Sometimes when you ask a “progressive” evangelical or Roman Catholic if he or she is pro-life, the answer will come back: “I’m consistently pro-life.” By this the person means that not only is innocent human life in the womb worth protecting, but life at other stages on the continuum also deserves equal consideration. In practice, this can mean the person will also be anti-war, anti-capital punishment, and perhaps even for childcare tax credits. “Pro-life” can cover a lot of territory when one is “consistently” pro-life!
In practice, however, people who claim the moral high ground of a “consistent” pro-life ethic–Democrats, usually–seem willing to soft-pedal their opposition to abortion in order to support other planks in the Democratic Party’s political platform. They’ll even vote for a candidate who has no regard for human life in the womb but who displays dogmatic certainty about protecting convicted murderers and rapists, who have taken or ruined the lives of others.
It turns out that the claim that one has a “consistent ethic of life” can be pretty inconsistent. So speaking just for myself, if I ask you whether you’re “pro-life,” I want to know whether you think the unborn should be protected … not what you think about welfare policy. We can talk about such things, of course, but I’m asking if you care enough about the evil of abortion to actually do something about it–even at the risk of offending your progressive friends. So please don’t serve up any pablum about your pro-life “consistency.”