This post is primarily for conservative Christian pro-lifers.
I consider myself fairly conservative, but SPL’s Board President is a moderate and our Board Vice President is a liberal. We get along great. And we try to run Secular Pro-Life in a very nonpartisan way.
We do that because we want people to understand that anyone can be pro-life (and everyone should be pro-life).
So if you’re a Christian, I hope you’re pro-life. If you’re an atheist, I hope you’re pro-life. If you’re Republican, Democrat, cis, trans, man, woman, gay, straight – whatever. I hope you’re pro-life. I don’t care what your religious views or your political ideologies are. I care if you’re with us on opposing abortion.
And if we want to get the message out that anyone can be (and everyone should be) pro-life, then I think we need to be careful not to tell people they can’t be pro-life.
So, for example, through SPL I will talk about being an atheist or I’ll talk about aspects of being secular, and most pro-lifers are very supportive of that. But there is always a subset that will counter that it makes no sense to be atheist and pro-life, or even that atheism is leading to the dissolution of society, and complaints of that sort. To be clear, I’m not offended that this subset believes these things. I’m offended that fellow pro-lifers are telling people it makes no sense for them to be pro-life.
I expect these critics intend to tell people it makes no sense for them to be atheists, but most of the time the message that comes across is that it makes no sense for them, as atheists, to be pro-life.
The same process happens with politics. If you follow the group Democrats for Life of America it isn’t difficult to find posts where they are trying to speak to other Democrats about why it makes sense to oppose abortion, and a bunch of conservatives comment insisting a person cannot be both pro-life and a Democrat.
Again, the idea is that these conservatives believe Democrats who are against abortion need to vote for Republicans or vote for conservative policies in order to “really” be pro-life, and so they think they are pushing Democrats toward specific political ideologies. But for the most part, this isn’t pushing pro-life Democrats to become conservative; it’s pushing them to become pro-choice.
And in any case we don’t need everyone who opposes abortion to be Christian or conservative. We need them to be against abortion.
Let’s suppose every single pro-life Democrat voted straight Democrat ticket every time (which isn’t true). They could vote Democrat and still reach out to their social circles as ambassadors in largely pro-choice demographics to talk about some of the ideas of why someone might be pro-life, or they could vote Democrat and just be pro-choice.
When you tell them that they can’t be Democrat and pro-life, just like when you tell people they can’t be atheist and pro-life or feminist and pro-life or whatever other lines you’re drawing, you’re weakening our numbers. You’re weakening our ambassadors. You’re weakening our reach into groups that are not already prone to opposing abortion.
We want to make it as easy as possible for people to be pro-life. We want them to understand that they can be pro-life wherever they’re at. We don’t want them to believe that they have to change their entire political ideology or major parts of their identity in order to join us in opposing abortion.
You may be used to only conservatives and Christians opposing abortion, but it’s not that way, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Help me make it not that way.