I gotta hand it to the righties… they have got some excellent marketing talent, and they’re using it very well. They know that much of the American electorate doesn't have the patience to research anything very well, so they come up with these clever one-liners and titles to sell their ideas. Remember “The Patriot Act”??? Absolute marketing genius!!! Who, in the months following 9/11, would want to say, or have their opponents say, they were against “The Patriot Act”… never mind the actual effect the law would have. How about “The Healthy Forests Initiative”??? Supported by timber interests and opposed by the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, and the John Muir Project, it would be more appropriately named the “The Healthy Foresters Initiative.” And there was the “Clear Skies Act”, a rewriting of the Clean Air Act that would have loosened regulations on the nation's biggest producers of acid rain, mercury and smog… Yeah, that’ll make our skies a lot clearer, won’t it???
As the title of this article suggests, I have a bone to pick with the people who identify themselves with the so-called “Pro-Life” movement. There are several problems I have with this title… For one, it implies that opponents of this movement are “anti-life.” That is a completely inaccurate characterization… In fact, most people who oppose the so-called Pro-Life movement can very fairly say they do more to support life than most people who identify with that movement. A more accurate label would be the Anti-Abortion movement, but of course that wouldn't be nearly as effective as a marketing brand.
I was inspired to write this article when I saw a seed chiding the President of Planned Parenthood, who, having been asked “when life begins”, replied, “I don't know that it's really relevant to the conversation.” My answer to the person asking that question and anyone who absolutely opposes abortion is this… The most relevant question to ask is whether the potential parents have the means, health, and desire to bear the responsibility of raising a child... giving it a nurturing and loving home... and providing it with everything it will need until it is able to support itself.
I feel that if someone wants to call themselves “Pro-Life”, they should also be willing to provide support to children born to parents who don’t have the means to properly support their families. But many anti-abortion advocates are also opposed to social programs that would help poor children. Inexplicably, many of them even oppose birth control and educational measures that would help reduce the need for abortions. It's as though their objective is to have as much "life" as possible, but poor quality of life and suffering is of no concern to them.
Opponents of the anti-abortion movement choose to identify themselves very straightforwardly as “Pro-Choice.” Most, if not all, Pro-Choice people would say they would like to do everything possible to reduce the need for abortions, but they feel it's important to have abortion as a last resort option. Most pro-choice people also support social programs that help poor children. So the Pro-Choice people are also Pro-Life... good productive happy life, free from suffering and deprivation.
If you want to label yourself as “anti-abortion”, fine!!! I feel abortion is something we should avoid whenever possible. But if you also oppose social support for poor children… then you are NOT "Pro-Life"… in spite of your clever effort to brand yourself as such.