By Tom Quiner
“I hope that all who are championing Respect for Life in the arena of the unborn are consistent in supporting the eradication of the death penalty. Respect for Life is respect for all life, not cherry-picking who gets to live and who is deemed not worthy.”
This letter appeared in the Des Moines Register this morning. What do you think is the writer’s intent? I take it as chastisement from one who embraces human abortion against those of us support the pro life cause.
I take it as a variation of that old theme that “yeah, you pro lifers support the fetus in the womb, but then forget about it after they’re born.”
I take it as a “gotcha” statement. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I am, because I’ve heard the line too many times.
Let us deconstruct her thinking. If “Respect for Life” (note her use of caps) is respect for all life, does she respect the life in the womb? Or is a consistent position on life only applicable to those of us who oppose human abortion?
May I compare and contrast the pre born person with the felon on death row? Here are a couple of similarities: they are both human, with human DNA. Even more, they are both unique human beings, with a unique genetic code. No one like them has ever existed before, or ever will.
But there are major differences. The felon has been convicted of taking another human life, convicted by a jury of peers. The pre born person has never hurt anyone. The pre born person has committed no crime. Ever. Her humanity is all there, her potential intact, but jeopardized by people who picket on behalf of felons and Planned Parenthood, agitating to abolish death row while expanding women’s “reproductive choice.”
Interestingly, since the passage of Roe v Wade, it is estimated that some 56 million pre born persons have been killed via human abortion, about 1.36 million per year.
Interestingly, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, 1373 convicted murderers have been executed, about 36 per year.
There is no moral equivalence between human abortion and the death penalty.
I personally oppose the death penalty. I know pro lifers who support it. Honorable people can disagree. Dishonorable people try to reframe the debate by constructing a false moral equivalence between two different issues.