Anti-War Marchers Dump Pro-Life Allies

You can’t be against the violence of war unless you support the violence of abortion.

By Stephen Herreid Published on May 29, 2017

An anti-war march will be held in Pittsburgh on the first of July. Local advocacy groups are sponsoring it. But the organizers just booted one sponsor: Rehumanize International.

As Marlo Safi reported in The Pitt Maverick: “Rehumanize International said the march organizers had retracted the sponsorship after discovering they were anti-abortion.”

In January, Rehumanize International was also excluded from the Women’s March on Washington. They were known as Life Matters Journal at the time.

Executive Director Aimee Murphy says her team will attend the march anyway. I spoke with her on the phone Thursday evening.

“We as an organization embrace the consistent life ethic,” she said. This philosophy isn’t limited to the abortion issue. “We need to respect every human being’s life from conception to natural death.” That means opposing “all forms of aggression and violence,” including unjust war.

Aimee Murphy’s Consistency is Too Much for Some

Aimee Murphy is a progressive. But her “consistent life ethic” is a stumbling block to many on the Left.

“I’ve been interested in getting involved in peace organizations for a long time,” she said. But she “didn’t hear about a single anti-war march” in Pittsburgh until Donald Trump was elected. The anti-war movement “was largely silent during the Obama administration.”

When Pittsburgh activists started planning a march this year, “we volunteered to help,” Murphy said. Her team was excited to get involved in Pittsburgh, where Rehumanize International is based.

Then organizers found out they were pro-life. Rehumanize International was ousted.

Some accuse Murphy of supporting a “war on women” by opposing abortion. “This stems from either a misunderstanding or a willful ignorance about the humanity of the preborn child. Because if abortion doesn’t kill a human being, then it’s just a bunch of crazy people trying to control women’s bodies,” she said.

Murphy said she sympathizes with her opponents. “I’m a feminist. If I did not understand the scientific reality of the humanity of the preborn child, I’m sure I would be on their side.”

But she won’t back down on the science. She says she can “pull out 10 different embryology textbooks” that show human life begins at fertilization. “If you understand that, then our position is the one that’s fully consistent.”

Murphy: Being Pro-Life Isn’t ‘Conservative’

Some say Rehumanize International is a liberal front group for conservative values. Murphy denies it. “We’re not a rightwing group. Most of the people in leadership in our organization are very liberal and very progressive.”

Murphy said pro-abortion progressives “don’t want to come to terms with the fact that standing against abortion is a very progressive cause. Extending the respect for human rights to more humans is not a regressive cause. It’s a progressive cause.”

Ultimately, Murphy doesn’t care about political tribes. She remembers an interviewer joking that he couldn’t figure out her political leanings. “I guess you care more about human rights than you do about politics,” he said.

“You are one thousand percent correct,” she told him.


UPDATE: The organizers of the Pittsburgh March Against War have responded to my query about their decision to oust Rehumanize International. I’ve included their full response below.

“Hello, Stephen —

“We understand you have been trying to contact the Thomas Merton Center with a couple questions regarding the Pittsburgh March Against War and Rehumanize. Please see the below statement, on behalf of the Pittsburghers in Solidarity Against War coalition, the planning body for the march. The statement represents our take on the matter:

After much discussion, the Pittsburghers in Solidarity Against War coalition has decided by majority vote to remove Rehumanize International as an organizational sponsor of the Pittsburgh March Against War. The coalition aims for a march focused on opposing unjust U.S. military policies and the institutions that facilitate these policies. Therefore, we desire the participation of sponsor organizations that are fully committed to this agenda both in their values and their tactics. We have deep concerns as a group about Rehumanize International’s agenda to raise awareness for their particular view on reproductive rights, and while we seek to engage people of differing viewpoints in the anti-war movement, we found their agenda as a potential sponsor to be inconsistent with what we desire to accomplish as a group.

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