit, we do the best that we can to provide an alternative solution to abortion. We also understand that women who feel cared for, loved, and listened to are more likely to stay and chat with us, and consider coming to see us again if she is in a similar situation in the future.

Although we do everything we can in the moments we have with her, we cannot stop her from still choosing abortion when she leaves our building.

By now you can likely see the point I'm trying to make. It's not forceful to support a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy to choose life.

Abortion, on the other hand, is forceful.

It's the forceful dilation of a woman's cervix with metal rods.

It's the force of a suction aspiration machine that is 20 times stronger than a vacuum cleaner.

It's the violent dismemberment of an innocent human child.

Pro-lifers don't force women to give birth. We just don't support killing as an alternative.

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