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Pro-life for absolutely everyone

Letter to the Editor | Monday, March 23, 2009

Pro-life is a truly loaded term in the world in which we live. Just on hearing these words, people get up in arms, often throwing around labels like “baby killers” and “anti-women.” The Catholic Church does teach that human life is sacred – always sacred – “from conception to natural death,” as the saying goes.

But in the well-intentioned fervor of many pro-lifers, the focus often becomes the sacredness of a very particular aspect of life, leaving other very important life issues, excuse the pun, on the roadside to die. While I understand this enthusiasm, I think it distorts the pro-life movement into something almost inimical to the effort to increase respect for all human life. Take, for instance, the following: In the past 30 years, our country has legally executed more than 1,136 of its own citizens convicted of crimes, but our campus anti-death penalty group is struggling to find interested members. Nearly 4,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by the U.S. bombing campaign in March 2003 alone and the total of Iraqi civilians lost since the war began is now in excess of 90,000. Every three and a half seconds someone in the world – a world which produces enough food to feed all its people sufficiently – dies from hunger. Another six million children die every year from easily preventable and completely curable diseases like tuberculosis and diarrhea from lack of access to medication and clean water. Don’t these people have a right to life too? Who’s fighting for them?

Michelle Webb



March 18