There’s a pro-life slogan that goes “Choose life.” I’m sure the idea is to subvert pro-choice language for a pro-life message. Unfortunately, it concedes the pro-choice worldview that life is something that can be chosen. I’m sorry to say that it isn’t.
My husband and I decided to “choose life” ten years into our marriage. Seven years later, the only pitter-patter of little feet in our house still comes from our cats, even after three rounds of inter-uterine insertion (IUI). My sister and brother-in-law decided to “choose life” with in vitro fertilization. For the first round, all five of their embryonic children died before any could be implanted. The second round resulted in four embryos. She had one implanted today; she has about a 50% chance of that child surviving to live birth. My cousin and her boyfriend managed to have a healthy pregnancy when she became pregnant accidentally and they “chose life”; her infant son died two months ago after surviving mere hours.
Life simply cannot be chosen. Even when we can create an embryo in a lab, we cannot do better than a coin flip to ensure it survives to be a healthy baby. We can make ourselves open to life, we can accept life, we can embrace, encourage, nurture, and even extend life; but we simply cannot choose to make a life the way we can choose options off a menu.
P.S. For those wanting to say that I could choose to become a parent through adoption: I regret to inform you that the process has changed slightly since Matthew Cuthbert brought home Anne of Green Gables because the orphanage was out of teenage boys that day. One can choose to start the adoption process, but the choice of whether one will be a parent is in the hands of the birth family, the adoption agency, the local social services, the family court, and even sometimes the Supreme Court and foreign governments. All of those decision-makers are much more strict in deciding who ought to be a parent than Mother Nature.Published in