Is it true that the anti-abortion side is “pro-life until you’re born?”
One of the misperceptions deliberately spread by promoters of the culture of death is that pro-life and pro-family activists are hypocrites because their actions do not match their philosophy. If this idea gains traction, our message can be completely disregarded, and life (or, in many cases, death) can go on as usual. More importantly, those who embrace the culture of death will feel better about themselves, because we pro-lifers are supposedly just as bad as them.
Obviously there are dishonest and deceived people in the pro‑life movement. This is inevitable in a movement of more than a million people. We have seen “pro‑life” politicians repeatedly betray their constituents, “pro‑life” political activists stealing money from other activists, and “pro‑life Christians” publicly lying to judges, committing adultery, and killing abortionists in the name of life.
The Pro-Life Standard
Pro‑lifers are certainly not perfect. However, the great difference between pro‑lifers and anti‑lifers is that we have set for ourselves a very high (and, in fact, unreachable) level of conduct and morality. Therefore, we are bound to fail in our quest for sanctity, even though we try our best to avoid evil and wrongdoing.
Those who subscribe to the culture of death, by contrast, have no objective standard of morality, and only do what they find convenient at the moment. Their list of sins includes only those activities that they would never themselves commit, so, by their own definition, they rarely if ever sin.
It all depends upon the standards to which you hold yourself.
Christians try to emulate Jesus Christ. His standard is so high that it is impossible for any mere human being to meet it. Therefore, in the eyes of the anti‑lifer, all Christians are by definition hypocrites.
The primary differences between pro‑lifers and anti‑lifers is that the pro‑lifer is trying. A quick story will illustrate this point:
Let us say that two people are training to run a marathon. One says that he wants to set a record time of 2:05. He trains diligently, focuses all of his efforts on running faster, and suffers intensely for years. The second runner sets no standards for himself. He jogs a few miles now and then, eats whatever he wants, and completely lacks even the most basic self-discipline. When the day of the race comes, he ambles through the marathon, sitting down when he is tired, never suffering in the least, and finishes in six and a half hours, while the runner who trained hard finishes in 2:10. The slower runner then sneers at the faster one that he is a “hypocrite” for not meeting his goal.
The most common allegation of inconsistency used against pro-lifers is that we don’t care about children after they are born. A good example of this was provided by professional bigot George Carlin, who said:
Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing.1
People who make this charge usually do not even bother to check their facts. A 1996 study showed that conservatives gave an average of four times as much to charity as did liberals,2 and things have not changed since then. In his 2006 book Who Really Cares, Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks said:
[Conservatives] gave more to every type of cause and charity: health charities, education organizations, international aid groups, and human welfare agencies. They even gave more to traditionally liberal causes, such as the environment and the arts.
How Pro-Lifers Care for People after Birth
The most detailed recent study of giving in the United States was published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in November 2017. The numbers are staggering:
- This study showed that 12 of the top 13 states in average individual giving were “red” states ― those states that tend to vote for Republicans. Romney’s home state Utah took the top spot, and the others were all from the much-maligned “Bible belt.”
- The bottom seven and the bottom 11 of 12 states in average individual giving in 2012 were “blue” states ― those states that tend to vote for Democrats.
- Not surprisingly, a Pew Forum study showed that the seventeen most religious states (where respondents said that religion was “very important in their lives”) all voted for Romney, and 21 of the 25 least religious states voted for Obama.3 In other words, people in more religious states are much more generous than people in less religious states.
- People in 86 of the most generous 88 cities were in states that voted for Romney, and 88 of the 100 least generous cities were in states that voted for Obama in 2012.4 These numbers are even more remarkable when we take into account the fact that “blue” states are much more secular (so they do not contribute as much to churches) and have fewer children to spend money on.
- In addition to being more charitable, pro-life people are much more generous in the service of life than pro-abortion people; the ten states with the highest fertility rates all voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, and the ten states with the lowest fertility rates all voted for Barack Obama.5
In summary, people who are more religious have more children and are more generous in helping others as well.
Religious people express their native generosity in many other ways. The Roman Catholic Church operates 26% of all of the health care facilities in the entire world, including 117,000 hospitals, clinics and orphanages, 18,000 pharmacies and 512 centers for the care of those with leprosy. This includes 911 hospitals and health care facilities and 418 orphanages in the United States.6
The Lutheran Church, the Jewish faith and others have also founded hundreds of other hospitals in the United States, although many do not continue to operate under religious principles. But when was the last time you saw a hospital named something like the “Cincinnati Atheist and Agnostic Health Care System?”
“Pro-Life Until You’re Born?”
All of these statistics makes perfect sense. Conservatives give to charities out of a desire to help people.
But when liberals give to charities, they are more likely to be giving in order to make a political statement, which is why pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups have such huge bankrolls. If liberals give to the “correct” political groups, vote for the “correct” liberal political candidates, believe in the “correct” causes and pay their taxes, they think they’ve done their bit for social justice and will leave it to the government to take care of the rest of the needs of the poor.
In general, not only do liberals fail to contribute meaningfully to the solution of social problems, they generally support the very things that make people both sick and poor ― unlimited sex without commitment, the destruction of marriage through its redefinition, and single motherhood. They refuse to support the most effective weapon for fighting poverty among women and children, which is traditional marriage. In the case of abortion, they even stridently condemn the only non-governmental organizations that help women with material and practical needs after their babies are born ― crisis pregnancy centers.7
- George Carlin’s “Back in Town” show (1996).
- 1996 General Social Survey (GSS) by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), described in Jeff Jacoby. “Stingy Liberals.” Town Hall, August 22, 2012.
- “How Religious is Your State?” The Pew Research Center at http://www.pewforum.org/how-religious-is-your-state-.aspx, December 21, 2009.
- For a detailed analysis and listings of all states and cities, write to Brian Clowes at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet ‘GENEROUS.XLS.”
- The ten states with the highest fertility rates all voted for Mitt Romney: Idaho [77.4]; Kansas [74.7]; Nebraska [76.4]; North Dakota [70.8]; Oklahoma [74.9]; South Dakota [77.8]; Texas [77.6]; Utah [88.4]; Wyoming [75.0]; and Alaska [78.3]. The ten states with the lowest fertility rates all voted for Barak Obama: Vermont [50.8]; New Hampshire [51.9]; Rhode Island [53.6]; Maine [54.8]; Massachusetts [55.4]; Connecticut [56.5]; Michigan [59.8]; Pennsylvania [60.1]; New York [61.7]; Oregon [62.5]; and Florida [63.6] (Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States [Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office], 2012 [132nd Edition], Table 82, “Births ― Numbers and Rates by State and Island Areas” (number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44).
- “Catholic Hospitals Comprise One-Quarter of World’s Healthcare, Council Reports.” Catholic News Association, February 10, 2010. J. Kenedy & Sons Official Catholic Directory, 2011.
- As one of many examples, ‘Catholics’ for [a Free] Choice says that women should not be offered alternatives to abortion through crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which CFFC calls “fraudulent and deceptive clinics.” These CPCs, of course, may never give women factual biological information on fetal development, because this constitutes a “propaganda tool for the anti‑abortion position” [Richard Doerflinger. “Who are Catholics for a Free Choice?” America, November 16, 1985, page 313].