We are living in the era of ageism. It is essential that we as young pro-lifers acknowledge this because so few do. The pro-life message hinges on the idea of equal value at every age. While the number of birthdays you have celebrated might determine your size, responsibilities, and taste in music it has nothing to do with your fundamental worth. Yet today’s world is fixated with separating and classifying humans – with finding differences rather than similarities. Look for television programming genuinely suitable for “all ages” and your selection will be scant.
One age group that the world loves to set apart is the adolescents. “Teenagers” (as we know them today) began to flourish in the 1940s, catalysed by a burgeoning consumer culture. Since then, the teenage prototype has come to dominate the world of industry, influencing everything from chick flicks to fast food. On the whole, the world expects little but fears much from teenagers. Unfortunately this notion often amounts to a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it is also an explicit example of ageism.
Whatever negative impressions the world may have of teens, they are nothing compared to abortion and euthanasia – the most abominable products of ageism. For while I write this humans are being considered “too young” or “too old” to have the right to life.
If you conformed to the world’s (low) expectations for teenagers, you would not be on this website. You would not be joining the struggle to recognize the value of life at every age. As youth activists – an oxymoron by many standards – we are living examples of the errors of ageism. It is imperative that we make our opinions loud and clear. While authorities might disregard us now, they cannot ignore that we are the future decision-makers of our country.
So let us be heroes for those whose mere age is a threat to their survival. Let ours be the generation that engenders an unconditional culture of life. Let ours be the generation that silences ageism once and for all.