Over the past couple months, I’ve laid out some thoughts on the concept of a new pro-life movement (specifically here and here) that reexamines the methods we use to fight abortion as well as what it truly means to call oneself pro-life.
There has been a great deal of response, both positive and negative, along with some inquiries from interested parties about what this new movement would look like. So, with the help of fellow NPLM advocate, Rebecca Bratten Weiss, we put together a manifesto of sorts to present our goals and articulate what we stand for.
The Right to Life
First and foremost, we believe all humans have an absolute, inherent right to life, and we believe this right spans from conception to natural death. This includes both the protection and the sustainment of life at all stages, and creates the foundation for our entire platform.
We are completely, totally, and without reservation opposed to the act of abortion, or any action that *directly* and purposefully ends the life of a child in the womb. However, we believe the methods of the mainstream pro-life movement have largely failed to address the issue properly. At the same time, we feel that the goal of overturning Roe v Wade would not be a true pro-life win, as it only turns the matter of abortion back to the states.
We believe that the most effective means of reducing, and potentially eradicating, abortion comes through lessening the demand rather than the supply. On a socially applicable level, this includes greater access to healthcare, pre and post-natal care, mandatory paid leave, job protection, equal wages, sexual education, and stronger comprehensive support systems.
Along with this, we believe strongly in the use of evangelization, science, and philosophy to cultivate a society that recognizes, respects, and cherishes life in the womb.
Women’s Rights and Justice
Since women are the central figures in the abortion debate, we would be remiss as a movement to ignore their rights and needs. We feel there is too much time spent arguing with the social and political figures who support abortion and not nearly enough time spent helping the women who actually have them. The applicable efforts we listed above are not just for reducing abortion, but for ensuring justice for women in our society.
Furthermore, the pervasive sexual harassment, violence, and prejudice against women is a pro-life issue by itself, and we support every effort to put an end to these issues. We are committed to the protection of women’s rights and equality, the advancement of equal representation under the law, and respect for women in all areas of our culture.
While completely rejecting the notion of suicide and support every effort to prevent it, we understand that there is no realistic legal course of action to stop people from taking their own lives, especially those in a great state of suffering.
That said, we fear that by legalizing euthanasia, we create a world that puts the elderly and terminally ill at risk. We also cannot encourage a society that supports the right to die and not the right to live.
We reject the “war hawk” mentality and fully support diplomatic solutions to international conflict. Military force is only justifiable when absolutely necessary to stop an unjust aggressor and protect the lives of innocent humans. Furthermore, in military conflict, we believe in the use of proportionate force only. This means an absolute rejection of killing civilians, torture and execution of POWs, and the use of nuclear arms.
We support the absolute abolition of the death penalty. We find it to be an unjust, fiscally wasteful, and ineffective means of punishment. We believe that killing in return for killing is not a true act of justice, and that with our modern prison infrastructure and resources, we can adequately protect society from those who wish to cause harm without having to take a life.
Healthcare is a right, not a product. One’s health should not be contingent on buying power. We believe that all citizens should have access to proper medical care, regardless of class, status, or income. Therefore, we support universal healthcare and advocate for a public option.
Poverty has a direct effect on quality of life. We support comprehensive solutions to provide a realistic pathway out of poverty and we oppose any legislation that reduces wages, cuts benefits, or restricts labor rights.
We understand and respect the right to bear arms and have no intention of restricting that right to law abiding, mentally competent, American citizens. With that said, we cannot in good conscience call ourselves pro-life and ignore the pervasive gun violence in our country. We support common sense measures to help reduce this problem, such as:
- Universal background checks
- Outlawing online sales
- Banning large capacity magazines
- Repealing open carry laws
- Restricting firearm ownership for violent felons, suspected terrorists, the mentally ill, or those with a history of domestic violence
- Mandatory licensing and safety training
- Mandatory safe storage
Social and Political Involvement
Lastly, we believe that in order to cultivate a true culture of life, we must be active socially and politically. We are a movement of action, and we encourage all members to find ways to actively and effectively promote and implement all that is described in this platform, whether it’s engaging in public discourse, demonstrating, donating money and time, or running for political office.
We are the New Pro Life Movement. Won’t you join us?