Being pro-legal abortion does not make you ‘pro-choice’
Letter to the Editor | 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.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.