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Redefining pro-life

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 6, 2008

In response to Stephen Wallace’s Apr. 2 letter “Defining pro-life,” I have to disagree with his contention that “pro-life” should only include abortion, embryo-destructive research and euthanasia issues. While a common tenet of the pro-life movement is that “life begins at conception,” it seems to forget that life doesn’t stop at birth. The evil Democrats that Mr. Wallace castigates are the ones passing social welfare programs to make sure that these children have food to eat, a roof over their heads and clothes to wear. While Mr. Wallace might not see this as admirable as compared with, say, ensuring that every fetus comes to term, I applaud Congressman Donnelly for recognizing that pro-life means more than just protecting life before it is born. Poverty, genocide, war, and disease are all issues that should be of utmost concern to those who truly care about protecting life.Only by narrowing his definition of “pro-life” can Mr. Wallace seriously claim that voting Democrat would be immoral. Once the definition of pro-life expands, his argument falls apart. Along with Mr. Wallace’s narrow “pro-life” issues, the Republican Party is the same party that is focused on prolonging the war in Iraq, resisting action on climate change and stifling spending on social programs while preserving tax breaks on stock dividends for the super rich. If you narrow the definition of “pro-life” enough so that the Democrats are always voting outside of that definition it becomes much easier to say that Republicans are the only moral choice. Narrowing the definition of what is “pro-life” is a Karl Rove tactic used to blind people – especially religious people – from voting issues that truly are “life” issues. As long as this narrow definition of “pro-life” endures, it will remain a wedge issue that prevents us from seriously discussing issues that affect the lives of everyone in this country.

John Kennedysecond year law studentoff campusApr. 2