How the pro-life position aligns with progressive values

With a new Mississippi abortion law challenging Roe v. Wade being brought before the Supreme Court this 2021-22 term, the abortion debate has once again been brought to the forefront. The issue has been highly politicized, with positions on it often falling on partisan lines. Generally speaking, liberals believe mothers should have a right to choose, while conservatives believe what they see as a child should have a right to life.

Our school and community highly value the protection of marginalized communities. Whether it’s those affected by racial injustices, those vulnerable to sexual violence, immigrants, as well as many other groups, we take numerous steps individually and as a school to stand up for these people in our classes, extracurriculars, and personal lives.

As Ella Duus, the founder and chair of Young Pro-Life Democrats (YPLD), a subset of the Democrats for Life of America (DLFA), says, “Progressivism is all about equality and nonviolence.”

Duus was pro-choice until her freshman year of high school. She saw a video by pro-life organization Live Action that featured a former abortionist, Anthony Levatino, describe how different types of abortions are conducted. “This ignited what can best be described as a queasiness with abortion that precipitated further research into the personhood of the preborn child, which led to my becoming pro-life once realizing this violence was being carried out against a person,” she said.

That the unborn are human is a scientific fact. One reason some believe abortion is justified is because they believe in a distinction between the start of human life and the start of personhood. The unborn seem too undeveloped (“clump of cells”) or too dependent on their mothers. (The landmark case Roe v. Wade limited abortion restrictions before the baby could survive outside of the womb.)

However, these judgments seem misguided and go against the values our community holds. We fight for those who are young (Oak Park and River Forest have an infant welfare society) or dependent on others (such as people with preexisting conditions) all the time. As we should; the fact these groups are young, dependent, or vulnerable compels us to fight for them all the more.

“No one is more vulnerable than the preborn,” Duus said. We need to look past the commonly accepted cloudiness answering the question of when personhood begins. Nobody has ever, under any circumstances, presented a fair justification for the denial of personhood to any human life on the basis of size, location, dependence, or any other factors. Furthermore, a brief remembrance of world history makes clear how crucial it is that we apply our principles of human rights and personhood consistently.

“As the party of universal human rights, the Democratic party should truly affirm the human rights of the most vulnerable in society, including the preborn, who are incapable of advocating for or protecting themselves,” Duus said.

Another chief reason people support the legality of abortion is out of concern for mothers. This is a concern we should all share, but that concern cannot come at the expense of our youngest Americans. We must work to build a society compassionate towards all: the preborn, their mothers, and those who have had abortions or are considering it. “The root causes of abortion- poverty, lack of social support, etc., must be addressed,” Duus said.

There are no easy answers in the abortion debate, but there are right answers, regardless of political ideology. OPRF, let’s extend our compassion and care to the unborn. If we support human rights, we need to support them from womb to tomb.