During this past year my social studies class practiced “active citizenship” and wrote letters to their representative in government. While they didn’t actually send them, although I told a number of students that they should consider it, it was still good to learn one way to get laws changed in a democratic society.
They could write on any issue that they wanted and the bulk of the students wrote about abortion. While I was not surprised, since we are at a Catholic school, I was interested to see what angles they used when speaking out about this very controversial topic. I was happy to see that many used facts and had educated reasons why we should protect the unborn. The students who wrote that it was a sin and not what God wants, I felt did not help their case. It’s not to say that I don’t believe that God wants us to end abortion. A big reason why I am prolife is because of my faith, but one has to remember that we don’t live in a country where everyone is Christian or religious. I feel like bringing God into the debate makes it into a religious issue which takes away from the fact that it is a human rights issue. The prolife side has enough scientific information, enough facts to support its case. It doesn’t help us when the other side thinks that we are trying to force our religious beliefs down their throats.
I tried to stress to my students, that while we can and should pray for an end to abortion, we need to use facts and information that is applicable to all citizens, not just Christians. This is how I think we will win the battle. For example have you ever read the comments below a news article about abortion? I find that a lot of prochoice people comment things like: “your religion is not my religion” “separation of Church and State” or “stop trying to force your religion on me”. This does not help the case for the unborn and only deflects from the real facts.
As a class we discussed ways we could reach all people, where we focused on the rights of individuals and why the unborn are deserving of rights just as much as the mother. We talked about the science and technology advancements that makes it easier for us to see the humanity of this little person and we also talked about the arguments for and against. I hope that they were able to take away something from these class discussions. I know that I took away a lot from them, and am optimistic about this next generation and what they can do for the unborn.
Just like any other human rights issue, we need to stress to all, that these fetuses are not just blobs of tissue, they are not just humans, they are persons. Their personhood is just as valuable as the personhood of the women who are carrying them. These are persons deserving of a chance to live their life, to grow up and become great men and women just like anyone else.