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Socialists & the consistent life ethic

Protecting all the poor & marginalized 

The Democratic Socialists of America is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We uphold human dignity by rejecting discrimination and violence. As the organization that supports equal distribution and opportunity; as the organization that seeks to establish a political order that will defend and empower the working class, we stand for social justice, equality, and peace. We fight for humane public policies that will redirect help and assistance to the much neglected poor and vulnerable members of our society. Similarly, the Consistent Life Ethic is a philosophy rooted in the belief that every individual has the right to live a life free from violence. Those who uphold the CLE agree that it is time to acknowledge the rights and protect the lives of all human beings, – no exceptions, and in doing so, creating a culture of peace.

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.

Socialists generally oppose capital punishment, torture, and war...

As Socialists, we reject the kind of imperial overreach that is usually fueled by military might and heavy defense spending. We believe that war can be avoided if militarism is eliminated and the myths surrounding WMD's protective functions are debunked. Our non-violent principles and common sense lead us to believe 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. We are socialists because we reject discrimination based on race and sex, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo. Upholding the same value for human life, Socialists 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, de-militarizing our economy, ending capital punishment, abolishing for-profit prisons, and closing Guantanamo Bay.

free download of our pamphlet "socialists & the consistent life ethic"

according to non-violence principles, socialists 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 the 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 Socialists 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 le- thal 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.

[B] Medicare Benefit Policy Manual.

[C] HRSA National Data, 2013-2014. 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.


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