Pro-life versus anti-abortion

This is not what I wanted to spend my writing time on today. I detest writing about things that make me angry, and upon which I am powerless to effect change. Besides which, I can’t imagine that I can write this post without infuriating a large part of my readership. Yet the news of the last 24 hours compels me to address it. The murder of a man who made a living doing something I find to be morally repugnant—namely, providing abortions—illustrates in horrifying clarity the distinction between “pro-life” and “anti-abortion.”

Language is imprecise. Labeling is even worse. On both sides of this debate, the labeling is subject to pandering, to inflammatory remarks. Pro-lifers call their opponents “pro-abortion,” which is inaccurate—that implies that they’re trying to abort as many kids as possible. Pro-choicers use the word “anti-choice,” which is just as unfair— what choice are they offering the unborn? Abortion deprives a person of every choice he or she could ever make.

But calling yourself “pro-life” must, MUST mean more than simply protecting the unborn.

Life is threatened in all its stages. If you’re going to object to the morning after pill because it prevents implantation (which I do), follow it through to its logical conclusion. The MAP is just a high dose of regular birth control. If you’re going to object to abortion, then you have to object to the death penalty too. Innocence versus guilt is not a justification for taking a life—as the current news surely, tragically illustrates.

It is inconceivable to me that this man, this Scott Roeder, who gunned down a fellow human being, could do so thinking he has any justification whatsoever. We’re not supposed to pass judgment, but it’s really hard for me. I’m sure that his thought process works like this: Dr. Tiller takes the lives of the unborn. If I kill Dr. Tiller, I’m actually saving (fill in the blank) number of lives; therefore killing Dr. Tiller is justified. Perhaps he even thinks he’s a soldier of God.

But he is wrong. There is no asterisk on “Thou shalt not kill.”

I am angry—so very angry with this man for casting shame on all those who believe that life is sacred in all its forms.

The prolife movement is not responsible for Roeder’s heinous crime. But it will always and forever suffer because of his actions. Pro-lifers should be (and I’m sure they are) just as “outraged” as the President by what happened yesterday. If any good can come of this, it will come about because everyone, on both sides of this issue, sees the natural outgrowth of “choice” and “life,” and takes stock of the natural inconsistencies in what we claim to believe.