Right to Life vs Quality of LIfe

One of the arguments that people who support women’s right to choose to have an abortion use is that the so called “Right to Life” supporters do not care for the resulting child. A recent environmental debate in the US has brought this attitude out in the open. Except, it seems, they don’t even care about the health of the foetus in the womb, only that it be carried to term.

A battle has been brewing between the left and right in the pro-foetus anti-women  campaign. One group is supporting environmental measures that will be pro-health for everyone, including mothers and foetuses.

Early attempts at this strategy occurred in 2011, when the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) sought in a media campaign to rally “pro-life” supporters against coal power plants. Other similar “broadening” of the term has attempted to include global warming, alleged U.S. torture practices, loosened immigration controls, and single-payer (government controlled) health care.

As can be imagined, the right wing anti-choice for women is also against environmental regulations.

As leaders of the pro-life movement, we reject that portrayal as disingenuous and dangerous to our efforts to protect the lives of unborn children.

The term pro-life originated historically in the struggle to end abortion on demand and continues to be used in public discourse overwhelmingly in that sense. To ignore that is at best sloppy communication and at worst intentional deception. The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself. The term denotes opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies.

In stark contrast, most environmental causes promoted as pro-life involve little threat to human life itself, and no intent to kill anyone.

Lest you think this is a small fringe group, the letter was signed by a large number of leaders of right wing Christian groups.

  • Kim Andrews, Missouri Eagle Forum
  • Sara L. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Bristol House, LTD
  • Dr. Herman Bailey and Dr. Sharron Bailey, Hosts, Herman & Sharron Television Ministry, Christian Television Network
  • J. Matt Barber, Vice President, Liberty Counsel Action
  • Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
  • E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
  • Rev. Pierre Bynum, Founder, Pro-Life Action Churches of Maryland, Inc, Chaplain, Family Research Council
  • Nancy Clark, Director of Women’s Ministries, Elim Fellowship; President, Evangelical Women Leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals
  • Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Executive Director and Senior Fellow, The Beverly LaHaye Institute
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B Anthony List
  • Rev. Barrett Duke, Ph.D., Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
  • Rev. Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association
  • Tim S. Goeglein, Vice President for External Relations, Focus on the Family
  • Rev. Wayne A. Grudem, Ph.D., Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary; Board Member, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
  • Donna Hearne, Convener, Educational Policy Conference
  • Rev. Peter Jones, Ph.D., Director, truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor and Scholar in Residence, Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido, CA
  • Rev. Richard Land, Ph.D., President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Jan Markell, Founder, Olive Tree Ministries
  • Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President, Focus on the Family
  • Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President for Government Affairs, Susan B Anthony List
  • Penny Young Nance, Chief Executive Officer and President, Concerned Women for America
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Rev. Joey Pipa, Ph.D., President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  • Kelly Shackelford, President & CEO, Liberty Institute
  • Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr., Senior Vice President, Family Research Council
  • Eugenie Smith, President, Eagle Forum of Alabama
  • Ginger Soud, Eagle Forum of Florida
  • Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
  • Mark Tooley, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • Kelley Wesley, Pregnancy Center Advisor, former Chief Executive Officer of Sanctity of Life Ministries
  • Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

Here’s the pertinent quote again.

The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself.

With this document, they have put in writing their lack of consideration for anyone’s health, including the foetuses they claim they are attempting to save. They don’t care if a pollutant if teratogenic; their entire concern is forcing women to carry that foetus to term.

While I disagree with the left wing evangelists, a group that, in this context includes Catholics, I can at least appreciate the  consistency of their arguments. Their campaign is may be against the rights of women, but they at least support the health of the mother (except where the mother might die, then her health is irrelevant). The right is hypocritically against the rights and health of everyone except big business.

Can I despise the actions of one group more than the  actions of another?

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