Haunting various posts and news stories on abortion is the accusation or even blunt assertion that pro-life objections against abortion are one thing, but what positive things are these people doing? Don't they understand that women and girls have reasons for seeking abortions? Why don't they address the reasons? Don't they understand that women and girls who have their babies have needs? Why don't they try to meet the needs?
It's time to flip. Really. We need to address the question forcefully, without accepting the assumption underlying it, which is that pro-lifers could even, for a second, be legitimately accused of these things. And we need to throw the burden of proof back on the questioner.
So before we start making our lists, simply ask: "What's your evidence, bub? Give me specific evidence that supports your contention that pro-lifers - and I mean specific groups and many, representative examples of individual prolifers - aren't aware of women's reasons, don't try to meet needs or address the broader cultural context."
And settle for nothing less. Which would mean that your questioner would have to take himself down to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, filled with real, live pro-lifers, and evaluate the activity there. He would have to evaluate the activities of the largest pro-life organization in the world - the Roman Catholic Church - and report back with an evaluation of that organization's attitudes and treatment of the poor, the sick and neglected children. She would have to go down to a vigil at an abortion facility, talk to the protesters and pray-ers there and ask them the questions she thinks she already has answered: "Hey, you hate women and children, right?"
As a person who has actually been involved in the movement and knows actual pro-life activists - as do many posters on this blog - here's what I can tell you to save you the trouble:
1. The vast majority of the resources of the pro-life movement are dedicated to direct assistance and education. There are thousands of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, hundreds of Catholic Charities and other religious groups that operate out of a reverence for all life and deep compassion for women, girls and families in difficult situations. I guarantee that when you (again) actually get your tail down to be in the midst of pro-life activists, you will find a overflow, not of idealogues, but of hardy, hopeful, but always haunted realists who are trying their best to love and bring hope into tough situations.
2. You would find that a startling number of abortion activists have been directly and personally touched by this issue in some way. Perhaps they have obtained or financed or supported an abortion in the past. They might have made a decision against having an abortion. They might have placed a child up for adoption. They might have adopted a child or children. They might have disabled kids, either by adoption or biologically. They might be disabled themselves. They might have struggled with infertility. They might be involved in obstetrics. You'd be surprised.
3. Pro-lifers are not "right wing." And they don't see themselves that way. Pro-lifers are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. They are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists. They are vegans, feminists, against capital punishment, and peace activists. They are straight, they are gay. They are young, old, male and female. Mostly female, I would add. You know, because pro-lifers hate women.