It was a joy to march with my fellow Orthodox Christians in DC this Friday. At the same time, I returned home to see some commentary that gave me pause. It's not new to me, but it strikes me with the same surprise one feels when the child in the movie, walking to school and so proud of his just completed science experiment, turns the corner and has it promptly destroyed by the neighborhood bully. Sometimes Internet commentary is the heel falling on the scale replica of Mount Vesuvius.
Positive acts often occasion negative comments to detract from the value of the thing done. If someone comments about feeding homeless people another person might say, "Yay for you feeding the guy under the overpass, but it's one thing to feed someone and it's another thing to get them the REAL help they need. You didn't solve the problem. You just fed it."
Similarly, the March for Life detractors (who aren't just ardent pro-choice people) will say, "You can't really be pro-life and just care about abortion. We also need to actually be willing to provide mothers with pre-natal care, to get adoption services for them, etc." In essence: Pro-life ≠ pro-birth.
Let me respond: Unless you are doing those things yourself, your logic points to the reality that you aren't pro-life either. If being truly pro-life is only cradle to grave care and you aren't buying cribs for new babies, transporting breast milk for working mothers, and all the rest you not only aren't pro-life, but your inaction makes you a simple hearer of the word. That's not very defensible thinking.
If I take the gun out of a man's hand who is about to shoot another man I am not about to listen to you complain that I'm not really a hero if I don't also get him a blanket for shock, counseling, and kung fu lessons. We are marching to end the murder of children. Of course we should also address these issues of ex utero care, but waiting until we have everything in place for every child born from day one to high school graduation is like refusing to call the ambulance after a car accident because you aren't sure the man in the wreck has the insurance for good physical therapy.
In short, being allowed to live is the first requirement for care. If we cut off the life from our young, there need not even be notions of caring for them much less concerned discussions in the public square of "What do we do next?" They'll never make it to safer shores and will die namelessly as waste with never a chance to even be treated as human. The spark of life will never be seen and we will pretend that there was never any light. Only darkness.