People should stand up for what they believe in

BY Bill Reagan

Last weekend millions of women around the world marched for issues they believe are right.

Women should receive equal pay for equal work. Women should be free from sexual harassment and able to denounce it without fear of retaliation. Women should be able to advance in their careers as far as their talent and determination lead them.

If only we could find a way to separate the issue of abortion from these other important issues. Most of the women who have been marching see the issue of abortion in terms of women’s rights. They believe they should be able choose what they do with their own body. Women should, of course, have access to birth control. They should, of course, be able to make private decisions with their doctors about medical issues.

Once a child is conceived the choice is not just about one’s own body, but also about the body indeed the life – of another person. Let the embryo develop and it will grow into someone just like you and me.

There have been 60 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. The vast majority of them carried out, not for medical purposes, but because the basic right of human life and dignity has been denied to these unborn human beings.

The arguments on both sides of the issue are so hardened there seems to be no way of reaching an understanding, much less a compromise.

The way forward for the Pro-Life Movement is to acknowledge the obvious inequalities women have endured and participate in righting such wrongs. It does no good to uphold the right of the unborn while denigrating the rights of those who carry them within their bodies. Our way forward is to be unwavering in our commitment to life and to demonstrate the humanity of the unborn is such a way that defending the life of the unborn is clearly a defense of women’s rights.

Bill Reagan is executive director of Loaves & Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley.