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home : opinions : letters September 29, 2016

11/3/2012 1:03:00 PM
Letter: Being ‘anti-abortion’ is not always ‘pro-life’


As a retired pastor, I am disturbed that many people, including many Christians, have narrowed “pro-life” and “right to life” to the single issue of the abortion of an unborn fetus.

That is wrong.

“Pro-life” and “right to life” must also include caring about the lives of the pregnant mother, the father, and siblings, being able to care for children once they are born, finding homes for unwanted children, providing adequate funding to Child Protective Services, helping people have a house to live in and clothes to wear, making sure everyone has enough food and clean water, paying a living wage for all who are able to work, providing adequate health care for everyone, being sure everyone has access to an adequate education, ensuring that our justice system is fair for everyone, adopting immigration policies which are fair and humane, protecting the environment now and for the future, avoiding wars which destroy lives, families, and the environment, living a life-style which helps other people live, loving rather than hating, and helping rather than hurting.

Anything less might be “anti-abortion,” but it is not really “pro-life.”

Rev. Ed Womack


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: Learn to Read

@ David Allen, you apparently did not read Mr. Womacks letter. Never once did he state he was for or against, for the matter, abortion.

He is mearly stating there is so much more to being pro-life the simple being anto abortion.

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

@ David Alan:

I surmise that it is probably the same "Christian" churches/religions that endorse "moral wars" that murder millions of innocent men, women [many pregnant], and children in far away countries on distant shores because allegedly those innnocent lives represent a "imminent national security threat" to America.

Even though most of those innocent lives that have been lost had no awareness of America and most certainly they represented no threat ,imminent or otherwise, to American military imperialistic goals.

There are well over 1 million widows in Iraq alone. Those women would be hard pressed to unerstand how "christian" religions endorse such wars that murdered their husbands and children for-------------WHAT--------------profit!

How any person can claim to be Christian, espousing "pro-life" beliefs and also send their children to fight, die, and murder in immoral wars for profit is beyond my comprehension.

There is only one explanation for it----------H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y!

I have said, somewhat facetiously, that if Roe V. Wade is ever reversed, it will happen because the neoconservative activist judges on the SCOTUS own stock in a coat hanger factory and anticipate a huge profit from the reversal of Roe V. Wade.

Human being are never more beautiful when they express love and compassion for each other and they are never more ugly then when they engage in demonstrable hypocrisy concerning their condemnation of each other while simultaneously engaging in the mutual exploitation of each other for profit.

Is life sacred? Is all life worthwhile? Or, as some seem to profess, is some life more valuable than others because of rather specious interpretations of who and what qualifies as "human".

This happens when the virus of racism enters into the equation and manifests itself as an expression of racial superiority cloaked in the guise of national security interests. Racism is a pernicious evil.

Unless you are vegetarian, if you eat an egg are you eating a chicken or a chicken embryo?

Does the eating of the embryo constitute the destruction of life? Is the egg alive? Was it alive at any point prior to eating it?

Of course, since it is not "human" but merely a two-legged sentient being different from ourselves and since "God" according to the Holy Bible states that it is okay for humans to eat animals that makes it a moot point for many.

However, the bible clearly states, "In the beginning, God gave man 'green herbs' for meat."

It was only because of the intrangiency and stubbornness of humans that God, through his messenger Moses, relented and designated certain animals that could be eaten by humans.

So, initially, all life was deemed sacred and humans were to refrain from eating any living thing other than "green herbs" [vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc.] .

BUT human beings found the flesh of animals delicious and therefore the RULE had to be changed to accommodate the taste buds of human beings.

How accommodating of God to be so tolerant.

Now, keep in mind this was the Hebrew God, YahWeh, and no other religion is bound by beliefs in a God that proscribes the eating of flesh, or specifically alters that proscription to accommodate willful humans.

No, indeed, many other religions have no problem with eating the flesh of other sentient beings. Others are strictly vegan and require abstinence from the devouring of flesh of any kind.

So, who to believe and what to believe?

As far as abortion is concerned, it sounds so noble to demand that every human embryo be brought to term and that regardless of the circumstances involved in the impregnation of the female,[rape, incest, life of the mother, demonstrable birth defect of the embryo as revealed by ultrasound, etc..] the fertilized egg must be allowed to develop into a fully viable human being capable of survival outside the womb were the egg develops.

Although, admittedly, no human being can survive outside the womb after birth without considerable assistance from other human beings.

However, the original comment by Mr. Womac, is so very relevant because he addresses the need to take responsibility for that life from cradle to grave. He so vividly and poignantly describes the type of societ necessary to achieve that noble goal.

Ironically, a goal denigrated by neoconservatives as the manifestation of "intrusive government" into the lives of the citizenry.

The opinion expressed by Mr. Womack is perfectly consistent with Christian religious doctrine, and our constitutional democracy.

So, why is this controversy so inflammatory in America.

Well, there a multiple reasons for this but one primary reason is the determination of the GOP, the political arm of the wealthy elite, to politicize this issue so that it can be exploited for political purposes [the achievement of political power] by claiming it is a "family values" issue and therefore the GOP represents support for the "sanctity of life".

Now, never mind that the GOP is reknowned for being the "war party", its support for the Military Industrial Complex [MIC] is legend and the killing of innocent life in foreign countries on foreign soul does not seem contradictory to them at all.

It is merely referred to in military doublespeak as "collateral damage" to sanitize the reality that we are discussing the murder of innocent people in wars for profit.

Such is the nature of hypocrisy. It allows for the holding of diametrically opposed views within the same person/party that are in reality completely antithetical to each other.

Pro-life is pro-life. It does not mean pro-life under one set of circumstances and pro-death [war] under another set of circumstances.

In other words, Mr. Womack's words are not ony prescient and perfectly consistent with a comprehensive understanding of pro-life, they represent a compassionate and humane approach to the issue of abortion.

If you are truly desirous of the elimination of abortion, create a society that nurtures mutual love and respect in a collective effort to achieve respect for life.

It would be wonderful to live in a society wherein life is deemed to be sacred and the quality of life is as important as the quantity of life.

A society wherein, all life is deemed precious and valuable and everyone works harmoniously and collectively together as a society to create and maintain a society wherein ALL life experiences the joy of living rather than suffers the indignities of poverty and exploitation based upon a capitalist economic system that emphasizes the mutual exploitation of each other for material gain, i.e. PROFIT.

So, those who feel that abortion is murder and they are "honor' bound to oppose it, should take a very long look in the mirror and determine whether or not they adhere to the beautifully expressed views of Mr. Womack concerning the true meaning of "pro-life".

If you do not, if you support war, if you are willing to raise your children to be "warriors" who join the military to invade foreign lands and murder innocent people whom they do not know and have never met, then perhaps you are not really "pro-life" at all.

It is one thing to say you are "pro-life" and quite another to practice "what you preach' and actually BE pro-life.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: David Alan

55 Million abortions in this country alone since Roe Vs Wade became US Law.

55 million deaths.

Tell us, Mr. Retired Pastor. Just what denomination are your retired from? Inquireing minds want to know which Christian church endorses the deaths of 55 million unborn human babies.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Jim Gay

So nice to read an inteligent thoughtful and thought provoking piece of writing.

You bring such strong points we all need to live by, our humanity! Seems so little of it these days with all the political rangling and mud slinging.

You give me the courage to not just talk the talk but walk it every day in my life.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Cali

It's nice to see an intelligent comment for once by a religious leader in this newspaper and not bible thumping nonsense given us by the Stones and Ms. Turnipseed.
Thank you Reverend.

Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012
Article comment by: Hear! Hear!

Exactly!!! A world of wanted children would make a world of difference!
How can moral people encourage birth at all cost then cut back on funding for young children's programs or health care and judge mothers who have to work and leave their children in day care? Our system is far from perfect. Thank you Reverend for pointing out the difference between pro-life and anti-abortion.

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Faith and intelligence!

GOD Bless you, Sir!

Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Article comment by: Teri Von Gausig

Thank you for your wonderful letter.

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Article comment by: John A. Bond

Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of this issue.

As a man, I would never presume to tell a woman what to do with her body.

A fundamental part of being human and having human dignity is to respect a person's right to have control over their own reproductive processes.

I am willing to trust the intelligence and judgment of the woman in conjunction with her own spiritual values and moral conscience in the decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy.

I genuinely appreciate you thought analysis concerning the importance of life after birth and the continuing obligation of our democratic society to live up to our collective responsibility to establish and maintain a society that preserves and protects the dignity of life after birth.

Your considerations about the importance of every aspect of life during the entirity of ones human existence is also greatly appreciated.

Thank you, again , for your very insightful letter.

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