the Consistent Life Ethic
Standing up for the "little guy"
Liberals have long held a commitment to the most vulnerable members of our society. As the party that supported the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movements, and the movement to close Guantanamo; as the party of inclusion and compassion, we stand for human rights, justice, and equality. In the same way, the Consistent Life Ethic (CLE) is a philosophy based on the intrinsic value of every individual human being. Those who uphold the CLE agree, and believe that it’s time to acknowledge the rights and protect the lives of all human beings – no exceptions.
The CLE opposes all forms of aggressive violence, including but not limited to war, capital punishment, torture, human trafficking, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.
liberals generally oppose
& Unjust wars...
As liberals, we believe that we must avoid war as much as possible, and that we should aim to solve international conflict without the loss of thousands of human lives through violent battles. We respect the lives and dignity of both American and foreign soldiers by favoring diplomacy to deter global threats and promote peace. Upholding the same value for human life, President Obama banned torture without exception within his first week in office, and Democrats nationwide have been fighting to end cruel and unforgiving executions of inmates on death row. It is important that we continue to push our politicians to act on these convictions by stopping drone attacks, ending capital punishment, and closing Guantanamo Bay.
according to progressive principles, liberals should also oppose abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research...
It is vital that we ask our politicians to recognize the inherent dignity and rights of all human beings, not just the rights of victims to war, torture, and capital punishment. If we are truly to stand for the defenseless and marginalized, we need to fight for the lives of preborn human beings, and for the lives of the sick and elderly as well. We need to demand that Democrats adopt an opposition to abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and physician assisted suicide.
"...but Women need abortion in order to achieve success in school and the workplace!"
Four decades after Roe, pregnant women still suffer from discrimination in school and the workplace, women still struggle to earn equal pay for equal work and don’t have guaranteed paid leave. We need to attack these injustices directly with sustainable solutions instead of attacking the lives of human beings in the womb.
"...But By defunding abortion providers, you are taking away women’s access to healthcare!"
The health needs of women comprise much more than just pelvic exams, PAP smears, STD tests, UTI inspections, manual breast exams and birth control. However, these limited services are the only things Planned Parenthood offers [A]. Federally Qualified Health Centers offer all those services and more fully comprehensive healthcare vital to the health of women [B]. FQHCs outnumber Planned Parenthoods 13 to 1 and serve 22.8 million people yearly (compared to PP’s 2.8 million) [C, D]. Beyond this,
it is important to recognize that the government shouldn’t contract with an organization that kills human beings.
"...But Without embryonic stem cell research, we lose the potential for lifesaving treatments!"
Adult stem cells have been used successfully in human therapies for years, but embryonic stem cell therapies have proven medically problematic at best, and deadly at worst. Additionally, recent advances have allowed us to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are similar to embryonic stem cells in both form and function [E], but don’t require the destruction of a human’s life in their creation. It is important for us to respect the lives of humans in their early embryonic life like those
of any other human beings and explore research and treatment options that do not require their destruction.
"...But The disabled should have the right to die!"
While pain is often cited as the primary reason people advocate for assisted suicide, Oregon doctors did not report this as any of the top five reasons they issue lethal prescriptions. Instead, “loss of autonomy”, “less able to engage in activities”, and other issues of disability were listed as the top reasons [F]. It is clear that assisted suicide is the product of a society which devalues the lives of people with disabilities. It is important to stand against these attitudes and respect the life and dignity of all individuals by providing holistic and comprehensive care to the sick instead of reinforcing the stigmatization of impairment by allowing them to kill themselves.
[A] Planned Parenthood Federation of America. http://www.plannedparenthood.org
[B] Medicare Benefit Policy Manual.
[C] HRSA National Data, 2013-2014. http://bphc.hrsa.gov/uds/datacenter. aspx?q=tall&year=2014&state
[D] Planned Parenthood Annual Report, 2013-2014.
[E] Takahashi et al., 2007. Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors. Cell, 131 (2007), pp.
[F] Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act—2013. http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year16.pdf