The tragedy of family separations at the American border highlights the hypocrisy of the traditional pro-life movement. One of the largest national pro-life organizations, the Susan B. Anthony List, said that “from its inception Susan B. Anthony List has been completely dedicated to protecting the first right without which no other rights matter: the right to life … Therefore, we refrain from public comment on immigration and many other topics, including other policies that impact families.” The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two other “pro-life and pro-family” organizations, also failed to decry the harmful policy of family separation in their statements on the issue. In light of these organizations’ lackluster responses, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue, said “Trump, the GOP Congress that refuses to stand up to him, and their followers’ weak attempts to claim the ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-family’ mantle dissolve in the face of this latest dictate (and countless preceding it).”

As a pro-life woman, I wholeheartedly agree with Hogue’s criticism. Pro-choice advocates are right to call out the hypocrisy of valuing a life in the womb while simultaneously advocating for policies that harm children and families. Traditional pro-life organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List, The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family have shown that they are not truly pro-life — they are merely anti-abortion. The pro-life movement needs a new definition of what it means to be pro-life — a definition that protects the rights of all human beings from conception to natural death.

What would a non-hypocritical pro-life position entail? We can look to the Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), the “pro-life voice and wing of the Democratic Party” for a list of pro-life beliefs that are not limited to being anti-abortion. The DFLA “[believes] in the fundamental worth, dignity, and equality of all people.” It opposes “abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, embryonic stem cell research, poverty, genocide … tyranny, terrorism, genocide, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human trafficking, and all other unjust acts of violence and aggression.” More than just opposing certain policies, the organization also advocates for “an effective social safety net that guarantees that all people have sufficient access to food, shelter, healthcare, and life’s other basic necessities.”

The platform sounds nothing like the traditional pro-life movement. This needs to change. Pro-choice organizations are right to call out pro-life organizations that oppose abortion and simultaneously tolerate injustices like police brutality, racism, the death penalty and unjust war. Still, there is hope for the pro-life movement. New organizations like the DFLA, New Wave Feminists and Rehumanize International are working to change the movement from the inside and create a consistent pro-life platform that supports human life from the womb to the tomb. I believe that, while abortion will continue to be one of the most contentious issues in our society, a more consistent life ethic will help to foster dialogue between groups that disagree on abortion and create a society that is truly pro-woman, pro-family and pro-life.


Kristiane is a senior studying English, philosophy, and religious studies. She hails from a US Air Force Base in Japan and is still pleasantly surprised by how beautiful Utah is.


  1. “Pro-choice advocates are right to call out the hypocrisy of valuing a life in the womb while simultaneously advocating for policies that harm children and families.”

    Who advocated?

  2. Thank you for that wonderful article. I am a member of Democrats for Life, pro-life for the whole life, and I/we appreciate your affermation. It is so refreshing and encouraging to hear from a millennial with a similar philosophy. Thank you once again!

  3. What truly is interesting is how democrats refuse to change this policy when Ted Cruz and other republicans propose solutions to get rid of separation at the border. Mostly, the family separation has been blown out of proportion by CNN, Time magazine, etc. in order to make Trump look bad (as if he wasn’t doing that to himself already), when this is legislation that was created by democrats before Trump’s presidency so that children wouldn’t have to go to jail. It’s still a crappy policy and we should change it, but Democrats refuse because they don’t actually care that children get separated, they want illegal immigrants to flood into the country and take advantage of the system out of some sort of self-destructive lust for generosity. But the reality is that they are feeding people fish without teaching them how to fish, and they will inevitably be worse off by coming illegally than by coming legally and experiencing the full responsibility and privilege of being an American citizen.

  4. Everyone wants fewer abortions. But until these organizations also support comprehensive sex education and access to contraceptives, then these “pro-life” groups are only compounding the problem. If having a child means a woman will have to become a single mom, drop out of school, work a low-wage job, and live in poverty the majority of her life—thereby setting her child up for higher rates of poor health, learning difficulties, drug abuse, behavioral, social, and emotional problems, then you are creating a world where both the mother and child will suffer—and the world at large. That is not “pro-life.” Forcing women to have unwanted children is not the answer. Education and contraceptives are.


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