I came across a really good editorial in The Daily Beacon:  Pro-life reasoning not limited to conservatives, religious (HT: the author, who posted it on a LiveJournal pro-life community)

Here is an excerpt, with my emphases:

A problem with our modern political discourse is the tendency to rely on bumper-sticker logic as a substitute for substantive reason. Nowhere is this more evident than in the eternal war over the ethics of abortion. The clichés are all too common: “Don’t force your morality on me,” “Keep your rosaries off of my ovaries” or more recently, “Keep your religion out of my uterus, and I’ll keep my foot out of your …”

In order to make any real progress on this debate, we must do away with a few of the popular stereotypes, most specifically that the anti-abortion cause is inherently a religious and/or a conservative political issue. Although many anti-abortion advocates, myself included, do fall into these two categories, many of us also feel the debate has become far too myopic and politicized. The anti-abortion movement itself is much larger and more diverse than that. Consider this short list of “non-traditional” anti-abortionists: Theodore Roosevelt (our first “Progressive” president), Susan B. Anthony (and most other feminist founders), the Dalai Lama, liberal actor Martin Sheen and revered poet Maya Angelou.

There are anti-abortion wings within all major U.S. political parties, including the Republican National Coalition for Life, Democrats for Life of America and Libertarians for Life. The grounds for their beliefs may be, among other things, scientific (the fact that prenatal medical technology has made it virtually impossible to assert that an unborn child is not alive) or legal (the fact that Roe v. Wade is based on very spurious Constitutional scholarship, a fact that is even acknowledged by some who are for abortion rights). At any rate, their convictions are certainly not always based on religion.

Although I obviously am both religious and conservative, that is not why I am pro-life.  I am pro-life because I believe in justice and the natural order, as well as simple biological facts.  I am not very knowledgeable about law, but I do know that this country is built on the believe that all are created equal and all have the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And I don’t see how even a 1-second-old embryo can be excluded from that, insofar as we all, equally, begin our lives as 1-second-old embryos.  It’s not like some of us are overlords who are born fully-grown and developed like Adam and Eve, or, if you prefer, Athena and Aphrodite.  None of us has the right to scorn our own biological origins or say that the 1-second-old embryo is not a human.

And our pro-choice opponents have no right to take these ideas and neatly put them in a little box labeled “Crazy religious conservative.”  That’s simply an insult to the pro-life movement, and it’s about time that our opponents were called on it.  They can’t just neatly box us up and label us.  I know how badly they want and need to tame us and make us manageable, I know how badly they want and need to base their discourse on stereotypes and “bumper-sticker logic,” to borrow a great phrase from the article.

I know, because I was once on their side.  And I completely lacked any thoughtful, logical, conscientious reasons for being on their side.  It was an easy, convenient, popular ideology, with lots and lots of catchy and mind-infecting slogans.  Being pro-choice was like wearing designer clothes and buying only name-brand groceries that I saw advertised in TV commercials.  It was all about the marketing.  Only looking back now do I realize how costly it could have been to me, not to mention a child, or a man who loved me, or my entire family… infinitely more costly than designer clothes and name-brand groceries.

Pro-choice marketing consists largely of making pro-lifers look bad, unattractive, unpopular.  We need to cut down that marketing and assert our diversity, our solidarity, and our appeals to human reason, compassion, justice, science, law, and other universal values.  We also need to assert the universal gravity of the issues.  They are matters of life and death.  They deserve to be approached and treated as such.   And I will be more than glad to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with non-Catholics, non-Christians, atheists, progressives, liberals, gay activists, and anybody else with whom I might otherwise not see eye-to-eye.  It’s so important… and so not about me.

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