Whole-Lifer–not Baby Killer

I’m ever so weary (and offended) by the continued label of “baby killer” targeted at anyone who is choosing not to support our current president. The very flawed premise behind this moniker is that, since the Democratic platform is pro-choice, anyone who supports a candidate from that party is clearly out to slaughter infants.

I’m not pro-abortion. I would love to live in a world where no woman ever had one. However, I believe that vision is better accomplished with access to birth control, adequate healthcare and education. There are plenty of statistics to back up this theory.

And no one is ripping viable babies from their mother’s wombs in “late-term” abortions. Pete Buttigeig captured what that term really means about a year ago in a town hall meeting on Fox News.

“Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a woman in that situation. If it’s that late in your pregnancy, then almost by definition, you’ve been expecting to carry it to term…[Families then] get the most devastating medical news of their lifetime, something about the health or the life of the mother or viability of the pregnancy that forces them to make an impossible, unthinkable choice. And the bottom line is as horrible as that choice is…that decision is not going to be made any better, medically or morally, because the government is dictating how that decision should be made.”

I’m just over it.

Over the insults.

Over the lies.

Over the hypocrisy.

For far too long, right-wing politicians who claim to be Christian have weaponized abortions for political gain while ignoring what Jesus actually preached: caring for the least of these, healing the sick, welcoming the stranger, loving your neighbor. These “pro-lifers” have damaged and cut short countless lives through their policies that restrict access to healthcare, cut food and housing and cage children. Pro-life my ass (excuse my language, but I’m that mad).

I am with sister Joan Chittister who famously said:

I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

I am a whole-lifer. I want to support policies and laws and attitudes and behaviors that support the whole life of a person and the whole lives of our communities (which, BTW, includes the unborn).

I don’t want to participate in the kind of tunnel vision activism that causes me to support people and policies that claim to protect one segment of our society, but clearly hurt and hinder many, many others.

If you want to be pro-whole life…pro-poor life, pro-Black life, pro-prisoner life, pro-immigrant life, pro-elder life, let’s talk. I want to be a whole lifer.

If you want to talk about what it looks like to follow Jesus, I’m in.

If you want to call me names because my idea of pro-life (informed and influenced by the work and witness of Jesus Christ) includes way more lives than your pro-birth stance, I’m out.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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