Speaking Out: Being pro-life for all life

By  Janelle Lafantaisie, Youth Speak News
  • April 25, 2019

The other day I was hypnotized in my Instagram Stories when I saw that a friend posted a meme. If you’re not in the generation familiar with memes, they’re generally a photo that’s been edited with words to add humour.

ProLifeMemeBut this meme was not funny. It depicted a mother and a child playing in a swimming pool.

In the foreground was a photo of a girl struggling — and even drowning. Above, the mother had the words “pro-lifers.” The child she’s playing with was labelled “unborn fetuses” and the drowning child had the words “438,000 children in foster care” above it. I can’t give credit to who made this meme, but man, did it make me think.

The thing is, they’re not wrong. In this Catholic culture of a pro-life movement, I think we need to remember that we’re called to defend and protect all areas of life. We need to walk the walk.

In the last two or three years since the laws surrounding euthanasia changed, I’ve seen our window expand. We don’t want unborn fetuses to die and we don’t want those with terminal disease to prematurely end their lives.

So what about these 438,000 in foster care in the United States? Or the 47,885 children in Canada? Surely, you’ve heard the horror stories from Child Family Services over the years.

Are we defending these young innocent lives? Are we lining up to volunteer to take a child in need into our homes? Or are we lining up at the pet shelter to foster yet another puppy?

I’ll take it one step further: Are we valuing the lives of our homosexual, transgender, black, Latino, marginalized and immigrant brothers and sisters, regardless of the creed they profess or the values by which they choose to live their lives?

If you search the definition of the pro-life movement, you get this answer: “The United States anti-abortion movement (or the pro-life movement or right-tolife movement) contains elements opposing elective or therapeutic abortion on both moral and sectarian grounds and supports its legal prohibition or restriction.”

I say that’s not good enough. Pro-life needs to be so much more. We need to take care of and love all our neighbours.

Now, everything I’ve said here is just that — easier said than done. When I wrote my last column, I also recognized the ease with which we can talk about defending the pro-life movement, but the doing is much more challenging.

Foster care is no joke. You welcome a child into your home, knowing little about their background. You raise them up as your own and re-adjust your life to provide for them. You promise to care for them until they’re at least 18, but things could change.

The biological parents could choose to come back into the picture under certain circumstances and then suddenly, this child that you’ve grown attached to is out of your life. That’s a whirlwind! Could I do it? Honestly, I don’t know.

My fiancé and I have never discussed fostering a child, yet we’ve been talking a lot lately about whether or not we would ever get a dog or a cat. Isn’t that interesting?

In the spirit of identifying as a pro-life Catholic, I’m not calling on everyone to foster a child right this second, but there needs to be more conversations and more acknowledgement of all the lives that we are called to look after.

We cannot condone the mistreatment of gay people, Indigenous people, black people, immigrants or anyone.

If we’re going to be so bold as to proclaim that we are pro-life, you must have compassion for all our brothers and sisters. Life is life. So if we’re going to be here to defend and protect it, we better be here for all of it.

(Lafantaisie, 24, is owner and photographer for Alice and Flore Photography in Winnipeg, Man.)


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Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

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