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Hi, Courtney.

In my 23 years as a high school special education teacher working with hundreds of students, many of them poor, many of them with severe physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities, I’ve never thought it would be better if they had been aborted. If we don’t agree that life is inherently worth living for your 14-year-old pregnant girl, we probably won’t agree on much else.

I’m confused by your statement: “You don’t march for life. You march for the birth of a fetus.” Once the child is born, it is no longer a fetus even by the narrowest definition. I also don’t see the contradiction between advocating for life and for a baby to be born alive.

I’ve often heard the argument: “You can’t really be prolife unless you support______ (insert your favorite federal initiative here). The March for Life is a single issue cause, as are The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the Malaria Foundation, and the American Heart Association. No one says, “you can’t march for the American Cancer Foundation unless you support Social Security increases for all the elderly survivors.” Focusing on a single issue allows these organizations to be efficient. The Marchers in Washington had a wide range of views on other issues. There were Feminists for Life, Vegans for Life, Humanists for Life, and groups advocating immigration and opposing the death penalty.

Your depiction of right-to-life advocates as heartless is a straw man, a caricature. Throughout my career I’ve worked within my school and with outside agencies to meet my students’ physical and emotional needs, and to help them find job after they graduate. Likewise, many of my friends in the movement support pregnancy centers, food banks, parenting classes, rehab centers, and shelters for battered women. Many are foster parents themselves. The most vocal life advocates I work with are women who were pregnant as teens but decided to resist pressure from parents and boyfriends to have abortions, their children who dodged a trip to Planned Parenthood and count themselves as survivors, and, saddest of all, the women who had abortions and live with deep regret at their loss.

Courtney, you seem like an open-minded, liberal person. The next time there’s a prolife event in your area, why not talk to those folks and find out first-hand what they’re doing to support people after birth?

By the way, Planned Parenthood offers very limited prenatal care.