I have three children. Each prayed for, desired, loved, cherished. For years, I have watched pro-abortion friends and family dote on them and shower them with love. They treat my children as precious and special, as valuable members of society—but only because I wanted them. Had I desired an abortion, these same people who rave about my son’s wit or marvel at my daughters’ smiles would have been the first to drop everything and drive me to the nearest Planned Parenthood to have them “taken care of.” My children’s worth, in the eyes of the pro-abortion community and of our fecundophobic society, only exists because I wanted them to exist.
Children Have Intrinsic Value
We need to stop seeing children as a hobby, a checkbox on our bucket list, or a material good whose value fluctuates with market demand, just as a car is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. It’s time to stop seeing them as just another cog in the microeconomic wheel. Children—now stripped of their natural value—are worth only as much as the parents’ desire for them, assuming the father has a say in the decision at all. The wanted child, the planned child, is precious and worthy. The unwanted child is a burden, a mistake, a blemish. It is a nonentity and therefore easily discarded.
But humanity is not determined by worth.
It seems beyond ridiculous to have to point this out, to remind others that children are people, but our society seems to have forgotten this obvious fact of life. Children are not household goods we purchase after an in-depth risk analysis of our finances. Children are not accessories to dress up our public image. Children are not pets to cheer us up as we dress them in silly nonfunctional clothes and force bows into their hair. Children are humans, tiny impulsive humans, but humans nonetheless. As such they have intrinsic value.
Or at least they should.
Society has stripped our children of their natural worth, instead morphing them into commodities to be weighed, planned, and shaped to conform with what we think is most convenient for us and our timelines. When they dare wreak havoc on our lives, we are encouraged to train them to sleep and force them to eat on a schedule, because damn if we’ll let these children act like actual people who don’t always sleep well and get hungry or thirsty regardless of what the clock says. But even before they’ve had a chance to wake us up for the fifth time in one night, society tells us that inconvenient “clump of cells” can be prevented—and, if that fails, killed and destroyed.
Being Wanted Isn’t Enough
Worse yet, though, is how our society has the audacity to encourage child-killing out of love and mercy. We parents make a lot of choices for the children in our care, weighing the pros and cons (hopefully) as we make our decisions. Whether to vaccinate. Whether to circumcise our sons. Whether to breastfeed or formula feed. Schooling. Driving. Dating. The list is endless and complex, and it starts before we ever meet our kids. Beyond what car seat to purchase or daycare to attend, we now may face the decision on whether to even let them exist at all.
With prenatal screening comes a better understanding of fetal development, allowing parents to prepare for possible complications or abnormalities. Parents who, in the past, would have been broadsided by a life-altering special need, now have months to research and prepare to welcome their baby. Yet, it is not uncommon to offer parents—encourage them, even—to end the lives of their imperfect children. Doctors lay on the pressure with talks of mortality rates and warnings of poor quality of life, and society may insist it is better, even moral, to kill these children early than to let them suffer through whatever life they might have.
Society strips these children of any value they earned from their parents’ desire for them, and deems them broken and defective. Just as the car that doesn’t meet quality standards on the assembly line is tossed into the trash heap, so are children who don’t meet society’s quality standards for humanity. While our media shies away from telling these stories—and why should they when they don’t fit neatly into the pro-abortion, mercy-killing narrative?—they do exist, from the child with a rare facial deformity to the conjoined twins. Downs Syndrome. Anencephaly. Oligohydramnios. And the list goes on.
The Golden Age of Equality?
Yet we live in the supposed age of tolerance and equality, where gender, skin color, beliefs, or ability no longer determine our value and worth. With bullying being the new hot-button issue of our day, why do we allow, much less encourage, this blatant bullying of children, children so young and vulnerable they can no easier confront their aggressor than they can escape their attacker. Yet we endorse killing them, denying them life, ripping them to pieces simply because they might not look, behave, or live as long as the rest of us. And if parents end up with a baby they didn’t expect, they can file a wrongful birth lawsuit to seek money from those who allowed them to unknowingly let these children live.
Society dares to tell these children that because they are different, they don’t deserve life. They don’t deserve to see the sunshine, hear their parents’ voices, or even breathe. Society has determined that a life lived for a few hours in the arms of loving parents is no life worth having, that a life lived in dependency of others is too much a burden on those others, that a life lived with an appearance that brings stares, questions and ridicule is a life best avoided. And so doctors and society tell parents it’s better, loving, more merciful to kill some children—of course, leaving out the gory details of how that killing is performed, how no anesthetic is used on the baby beforehand, how tiny people are literally and painfully pulled apart. And that’s supposedly more merciful than letting them live, loving them, and snuggling with them, even if only for a few hours.
If we were to apply this same line of thinking to the rest of society—I mean, equality, right?—we would have no reason to save the wounded warrior, mangled and broken by war and left dependent on his family to function and survive. We would have no reason to care for the homeless and orphaned, the unwanted, unloved, and abandoned members of our society, those we pretend not to see. We would have no reason to fight childhood cancer or disease, because after all, a short life is no life worth having. We would have no reason to raise and nurture children with special needs.
But we don’t do that, because these are people—however young, however dependent, however unproductive. They are people. We care for them. We fight for them. We protect them.
Unless they’re unborn.
The Unborn Aren’t Less Equal Than Others
Society gasps in horror when a child is abused, attacked, and killed, especially when the child has special needs. Yet, our society celebrates killing that same child in the womb, dubbing it merciful. It is baffling how one is disgusting, and the other is loving, simply because the latter involves a child now visible and breathing.
Our unborn children are being racked and stacked, categorized by both their parents’ desire for them and their physical form, their worth determined by where they fall on the scale of product value. And those who land at the bottom are cut and discarded, deemed useless and worthless for our society.
But I refuse to accept this, as should we all. My children are precious and valuable, not because my husband and I love them, not because we wanted them and prayed for them, not because they look and develop as expected, but because they are people. Children do not earn their humanity by being loved enough or wanted enough or “normal” enough. It is ingrained in them from the moment they are created, and their worth, their value, should never depend upon our fickle hearts and minds.