Are You Pro-Life Enough?
With such knowledge comes even greater responsibility. In some cases, even with the most open environments, responses to miscarriage and embryo loss find little more than an obligatory hug and a quick, "I'm sorry for your loss." What Dollar and others recognize is that our inability to respond to the loss reveals an inconsistency in our pro-life position.
But is the answer to the problem really to define these embryos as simply being in a holding pattern between nothingness and life? Are they merely potentials for life? Or can we define our terms in a more responsible and accurate way?
I would like to suggest another way. Perhaps the most pro-life thing a Christian can do is to begin applying pro-life rhetoric with the same vigor to the woman in the pew next to her who recently miscarried her child.
It's been many years since I uttered those heartless words to my grieving friend. Having now lost one child of my own through miscarriage, and having since walked with a number of women through miscarriages, none of us would say that what we lost was the "potential" for life. It was so much more than that. Our lost baby took with it the many dreams and hopes that began forming in our minds the moment we knew of the baby's existence. What was lost was a life that will never be replicated.
It's really important to never delegitimize the life that was once growing inside of a grieving mother or was once frozen in an IVF clinic. To her (and to God), this life was never a mere blob of tissue or a fetus. He or she was a life. Treating the baby as such gives meat to the bones of our fight for the unborn. And if we want to be consistently pro-life, we must care about every life, from the tiniest dot on an ultrasound machine to the embryo in the petri dish.
As Christians, we must never treat pregnancy loss as some fluke accident that at least proves pregnancy is possible. We should be the first to grieve over every baby lost, regardless of the gestation, circumstance, or result of their death. Our zeal for caring for the mother who grieves over her abortion should carry over into our care for the mother who loses her child through miscarriage.