Letter From the Editors
Bioethics in Law & Culture Summer 2019 vol. 2 issue 3
Joe Kral, M.A.
Ana Brennan, J.D.
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“You’re not pro-life. You’re anti-abortion.” I am sure almost all of us have heard this at least once in our lives. At first, I never argued this point. Yes, I preferred the pro-life label, but sure, I am anti-abortion because abortion is a bad thing so being against it is a good thing. It only makes sense that our enemies consider us to be only anti-abortion, because they are only pro-abortion. When they say they are pro-choice, abortion is the only issue they are talking about, so they assume the same is true for us. But over the years as I have matured and my understanding of the life issues has expanded, I realized ‘pro-life’ is the only adequate label to describe our cause.
I think it is safe to say that most of us here became active in the pro-life movement when we learned of the horror of abortion. Unfortunately, since our initial involvement such issues as assisted suicide, in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy, frozen embryos, the acceptance of the idea of a ‘wrongful birth’, and even free speech issues have been added to our list of things to worry about.
As pro-lifers, our ‘to do list’ continues to become more daunting by the day, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. We can alleviate some of our burden when we realize that when it comes to issues other than abortion, we may have allies in unexpected places. This has definitely been true in the arena of assisted suicide. Besides pro-lifers, disability rights organizations, not necessarily against abortion or even conservative, have been the most vocal in their opposition to assisted suicide. In addition to disability rights organizations, in this issue of the Journal of Bioethics in Law & Culture Quarterly, Skylar Covich offers insightful analysis regarding the voting patterns and motivations of state legislators on the issue of assisted suicide, demonstrating that allies may be found in unlikely places.
Surrogacy is another issue where ‘politics makes strange bedfellows.’ Again, in addition to pro-life groups, many feminists are adamantly opposed to surrogacy. Recently, when New York state was voting to legalize commercial surrogacy, Gloria Steinem was one of the most vocal critics. Steinem is one of the most rabidly pro-abortion people you’ll ever meet, and she may have different reasons for opposing surrogacy, but the fact remains she was on the right side of this particular issue.
Insisting that we are pro-life and not just anti-abortion is not to minimize abortion. Abortion is THE issue. It is what got us sliding down the slippery slope. Nor should we compromise any of our principles when searching for allies on various other life issues. The culture of death is keeping us very busy, especially on the state level. If we want to prevail, we need to continue to explore unconventional partnerships to help restore the fabric of our culture.