PC for Life - Not pro-life, just anti-abortion.

Our own Adam Roach sheds light on some of what we have to deal with at our conservative college. If you like his column, then let the Cowl know how you feel!

PC for Life Has Heart, but Lacks Sound Logic
by Adam D. Roach
The Cowl - 1/27/2005

On my way back from my daily run to Brown University, I always find that the toughest and most taxing portion of the route is the incline right in front of the State Capitol Building. It made it only tougher last week when I had to maneuver my way through a gaggle of right-to-lifers lobbying at the State House, carrying stop signs which said "Stop Abortion Now" on one side and "Thank You President Bush" on the other.

On Jan. 22 of each year, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, made in 1973, these folks become more visible and vocal. With the anniversary also comes PC for Life's annual trip to the March for Life in Washington D.C.

PC for Life does a number of commendable things. It is an activist organization, and I strongly support any group that has an opinion and is willing to act on it. It raises awareness concerning its issues and brings people into the process of political activism. PC for Life also includes in its membership a number of wonderful people whom I am fortunate enough to call my friends. After discussing PC for Life with Kathryn Cooper '07, the co-chair of the organization, I learned a lot more about the organization and gained a greater appreciation and respect for what it does.

I feel compelled to criticize PC for Life, however, not merely because I disagree with its opinion regarding abortion but because I feel they focus nearly universally on the abortion issue and fail to provide a strong voice on a number of other issues which are quite important and relevant.

For example, PC for Life has been nearly silent regarding the death penalty. In our neighbor state of Connecticut, serial killer Michael Ross was nearly executed by lethal injection while Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell remained silent on the matter. In Massachusetts, Republican Governor Mitt Romney has taken the initial steps to bring the death penalty back to the Commonwealth. PC for Life, a group largely composed of conservatives, has ignored these two issues and has conveniently ignored the 152 executions that Bush failed to halt while governor of Texas. It is quite hypocritical to call oneself pro-life and support a president with such a record.

PC for Life has also remained silent on the issue of warfare. When President Bush launched his unjustified and unnecessary assault on Iraq on March 20, 2003, an attack which was condemned by the Pope, PC for Life did not voice its opposition. As the death count of U.S. soldiers has risen to 1416 and the wounded count to 10,502, and as somewhere between 15,000 to 18,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. invasion, PC for Life continues its approval of the policies of the Bush administration.

Being "pro-life" means that one must support programs that raise the quality of life throughout the country and the world. In this aspect, conservatives have failed miserably. Bush has spent $80 to $100 million on the war in Iraq while at the same time cutting taxes for the richest of the rich. No Child Left Behind has been drastically under funded and social programs have been cut left and right. More than 90,000 college students in the U.S. have lost part of their state and federal student aid while nationwide aid given to students through the Pell grant has been largely reduced. The quality of life in this country is steadily dropping and PC for Life continues to one-dimensionally support the President because of the abortion issue.

Abortions are horrible and it is unacceptable when an anti-choicer calls someone who is pro-choice "pro-abortion". It would be ideal if abortions never took place, all can agree on that. Nonetheless, history has shown that, legally or illegally, women will continue to have abortions. The right way to prevent abortions is to make women's decisions regarding abortions easier. This is done by cultivating a social support system for young people and by helping people make the right decisions from the beginning by promoting a healthy and well-funded public education system.

By promoting abstinence and by making contraceptives available, as well as by promoting adoption as a desirable option, the number of those deciding to have an abortion will decrease. The U.S. cannot allow itself to return to the days of backroom abortions, performed with coat-hangers and glass bottles.

It is not easy being pro-choice in a school like PC but I must resolutely support a woman's right to choose. Being "pro-life" means more than just being anti-abortion. It en-compasses the question of what is the best way to prevent abortions and what the quality of life will be at birth. By ignoring these facets of the issue PC for Life has ultimately been counter-productive. If anti-choicers could only realize this, perhaps next Jan. 22 on my run past the Capitol the stop signs of the activists will read "Thank you, President Bush. Thanks for nothing."


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