I'll have to admit, when I first heard those words from a young woman passing by our Right to Life booth at the Ann Arbor Art fair yesterday afternoon, I was slightly taken aback.
OK...slightly more than slightly.
After a half hour of being on constant guard, ready to counter each and every argument anybody might propose in support of abortion, the sheer simplicity and directness of the question was like a down-the-middle fastball to a hitter expecting a wild curveball. No longer important was the number weeks until a beating heart, nor society's obligation to protect the most vulnerable of its members, nor the harm abortion does to women, nor even the SLED argument--in short, everything that I felt so well-versed in to the point of being able to give an almost scripted response.
And so, faced with the question--THE question, in fact--I, well, choked. After a prolonged stutter, I gave some lame answer about how I believe everyone deserves a chance at life. She wasn't impressed. Neither was I.
Yes, everyone does deserve a chance at life, but that's not the reason I'm pro-life. That's a reason but not the reason. So what is this reason? Just why am I pro-life? This is the fundamental question, and one that should not be eclipsed by why you should be pro-life. And that's what this experience forced me to think about--certainly not for the first time, but perhaps at a level deeper than ever before.
I am pro-life because I believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of the human person--that is to say, a value and dignity that he possesses not because of his perceived worth, condition, convenience, or any other factor aside from the very nature of his membership in our human race.