Our vision of pro-life or pro-every-life means respect in deed:
- Encompassing both the lives of women and children, unborn and already born, as well as men’s lives
- Covering all phases of the life cycle – before, during, and ever after birth
- Grounded in universal human rights and nonviolence towards all
- Open to people of all religions and no religion
Nonviolent choice includes, but is not limited to:
- Whether, when, how, and with whom (among consenting adults) to have sex. Philosophical and religious/spiritual views of sexual ethics for consenting adults are too numerous and divergent for state power to favor and mandate any particular one of them without treading on vital liberties of conscience, expression, association, religion, and privacy.
- Whether to prevent conception or seek it out. While we recognize the goodness of biological and social parenthood, we recognize equally the goodness of other-than-parental life courses, and the right of individuals to pursue these as desired.
- Which specific pregnancy prevention method(s) to adopt or not adopt. We are cognizant here of the need for the utmost safeguards against coercive population control, unethical pharmaceutical experimentation, and sterilization abuse.These are all dangers, and dangers with long histories — to the poor, the colonized, people of color/ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. At the same time, we name as unjust the coercive denial of access to the prevention method(s) of one’s own choosing.
- Whether, in the event of a pregnancy, to pursue parenting, adoption, guardianship, or some other safe care arrangement. Of course this means the utmost lifelong community support necessary for the exercise of one’s choice.
All Our Lives was cofounded by one person who identifies as atheist and another who identifies as Buddhist and Christian. So how could we have a religious affiliation? This is different from being “anti-religious.” We are open to people of all faiths and none and welcome everyone’s contributions to the struggle for social justice.
All Our Lives was cofounded in 2010 by Jen Roth and Mary Krane Derr. We both have advocated a pro every life, pro nonviolent sexual and reproductive choice position for decades. We have been long frustrated at the many ways the abortion debate, especially in our home country, the United States, renders people like us invisible and inaudible—even as we have much to contribute in the way of practical solutions for women and children.
In 2011, Meghan Schrader and Rev. Laura Grimes joined the board. Meghan volunteers as a special education surrogate parent for children with special needs in foster care, and is active in the disability rights and disability studies community. Laura is a feminist theologian, seminary professor, Independent Catholic clergywoman, wife and mother of four children, and creator of “Mother’s Comfort,” a unique prochoice- and prolife-friendly program for healing of pregnancy loss, termination, stillbirth, and adoption placement.
All Our Lives is an independent entity and is not an arm of, or funded by, any other organization.
All our Lives was founded by two Americans and is a pending U.S. nonprofit organization. We hope to become a nongovernmental organization with a say at the United Nations someday. We take a global perspective. We welcome members and supporters from any country. Members of our Facebook group hail from just about every continent (we’ll get someone in Antarctica yet!).
Our members hold a range of views on this subject. We focus instead on something so often neglected even though it is deeply decisive: increasing women’s alternatives in pregnancy prevention and in getting through difficult pregnancies and beyond. Expanding women’s nonviolent choices in all countries is urgently necessary, whatever the legal status of abortion in any particular nation. This is the surest way to promote respect for the lives of both women and children, unborn and already born.
That much said, we do oppose laws and practices that we believe to criminalize woman who seek or have abortions, or who engage in other actions such as substance use/abuse or suicidal behavior that can be harmful to their unborn children. Please learn more here and here about our rationale and our proposed alternatives to such laws.
Absolutely not! There is nothing “prolife” about setting off bombs or shooting people in cold blood. We advocate nonviolence in all things.
Not the last time we checked. Feel free to keep an eye on us, though!
Short Answer: All Our Lives upholds the recognized human right of voluntary, fully informed, socially supported family planning, both for its own sake and its essential role in reducing abortions. This right covers the full range of pregnancy prevention methods and affirms the need for comprehensive as opposed to abstinence-only sex education.
Long Answer: We vigorously oppose coercive practices such as contraceptive sabotage by male partners; environmental pollution that impedes voluntary exercise of fertility; government-endorsed sterilization of the poor, disabled persons, and people of color.
We recognize that comprehensive sex education and access to family planning are necessary but not sufficient conditions its correct, consistent, and thus optimally effective use.
Promoting equality within male-female relationships is critical as well. Inequalities related to race, class, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of identity also undermine family planning use. These must be alleviated as well.
Just as strongly, we support people’s right and ability to choose whichever method(s) they want to use or not use. In other words, we advocate the right of those with objections to “artificial” contraception to choose abstinence or natural family planning as much as we advocate the right of people with different beliefs to choose barrier methods, hormonal contraceptives, IUDs, male and female sterilization, and sexual practices that involve no risk of conception.
We have reviewed the scientific literature regarding:
- The effect of contraception on abortion rates.
- The mechanisms of action for present-day hormonal methods(including emergency contraception or EC) and intrauterine devices or IUDs.
We have concluded:
- Greater access to contraception reduces abortion in most cases. In those few cases where it does not, the answer is more contraception, not less.
- The best available evidence shows that hormonal methods (including EC) and IUDs work before, not after conception.
We include links to the evidence here:
All Our Lives is not affiliated with Feminists for Life (FFL). We are a different organization. We appreciate FFL’s work on behalf of already pregnant and parenting women, especially on college campuses. However, we obviously disagree with FFL that a prolife feminist organization can or should be neutral regarding women’s right to access preconception measures such as comprehensive sex education and birth control which are vital to reducing abortion, among other reproductive benefits.
FFL also focuses on individual-level or local acts of charity for women who are already pregnant. While these are important, women require a wide range of systemic, institutional-level policy changes such as a living wage, paid parental leave, and a fully functioning child support enforcement system, to mention only a few.
To learn more about our divergence from FFL on family planning freedom, see our editorial on the activist platform Daily Cloudt. Note: We did not choose the title or article summary and originally had less antagonistic text.
To learn more about our differences with those who actively oppose contraception in the name of prolife feminism, please see our Fem2pt0 article Why Lila Rose Doesn’t Even Speak for Pro-Life Feminists.