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Why I am pro-life AND pro-choice

That’s not contradictory because life and choice are about far more than just abortion.

I am pro-life because:

  • I support universal health coverage.

  • I support mental health support to prevent suicides.

  • I believe that corporations should be held accountable when they kill people by poisoning the environment or forcing them to work in unsafe conditions.

  • I oppose people endangering others by driving drunk, spreading disease, etc.

  • I support keeping dangerous criminals from getting guns.

  • I believe we should shelter refugees who would die if they don’t flee their homes.

  • I support foreign aid to prevent death from disease and starvation.

  • I oppose the death penalty.

  • I believe in protecting ecosystems and the climate since a healthy Earth is required for all life.

  • I want to work for real solutions to reduce the need for the tragedies that are abortions.

I pro-choice because:

  • I support a speed limit of 65 mph, not 25 mph, on interstates even though this costs many lives.

  • I support the choice to drink alcohol, even though it kills thousands.

  • I support allowing police the choice to shoot people because it protects the rest of us.

  • I support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion instead of the government forcing her to carry an unwanted fetus in her body for months.


I believe that protecting life is always important, but it is not always the most important thing.  Iowa law allows a woman to use lethal force to stop an unwanted invasion of her house.  I think it should allow the use of lethal force to stop an unwanted invasion of her body.


They key question is not when does life begin but when does the civil right to life begin.  Many rights begin at arbitrary ages picked to be best for society: the right to drive a car, vote, serve as president, etc. An early fetus is not an independent person; if the pregnant woman dies, the fetus dies too.  If a fetus is given all the civil rights of a 1-year old child, a legal mess would be created.  Any miscarriage would be a homicide; if a pregnant woman had wine with dinner it would be an assault; freezing embryos at a fertility clinic would be kidnapping.  Society would face a massive increase in unwanted children who would crush the adoption and foster care systems and create thousands of miserable people more likely to turn to crime.  The dreams of many women would be crushed.  Many women would die having unsafe illegal abortions or from complications of pregnancy.  Banning abortion would save some lives, but the cost to society would be too high.


James Eliason

Storm Lake


Published in Storm Lake Times-Pilot 20 May, 2022

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