Post Classifieds

What voice for life really means

By Ryan Gillespie
On November 29, 2012

After reading the guest commentaries under the heading "Misinterpretation gets us nowhere" in last week's issue of the Beacon, some key phrases and words stuck out to me.

These commentators who were supporting the All Souls Day cross exhibit used phrases such as "a path to finding forgiveness," "pro-life," and "misinterpretation and rhetoric." First , the insinuation that mothers who have gone through grueling and painful process of abortion need to seek a path to find forgiveness is an outdated and medieval proposition. That warrants a whole article in and of itself. However, I would like to focus on what it truly means to be a voice for life.

It's interesting that Voice for Life decided to focus only on abortion on All Souls Day.

Why weren't there any exhibits regarding those who were murdered with firearms? In 2010, the FBI reports that 8,775 deaths by firearms. Shouldn't there be awareness of the prevalence of firearm violence in our country that is wedded to its citizens' right to bear arms?

What about the 18,000 children who die every day in the world due to hunger, as reported by the United Nations? Maybe we should also look at deaths due to smoking tobacco. The United States Center for Disease Control reports that there are 443,000 deaths annually in the U.S. from smoking, including 49,400 deaths due to secondhand smoke.

We could even look to the environment: indoor air pollution from cooking fires is the leading environmental cause of death in the world contributing to 2 million deaths per year.

This all brings me to wonder if anyone-a club, a legislative candidate, a student, a citizen-can call oneself pro-life while focusing on only one issue. Can you call yourself pro-life if you only focus on an aspect of what that phrase really means?

I hope that we all think longer on what it means to be in favor of life. Should we let people get away with calling themselves something when they only stand up for a fraction of that position?

To be pro-life is to be in favor of all initiatives to improve the quality of life, and to be a voice for life is to make all causes of death and human suffering heard, not just to raise attention to what has become a hot button issue in American politics.

To be pro-life and to be anti-abortion are NOT the same.

Ryan Gillespie is a junior business major. He can be reached at

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