This week, the City of Tallahassee Commission held a meeting where they voted in favor of a pro-abortion resolution. Only two of the commissioners voted against it, even though both made sure to express their support for abortion, even as self-described Christians.
According to Tallahassee Reports, the resolution passed 3-2. It states that the mayor and the commissioners support “access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, contraception, prenatal care, labor and delivery services, and postpartum care. It defines the necessity for people’s overall health and healthcare as a fundamental human right.” The resolution also reportedly criticized “state funding for ‘anti-abortion pregnancy centers’ and of the Florida law that requires parental consent for [a] minor to get an abortion.”
Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox voted against the resolution — not because she is pro-life, but because she said the commission didn’t have the authority to make such a ruling. Williams-Cox made sure to point out that she supports abortion, but added, “We are out of our lane here, we should not be dealing with this issue. This is an issue for the legislature.”
Commissioner Curtis Richardson, who claimed he is a Christian who supports abortion, agreed. “My history in the support of women’s rights is well documented. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. It is a personal choice,” he said. “But this is an issue for the Florida Legislature; what we have to say won’t be heard there.”
For the commissioners who voted in favor of the resolution, one of them, Jacqueline Porter, referenced her own personal views — but said she believes other women should be able to choose differently. “This is not an easy topic for me,” she began. “I was raised in a family with very strong views opposed to a woman’s right to choose and abortion.” She continued by saying she struggles with the issue and that it’s a topic that has divided their community, but hopes they can work together regardless.
“I do believe this is a public health issue,” she continued. “I do believe that in the language of the resolution, this is not ordinarily an issue we see coming before local governments, coming before our government. But I do believe that this is a legal and safe procedure, one that has been upheld by the Supreme Court, and one that is being threatened by our state legislature and others, which I believe has the direct impact on health of women and others. For those reasons, I do think it’s important that we take a position on this. And despite the opposition, there are plenty of people, and a majority of people, who do support a woman’s right to choose, regardless of their own personal beliefs about the morality, the legality, of having an abortion.”
It’s not unusual to find people who, like Porter, may consider themselves to be “personally pro-life,” but still support abortion for other women. This topic was addressed by Live Action founder and president Lila Rose in the “Pro-Life Replies” video series.
The “personally pro-life” position doesn’t make logical sense if people acknowledge what abortion is. “The reality is, if we acknowledge that abortion takes the life of a human being, then we should be opposed to all abortions,” Rose said. “Every innocent human being has a right to not be killed, and that’s why we can’t just be ‘personally pro-life’.”
Rose further pointed out that people often take this view in an attempt to be fair to all views, but end up being unfair as a result. “Under this view, their own preborn children have human life and human rights, but other people’s children may not,” she explained. “If a person is going to be ‘personally pro-life’ and grant their own preborn children the right to life, then shouldn’t they grant that right to every other preborn child?”
Furthermore, abortion seems to be one of the few human rights violations that people can “personally oppose” yet still actively vote to allow.
“A person would never say that they only ‘personally oppose child abuse,’” Rose said, adding, “Imagine if someone said, ‘I’m personally against slavery, but I wouldn’t stop anyone else from owning slaves.’ Or, ‘I’m personally against the Nazi Holocaust, but wouldn’t want to stop anyone else from persecuting Jews.’ We would think they were terribly confused or just cowardly.”
Abortion also infringes upon the most important of all rights — the right to life. “If our laws do not protect the right to life, then they are failing their most basic function,” Rose said. “So it is actually impossible to be just ‘personally pro-life.’ You either believe in the right to life for all human beings, or you do not.”
And by choosing not to speak out against abortion in a mistaken attempt at fairness, people like Porter are allowing a civil rights crisis to continue. “Since Roe v. Wade, over 60 million children have been killed by abortion. Let that sink in. 60 million human lives, and these lives continue to be killed every day,” Rose said. “In our country. In our states. In our cities. For many of us, it happens down the street. This is the greatest civil rights crisis of our time and we can’t just sit on the sidelines.”
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