Editor’s Note: This editorial is in response to Thomas L. Friedman’s “Why I am Pro-Life,” which appeared in October 28th’s The New York Times.
If I support a woman’s right to choose, I must also support the right of a man to defend himself and stand his ground, the right of corporations to make full use of a free market by passing off externalities and the right of my own, biblical, definition of science to influence the public school curriculum of America. Only then can I be Pro-Choice.
So runs the reverse conclusion of Thomas L. Friedman, whose Opinion Editorial “Why I am Pro-Life” appeared in Oct. 28’s TheNew York Times. The colorfully-titled piece succinctly illustrates the hypocrisy and arrogance found within the Republican Party’s “Pro-Life” platform. He argues “respect for the sanctity of life” must be just that, a defense of life on all points of our moral compass rose, the embodiment of our civil duty to thy fellow neighbor, and an extension to its logical ends. In 18 plain words, Mr. Friedman redefines this fundamental pillar of the republican moral agenda: “I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as ‘Pro-Life.”’
To be “Pro-Life” must be then an agnostic model of Christian charity, to protect and support the sick, the weak and those without. This platform, devoted to the ‘Sanctity of Life,’ must then include an effectual expansion of pollution control acts, restrictions on firearms, bans on public smoking, universal healthcare, support for needle exchanges and other institutions preserving the ‘Sanctity of Life.’ Intervention in Syria, massive foreign aid, climate-change mitigation projects and yes-opposition to abortion, save for the mother’s life-are to be “Pro-Life.”
Friedman suggests “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative” as an appropriate title for the modern conservative. Friedman’s implicit argument elevates his “Pro-Life” position to one of a desired stature. By acting in support of the ‘Sanctity of Life’ platform, the renaissance lifer adopts nearly ninety percent of the Democratic Party platform, save for the last line, on opposition to abortion.
In the context of nearly universal benefits of such programs, some may be convinced to break ranks and cast reproductive rights to the wolves. From an enumerated perspective accepting such a platform would seem logical, yet offences to civil liberty come but one step at a time. I cannot accept Friedman’s “Pro-Life” platform anymore than could I support the “Human Life Amendment.” Restrictions on abortion do not constitute shades of grey, they are a stark violation of the right to control one’s body.
As the negative argument extends, to be “Pro-Choice” is to support the right of choice, the choice kill in self-defense, the choice to pollute, the choice to not pay taxes and the choice to seek an abortion.
I refuse to swallow the poison pill of Friedman’s “Pro-Life,” nor the wholesale destruction of social responsibility construed as liberty within the Renaissance “Pro-Choice” platform.
I affirm that the modern breed of Republican fits the title of “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.”
I accept a new title for myself, what Friedman would surely describe as a “pro-abortion, sanctity-of-life liberal”
I’m okay with that.