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We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.

These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Prolife, But Not for Dogs?

A story on the current uproar over illegal dogfighting discusses an effort in the US Congress to pass a federal ban on the practice. It includes a revelation of the "please, don't be such a self-defeating stereotype" variety. To wit:

Most of the bill's opponents say they aren't fans of dogfighting but are conservative, pro-life Republicans. Iowa Rep. Steve King from Iowa says it's wrong for the federal government to criminalize pit bull trafficking while allowing legal abortion.

"My vote says that human life needs to be elevated and stay above animal life. And I think it devalues all human life, when you set the life of an animal up above that of a human," King says.

Even if one sets aside the thorny question, too large for a single blog post, on the respective values of human and animal lives...(And by the way, I'm a vegetarian who's adopted three animals from shelters, who writes politicians all the time about animal & environmental concerns, *in concert* with actively opposing abortion....)

Is this not the sort of "either-or," "us-vs.-them," zero-sum approach that turns public deliberation over abortion into the woman-v.-fetus war that derails all efforts to relieve abortion's root causes?

Surely there is a better way to counter abortion than condemning dogs--living, sentient beings, just like any human--to abuse and violent deaths.

This kind of "either-or" thinking obscures a very important reality that need to be addressed in stopping many forms of violence against human beings. Namely, as organizations like American Humane stress, acts of violence towards animals and towards human beings are profoundly interconnected.

Instead of saying "let's not protect dogs, because our government doesn't protect unborn babies," legislators like King could instead say, "let's protect dogs, and maybe that will as well as protecting the dogs, encourage the public to look again at what is done to very small humans."

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