(Note: The idea for this post was shamelessly stolen from a [old] blog post and subsequent conversation with Jacob. I've also blogged about this issue a little bit here.)
Generally, the phrase "pro-life" means that someone is anti-abortion. To some extent, this is true. Abortion is the removal of life, so if someone is against that, they are in a sense for life. However, I think we've forgotten other facets of being pro-life.
If someone is pro-life (and Christians are called to be pro-life, as our Creator is), they value life in all forms, from conception to its end. That means supporting a pregnant teenager and a family with 6 kids. It also means supporting a family with 1 child and the 83-year-old lady who spent her life serving the Lord single in Indonesia. It means viewing each and every life as a precious miracle. No matter how many kids a couple has, each one is a miracle, whether or not the child was "easily" conceived or whether it took years of trying.
As Jacob said, "I do not want to simply end the abortion culture. I want to have a pro-life culture. I want to live in a society in which mothers who taking their 5+ children to the grocery store are praised, not harassed." Seriously, what would our culture be like if we valued life in that way? Instead of pointing at a family with seven kids and a pregnant mom and saying, "don't they know what causes that?" what if we supported them, served them and encouraged them?
Now, does valuing life mean that everyone should have 10 kids? No. One principle, many methods, as we learned at Women's Group a few weeks ago. What I am saying, though, is that even if you choose to only have a few children, don't look down or pity the mom with eight kids--support her!
I feel like I am sort of rambling [hence the name of this blog ;)] and saying a lot of disjointed things. I'm still learning about this issue, and it's something that's been coming up more and more in my life. From the special-needs camp I worked at, to working in a retirement home, to four-five years of studying about the Deaf culture, I've come to learn more and more about what it means to be pro-life, beyond not supporting abortion.
As I sort of touched on earlier, this doesn't mean just kids. I believe that being pro-life means treating all people, without regard to race, gender, audiological ability, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status with the utmost honor and kindness. It's showing that we value all of God's creation, no matter who they are or how different they are from us.
[An aside: To those who say we are running out of room--the world is not overpopulated--the amount of resources we have are simply distributed unevenly. But I'll save that for another time.]