Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jim Wallis is Pro-choice, Sort of, Probably, Maybe . . .

For some time now Jim Wallis has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the abortion issue. He seems to want credit for being pro-life while not actually being in favor of legal protection for the unborn. This is the so-called "abortion reduction strategy," which amounts to this: (1) elect the Democratic Party and the most liberal president in American history, (2) expand the welfare state as fast as possible, (3) sneak abortion coverage into government-funded health care plans, (4) export abortion to the Third World by funding organizations that do abortions there and (5) place no restrictions of any kind on abortion. If that is what "abortion redution" looks like; I'd hate to see a real pro-abortion program.

Keith Pavlischek, writing at First Things, analyzes where Wallis is coming from and the conclusion is pretty obvious. Wallis supports health care whether abortion is part of the deal or not because expanding government in health care is the priority. Here is where he gets to the heart of the issue:
"In addition, I told Wallis as bluntly as I could, that as far as I could tell his position and that of Sojourners was indistinguishable from the old Mario Cuomo position of being “personally opposed” to abortion while wanting to keep the procedure legal. I suggested that neither he nor Sojourners could honestly be labeled pro-life because, for that term to mean anything, it has to involve advocacy for the legal protection of the unborn. Wallis was equally frank in response. He simply rejected my suggestion that the “legal protection of the unborn” had anything to do with being pro-life. Both of us left that conversation with a clear understanding that Wallis was, quite simply,
pro-choice on abortion."

If there are any Jim Wallis supporters out there, feel free to mount an argument that Wallis is misquoted by Pavlischek, if you believe he was misquoted, but we need evidence to refute Pavlischek. I've read Wallis' books and editorials and listened to him speak and what Pavlischek says about Wallis' position rings true for me.

If Wallis really said and believes that "legal protection of the unborn" is not necessary to a pro-life position, then he is simply trying to re-define the term "pro-life" for his own political convenience. I and all the other pro-life people out there understand that being "pro-life" means being in favor of laws prohibiting infanticide, euthanasia and abortion. Unless Wallis is willing to stand with us on that fundamental point, he has to wear the label "pro-choice."

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