Pro-Life Clinics Reject Pro-Life Volunteer… Because She’s An Atheist

Atheist Sarah Terzo, a member of Secular Pro-Life, writes about how religious pro-life groups want nothing to do with her, even though she agrees with them on the issue at hand:

Even worse was the reaction I got when I tried to volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center. They were open and friendly when I told them I wanted to work there. They listened when I told them I had had a great deal of experience discussing abortion on the internet, and had helped numerous women choose life. Then I told them I was an atheist. “Sorry, we are a Christian ministry” the woman said. “We don’t have atheists or nonchristians working here. But you are free to give a donation.”

I asked them if I could have a position where I wouldn’t be called upon to counsel women. Could I do paperwork or answer the phone? The answer was no. They wanted no help from me.

As an experiment, I took up the phone book and called nine crisis pregnancy centers. I did not find a single one that would allow an atheist to volunteer.

Huh. That boggles my mind. Our sides seems to have no problem with religious leaders (at least in name) who run church-state separation groups. It’s also hard to imagine an LGBT group that would reject a Christian ally.

So why are pro-life groups seemingly unable to look beyond their faith? I mean, even for self-serving strategic reasons, you would think they would *love* to get someone like Sarah on their side. It would show that their position isn’t purely based on religion; it’s one that even atheists can get behind.

I’m not saying that Sarah’s position makes any sense to me — it doesn’t — but I can’t understand why pro-life groups would reject help from someone who agrees with them on their core issue but disagrees with them on another (unrelated?) one.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.