Pro-lifers look to Winn the abortion debate

Sally Winn speaks about being pro-life in the Democratic party

By Scott Tibbs

On November 11, Sally Winn of Indiana Democrats for Life came to Indiana University to speak about her pro-life views. The lecture, sponsored by Indiana University Students for Life, included a discussion on what it's like to be pro-life in a pro-abortion party, and Winn's own personal conversion to the pro-life cause.

Winn was a traditional liberal college student, a strong Democrat and feminist, and active in support of gay rights. She was also pro-choice, but that changed when she became pregnant. Learning about fetal development, she realized the being growing inside her was a person, just as special as anyone who had already been born. She also decided the only consistent way to describe when life begins was at conception.

Winn, however, did not convert to conservatism with her decision to be pro-life. She still supports gay rights, believes in government programs, and favors affirmative action. She is still liberal, she is just a pro-life liberal.

Winn explained the Democratic Party was traditionally pro-life, but changed in the early 1970's. This was a surprise to many. Winn explained her belief that the Democratic Party stands for those who need protection: the poor, minorities, and women. Why, then, do the Democrats not stand for those who need protection most, unborn children?

Winn also expressed frustration with the Democratic Party's and the National Organization for Women's no-tolerance policy toward pro-lifers. While the Republicans allow pro-choice leads to speak at its convention, pro-life views are censored in the Democratic Party. She also explained how NOW's zero tolerance policy on pro-life views has led members of Feminists for Life to be physically removed from NOW meetings.

However, Winn stated she does not plan to leave the Democratic Party, as she wants to change it from within. She also encouraged members of the Republican Party who are concerned with the party's drift away from a strong pro-life stance not to abandon the party if it goes completely pro-choice, as pro-lifers should work within the system to change the prevailing view.

Winn's views on pro-life activism are different from other pro-lifers, as she does not favor sidewalk counseling. She said sidewalk counselors can hurt the pro-life movement if one disturbed individual misbehaves. Winn said while picketing can convince many women not to have abortions, it may hurt the movement's ability to get legislation passed against abortion in the long term.

Differences on strategy aside, Winn proves pro-lifers are not all what you would traditionally think of, the conservative, pro-family activists. And while there are different dynamics in the pro-life movement, the basic goal is the same: save the babies from being killed.

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Bryan Wilhelm

Bryant Lewis
Joel Corbin