no violence period: New Perspectives on Abortion


A Consistent Life Ethic

· Nat Hentoff on Abortion
· Abortion and the American Left

Abortion and the Media

Roe v. Wade

Full list of articles

Abortion and the Media

Abortion and the American Left

For most of its history, the American Left was pro-life. In the last three decades, however, abortion and the American Left have become inseparable. Here you will find a critical evaluation of the recent adoption by the American Left of a pro-abortion position, and how this position conflicts with the other values of the Left.

Abortion: The Left has betrayed the sanctity of life

Consistency demands concern for the unborn

Mary Meehan, The Progressive, September 1980

It is out of character for the Left to neglect the weak and helpless. The traditional mark of the Left has been its protection of the underdog, the weak, and the poor. The unborn child is the most helpless form of humanity, even more in need of protection than the poor tenant farmer or the mental patient or the boat people on the high seas. The basic instinct of the Left is to aid those who cannot aid themselves -- and that instinct is absolutely sound.

ACLU v. Unborn Children
Mary Meehan, Human Life Review, Spring 2001

In its long and relentless campaign against the right to life of unborn children, the ACLU has violated its own traditions and principles in a radical way. Here the champion of the defenseless turns the power of government against the most defenseless human beings. The defender of equal rights supports a two-tiered view of humanity, with those on the lower tier having no rights at all.

The Left's Surrender on Issues of Human Value
By Jim Trageser, The American Reporter

Time was, folks calling themselves progressives dismissed any attempts to quantify -- or even qualify -- the value of human life as inherently right-wing. And that we had obligations to one another -- that to threaten any of us was to threaten us all. That no one ever had a right to inflict harm on another except in self-defense.Those days are, sadly, long gone. In fact, the term "progressive" is hardly recognizable anymore what with so many who claim the heritage of the Left instead advocating policies drawn from the furthest reaches of the right. From abortion to assisted suicide, there is a steady erosion of leftist support for the value of human life. But there is nothing at all progressive about abortion - it is as reactionary a practice as one could imagine.

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Language and the Abortion Debate
by Kathryn Getek and Mark Cunningham, Princeton Progressive Review, February 1996

Naomi Wolf accuses the abortion-rights movement of a "lexicon of dehumanization" and "charges that it has produced "a series of self-delusions, fibs, and evasions," forcing the men and women who are part of it to run the risk of losing what "can only be called [their] soul." Though willing to grant the dimension of personal morality which attaches to abortion as a consequence of the humanity of the unborn child, Wolf fails to carry through fully in her analysis; when Wolf declares that "freedom means that women must be free to choose self or to choose selfishly," even though this means the death of another human being, we cannot help but respond that this simply is not, or should not be, the unqualified response of our society to the destruction of innocent life.

Abortion - A Liberal Cause?
by Jefferis Kent Peterson

Abortion has been numbered among the liberal causes of modern politics. But a careful examination of the history of the abortion rights movement would shock even the most ardent defender of a woman's right to choose. The founders of the movement were in fact racists who despised the poor and who were searching for a way to prevent colored races from reproducing. Rather than defending the rights of the poorest of the poor, which is the tradition of liberalism, the founders advocated abortion as a means of eliminating the poor. And rather than desiring to help the poor through welfare programs, they wanted to eliminate all charities and government aid.

By MARK SHIELDS, Washington Post, August 12, 1994

. . . But extend the belief in the dignity, equality and sanctity of human life to include - as well as protection of the widow, the orphan and the elderly lonely - the unborn child, and you court excommunication from the American liberal fellowship.
It is altogether reasonable to question how we can call ourselves "pro-life" if we do not care about the poor, the immigrant and those suffering from AIDS.

Contradiction of Liberalism
WILLIAM J. HUSSAR , Washington Post, August 24, 1994

Pro-choice advocates often make such claims as, "You can't force your own morality on others." Yet in issues such as those concerning the poor, women and minorities, liberals have never had a problem forcing their views on others. Only when, as Mr. Shields says, "the agenda is one liberals abhor" do liberals suddenly become libertarians.