"that “caring for the born” translates first and always into advocacy for government programs and funds. In other words, abortion advocates appear to conflate charitable works and civil society with government action. The pro-life movement does not. Rather, it takes up the work of assisting women and children and families, one fundraiser and hotline and billboard at a time. Still, the pro-life movement is not unsophisticated about the relationship between abortion rates and government policies in areas such as education, marriage, employment, housing, and taxation. The Catholic Church, for example, works with particular vigor to ensure that its social justice agenda integrates advocacy for various born, vulnerable groups, with incentives to choose life over abortion.Yes - and there's a simple reason the pro-life movement is not a movement for more government. If the pro-life movement would incorporate into its platform a decidedly pro-government stance, it would narrow itself. It would have mixed motives and would end up excluding more people. These are people who would support laws illegalizing abortion, but would not necessarily support the other policies of the movement. In other words, the pro-life movement leaves other political issues out of its explicit purpose to maintain focus and to be maximally inclusive. And as Ryan Anderson et al note, it couples this with real charity work done without any legislation or taxpayer dollars. AND IN FAIRNESS all of this is not to say that one cannot be a part of the movement and support policies that make the government omnipotent. It's just that those policies cannot become a part of the larger pro-life movement itself (for the aforementioned reasons).
The charge that the pro-life movement isn't really pro-life, frequently leveled by proponents of unlimited government, can be frustrating. Ryan Anderson and company call it a lazy slander. I prefer canard, but both terms apply equally well. The facts about the pro-life movement's support for life at all stages - from conception to natural death - speak for themselves. Mr. Anderson and company recount a few of these facts HERE at The Public Discourse. After detailing some of the great work pro-life advocates regularly do, they ask the obvious question: why are pro-life advocates accused of being indifferent to life after birth? As they say, it's probably the overwhelming conviction
Posted by Zach at 7:40 AM
Interesting to see a secular magazine take up an obvious but unmentionable problem: sex-selective abortion. From the article:
It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now. The crumb of comfort is that countries can mitigate the hurt, and that one, South Korea, has shown the worst can be avoided. Others need to learn from it if they are to stop the carnage.
Posted by Catherine! at 8:52 AM
As the father of a new baby I frequently hear things like this said to my beautiful wife:
Posted by Zach at 8:53 PM
The fundamental fact of our time is the gradual encroachment of principled individualism — or unregulated personal freedom — into all areas of our lives. Every moral and communal certainty, except those that can be justified through contract and consent, has been transformed into a question. Every human attachment seems basically voluntary. The great institutions that shape the character of human beings — the family, the church, the community, and the country — are weakened and still eroding. Young people who have grown up in this cultural environment are deprived of what it takes to develop firm moral bearings — and, with them, a sense of purpose. New students arrive at college not knowing who they are or what their lives are for.-Peter Lawler
Posted by Zach at 12:50 PM
"What is the internet, anyway?" queries the ever-eloquent Bryant Gumbel in this circa 1994 clip dredged up by Patrick Madrid. I love that no one can really answer his question, the jury is out on what the @ sign is, the email address is "violence at NBC," and that it all devolves into Bryant making snide comments about a coworker.
I think, Mr. Gumbel, that Sen. Stevens can best answer your question:
Posted by Catherine! at 11:36 AM