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2/10/2013 3:05:00 PM
Group promotes consistent ethic of life
Photo courtesy of Lisa Stiller
Catholics from Oregon prepare to leave on the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Stiller
Catholics from Oregon prepare to leave on the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Last month, Portland resident Lisa Stiller, who attends Holy Trinity Church in Beaverton, traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the March for Life. Stiller is a board member of Consistent Life (formerly the Seamless Garment Network), and joined other board members from across the country in many of the pro-life activities planned around the march. Consistent Life advocates for a consistent ethic of life, believing all life is sacred.

"It's Catholic social teaching" she said, "no war, no poverty, no abortion, no euthanasia, no death penalty, and no racism. We work to educate people about connecting the life issues."

The Jan. 25 March for Life marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Stiller tended a Consistent Life table and went to conferences.   

"It was very inspiring to see so many people, including students, interested in making the life connections," she says. "Many put on our no abortion, no war, no poverty buttons and took handouts from the table."  On the snowy, cold day of the march, Consistent Life members walked participants from other whole life groups, including Life Matters, Whole Life and Democrats for Life.

At a conference named after the late Cardinal John O'Connor, Kristen Day, head of Democrats for Life, stressed the importance of advocating for programs that reduce poverty and strengthen families, since those things help women choose life. "Unborn children need to be included in the fight for social justice," Day said. She explained that recent polls show that about one third of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life. Day quoted the American suffragette Alice Paul: "Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women".

Sally Wynn, with Feminists for Life, also referred to the original women's rights movement, which was pro-life, advocating against abortion. She reminded her audience that pro-life is pro-woman. "Lack of emotional resources...and lack of financial resources" for women need to be addressed, Wynn said. She urged work on campuses for resources and support for women who become pregnant, recommending that students conduct a survey on their campuses to see what is available and what is needed.

Msgr. Stuart Swetland spoke about the pro-life movement and the death penalty. Both are issues concerning the "least defensible" among us, he said. With the death penalty, the monsignor explained, people see "death as a solution, same as with abortion."

Stiller said she now feels even more inspired to dedicate time to helping people to see the connections among all life issues. "It's really a culture of life we need to be speaking about," she said. "Fighting poverty, working for peaceful solutions to conflict, addressing racism, ending abortion and the death penalty, and working for a world without violence...it's all about choosing life."

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