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Peace & Life Connections Index

#347 More Press, "Pro-Life" Label - February 10, 2017

Yet Again, Good News: Mainstream Press Still on the Case The headlines of stories and editorials suggest why we’ve gotten so much coverage lately (see a set covering recent marches). Perhaps the mainstream media’s concern about Trump’s policies leads to an “all hands on deck” feeling for countering the policies, and some in the media don’t want to see any hands slapped away. Possibly, their contempt for Trump is greater than their long-lasting contempt for pro-lifers. See “I’m Pro-Life, and Pro-Refugee” by Scott Arbeiter in The New York Times. Tom Taylor, who was with our contingent in the D.C. March for Life, also had an excellent letter to the editor in The Washington Post entitled “Don’t overlook the ideological variety at the March for Life

March for LIfe photo

March for Life, 2017


Yet Again, Bad News: Questioning the “Pro-life” Label It’s a custom during US Republican administrations going back to Reagan that people who primarily identify as peace and justice activists, and are also abortion opponents, say they’re skittish about using the word “pro-life” for fear of being tainted with the policies of that administration. For those who’d like to counter this attitude when they find it being expressed, here are some pointers you might use in letters to the editor, comments on the web, and discussions with friends: 1) Pro-lifers are a tender-hearted group of people unselfishly concerned about ending violence to the innocent. These are a prime group to reach with anti-violence messages, and peace workers who oppose abortion are on firm ground to do so. Using the term that abortion opponents prefer to call ourselves is more effective when doing outreach to us. 2) Do we want to allow terms to be defined by people who use them insincerely? The term “peace” can be misused as easily as the term “pro-life” can. The US military has declared “peace is our profession,” and pro-military people often assert they advocate “peace through strength.” People who defend violence frequently use the terms of people who oppose it. If we accordingly drop those terms, we won’t ever have any words to describe ourselves. 3) Inasmuch as the skittishness is a concern about consistency in opposing violence, “tainting” goes both ways. Peace and justice movements have sabotaged themselves quite severely by their association with efforts to make abortion available. People active in the peace movement will therefore be doing it a favor, making it more effective, and acting where they have the most influence, to try to persuade their friends of the consistent-life case – whatever labels they use.


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Quotation of the Week Scott Arbeiter I’m Pro-Life, and Pro-Refugee,” New York Times, February 7, 2017 But in recent years, I have come to realize that being pro-life requires more of me . . . I need to be ready to stand against every form of economic injustice, racism and individual or corporate greed that destroys the life of a family and a community . . . My maturing pro-life views have also caused me to examine how I grapple with the question of war, nuclear proliferation and other causes I never used to consider pro-life.


Responses/News tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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