Deliberate Pro-Life Divisiveness is Self Defeating

| 10 Comments

Current efforts to create divisiveness within the pro-life movement are deeply distressing. A new political action group, the "alternative" American Right to Life Action, seems bent on trying to destroy the National Right to Life Committee.

As American RTL Action's President Steve Curtis said in a press release on the group's website:

"American Right To Life has Jesus Christ as our authority, not the situational ethicists, legal positivist lawyers and moral relativists of the pro-life industry at National Right To Life."

Such posturing for power within the pro-life community is self-defeating. Why can't American RTL Action be one wing of the movement without attacking the NRLC for being another?

If changing hearts and minds about abortion is truly the goal, the pro-life movement needs more than one approach. People are not all the same. Different hearts and minds are changed in different ways. While a faith-based rationale might appeal to one person, it could discourage another person from considering the pro-life point of view.

The folks at American Right to Life seem to be pleased that their logo appeared in a photograph that ran in The New York Times in February 2. A link to the photo can be found under "See our ARTL logo in the NY Times." on the group's homepage.

Two men hold ARLT's banner in the background of the picture, while a woman facing them bears a sign with the message "I am Catholic Conservative - I support Mitt Romney." A caption under the photo reads, "As Mitt Romney campaigned Friday in Denver, abortion opponents and Romney supporters exchanged words."

Why any pro-lifer would celebrate inclusion in a picture depicting pro-lifers going after one another is beyond me!

This image is an abortion advocacy and NYT's dream come true.

10 Comments

*sigh* The "why can't we all just get along?" question is not going to work here, so frankly everyone needs to stop asking it. The two groups aren't going to ever work together because they believe in two very different ways of making abortion illegal and both will oppose each other's tactics. People have to choose which way they agree with and go with it. Don't try to unite the two: it's not worth it. ARL cannot exist with other pro-life groups the way other pro-life groups can exist with each other. They view the incrementalism approach as evil, while the incrementalists view theirs as ineffective.

The people at American Right to Life should keep in mind whenever they are complaining about NRLC interfering with their efforts that their entire organization exists for the sole purpose of interfering with NRLC's (and other pro-life groups') efforts, as seen here. Don't expect much sympathy when NRLC stops one of your bills from going through because they view it as detrimental.

That is just sad. I am glad to have anyone on my side fighting for the cause of life.

I have a regular commenter who is an atheist. Of course I pray that she becomes a Christian someday, but in the mean time she is a very effective pro-life apologist. She also can make headway where I can't, because no one can play the "You're just a religious male" card on her.

Nathan, rather than "why can't we all just get along," I was proposing "you do it your way and I'll do it my way" so we might cover all of our bases. For I agree with you that the incrementalists and the all-or-nothing factions of the pro-life movement will never be warm and fuzzy.

Neil, lucky you to have pro-life associates with other differing points of view!

If one of the two organizations was doing political activity and the other, outreach to women in troubled pregnancies, your challenge might have some weight. The problem is the two approaches are both political, and they contradict each other. The National Right to Life has repeatedly sold out on principle.

When we've reached a point where pro-life organizations endorse aggressively pro-abortion candidates it's time for confrontation.


"Mitt Romney claims, 'On every piece of legislation, I came down on the side of life.' 'That is a lie,' said Curtis, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. In April 2006 Romney signed the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Plan that pays for even elective abortions. Today he falsely claims a 1981 court ruling about "medically necessary" abortions forced him to provide tax-funded elective abortion, showing he prioritizes socialized "health care" over protecting kids, even when that "health care" actually intentionally kills children. Romney gave a permanent seat on the Massachusetts payment policy advisory board to the nation's leading abortionists at Planned Parenthood. Romney signed the 2005 bill that promotes chemical abortions with Plan B. As Governor he appointed openly pro-abortion Democrat Matt Nestor to a district court; and disputing a ruling from his own state health department Romney personally argued that pro-life hospitals must dispense abortifacients.

Romney claims to have been personally pro-life for many years, but also claims a recent pro-life conversion on Nov. 9, 2004 while talking to Harvard researcher Douglas Melton about embryonic stem cells. However Mitt still openly supports killing the baby of a rapist, and killing the tiniest of humans for research. Dr. Melton has even disputed Romney's account of their conversation, and "pro-life" Romney even attended a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. During the years that Romney says he was personally pro-life he aggressively claimed to be second-to-none in asserting abortion as an essential right. And in October 2005 Romney asked the federal government for a waiver for a major increase in funding for abortion "counseling" and for tax-funded abortifacients.


'The evidence is indisputable-- Mitt Romney is lying to get Christian votes,' said vice president of ARTL Action, Columbine dad Brian Rohrbough. 'When 'pro-life' leaders lie, more innocent children will die.' "

Corroborating links at www.ARTLaction.com

American RTL Action is the political arm of American Right to Life. The fact is American RTL was started by Colorado RTL after it was kicked out by National RTL. Their very purpose, as imagined by its founder Bob Enyart, was to cause dissension among the pro-life community. And, yes, they have certainly achieved their goal.

Not only is there a split (in ideology) among pro-lifers but, perhaps more importantly, these hypocrites have caused disruption and are preventing good pro-life measures (that save lives) from passing or otherwise attaining precedent.

SHAME on Bob Enyart and the vile self-promoter he is! He and his "followers" should be embarrassed for their thoroughly anti-Christian behavior. Their tactics and means are taken from the gutters of the choice crowd. The entire bunch of them should be shunned and called for what they have shown themselves, "despicable."

As I've said repeatedly, there is a place for disagreement on the best strategy groups should use to end abortions ASAP. There is no place for vicous and misleading public attacks on pro-life groups and people who want to stop abortions but use a different tactic or approach. The kind of attacks ARTL have launched on NRLC are counterproductive and reprehensible and make the pro-life movement's job of protecting the unborn as immediately as possible more difficult.

Steven,
We agree that there is no place for vicous and misleading public attacks on pro-life groups and people who want to stop abortions. However, ARTL's attacks aren't vicous or misleading. They are factual, well-reasoned, and based in the provable logic that you don't save babies by promoting candidates or strategies that mislead sincere believers into backing pro-abortion legislation or candidates. You've made a career out of doing exactly that and it's time you stopped. Of course we know that you won't stop, so we look forward to the day when you attempt to dissprove anything we've said.

I don't think it is self-defeating, but rather holds National Right to Life accountable. I know a number of pro-life advocates who were completely shocked by their endorsement of Fred Thompson. When somebody who speaks out against a National Right to Life Amendment and who also has lobbied for a abortion-rights group is given the NRLC's endorsement... questions need to be asked.

We expected leadership from the NRLC and they disappointed many of us. There was one clear choice for an endorsement when it comes to life issues who is 100% pro-life across the board and that is Mike Huckabee - why wasn't he given this endorsement? Their endorsement simply wasn't principled and was a waste.

It is true that "People are not all the same. Different hearts and minds are changed in different ways. While a faith-based rationale might appeal to one person, it could discourage another person from considering the pro-life point of view."

But the same point can be made in reverse: While a purely secular rationale might appeal to one person, it could discourage another person from considering the pro-abortion point of view. So a "spiritual," incremental approach is needed.

Lots of people who were once aghast at prospect of killing the unborn for any reason are now lulled into complacency by NRL and their myriad of laws that tolerate, and even rationalize, killing some babies in some circumstances.




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