Letter: Vote pro-life, indeed

I have been driving past the sign that reads “Vote Pro-Life” in front of St. Peter’s Catholic Church for weeks now. It causes me to think, and I have decided it’s right. We should vote pro-life, and supporting the Democrats running in the November election is the best way to do that.

There is much more to being pro-life than being anti-abortion. Everyone I know wants to reduce the number of abortions being performed, but the best way to do that is to reduce the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. And the best way to do that is to increase access to and knowledge about birth control.

Of course that is not an answer the Catholic Church would go along with, but most Catholics have been using birth control for at least two generations to reduce unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Increasing knowledge about and access to birth control is not accomplished by shutting down women’s health centers, which is one of the main results of legislation passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly earlier this year.

Being pro-life consistently used to mean being against capital punishment and war. As far as I am concerned it still does. Furthermore, being pro-life should mean being concerned about the well-being of babies beyond the period from conception to birth. It should mean being concerned to provide good health care to the baby and mother before and after birth. It should mean being concerned in a few years to provide this child with the best possible education. It should mean being concerned that the economy provides the child’s parents with an opportunity to have a job that pays well enough to support a growing family.

Under Republican control, Virginia has turned down help from the federal government with providing health care for those who have trouble paying for it. Under Republican control, Virginia has been cutting back on state support for education. And under Republican control, the Virginia legislature has been passing laws based on a Puritan social agenda that is probably driving potential good employers out of the state.

Yes, vote pro-life. Vote for Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor, Mark Herring for attorney general and Colin Harris for our representative to the House of Delegates.

Sharon Kilpatrick
Slate Mills

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