The compassion given to an unborn baby needs to extend to all lives. It is one thing to want to save the life of an unborn child at risk of being aborted, but where is the compassion when that same child grows into a troubled teen? Where is the compassion for the single mothers that decided against having an abortion and are now struggling to care for themselves and their child?

The value of a life does not decrease as that child grows up, however, according to how many pro-lifers act, the moment a child is born, their value decreases. The basis of their worth comes from how well they behave or conform to societal standards rather than because they are a living and breathing human being.

A child that could have been aborted could then be raised in an unsatisfactory situation. Their environment could lead them down a path of drugs and violence. And even when that is the case, their life is worth no less as a troubled teenager or adult than it was as an unborn baby.

Protesters participate in an annual pro-life march held on Jan. 22, 2013, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. Photo by Brian Stansberry (photographer). CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.Protesters participate in an annual pro-life march held on Jan. 22, 2013, the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. Photo by Brian Stansberry (photographer). CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

A mother shopping with her several children should not be criticized for having too many children or being an unfit parent because her children are unruly. The children should not be looked down on because they disrupt the calm of the checkout line. Asking a child not to cry out and rebel is like asking a dog not to wag its tail when its owner comes home from a long trip. Behavior should not dictate acceptance and love.

Age should not be a factor in determining worth. Since the elderly are no longer able to contribute to the family and no longer able to fully care for themselves, they are often forgotten in nursing homes. Their life experience and wisdom is overlooked due to their apparent ineptitude. Their old age and illness makes them no less worthy of love and care than when they were unborn. A life is a life, whether it is unborn or 70 years old.

Our mindset that worth is based on superficial factors like productivity and behavior  has to change. Individuals in rehabilitation centers or youth detention centers are no less valuable than an unborn child.   Pro-life ideology should not just apply for unborn babies, but for all forms of life. Those who are pro-life should stretch their acceptance to all lives, not just the unborn ones.

It extends to the neighbor that lets his dog poop in your yard and doesn’t clean it up. It extends to the loud couple in the movie theater. It extends to the annoying friend that can never stop talking. It extends to the woman in the coffee shop that complains about her coffee not being extra hot.

It extends to those that have done unspeakable crimes. It extends to those that have been given the death penalty and who some may think deserve to die for their actions. Though they should have to deal with the consequences, their lives are worth no less than they were before they were born.

Being pro-life requires one to love all life, whether that life is an unborn baby or an unruly foster child. The love for life should not be limited to the unborn or held to limited definitions. Those who call themselves pro-life should strive to love a person at all stages of their life. From birth to death, the life of a person is valuable.