You’re not pro-life
Jimmy Kemper | Friday, February 3, 2017
This past weekend, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the March for Life in Washington for the first time.
While I was excited to see the occasional protest sign advocating for defense of the environment, nuclear nonproliferation and other issues that constitute a comprehensive pro-life agenda, I was dismayed by the sheer amount of Donald Trump supporters in attendance and by the fact that Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, two members of Trump’s inner circle, were the featured speakers at the rally.
This support for the new administration — both implicitly by the organizers and explicitly by the marchers — speaks volumes about the dishonest narrative that the March for Life presents.
Those who participate in the March for Life often boast about the “culture of joy” within their movement, yet they now have intertwined themselves closely with a man who regularly mocks and berates those who oppose him.
The problematic nature of the March for Life extends beyond these surface level semantics, however, and penetrates the very core of their ideology. How can they, as a movement, claim to be “saving babies” — as so many of the chants insist — if they are unwilling to advocate for comprehensive policies that will defend those lives from conception to natural death, especially if those lives exist at the margins of our society?
To be pro-life means to be willing to stand up and fight so that all of us can live the fullest lives possible. That of course means fighting to end abortion, but that also means fighting for livable wages, affordable healthcare, environmental protections and so much more. Furthermore, it also demands that we defend and aid those who have been marginalized: the poor, the homeless, blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, LGBTQ communities and, right now more than ever, refugees.
This makes the March for Life’s support for Donald Trump so disheartening. Trump displayed little regard for refugees from war-torn Syria in speeches during his campaign, but the absolute disdain he now exhibits as President toward this marginalized group blatantly stands in direct opposition to the principles that the pro-life movement is founded upon. The most recent executive order defies all sense of Christian charity by permanently turning away innocent civilians who are fleeing from an armed conflict for which we are in part responsible.
Until the organizers and supporters of the March for Life understand this and are willing to separate themselves from the hateful rhetoric and policies of the Trump organization, they can’t call themselves pro-life. They’re just pro-birth.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.