By Kathleen Gilbert

SILVER SPRING, Maryland, December 19, 2008 ( – A network of anti-war, anti-poverty and anti-abortion advocates has issued a response to Barack Obama’s call for input for the future administration. They are urging the President-elect to consider in every policy-making decision, “Would this policy enhance the dignity, affirm the worth and increase the well-being of humans at all stages of life and in all circumstances?”

The memorandum was issued by Consistent Life, an interfaith and international coalition of 200 organizations and prominent individuals who decry the threat to human rights posed by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. 

Many of the suggestions pertained to foreign policy, where Consistent Life called for a refocusing of assets toward sustaining and enhancing life both at home and abroad.

The document also stressed America’s duty to oppose the human rights atrocity of forced abortions: “We urge opposition to forced abortions in China and elsewhere,” stated Coalition Life.  “No funding should go to governmental or nongovernmental organizations which cooperate with such programs.

“Abortion should also not be forced indirectly upon women, as may happen when abortion is legalized under conditions of gender inequality (where males are the actual decision-makers),” it added.  Coalition Life called upon the President-elect to make good on his promise to “reduce abortions” by supporting women having children, particularly through backing such legislation as the Pregnant Women Support Act and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act.

On the home front, Coalition Life urged Obama to uphold the dignity of women in a similar fashion by protecting Americans from abortion-related abuses.  One of the greatest impediments to this protection, they warned, is the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA):

“The majority of states have enacted legislation providing various protections and safeguards relative to abortion. The so-called Freedom of Choice Act threatens to invalidate these democratically approved protections,” noted the memo.  Because the Supreme Court has acknowledged the validity of such legal safeguards, it said, “We urge that that Freedom of Choice Act not be enacted.”

Similarly, the memo said, the government should not sway low-income women to abort by providing government funding for the procedure.  “As long as male domination in sexual relationships is still common,” it explained, “the availability of government funding for abortions means that women are more often pressured in sexual interactions they would prefer not to have or for which they are not prepared for pregnancy prevention.”  Because of society’s ingrained tendency to brush off the poor’s real needs and seek only the cheapest solution, it said, “the government funding which is intended to be helpful can in a large number of cases in reality be quite cruel.”

The document ended with a plea to end the “barbaric” and often discriminatory practice of the death penalty, as it “sends a message that killing is an appropriate response to social problems.”

To see the full Coalition Life document, go to:

To see Coalition Life’s website, go to:


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