Virtual Voices

Obscuring the meaning of 'pro-life'

Abortion

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin (both D-Mich.) had 100 percent pro-abortion voting records in the 110th Congress (2007-08), but if the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has its way, pro-life voters will think they're pro-life.

Why? Because the EEN considers support for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new limits on mercury emissions from power plants reason enough. That's despite the fact that even the EPA admits that its new regulations would yield no measurable benefits to health.

The EEN is running radio and television ads and placing billboards in nine states claiming 12 politicians are "pro-life or sensitive to pro-life concerns." This is despite the fact that six of the nine with voting records in the 110th Congress, and at least two of the three without, support abortion "rights." (See the Pennsylvania version of the TV ad below.)

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"Pro-life"? That would be true of just one out of the 12 members of Congress supported by the ads: Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), who had a 100 percent pro-life voting record as a representative in the 110th Congress. "Sensitive to pro-life concerns?" Not Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), with a mere 55 percent pro-life record, or the six remaining with records (two at 0 percent, three at 22 percent, and one at 35 percent).

How does the EEN justify calling these pro-abortion politicians pro-life? It says one-in-six American babies is born with a harmful blood mercury level, so support for EPA's proposed regulation qualifies one as pro-life.

In the EEN's one-minute radio spots, Tracey Bianchi, a Chicago-area pastor, says:

"… every life is a precious gift from God and I expect members of Congress who say they are pro-life to use their power to protect that life, especially the unborn. … The EPA's mercury regulations were created specifically to protect the unborn from the devastating impacts of mercury which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants."

"Protect that life"? "Devastating impacts"? "Permanent brain damage"?

The truth, documented in The Cost of Good Intentions: The Ethics and Economics of the War Against Conventional Energy, is that not one-in-six but about one-in-1,000 American babies is exposed to mercury at a level above the EPA's "reference dose" of 5.8 parts per billion. Further, no harm has been detected at any level below 85 parts per billion (over 14 times higher than the "reference dose")-a level not found in any American babies. Even at that level, the observable harm is a temporary, almost undetectable delay in neurological development.

Abortion doesn't cause temporary, almost undetectable reduction in neurological development among one-in-six babies. It kills one-in-five babies conceived in America (22 percent). Since 1973, because of abortion, over 54 million babies in this country have been dead on arrival.

Yet the EEN insists that politicians who support the continued intentional massacre of over a million babies a year can proudly wear the pro-life label so long as they support EPA's plan to impose new restrictions on mercury emissions, restrictions that will cost the American economy enough ($10 billion to $100 billion per year) that economists can predict an extra 667 to 6,670 American deaths per year as a result.

Whether intentionally or not, EEN's campaign will water down the meaning of "pro-life," split the pro-life vote, and cripple the effort to protect the lives of the unborn in America.

EEN President and CEO Mitch Hescox says he has been strongly pro-life for many years, taking part in right-to-life marches. We take his word for it. Presumably, then, he doesn't intend this Machiavellian result.

Who might? Perhaps EEN's funding source. We don't know yet where the funding came from. (The radio campaign alone is reported to cost $150,000.) But the EEN received a $50,000 grant last July from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to support the EPA, and Rockefeller Brothers (which gave the EEN $200,000 in 2009 to support its global warming campaign) is a long-time supporter of abortion on demand as a means of population control.

Divide and conquer, anyone?

E. Calvin Beisner
E. Calvin Beisner

Cal is founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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