Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Misconceptions about pro-lifers

If you read news stories or blogs outside the pro-life arena, you'll find that there are a lot of misconceptions about what the being pro-life means. I thought I'd set the record straight. Here for your enjoyment and edification are 10 myths about pro-lifers.

1. Pro-lifers believe life begins at conception.

No, we do not believe that; we know it begins at conception. two hundred years ago it was true that pro-lifers believed life began at conception. Since then, science has shown us, through technologies like DNA analysis and ultrasound that we were right. At conception (meaning fertilization) a new human life begins. Also check out this blog post for references. The thing we believe is that all human life is worthwhile.

2. Pro-lifers are against stem cell research.

We are in favor of stem cell research. We are against the methods used to obtain embryonic cells used for certain types of research because they destroy a human life (see #1). All other forms of stem cell research are just fine, and embryonic stem cell research would be fine too, if the cells could be obtained without costing lives.

3. Pro-lifers are against science.

We are in favor of science. Science proves our case for us (see #1 again).

4. Pro-lifers don't care about women, only about fetuses.

We care equally about both. If it sometimes appears we focus more on the unborn it's because fewer people are trying to kill adult women, and they can speak in their own defense. It is pro-lifers that support adoption agencies, pregnancy centers, and help women who have financial problem. We also help post-abortive women deal with problems the pro-choicers can't admit exist.

5. Pro-lifers are pro-death penalty.

While we agree that all innocent life should be protected, there is room for disagreement about whether or not one can forfeit one's life by committing a crime. Thus you will find that some pro-lifers are in favor of the death penalty while others are staunchly against it. The two issues are not necessarily related.

6. Pro-lifers are religious nuts.

There is no requirement to hold a particular religion or any religion at all. While the Catholic church and some other religious groups hold to the sanctity of life, one can come to a pro-life position through logical reasoning alone, without recourse to any religious beliefs.

7. Pro-lifers hate gays.

There is no official position in the pro-life movement on homosexuality. You can be gay and pro-life. There are no doubt some fringe groups who are anti-gay, as there are anti-anything people in a large enough segment of the population. Certainly the pro-lifers who follow Catholic doctrine are not anti-gay, as the Catholic church is not (despite claims of its detractors).
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to U.N. addressed the Human Rights Council March 22, telling it that the Vatican affirms "the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings" and condemns "all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts or sexual behaviors."
8. Pro-lifers are violent.

While there may be nuts out there who resort to violence, there is no pro-life group that condones or permits its members to use violence. Despite pro-choicers' claims that George Tiller's murder was pro-life, there is no evidence linking him to any pro-life group and the killing was roundly denounced by every pro-life group out there. On the other hand, violence against pro-lifers goes unreported (ever hear of Jim Poullion?) and pro-choice groups are silent on the issue. The site abortion violence documents over 8,500 cases of violence by pro-choicers, including over 500 murders.

9. Pro-lifers want to restrict women's freedoms.

Quite the contrary. We want women to have the freedom to live, grow, speak and enjoy life as they please, including those women who are not yet born. It is pro-"choicers" who believe that rights can be taken away from some people, and in doing so wind up trampling the rights of women to choose life anyway, and fostering violence against women.

10. Pro-lifers are all bitter old people, and the movement is dying out with them.

There are pro-lifers of all ages. In fact, polls show a higher percentage of young people are pro-life than their parents' generation. As for the movement going away guess again. The Catholic church has been pro-life for 2,000 years. The pro-"choice" movement is the upstart, tracing its roots back to people like Margaret Sanger. If anything is transient, it is.


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