Of Pro-Lifers and Faux-Lifers

The foundation of the pro-life position is that, from the moment of fertilization, a new human being exists and has the same right to life as a 5-year-old or a 50-year-old.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems plaguing the pro-life movement today is that so many of our people don't appear to actually believe that.  For me, this was reinforced at a speech I gave recently.  In the “meet and greet” session beforehand, someone came up to me and mentioned that he was a long-time pro-lifer but was working for one of the pro-choice candidates in the presidential race.  His rationale was that there are "other issues" we also need to be concerned about, issues like the economy and the war on terrorism.  He lamented that this had created a nasty and growing rift between himself and some of his fellow pro-lifers, not the least of which was his own wife.  His argument was that he was as pro-life as any of them and was being unfairly attacked despite having worked for years in the movement.   

I asked him if he truly understood what being pro-life means.  He acknowledged that it is the belief that the unborn has the same right to life as the born. So I asked him to imagine that, instead of the unborn, it was his life, or the lives of people he knew, or the lives of anonymous 5-year-olds that his candidate was saying it should be legal to snuff out.  If that were the case, would he still be saying that there are "other issues" we need to consider or does that standard only apply to the unborn?

Recognizing the trap he had set for himself, he never responded.  After making it clear that his mind had not changed, he angrily walked away.  Somehow, this man had convinced himself that helping to put a politician in office that would slaughter unborn children by the millions did not conflict with his claim to be pro-life.

I have often observed that the human brain is the only organism on earth that has the ability to deceive itself.  This guy is a living testament to that phenomenon.  The sad part is, I am seeing more and more evidence that he is not alone.  The problem seems to be that a significant number of the people in this country who claim to be pro-life are only pro-life in the theoretical sense.  As a practical matter, when economic agendas and self-interests collide with their pro-life principle, it's the pro-life principle they will abandon.

Each of us knows that there have always been internal disagreements within the pro-life movement and there always will be.  It is human nature.  Some of these conflicts have been petty and others have centered around matters of legitimate substance.  In either case, however, I think we would all like to see even those pro-lifers with whom we have differences as people of integrity and character.  But when someone says they are pro-life but could support a baby-killer for political office that person can no longer be viewed in that light.  What they have said is that, when push comes to shove, for the right 30 pieces of silver they will drop the unborn in the grease.

By definition, that makes them the same as the people they claim to oppose.  The abortion lobby is willing to butcher the unborn for personal, political and financial reasons, and the faux-lifers are willing to look the other way for personal, political and financial reasons.  It is a distinction without a difference.     

The bottom line is, for those of us who are committed to the pro-life cause, the fate of the unborn will never be merely “an” issue.  It is always “the” issue.  For that reason, a candidate's position on abortion is all we need to know and all that matters.  If a politician is wrong on that, he or she cannot be right enough on anything else to make up for it.  It also makes no difference whether or not the office being sought has any direct impact on abortion.  Those people who contend that it should be legal to execute helpless children are not morally qualified to serve in any public office.  And those who help put them there have no right to call themselves pro-life.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)

Amen. I am dreading this election. Some of my friends seem to be looking the other way about "little" issues in the pro-life agenda.
# Posted By Joan Milloy | 12/19/07 5:53 PM
Dear Mark,

I appreciate the article and excellent points!

In Pennsylvania, we see these types of issues with increasing frequency. PA House members and other party leaders claim to be Pro-Life, but are lining up to do public endorsements of pro-abortion candidates. Earlier this month, 4 western Pennsylvania “Pro-Life” House members endorsed Mr. Giuliani for president. Remember that this is still the primary, and that there are more than a few Pro-Life candidates for president to choose from.

In a repeat of the Arlen Specter - Pat Toomey primary senate race in Pennsylvania in 2004, supposed Pro-Life office holders are doing primary endorsements of pro-abortion candidates over Pro-Life candidates.

The irony is that despite the damage they have done to the Pro-Life cause, these same elected House members and party leaders will clamor for the Pro-Life endorsement from the Pro-Life groups come election time. Despite the fact that these folks have used their elected position to publicly endorse pro-abortion candidates over pro-life candidates, they still feel that the Pro-Life groups owe them an endorsement!

Can anyone think of any other constituency that is treated this badly within the Republican Party? The Pro-Life constituency is called upon to deliver election victories, but shunned and abused during the endorsement process.
# Posted By Jim Powers | 12/20/07 8:01 AM
I agree with your point. I only hope a pro-lifer who is working for a pro-choice candidate or politician would use his/her access to influence the candidate/politician to the righteousness of our cause. An opportunity to educate the candidate/politician on the sanctity of life may present itself. I once did a three month student internship at Richard Durbin's district office when he was a US Representative.
We did not agree on abortion, but it was a valuable learning experience that helped me see the inner workings of a congressional office.
# Posted By Joanne | 12/20/07 9:09 PM
That's why I'm supporting Dr. Ron Paul. www.ronpaul2008.com He is the only true 100% pro-life candidate that I know of.
# Posted By clell adams | 12/20/07 10:49 PM
Suppose that abortion becomes illegal in America.How will the government enforce the law? Let's face it;there is no way to do this.How will you stop women who can afford it from going abroad for abortions? Put up blockades at airports and borders?Examine every woman of child-bearing age for pregnancy? How will you stop poor women from trying to abort themselves?Put up cameras in every home? Did Prohibition stop people from drinking? Of course not.The only way you can stop abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies,and that is more easily said than done.There are anti-choice extremists who want to make contraceptives illegal.Unbelievably stupid.This would only INCREASE the number of abortions and create a black market in contraceptives.You anti-choice people are deluding yourselves in thinking you can stop abortion by making it illegal.
# Posted By robert berger | 12/21/07 10:16 AM
Robert,
Research has demonstrated that passage of pro-life laws decrease abortion rates. Unfettered access to abortion (which is what abortion proponents desire) drives up the number of abortions. Look at the CDC figures from the late 1960s and early 1970s to after the Roe decision. There was a steady increase after 1973. There was not a equal number of illegal abortions pre-Roe. Abortion will never be rare as long as it is easily obtained.
We have a plethora of contraceptives on the market now - more than there ever was prior to 1973. With the variety and availability of contraceptive methods on the market now, abortion should be at an all time low. It is not. Because of contraceptive failure and the attitude of casual sex (which came about as a result of the "free love" movement), the US has over a million abortions per year. Besides being a back up for contraceptive failure, some couples use abortion as their primary means of birth control. We all know sexual intercourse leads to parenthood. When you consent to having sex, you should be open and ready to be a parent. The time to empower people with choice is if and when to have sex.
Your methods for the last 40 years have done nothing to stop abortion or prevent unplanned pregnancies. So, why should we continue down that road? We can't go on disregarding Natural Law without suffering the consequences. The sexual revolution and legalized abortion did not live up to the promises made in the 1960s. Instead we have further deterioration of the family and society namely more child abuse, more pornography, more rapes, more divorce, more births to single parents, more adultery, more STDs, etc.
Pro-lifers like myself want to see all people respect the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. When we get this priority straight, everything else will fall into place.
# Posted By Joanne | 12/22/07 1:18 AM
Robert,
There is a problem with your Prohibition analogy. Drinking alcohol was legal prior to Prohibition. Abortion was illegal in most states and circumstances prior to Roe v Wade, which struck down all abortion laws. Even though people can now legally drink, consumption of alcohol is a highly regulated behavior. Abortion proponents oppose any and all regulation of abortion in a knee-jerk fashion. As soon as a law is passed by a majority of the populace through their representatives, senators, governor/president, or by direct initiative, the abortion lobby seeks to strike it down in court. This includes laws aimed to protect mothers from coercion, ensure informed consent, establish health and safety standards, etc. This shows me that the abortion industry aims to shield abortionists more than they care about individual women.
# Posted By Joanne | 12/22/07 11:41 AM

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics