This is how Pro-Life should move forward


Check out this pro-life ad from This is far more compelling than enlarged photos of dead baby fetuses plastered on the side of trucks.


I heard on the radio this morning that Pro-Life groups are preparing to increase their communication efforts now that President Obama is in office. While I understand and appreciate their motivation, I hope that the discourse can move forward along these lines instead of resorting to the harmful, hateful tactics that are typically employed.

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  1. January 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm — Reply

    That’s a bit ironic that they use Obama – someone very NOT on the pro-life side – as their example.

  2. January 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm — Reply

    I believe that’s the point. They’re painting a picture of what our country would (or wouldn’t) look like had Obama’s mother had an abortion.

    This is an incredibly tricky and divisive issue. And I know several people that voted in November based on this single issue.

    Regardless, I agree with Todd that the Pro-Life movement needs to reposition their marketing messages moving forward. The dead baby fetus message isn’t working, and truthfully such tactics are pitiful in my opinion.

  3. January 23, 2009 at 6:10 pm — Reply

    Hey Todd, Great video man. I stopped by your blog for the first time in a while and I am glad that I did. This was a really creative, non-polarizing ad. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Vanessa
    January 23, 2009 at 11:52 pm — Reply

    Love it! It’s is so NON-polarizing and so positive. There are a ton of examples of individuals born into very, very inopportune lives (Einstein, Hitler, Lincoln) and I wasn’t sure which one they’d use…how pleasantly surprising. Way to go Catholics!

  5. January 24, 2009 at 7:06 am — Reply

    This ad was very good!

    However, I can’t escape being troubled that actual human life is a “political issue” or something that must be well-branded to protect.

    Honestly, this really angers me.

    Why the fuck do we make everything into “issues” and “stances” or “positions”… why must everything have a damn marketing campaign?

    This is actual human life (full of dignity and worth), not a Soda Company or Brand of Jeans.

    Truly, one of the great devices that has robbed human life of it’s dignity and worth is the forces-that-be turning life into a political stance or an issue to be discussed over tea and crumpets each election year.


    P.S. Yes, I said fuck.

  6. January 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Cliff, while I disagree with your tone. I couldn’t agree more with you about being troubled by the fact that abortion has become a political issue that the Karl Roves of this world have used to drive a stake between us.

    As for the bit about branding, marketing, etc. It’s sad but true. If you want to create a movement, you need people to 1) Hear your message/point of view and 2) You need for them to respond to it.

    You can disagree if you want. But Pro-Choice (unfortunately) won the positioning game a long time ago with this issue. Though Pro-Life is a nice sounding word, in many American’s minds it equals Anti-Choice. And most Americans will oppose anti-choice any day of the week.

    Brand message aside, like I said before this is an incredibly divisive issue. It’s one I’m still wrestling with. Of course, I am against taking innocent life. But it’s interesting to me how the GOP can be so Pro-Life on the front end, but Pro-Death on the back end (i.e. capital punishment.)

  7. January 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm — Reply


    I am unapologetic about my “tone”.

    People are being murdered and you are concerned with tone???

    For real?

    This goes right along with my deep-seated anger over what is happening!

    We are worried with having civil discourse about MURDER!

    We are not sitting at a table discussing Gas Prices or Taxes… we are talking about ACTUAL people being robbed of their ACTUAL lives because they are an inconvenience.

    And, just to be clear, I’m not trying to start a gaddamned movement. I’m not interested in “encouraging” people to get out to the poles and vote for this or that proposition.

    I’m trying to catalyze outrage, disgust, and horror over the flippancy with which we treat our most vulnerable humans!

    Pro-life is a cliché.

    Pro-life is a political position.

    Pro-life is a voter base.

    Pro-life is bullshit.

    “Pro-life” is a distraction taking the attention away from the genocide being committed while we sit in our cozy chairs theorizing, speculating, and being civil.

    People rise up in the hundreds of thousands because 4,000American Soldiers died in Iraq fighting a war they are not sure they agree with, while we elect a president who wants to do everything in his power to ensure MILLIONS of Americans – future Soldiers, Doctors, Scientists, Teachers, Artists, and Humanitarians – are slaughtered mercilessly.

    Forgive me for my tone and sounding harsh and polarizing, but FUCK that!


  8. January 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm — Reply

    If you can’t tell, this is an issue about which Cliff feels quite passionately. I’m afraid that people will be so concerned by the fact he said a naughty word that they’ll miss his point. So I want to copy and paste one of his paragraphs in a profanity-free comment.

    People rise up in the hundreds of thousands because 4,000 American Soldiers died in Iraq fighting a war they are not sure they agree with, while we elect a president who wants to do everything in his power to ensure MILLIONS of Americans – future Soldiers, Doctors, Scientists, Teachers, Artists, and Humanitarians – are slaughtered mercilessly.

  9. January 24, 2009 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    I laughed at the end…… Why? “Life, Imagine the Potential (TM)”.. Is it odd to anyone else that a non-profit with an obvious passion for a cause would legally limit the use of their tag?

  10. Jonathan R.
    January 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm — Reply

    The reason I like this ad is because it manages not to shout. Whether or not, we’re outraged, shouting doesn’t get us anywhere.

    A friend of mine, who is pro-choice, pointed out something rather important to me the other day. He said that he thinks no woman is actually ever pro-abortion. What he meant to say is that, in an ideal world, every woman would keep her child. It’s just that he thinks (and many pro-choicers think) that sometimes circumstances FORCE a woman to have an abortion.

    I disagree with that, and this ad sums up why. It is not up to mothers (or anybody else) to decide whether their child’s life is one that the mother (or anybody else) thinks is worth living. That’s not anybody’s call but the child’s. And it’s not up to mothers (or anybody else) to decide that their own inconvenience and poor decision making is a good enough reason to kill a child.

    On the other hand, since we’re on the topic of the direction the pro-life movement is going, conservatives/libertarians need to be aware that their pro-life position and their economic/small government positions are not compatible. Ideologically speaking, maybe. Practically speaking, no.

    One cannot advocate keeping millions of more children alive who WILL be born into poor environments and would otherwise have been aborted (that’s where the percentages are highest — at the bottom of the economic scale), and then refuse them health care, a good education, and equal economic opportunities — on the grounds that one prefers small government at all costs and would rather pay less taxes that would go to help those very kids so one can afford a new flat screen TV and a third garage. That’s hypocritical. It’s saying what’s important is that the child is born, not what happens with it afterward. It’s saying what’s important to pro-lifers is that the mother bears out the pregnancy, not the life the child then leads. Life, however, is life from conception to death. Not just til birth.

    If we’re going to be moral caretakers of life, we need to include all of it in our care taking, at least until the child can do so itself.

    And that’s one of the major true reasons why the pro-life movement is on the defensive nationally: People can smell hypocrisy no matter how righteously it’s dressed up.

  11. January 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm — Reply

    I wish the Pro-Life movment would simply push for the decision to be pushed down to the state level, where it belongs.

  12. January 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    Just discovered your blog. Enjoying it.

    Bobby Valentine

  13. lkelly
    February 5, 2009 at 7:09 am — Reply

    I recently stumbled across an effective and enlightening anti-abortion discussion in — of all places — the classic film “The Singing Nun” with Debbie Reynolds. When a young woman faints at a church dance and reveals she is pregnant and intending to abort because she is single and poor and feels she has no other option, the heroine is outraged and berates her for wanting to “murder” her baby. The young woman, angered and hurt, runs away — literally and figuratively — from the church. Another nun chastises our heroine for the “attack,” which catches her off-guard. “But I was only trying to help her!” And yet the pregnant woman did not receive help, the older nun can plainly see. In the battle between Good and Evil, the wise Sister Mary notes, it’s best to not enjoy the fight so much.

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This is how Pro-Life should move forward