Pro-life means that you support the right of the unborn to live
Forgive me if you have already answered this, but would you extend "pro-life" to after the child is born (i.e., till death) as opposed to just in the womb?
In the context of the abortion issue, no. I mean, if we want to expand the scope of things, we could argue that pro-life means wanting to garden a lot (plants are alive, right?), or refusing to swat a fly, or being a staunch vegan, or any of a number of different things we could say is "pro-life". Heck. I believe there must be alien life elsewhere in the universe beyond our planet, does that mean I'm "pro-life"? Context is a useful tool.
Having said that, it's worth noting that pro-life doesn't mean no one can be killed. A pro-life person will allow abortion if required to safe the life of the mother, for example. The issue is with elective abortion absent any legal requirements other than "I want to". Which is important because we also legally make a distinction between elective killing "because I want to" (ie: murder), and killing by the state as a punishment for crimes after a legally defined judicial process. The pro-life person simply believes that the developing embryo/fetus is a human life and deserving of all the same legal protections that all other human life receives under our legal system. I suppose if that embryo is convicted of a crime under which the sentence is death in our legal system, then that would be legal. Point being that there is no inconsistency to holding a pro-life stance on abortion, while supporting the death penalty for those convicted of sufficiently heinous crimes. The fetus' only "crime" is being an inconvenience to the pregnant woman. That's not remotely a standard we'd apply the death penalty for (outside of some strange dystopian world, that is).
I'm not a fan of abortion, but probably for different reasons than most "pro-life" people.
Yeah. Hence my point about the labels. In the context of the abortion issue, each label has a specific meaning. What I find interesting is that over time, while "pro-life" has consistently been about the belief that human life begins at conception (however that's specifically defined) and must be weighed as a full human life for all legal questions (such as elective abortion), the label "pro-choice" originally was about claiming that women had some choice with regard to pregnancy termination decisions as opposed to "no choice" as defined by the pro-life position. But the idea that abortion itself was a right was not part of the pro-choice position 40 years ago. It was about the woman's right to control her own body outweighing any nascent rights an embryo/fetus may have during the early stages of pregnancy. Both sides agreed that it was an issue of conflicting rights, but disagreed over where one right outweighed the other. Increasingly, I've seen people calling themselves pro-choice, but arguing for abortion as a right itself. Which, as I've explained above, is very problematic. It leads people to defend legal loopholes in the name of "protecting women's rights", that allow for violations of what most of us believe with regard to abortion.
I just find it interesting that the same people who are shocked to discover doctors secretly performing very late term elective abortions will still insist that any sort of legislative reporting or investigation of clinics where abortions are performed is a horrific violation of the rights of women. Um... But those are the only tools that will prevent the very abuses we all (presumably) agree shouldn't be happening. So it's almost like a split brain thing. No one believes that a woman should be allowed to just decide to terminate her pregnancy in the 8th month, but some people are so caught up in the "us vs them" mentality of the abortion issue that they will steadfastly oppose any methods to prevent that from happening. I just find that bizarre. Even after the whole Dr. Gosnell thing came out, the "pro-choice" (air quotes in this case) groups still circle the wagons on the issue, and steadfastly insisted that no new legislation or regulation or inspection was needed, and blasted anyone who suggested doing such things as opposing women's rights. So yeah, it's hard to say that they're doing anything other than supporting abortion itself, no matter how horrific the form it takes. Edited, Sep 25th 2015 7:45pm by gbaji