The Right to Life Is Non-Partisan

Father Paul Schenck and his twin, Rev. Rob Schenck of Faith and Action, defend the fundamental human right to life. In this photo, they are outside the U.S. Supreme Court with Rev. Myke Crowder and other members of the National Clergy Council.

By Father Paul C.B. Schenck
Founding Director and Chair
The National Pro-Life Center

September 17, 2012 – My brother, Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action, chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance and a pro-life activist, was at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina – not to protest, but to speak. He addressed a gathering of Democrats for Life, a group incorporated within that party to oppose the abortion plank in the Democratic Party’s platform and to promote policies that support a woman’s choice for life. My brother was also at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida and joined pro-life members of that party.

The cause for human life – and the opposition to anti-life policies – is non-partisan. The effort to support public policies that defend and protect human life actually transcends electoral politics. Outlawing abortions, funding services that support the decision not to abort, expanding access to health care, outlawing embryonic stem cell research and funding adult stem cell research, outlawing euthanasia and funding health care for the elderly, eliminating the death penalty and resisting unjust war doesn’t ¬†fit into the convenient boxes created by campaigns and candidates.

The sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person do not belong to one religion, theology community or way of life either. My brother is an Evangelical. All Christian denominations have strong pro-life movements, which is evidenced by the National Clergy Council in Washington, D.C., made up of representatives of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Congregational, Lutheran – and Catholic – churches. There are also Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist pro-life movements.

My friend Nat Hentoff (pictured right), a founding editor of the Village Voice newspaper in New York City, who is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, a prolific commentator on the Constitution and a jazz music critic, is a left-wing atheist and thoroughly pro-life.

The defense of human life is an eminently human position. It belongs to everyone, every individual, family, community and political party whether or not it is acknowledged, honored, ignored or contravened. The protection of innocent life is an essential foundation of society. The abandonment of the innocent, the weak or the vulnerable is as intolerable on the Left as the Right, to members of any religious community and to skeptics as well.

We will diminish the prospects of success in reclaiming the sanctity of human life in our society if we claim it to be the exclusive possession of one political party, a particular religion or community. Life, by its very nature, belongs to everyone, no matter the religion, their politics or their lifestyle. We all enjoy the greatest of all gifts – the gift of human life – and we must promote it as human before all else.

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