Today during an Energy & Commerce hearing that covered the health impacts of mercury on the unborn Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill) challenged Rev. Mitch Hescox, President & CEO, of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) on his pro-life views.
"The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself," said Rep. Shimkus.
EEN believes that being pro-life means protecting the unborn. This includes protecting them from abortion, but also pollution that will harm their quality of life. "EEN strongly disagrees with Rep. Shimkus that being pro-life does not include one's quality of life," said Rev. Hescox.
EEN has worked with the National Association of Evangelicals, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and over 100 senior evangelical leaders to lift up the impacts of mercury on the unborn. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States are born with threatening levels of mercury.
In his testimony Rev. Hescox quoted Bishop Blair of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops:
The U.S. Catholic bishops welcome this important move by the Administration to adopt long-awaited standards to reduce mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants and to protect children's health. In the end it just makes good sense to want to have clean air for our children and families to breathe and for future generations.
Many Evangelical Christians, Roman Catholics, and others believe that being pro-life means standing together and battling against abortion, euthanasia, slavery and sex-trafficking, lack of religious freedom, racism, environmental degradation, threats to public health, and a host of other ills.
Some say that the meaning of being "pro-life" is being "obscured."
Just the opposite is true.
Biblically, being "pro-life" is far more than being "anti-abortion." Jesus said that he came to bring life and life in abundance (John 10:10). We believe that includes spreading the gospel, standing up against abortion, reaching the lost, helping the least of these, and being good stewards of God's creation. In essence, to be "pro-life" is to be "pro-whole gospel."