When Linking Abortion with Other Violence Comes Naturally to Pro-lifers

Posted on April 23, 2019 By

Part 2: Consistency

Strengthens the Case

Part 1: Connections focuses on how opposing abortion using a broad right-to-life principle strengthens the case against other kinds of violence. Here, we do the reverse, and focus on how opposing other kinds of violence strengthens the case against abortion.   

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Editor-at-Large, National Review

Symposium: Whole Life vs. Pro-Life?

I frequently write about abortion and assisted suicide. Travesties of justice, each hurts the most vulnerable among us, ending innocent lives and leaving trails of misery to poison the lives of those directly involved—and Heaven knows how many others… I also have been wearing a relic of Mother Cabrini—the saint who is the patroness of immigrants—and praying for peace and progress and a humane approach to immigration policies. There are myriad issues, affecting every stage of life, that need to be urgently addressed. Start somewhere.

Jack Hunter

Pro-life Means Anti-drone, The American Conservative, October 25, 2012

For pro-lifers, there must be a question: If life is sacred, how can we justify killing so many innocent children? Some might say, “Well, that’s just war. We make mistakes.”

Yet, I don’t know a single pro-lifer who would agree with rectifying the mistake of an unplanned pregnancy by making yet another mistake in terminating that pregnancy. If we justify the killing of innocent children abroad because their lives are somehow worth less, how is this different from liberals who dehumanize the personhood of a fetus?

Richard A. Viguerie

When Governments Kill: A Conservative Argues for Abolishing the Death Penalty,Sojourners, 2009

Conservatives have every reason to believe the death penalty system is no different from any politicized, costly, inefficient, bureaucratic, government-run operation . . . But here the end result is the end of someone’s life. In other words, it’s a government system that kills people. Those of us who oppose abortion believe that it is perhaps the greatest immorality to take an innocent life. While the death penalty is supposed to take the life of the guilty, we know that is not always the case. It should have shocked the consciences of conservatives when various government prosecutors withheld exculpatory, or opposed allowing DNA-tested, evidence in death row cases. To conservatives, that should be deemed as immoral as abortion . . . But even when guilt is certain, there are many downsides to the death penalty system.

Sam Brownback

as Republican United States Senator

U.S. News and World Report,
April 11, 2005. p. 34

If we’re trying to establish a culture of life, it’s difficult to have the state sponsoring executions.

as Governor of Kansas when a bill was being debated

Topeka Capital Journal, March 17, 2014, online

        [Brownback] did say in an interview . . . that anti-abortion activists had increasingly been drawn into the capital punishment conversation. “You hear it being connected,” Brownback said. “You hear it more frequently now.”

Tom Neuville

leading Republican on the Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary Committee

speaking on Governor Pawlenty’s efforts to reinstate the death penalty

Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 7, 2003

Life is a gift from God. It isn’t up to us to take it away. Whether you take an innocent life of a baby, or of a person who has committed a heinous act, it is still an act at our hands, and it makes us a less caring and less sensitive society.

Christian Josi

Former Executive Director, American Conservative Union

Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty

My fundamental problems with the death penalty began as a result of my personal concern, echoed by many on all sides of the political spectrum, that it was inconsistent for one to be “pro-life” on the one hand and condone government execution on the other. . . 

How can a conservative who rejects the culture of death draw much of a distinction between a government employee administering death to an incarcerated individual and an abortionist ending the life of an unborn child? Of course, the unborn are innocent while those sentenced to death are in most cases guilty. Still, a life is a life. 

Colby Coash

Nebraska state senator

instrumental in the legislature’s temporary repeal of death penalty, final vote May 27, 2015

quoted in Time Magazine, May 20, 2015

I’m a pro-life guy. I couldn’t reconcile my pro-life beliefs regarding the unborn with doing something different with the condemned.

Laura Peredo

president of Ravens Respect Life

at Benedictine College, March 17, 2015,at a press conference supporting a law to repeal the death penalty in the U.S. state of Kansas

No crime can change the fundamental truth that every human life possesses dignity from the moment of conception until natural death. I am one of a growing number of young people who support repealing the death penalty—a reform that demonstrates our unwavering commitment to safeguarding life at all stages, without exceptions.

Christopher O. Tollefsen

On the Dangers of Thanking God for the Atom Bomb, Public Discourse, August 5, 2015

Each August I am rather struck by the vociferous support for the atomic bombings, often expressed by those with whom I share what I take to be basic pro-life commitments to the inviolability of human life. . . .

There can be no doubt . . .  that the bombings were carried out with the intention of inflicting massive civilian casualties in order to demoralize Japan and break its leadership’s will. These civilians included the aged and infirm, women and children, all of whom were innocent in the relevant sense of just war doctrine—they posed no threat—and the last of whom were categorically innocent in every way. . . .

Its proponents even now justify it primarily . . .  not by denying the intention of killing the innocent, but by reference to casualties prevented  . . . [thus passing over] the subsequent history of our nation, a history that includes further acts of indiscriminate killing during the Vietnam War, a standing resolution to destroy the Soviet Union if it were first to attack us with nuclear weapons, and the eventual adoption by the nation in its domestic affairs of death as a solution to be embraced for its consequences—before birth, as in abortion or human embryo destructive research—or at the end of life, in [Physician-Assisted Suicide] and euthanasia. These are, sadly, natural choices for a country swayed by consequentialist justifications; the way to those choices was paved by the literally catastrophic choice to destroy Japanese cities (as before them, German cities) for the sake of military gain.


For a set of quotations from abortion doctors, nurses, and sympathizers that link abortion to war (as a way of justifying abortion), see Is Abortion Against Peace Principles?  

See our blog posts for more sets of quotations:

Women with Disabilities Speak

Historical Black Voices: Racism Kills



abortiondeath penaltydrone warfarenuclear weapons

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