As a reproductive health writer, there are few terms I hate as much as “pro-abortion.” Like most people who advocate for a woman’s right to chose when to carry a pregnancy to term, I firmly believe that abortion should be an available, accessible option for those who for any reason have an unwanted pregnancy. I also believe that it would be better to prevent pregnancy in the first place. Ask a woman who terminated a pregnancy if she would have rather have just not gotten pregnant in the first place, and odds are, she’ll say yes.
Yet “pro-abortion” is an accusation that has been bandied about often by anti-choice advocates, and much more so as they change the definition of being pro-life to their own suiting. In the last few years I’ve watched as those who oppose abortion have raised the bar higher and higher as to what constitutes pro-life, and it’s becoming a litmus test that even many of their own allies can pass.
It’s most noticeable in this year’s Republican primary, where candidates are attacked for believing that women or girls who have been raped should be allowed to access an abortion, or that even the five days difference between fertilization and implantation of that fertilized egg constitutes not having respect for life. Their zeal to have everyone abide by their rigid definition causes them even to condemn women to death for treatable illnesses like cervical and breast cancer as long as it means it is cutting off funds that might go to groups that perform abortions as well.
Now, anti-choice advocates are coming after a new group, one that normally would be considered one of their own. The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army has often criticized by outside groups, usually for their rigid teachings of Christianity as well as their discriminatory policies against gays. But one thing you never expected them to be accused of is being “pro-abortion.” Until now.
According to World Net Daily, pro-life supporters should consider denying Salvation Army any donations due to their lack of strict anti-abortion views. The crime? They believe that women who have been raped should be allowed to terminate the pregnancy, as well as women who’s health is in jeopardy or who are carrying fetuses with disorders incompatible with life.
“So much of the Salvation Army statement is commendable, but parts of it read like it was written by the Guttmacher PR department to ease the conscience of those who are not yet in support of unrestricted abortion. These contradictions are irreconcilable,” says Stephen Phelan of Human Life International. The mere appearance of support from Salvation Army can be used by the huge international abortion cartels to justify their work.”
Another activist goes on to suggest that the group has been “infiltrated” by saboteurs hoping to undermine the mission of the Salvation Army to promote God and family.
If progressives stop donating to Salvation Army because of its record on GLBT issues, and conservatives because it is “pro-abortion,” there could be a lot of empty kettles this year.
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