Pro-life Democrats N 100% Pro-life?

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Pro-life Democrats N 100% pro-life?
What is 100% pro-life?
Can a Democrat be pro-life?

Pro-life Democrat N 100% Pro-life?
Pro-life N 100% So

Pro-life Democrats N 100% pro-life? First, what does it mean to be 100% pro-life? Most in this movement apply the abortion stance test to this term. This means that it’s not possible to claim to be for all life if we support abortion. so what does 100% pro-life mean? I think it depends on who you talk to. Many in the pro-life movement state that we can’t be 100% pro-life if we support “abortion exceptions.” Rape or incest. A poor prenatal diagnosis. Not even the health or life of the mother. (Research shows that abortion is never needed to save a mom’s life). So, 100% pro-life is opposing abortion with “no exceptions.”

Others add a consistent life ethic to “having no exceptions.” How does this work? It’s if I say to you:”Yes, I affirm that all babies, even those conceived in rape or incest, have the right to live.” “Every baby, even with a poor prenatal diagnosis, deserves to be born.” “Abortion is never truly needed to preserve the life or health of the mom. Medical technology can handle any pregnancy emergency.” And they add: “We also can’t be 100% pro-life and support indiscriminate immigration that rips families apart. And deports nonviolent or petty offenders.” “It’s impossible to be 100% pro-life and ignore racism.” “One can’t be totally pro-life and support cutting programs that people use just to survive.”

Can one be pro-life and be Democrat? Can one be Republican and not be pro-life? Yes and yes. Such people typically are silent about their abortion stance. They’re fully aware of our bitter partisan divide. And this divide won’t go away by ducking the subject of politics. We can’t pretend that our differences don’t exist. To heal our partisan divide, we must talk about and try to fix it. In other words, we have to “get political” to attempt to heal our partisan divide!

Pro-life Democrats N 100% Pro-life?
Traditional Pro-life Movement

The traditional pro-life movement has been around for decades. And I applaud them for the many good things they have accomplished. So many of them have made us aware of the humanity of the unborn. They’ve done this with the advances of ultrasounds. Countless people, over the years to today, engage in pregnancy support work. They give sacrificial time and resources to aiding those facing unwanted or crisis pregnancies. Donors fund these centers and volunteers drive their work. Pro-life advocates have long worked on the legislative front. And we have seen some gains in pro-life legislation. There’s much to commend in the traditional pro-life movement.

Yet the traditional pro-life movement has been widely religious and conservative. There’s no denying it. And the Republican Party, which generally runs on a pro-life platform, has courted pro-lifers’ votes. With resounding success. The wedding of pro-life advocacy and Republican politics has politicized this human issue. In the same way, “liberal” demands for abortion rights has also politicized abortion. The other side has, likewise, become wed to the Democratic Party as the abortion rights Party. This is all tragic. We’ve taken an issue that affects almost all of us, and made it a divisive wedge issue. Now even pastors fear speaking to it because they know how we have politicized it.

Who holds the key to healing these divisions? Pro-life Democrats. How does that work? It can’t work unless the traditional pro-life movement embraces and welcomes Democrats who identify as pro-life. But most of them are afraid to “come out” as such, because Democrat seems to be a dirty word in the pro-life movement. And the word pro-life is vehemently opposed among many liberals. Currently, we are bitterly divided in the U.S., to a heartbreaking degree. People now sever ties to family members or friends over differences in politics. There are an estimated 24 million people who claim to be pro-life Democrats (Democrats for Life of America).

Pro-life Democrats N 100% Pro-life?
My Experience

I can relate my own experiences. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. When I reached 13, abortion was legalized. For as long as I can remember, I heard the sad story of how I was conceived. “When I was pregnant with you,” Mom would say, “I was 16. I had to hide out. There was no help in those days. I had to quit high school. I had such labor pains that I thought I will never forget it.” That was pre-Row,before abortion was legalized. And Mom is staunchly pro-choice. “Women should have the right to choose in the first trimester. Or they’ll get back-alley abortions with coat hangers, and die.” And nothing can change her mind. She stands by that argument to this day.

I grew up in a strongly Democratic family. Even to this day. the TV is often tuned to news channels which focus on politics. Family members will scoff: “Those Republicans don’t care about babies. If they did, they would raise the minimum wage for their parents. They would fund early childhood education. They wouldn’t look for ways to cut our entitlements. They would expand WIC. They would pay women as much as men for equal work.” I heard this when I was growing up. And I hear it now. They think that abortion is the “compassionate solution” of choice for crisis pregnancies. Needless to say, they aren’t happy with my involvement in the pro-life movement. “You are obsessed with this pro-life —-,” I’m told. “And it’s no one’s business.”

And so I identify as Independent or pro-life Democrat. I don’t feel at home among Democrats for obvious reasons. The leadership won’t allow for dissent on abortion. You’d think they would now, at a time when the party badly needs a “face-lift.” It’s tragic that they’re intolerant of pro-life voters within their party. It saddems me that the leadership won’t allow give them a voice within the party. Yet I agree with the DEms on many non-abortion issues. I can’t feel at home with the Republican platform. Nor with much of the traditional pro-life movement. Encounters with many of them hint that many can’t believe that you can be a Democrat and pro-life. Some have insinuated that I don’t act 100% pro-life. Frustrating. And sad.

Pro-life Democrats N 100% Pro-life?
Fitting These Together

We need to put it all together. To be pro-life is is 100%. All in! You can also be feminist, secular, or Democrat. And subscribe to the 100% pro-life worldview. Not all Republicans identify as pro-life. And some who identify as Christians also support abortion as compassionate. So this “culture war” is more complex than we may want to believe. We must not compromise our convictions. In this culture where many identify as pro-life and support exceptions, stay 100% pro-life. NeverAbortion means that we don’t need to ever turn to abortion. Not even in cases of Rape. Incest. Poor prenatal diagnoses. The mom’s health. Science tells us that now she doesn’t even need it if her life is ever in danger.

At the same time, we need diversity. We should welcome those who share our 100% pro-life convictions. Even if they’re feminists. Not religious. Democrats. LGBT. Accept even those who may not be 100% pro-life. They may support “exceptions.” Yet they may be open or questioning. Tired of seeing angry, cynical slogans like: “Life begins at conception and stops at birth,” and “Pro-birth not pro-life”? May I suggest that they’re watching us. And if they see disunity among us, we lose credibility. This may offend many of you. But if we embrace someone who calls himself pro-life but embodies something like racism or elitism, we lose credibility. If our standard bearer, though pro-life, doesn’t exhibit integrity or morality, we forfeit credibility.

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The above photo is provided courtesy of Human Coalition.

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About the author

Lisa DeSherlia

I'm Lisa DeSherlia, a Christian with a relationship with Christ. I'm a wife, a mom and pro-life. All lives are sacred from conception to natural death. But anyone is welcome here as long as you are willing to respect and be civil with those who disagree with you.

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