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Are You Pro-life? Take the Pledge…

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Friends, it’s time to think CHANGE. It’s time to re-examine “life” for all that it represents, a time to reprogram our understanding of “life” to include not just conception and birth, but, more importantly, life after birth. Let’s engage in meaningful action — one that nurtures, enhances and protects the sanctity of the ENTIRE SPECTRUM of life. Let’s empower ourselves, our families, and our communities with knowledge. Let’s make informed decisions. Let’s learn to let go of blind faiths, irrational fears, erroneous beliefs, and meaningless rites and rituals. Let’s ignite minds, young and old, to take a stand, make a personal change, fight for causes they believe in, or discover new things. Let’s embrace the future and move forward together as ONE, with love and compassion for all. Let’s learn to be pro-life. Here’s why:

Young and vivacious Savita Halappanavar, a dentist by profession, died tragically on Oct 28, 2012 from septicemia, following the denial of a life-saving abortion in Ireland. I don’t know why, but this case really struck a chord in me. May be, because, she’s a woman, as am I. May be, because, she is Asian Indian, as am I. May be, it highlighted an issue that has forever beleaguered humankind – what constitutes “life” and “living?”

This baby would’ve been young Savita and her husband’s first child, a gift they, undoubtedly, were looking forward to receiving and nurturing. Although Savita laid bleeding, enduring severe pain, the doctors in Ireland allegedly refused to terminate her 17-week pregnancy owing to a fetal heartbeat. Although it was clear she was having a miscarriage, the doctors allegedly cited Catholicism and protection of the unborn child as the higher priority. Mere days later, the unborn baby and the mother were both dead. What caused the fetus to self-destruct, we might never know. What killed the mother, however, was a blind adherence to a radical, archaic definition of “pro-life.” Surely, life doesn’t just begin at conception and end at birth? What about the entire course of a human life? How can you justify the death of a mother when her baby can’t be saved? If flesh eating bacteria impacted a limb, what would you do? Would you sever the limb or wait until the bacteria overwhelmed the entire body? If a tumor grew in your brain, would you zap off the tumor or wait until it metastasized?

To me, the debate isn’t about abortion or religion; rather, it transcends the mundane, worldly issues. It’s about life and the right to live a quality life — one that is fully expressed, connected, healthy, embracing, open to learning, compassionate, and vibrant. It’s also about being practical and supplanting baseless, bygone practices with common sense approaches.

My own grandmother died during her fifth pregnancy, leaving behind my grief-stricken grandfather to care for the four older children, all under the age of six. But this was decades ago, in rural British India, in a tiny hamlet where the rooster’s call broke dawn and the setting sun signaled dusk, where water was drawn manually from wells, where a stove comprised a pile of stones heated by an open wood- or cow-dung-burning fire, where cows were milked every morning in the backyard, where medical care and hospitals were as non-existent as the concept itself. Unlike my grandmother, Savita had the privilege of being in a modern-day medical facility powered by life-saving technology and equipment and surrounded by well-trained medical professionals, in Ireland — a modern, advanced country by all standards. Yet, Savita’s destiny was no different than that of my grandmother’s.

Friends, your pledge matters! It tells Savita, and thousands like her, that her untimely (and unjust) exit made an impact on the world. If alive, who knows what Savita, and thousands like her, could have accomplished. Found a cure for cancer? Brokered peace deals for warring countries? Ensured a lasting supply of fresh, clean water for all? Her dying, unborn child didn’t stand a chance, but she did.

Become pro-life. Add your name today!

Thank you for your participation.

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2 Responses to "Are You Pro-life? Take the Pledge…"

  1. Kishan Bhatia says:

    Raji Lukkoor did not define terms prolife and prochoice as they are viewed by the US government and Churches.

    In the US and conservatives belonging to catholic and evangelic churches define prolife as life begins at conception.

    Progressives define prochoice as life begins at birth. This has an important legal implecations in the US constitution, 13th Amendment.

    The terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” generally boil down to the question of whether the individual wants to see abortion banned, but there’s more to the debate than that. Let’s explore, briefly, what the central arguments are about.

    The Pro-Life Issue Spectrum

    To say that someone is “pro-life” is to say that the person believes that the government has an obligation to preserve all human life, regardless of intent, viability, or quality-of-life concerns.

    A comprehensive pro-life ethic, such as that proposed by the Roman Catholic Church and similar religious organizations, prohibits:
    •Abortion ;
    •Euthanasia and assisted suicide ;
    •The death penalty ; and
    •War, with very few exceptions.

    In cases where the pro-life ethic conflicts with personal autonomy, as in the case of abortion and assisted suicide, it is conservative. In cases where the pro-life ethic conflicts with government policy, as in the case of the death penalty and war, it is liberal.

    The Pro-Choice Issue Spectrum

    To be “pro-choice” is to believe that individuals have unlimited autonomy with respect to their own reproductive systems as long as they do not breach the autonomy of others.

    A comprehensive pro-choice position affirms that all of the following must remain legal:
    •Celibacy and abstinence ;
    •Contraception use ;
    •Emergency contraception use ;
    •Abortion, for the first two trimesters of pregnancy ; and

    In the United States, the pro-choice position is perceived as “pro-abortion.”

    In China, where abortion is sometimes required by law, the pro-choice position would be perceived as “anti-abortion.”

    The purpose of the pro-choice movement is to ensure that all choices remain legal.

    For more on this discussion you may Google search search, “Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice” by Tom Head.

  2. Raji Lukkoor says:

    Dear Readers,

    It gives me immense pleasure to share with you that following Savita’s death, Ireland has decided to legalize abortions when the mother’s life is at risk. This is what I’m talking about! CHANGE! Common-sense modifications to archaic laws. Thank you, Savita! Your sacrifice is not in vain.

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