They’re Not the Same Thing

Last Friday, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted to block aid to Planned Parenthood. Indiana Rep. Mike Pence (R) called it a victory, saying “By banning funding to Planned Parenthood, Congress has taken a stand for millions of Americans who believe their tax dollars should not be used to subsidize the largest abortion provider in America.”  Nice, isn’t it?  The problem is that Planned Parenthood does a lot more than provide abortions.  It’s the only sexual and reproductive health-care some women can afford.  They also work hard at education, birth control and STD prevention.  Cutting funding to this group won’t save lives, it’ll cost them.  If the Republican’s want anyone to believe them when they say they’re not racist, cutting funding to programs that provide large amounts of assistance to minorities probably isn’t the way to go. 

Could someone please to explain to me how people can call themselves “pro-life”, yet support the death penalty and all the foreign adventurism we’ve engaged in the last decade?  Pence doesn’t want tax payer dollars paying for the “murder” of unborn children, but what does he say about those same dollars paying for a war that’s killed G0d knows how many innocent Iraqi civilians?  Well, he voted yes to declaring Iraq part of the War on Terror with no exit date.  He has stated his support for Israel and it’s right to attack it’s enemies, especially Iran’s facilities that may be producing nuclear material.  He also supports the death penalty.  I believe it’s obvious Mr. Pence has no qualms about spending our tax money to take lives, but some reason, he draws the line at the unborn.  Go figure.

If the title of this piece seems a bit ambiguous, I’m about to clear that up.  Being “pro-life” is not the same as being “anti-abortion”.  “Pro-life” means you want to protect life, not just prevent abortion. There’s a world of difference between the two.  In a post on “Theoblogy” (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either), Tony Jones made three statements that fit my belief on the subject perfectly.  Here they are:

  1. I believe that, whenever possible, a fetus/baby should be carried to full-term and delivered.  I believe this makes me “ardently pro-life.”
  2. It has been proven by our societal experience that outlawing abortion does not serve to protect fetuses/babies from being aborted.
  3. The church — both conservative and liberal — should quit trying to legislate and adjudicate this issue and should instead work hard at the meta-level, reshaping American society into a place of love and care so that the teenage moms and the other women who contemplate voluntary abortions might be overwhelmed with the amount of support and care they will receive should they choose to carry their fetus/baby to full term.

I’d like to change the first sentence in the last point to read “The nation…”, not “The Church….,”.  Because the nation I want to be a citizen of values all life, not just the unborn.