-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

viewpoint

Being pro-legal abortion does not make you ‘pro-choice’

| Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This is a response to John Gadient’s Letter to the Editor, “Being anti-legal abortion does not make you ‘pro-life,’” which ran in The Observer on Friday.

The Women’s March on Washington occurred on the day after President Trump’s inauguration, which happened a few months after the United States held a fair and free election that put him in office.While the Women’s March got widespread media coverage about how well-attended it was, the March for Life, which has been staging large protests for this for over 40 years and had comparable crowd sizes, had far less media coverage. The “pro-choice” Women’s March created some controversy by excluding the pro-life group, New Wave Feminists. So apparently being pro-choice allows a woman the choice to abort her unborn child, but does not allow a woman the choice to think differently. Also what about the unborn child, where is her choice in the matter? If I am not pro-choice does that make me anti-choice? Since I don’t support the right to choose abortion does that make me against all choices?

Obviously pro-choice is commonly associated with one issue, abortion, and is not regularly applied to every other choice. How can you be pro-choice if you support the choice to have an abortion but do not support school choice? How can you be pro-choice if you do not support the choice of private and religions organizations to live out their deeply held beliefs? Those questions do not really make sense since the pro-choice movement has branded themselves in a way that makes it clear that they support the choice to have an abortion, but not every other possible choice. In this way pro-choice is very much a misleading description of the pro-legal abortion movement since it is solely based on one choice.

However, pro-life is a term that does in fact mean a holistic pro-life philosophy, even if right now the focus is mainly on protecting the right to life of unborn children. And while there may be some people who call themselves pro-life who are really only anti-abortion, the vast majority of the movement is dedicated to promoting the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death, even the New Wave Feminists who were barred from the Women’s March. The pro-life movement includes protecting the unborn, the elderly, and the most vulnerable in our society. There can be a wide range of opinions on how to best accomplish this mission. Some pro-lifers support the Affordable Care Act but those who oppose it still care about protecting people’s lives, but believe there is a better way to ensure quality healthcare for everyone. It is anti-choice to say that you must keep Obamacare or don’t care about sick people. It is possible for there to be diversity of thought on how to best deal with the issues of this country. Similarly, just because a person opposes large government programs doesn’t mean that they hate poor people, but rather that they think there is a better way to help them. Opposing an extremely high minimum wage doesn’t necessarily equal wanting to keep poor people down. The pro-life movement is very inclusive in allowing people with different mindsets to participate. When looking to solve domestic problems, there are different legitimate strategies on how to best help the most vulnerable and promote a culture of life. Opposing big government does not equal not caring about life after birth and people on both sides of these complex issues generally have good intentions.

However, there are some things that are just not compatible with being pro-life. Supporting elective abortion is something that is inherently anti-life, since it legalizes ending the life of an innocent person merely because the unborn child is an inconvenience to the mother. You cannot be pro-choice and pro-life since the pro-choice position doesn’t uphold the dignity of the person inside the womb. Pro-choice people often times champion the freedom of a woman to decide the fate of her unborn child, but do not recognize the freedom to choose how to solve the problems our country faces. The pro-life movement extends far beyond birth and the upholding of human dignity is central. Policy disagreements do not mean pro-lifers do not care about people after they are born. People can have civil disagreements without attacking the intentions of the people on the other side. So yes, the pro-life movement is about upholding the dignity of every person, from the moment of conception. But do not kid yourself that to be pro-life, one must also support big government programs.

Joseph Snyder
junior
Feb. 12

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , , ,

About Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor can be submitted by all members of the Notre Dame community. To submit a letter to the Viewpoint Editor, email viewpoint@ndsmcobserver.com

Contact Letter
  • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

    “Some pro-lifers support the Affordable Care Act but those who oppose it still care about protecting people’s lives, but believe there is a better way to ensure quality healthcare for everyone.”
    The only better way to ensure quality healthcare for everyone consists in creating a universal healthcare system like in Canada, Japan or Europe, which simultaneously is cheaper and produces better outcomes. But I’ve never seen a Republican defending universal healthcare. People who oppose the ACA aren’t pro-life, they are in fact pro-death. Worse, they think that being simultaneously poor and sick should be punished with the death penalty.

  • Tom Z.

    “…since it legalizes ending the life of an innocent person merely because the unborn child is an inconvenience to the mother. ”

    This statement is the problem. You don’t know what is going on in all of these cases and to blanket throw around a statement like that is ignorant and unacceptable. Each person goes through things in their life differently and for you to categorize all women as wanting an abortion simply because it is an inconvenience to the mother hurts your credibility with your inability to empathize or even sympathize with someone in this situation. The truth is you will never understand what these women are going through so instead of trying to make their decisions for them, your efforts should be focused on making them WANT to choose to have the baby rather than making them choose to have the baby. There is a big difference and a lot of pro-life and even pro-choice people need to understand that. We, as a society, need to recognize that this decisions lies with the mother and work toward making her decision to have a child easier and easier with each passing year. That is truly the only way for positive change to come about rather than eliminating the option altogether and make sweeping laws for or every unique situation.

    • Joseph

      Hi Tom, thank you for reading. That sentence you quote was by no means a blanket statement meant to apply to the motives of every woman seeking an abortion. Rather it was bringing up the fact that under the current laws, it is legal for a woman to abort her unborn child for any reason, including inconvenience.

      And while changing laws to protect the most vulnerable in our society is important, the most important aspect of the pro-life movement is building up a culture of life. This includes providing support for women both during and after their pregnancy. Building a culture of life includes a holistic approach and care for people at all stages of life. But we cannot have a culture of life without laws that support life.

  • Katie S.

    This statement is false: “While the Women’s March got widespread media coverage about how
    well-attended it was, the March for Life, which has been staging large
    protests for this for over 40 years and had comparable crowd sizes, had
    far less media coverage.”

    The March for life had approximately 1/10th the number of participants as the womens march.

    Objective data such as bus permits and metro ridership show about 10 times the number of people attended the women’s march. And I’m giving you the benefit of counting all the buses filled with Catholic School children, for whom the march is part of a field trip to DC. There was no uptick in metro ridership for Friday’s March for Life compared to the number of riders on Thursday.

    Bus permits for March for Life = 92
    Bus permits for Womens March = 1,200

    Metro trips for March for Life (Fri) = 237,000
    Metro trips day before March for Life (Thurs) = 258,0000

    Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/this-years-annual-march-for-life-will-have-a-new-mood-this-year-optimistic/2017/01/25/a8e19194-e324-11e6-a453-19ec4b3d09ba_story.html?utm_term=.e5a842e41898

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/01/27/metro-reports-normal-ridership-levels-during-march-for-life/?utm_term=.92c16940361e