In the shadow of Capitol Hill, where hundreds of thousands of marchers will gather today for the annual “March For Life” I cannot help but think that this crowd is missing a major teaching about the entire spectrum and fullness of life that needs protection.

Pro-life.  I’m reclaiming this phrase. How did those of us supporting reproductive choice ever give away the right to affirm that we, too, are pro-life?

In its truest sense of the word, I might be the most pro-life person you have ever met. For me, I honor life in all its forms, not just human. Allowing the debate to center only on the clumps of cells that may or may not grow into a thriving human life form misses the point entirely. What about plants? Animals? Insects? Water? There is an immense world of creation that gets ignored when we center this debate solely around the infancy of human life.

Life is stunning in its majesty. The mystery behind the creation of all life leaves me speechless when I bring my full consciousness to it. A walk through nature at turns reveals moss and mycelium to spider webs and bird nests. An untrained mind sees these as ordinary things. Reflect more deeply and there is more wonder than you can possible imagine.

Mosses are believed to be the first vegetation that crawled from the sprawling oceans to the land to take root and help build life as we know it on Earth. In nearly every ecosystem this planet has to offer, you will find moss there – more than 22,000 species. But have you ever stopped to look at the delicate dance these microscopic plant species are performing on the forest floor, the bark of a tree, or the face of a stone? Or considered the life source it is to other beings relying on its nourishment? One can be forgiven for barely noticing what a big job these small spirits play in the evolution of all of our lives.

Mycelium is the super conductor of information woven in the soils between fungi and trees and trees to each other. Is one tree struggling to survive? This system of intricate webs is capable of delivering nutrients from the loving and supportive neighbors of one tree stand to another much further away. If mosses are the coral reefs of forests, then mycelium is its internet.

A spider’s web. Have you stared at one for any length of time? Meticulously and perfectly built to be home and net for food, the spider goes about its business with ease and purpose. You accidentally run through one on your walk? The spider immediately begins anew. Creation knows not laziness.

How do birds build nests? They have no hands. Have you looked at awe upon the magical work of art that is a mother’s home for her babies? Gathering materials with precision and grace, twisting and molding with their feet and beaks to craft a homestead. These are works of art!

Yet how often, in any Pro-Life speeches, marches, or parades is one ever taking a stand about being a guardian for the entire web of life? If you want to be pro-life, you must be pro-environment. You cannot be a climate change denier. Mother Earth is calling on us all to rethink our relationship to her and all of this planet’s creation.

There is an acronym here. Perhaps LIFE is reminding us to respect all – Living Intelligence From Earth.

I am Pro-LIFE.

I refuse to buy water, use chemicals in my home or on my lawn, and eat meat that has only been ethically sourced on small, local farms. These are just a few of the mindful choices I make to support the gift of life on this planet. What are yours?

In the shadow of Capitol Hill, where hundreds of thousands of marchers will gather today for the annual “March For Life” I cannot help but think that this crowd is missing a major teaching about the entire spectrum and fullness of life that needs protection.

I respect their right to march. My own personal choices, if faced with an unplanned pregnancy, would align with many of the marchers’ core beliefs. One important distinction separates us, though. As a supporter of spiritual and religious freedom, I would never force my beliefs on someone else. All women have a right to decide when we feel those microscopic cells are becoming a viable lifeform.

This is why I support full access to reproductive freedom and choice.

I have had many privileges to shape these beliefs – gifts that not every woman has received. I have never been sexually assaulted. I also was raised in a supportive, large family that would always be there for me if I had an unplanned pregnancy. Not all women have this luxury. Our culture destroyed tribal ways of being. Women no longer universally exist in communities of support and communal responsibility. Women facing pregnancy today do so with a very different calculation – how will I feed my baby and myself? Where will we live? Where or how can I work? Until we are caring for the whole mother-child unit in how our society supports them after birth, then a “pro-life” person is disingenuous to only be focused on bringing the child into the world with little or no support on how to care for it once it is born.

I propose that we reclaim Pro-LIFE as a term that applies to people who support the Earth and all of its creatures; who actively work to address the climate crisis; and who invest in systems of care and support for all women and children (child care, health care, housing, job training, and employment).

Doing less than this exposes the hypocrisy in a march that might otherwise be more appropriately labeled, “March to Control Women’s Bodies.”