Politics in the Pro-Life Movement

26 Jul Politics in the Pro-Life Movement

“I wasn’t lucky. I was protected.”

These striking words have been spoken and written over and over again by Rebecca Kiessling. Rebecca was 18 years old when she found out that her father was a serial rapist who held her birth mother at knifepoint as he brutally assaulted her.


Mary Jo, SFLI Summer Intern

Rebecca’s birth mother sought an abortion twice, but in her 1968 world she was unable to find a legal option; a crucial factor to which Rebecca owes her existence.

In the world of grassroots Pro-Life activism, it can be hard to address politics. Many of us come from different political backgrounds to congregate under the one important belief: life is valuable at all stages. Oftentimes, we don’t want to risk dividing our forces by putting politics on the table.

This is understandable, since making abortion unthinkable in the hearts and minds of Americans is the primary directive in making it illegal. But the importance of legality cannot be denied in our fight for justice. Standing up for the “Pro-Life” view doesn’t mean you have to be a Republican for the unborn, or a Democrat for those on death row. No matter your political stance, we must all stand up for life in every age and situation.

Consider the implications and importance of the Pro-Life laws that we have been able to enact.

If not for parental notification laws, statutory rapists would have an even easier time concealing their crime. If not for partial birth abortion bans, doctors would be permitted to actually kill a child in the process of a full term birth. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act protects children 20 weeks and older in the womb from abortion on the basis of the fact that they can feel pain.

These situations may seem dire or contrived, but these laws wouldn’t exist if they weren’t already real and potent issues for our society.

When it comes to Pro-Life politics, I will be the first to say that I am absolutely by no means an expert. The world of political action and arguments is confusing and frustrating to me, and at 20 years old I still don’t even know which party I “belong” in.

But getting involved, even without a party, doesn’t have to be complex. Almost every state has a Right to Life group or other similar political action group that can help you tune in to Pro-Life laws and concerns. Sign some petitions, write to local representatives, and exercise your right to vote!

Participating in politics is a community thing, but this doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. What we must stand united on are the most important things; respect for all humans and their human rights.

Mary Jo Carney is a Summer Intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She studies Psychology with a minor in music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.