I am a Mormon. I am a BYU student. And for most of my life, I was pro-choice.
And I’m not the only one. I’ve been surprised to meet many Latter-day Saints who consider themselves pro-choice. I always found abortion horrifying, but I didn’t think I had the right to force my beliefs on others. More importantly, I didn’t believe outlawing abortion would work. Banning makes an activity illegal, but it doesn’t stop it. Without the values associated with a pro-life philosophy, banning abortion would only lead to an army of shady doctors with rusty hangers.
This was my ideology for a long time. One night, living in one of the biggest cities in the world, I was staring out from my 17th-floor apartment building as homeless people desperately tore through trash below. An insidious question slowly formed in my mind: “Wouldn’t it be better for these miserable people to have never been born? Wouldn’t that be better than the situation they were in right now?”
I wasn’t just questioning the state of the homeless but the very value of life in general. I realized supporting an ideology that tolerated abortion, I was promoting a society that didn’t value human life, determination, vision and, above all, redemption.
I still feel I shouldn’t force my beliefs on others. But as a society, we cannot simply sit back and watch the depreciation of human life in the name of “tolerance.” I’m not asking others to picket medical centers or degrade those who believe differently; I’m simply begging them to take off the metaphorical pro-choice badge and put on one that cherishes every breath of life for what it is and the amazing things a person can become.