What Does it Mean to be Pro-Life?

Opinion   Maria Gallagher   Mar 19, 2018   |   12:45PM    Harrisburg, PA

Many members of the mainstream media have difficulty correctly identifying whether a candidate is or is not pro-life.

I should know. I was once one of them.

As a radio reporter and a television news producer, I thought it perfectly legitimate to label someone as pro-life—even though he or she did not support an overturn of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. In fact, I thought I myself fell into that category—that I could dislike abortion, that I could pray that it ended, but that I could support keeping abortion legal and routinely vote for those candidates who believed the same.

However, as I learned about things that characteristically do not appear in news stories—the physical development of the unborn child, the emotional pain of women who regret their abortions—I found my personally pro-life/politically pro-choice position untenable. But that “aha” moment, sadly, has not been experienced by a number of journalists, who routinely mislabel candidates as pro-life.

While watching cable news this week, I heard an anchor declare a Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania, Conor Lamb, as pro-life. But Lamb himself said that, while he is Catholic, he would not even call himself pro-life. Somehow, the news anchor had conflated Lamb’s positions on gun ownership and the President’s policy on tariffs, branded him a “moderate” Democrat, and therefore assumed he was pro-life as well.

This, despite the fact that Lamb would have voted against a late-term abortion ban in Congress.

Not so coincidentally, a number of Pennsylvania state lawmakers also refused to support a ban on abortion at five months’ gestation—yet claim the pro-life mantle. The bill these legislators voted against would have also outlawed the outrageous practice of dismemberment abortion, where a baby is torn limb by limb from a mother’s womb.

I ask you, how can you stand by and not try to stop such a ghastly practice, while all the while calling yourself a defender of life?

In Pennsylvania, we also have the curious case of Senator Bob Casey, Jr. Casey describes himself as pro-life, but he voted pro-abortion 80 percent of the time this session. He routinely lauds and applauds the nation’s largest abortion operation, Planned Parenthood, and refuses to try to cut off federal funding to the abortion giant. And he opposed strict constructionist Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

As it is popular to say in Pennsylvania, the Senator is not his father. The late Bob Casey, Sr. was actually barred from speaking at the Democratic National Convention because of the strength of his pro-life convictions.

Because of media mistakes and candidate obfuscations, it is more important than ever that pro-lifers look to sources such as the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation to find out the stands and voting records of candidates on the life issues. Those who are pro-life in name only do not advance the cause of life and attempt to lead us down detours from overturning Roe v. Wade. To paraphrase an old church hymn, they will know we are pro-lifers by our love—and our votes.

LifeNews.com Note: Maria Gallagher is the Legislative Director and Political Action Committee Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and she has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.