A Voice In The Crowd: Pro-Life?

July 1, 1993

A Voice In The Crowd: Pro-Life?

By Jim Spelman

The other day, on the rear window of a passing van, I noticed a sticker proclaiming, “We Vote Pro-Life.” “So do I,” I muttered to myself. But my vote, I suspect, is far different than that of whoever affixed the decal to the window of that van. That person, I’m sure, is publicly protesting the availability of abortion, even though it has been legal in this country for 30 years.

President George W. Bush is of the same mind. Jan. 23, the Chicago Sun-Times, in a front-page story, reported Bush saying that Americans must, “. . . protect the lives of innocent children waiting to be born.” That’s a quote from a man who is about to send innocent 18-year-olds into battle to be killed and maimed and to kill people they don’t know, but have been taught and brainwashed to hate.

According to the same article, Bush also said, “Partial birth abortion is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity.” I hear him saying that killing an infant doomed to a life of dependency and pain is more harmful to human dignity than pre-emptively entering a bloody war for the sake of his and his nation’s economic welfare.

Bush is also a man who advocates the right of all Americans, at all times and in all places, to own and carry handguns, instruments of death that make it terribly easy for one person to kill another.

He was also the governor of Texas, which has executed more convicts each year than any other state, perhaps more than the other 49 together.

Contrarily, my pro-life options include, among others: To advocate for and support the right of a woman, who is the best judge of her ability to rear a child, to choose whether she bears one; because death may well be relief, not punishment, because in my lay mind, revenge is the deadliest of all acts, and, because even the Bible has reserved acts of vengeance to God, I oppose the death penalty for any crime; although there may be rare exceptions, I will protest any national involvement in armed conflict—killing always begets more killing; and, because handguns make it so easy to cause death, I am obligated to contest and oppose the right of the public to own, use or carry them.

Three of my choices would save lives, while the other would tend to lend quality to the lives of children who are carried to term.

Rather than focusing on war, executions and guns, it would be more appropriate if those in power in this, the richest, most powerful nation on the globe, spent their might making sure every person, regardless of color, origin or economic circumstance, has ready access to quality health care and education. Those issues, and a myriad of others affecting the lives of tens of millions of ordinary people, are being ignored. Instead, the ruling conservatives are intent on making an industry of fear, favoring impersonal corporate interests, reducing taxes paid by the very wealthy, and spending untold billions on another deadly, far away and futile war.

Mr. Bush, like the owner of the van I encountered, may call himself pro-life, but his choices are pro-death!

Jim Spelman is a local attorney.

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