Recently, I was reading an in-depth report on the appalling treatment of refugees by many European democracies, which concluded: “We must be alert to the ways in which some politicians try to convince people to give up rights and protections that exist for the benefit of everyone. Any authority figure who says: “We should look after our own before we look after refugees,” probably isn’t interested in doing either. And we should recognise the importance of collective action. There will not be “solutions” to this crisis, in the sense of one or more policy decisions that will make refugees vanish.”
How could anyone disagree? Now, imagine that the word “refugees” was switched for “unborn baby”. This is particularly pertinent because so often we hear the complaint that those who campaign to end abortion are simply not interested in making life better for the poor and those who struggle in our society. They say we must look after those at the bottom of the socio-economic pile, not sadistically insist they actually give birth to a baby they do not want.
Yet, as we can see with the argument against those who demonise asylum seekers, this is a false dichotomy. I cannot speak for every pro-life campaigner but from I see this is a movement which cares passionately about all life. There is a focus on the unborn because they are the most vulnerable and easily overlooked. Everyone who manages to squeeze out of the birth canal at least has a fighting chance, but the life of those who are conceived, yet not born, is cruelly snuffed out before they can even utter their first cry. It’s definitely not a case of “either or” – rather a plea for society to listen to the voiceless and follow through on the logic of equal rights.