Nope, couldn’t make it up if I tried. The full press release (emphasis mine):
“Abortion is an act that takes the life of an innocent human child,” said Erik Whittington, American Life League’s youth outreach director. “It is shameful that Christians would rally around the physical needs of the poor and ignore the deaths of untold millions of babies. Abortion is poverty and the number one priority of our day should be its demise.”
This past weekend, Sojourners opened Pentecost 2007: Taking Vision to the Street, a conference aimed at placing “poverty at the top of our nation’s agenda.” Today, Sojourners will host a march that will run from National City Christian Church to the Upper Senate Park. American Life League, through its youth outreach project Rock for Life, will be there to present to conference attendees the importance of putting abortion, not poverty, at the top of the list of social concerns.
“Mother Teresa, the universal icon for fighting poverty once said, ‘It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.’ While we commend Christians for working towards eliminating poverty,” said Whittington, “we must not forget that abortion kills a human person, and leaves the mother spiritually and psychologically broken. Abortion ends the lives of more than 3,500 American babies a day. This bloodshed dwarfs any other issue, including poverty.”
What is it with this week? I feel like the running theme is “Wingnuts finally say out loud the abhorrent things we always knew they believed, but thought they were smart enough to keep under wraps.” I thought the “They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure” comment couldn’t be beat, until they came out with “The old procedure [standard D&E], which is still legal … means there is greater legal liability and danger of internal bleeding from a perforated uterus. So we firmly believe there will be fewer later-term abortions as a result of this ruling” — that had to top all, right? Admitting that they think it’s a good thing that more women will have their uteruses perforated? I was sure we had a winner. Sadly, it was beaten out by “Feminism is a minority social movement, whose members murder innocent children in order to obtain sexual gratification.” Which is most surely the champion — abortions make all the ladies come? It’s incredible.
But no. Now Christians should be ashamed for helping the poor.
Let me re-contextualize this statement: It’s a press release. Not dumb, unscripted O’Reilly-style verbal diarrhea. Not an off-the-cuff comment to a reporter. Not something penned by a notoriously pathetic and vile dude who spews wingnut insanity on the regular and probably writes his columns in crayon. A press release. A planned, vetted, thought-out, purposeful statement, deemed important enough to release to news organizations. It’s a whole new level of unbelievable.
And it should make all of us pause for a moment and recognize just how emboldened anti-choice groups have become in the wake of the “partial-birth” abortion Supreme Court decision. It’s no coincidence that these kind of atrocious views are finally being verbalized now.
Pro-choice advocates have long pointed out that poverty relief and choice go hand in hand — the more financial security a woman has, the freer she may feel to choose to give birth. The inability to support a child is one of the primary reasons women give for terminating pregnancies. You’d think that “pro-life” activists, then, would be supportive of poverty relief programs, and would place women’s economic well-being at the top of their list.
But if you were under the impression that “pro-life” activists were actually about lowering the abortion rate, you would be sadly mistaken. If that were the case, they’d not only support poverty relief and social welfare programs, but they’d support contraceptive access and comprehensive sex education, two tried-and-true methods of lowering the unintended pregnancy rate. Instead, they’re advocating against basic birth control and against medically accurate health classes. We should not be surprised that they’re now advocating against poverty relief.
And yet somehow, I was still shocked to read “It is shameful that Christians would rally around the physical needs of the poor” in a press release from a Christian pro-life organization. Chalk it up to my youthful innocence.
Thanks to Amanda for sending this on.
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