Pro-life campaigner dies

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Richard Rawlinson

Phyllis Bowman, founder of pro-life political lobbying organisation Right to Life died recently, aged 85. For half a century, right up to her final illness and last days, she fought tirelessly to save unborn babies from abortion and, more recently, against efforts to legalise euthanasia in Britain. Like other women who have given their lives to causes — Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mother Teresea, Sue Ryder — she was feisty and shrewd (see her blog http://phyllisbowman.blogspot.co.uk/ for evidence of this).

Some here might not agree with her beliefs but is it not true that death is a great equaliser, a time when we admire someone’s convictions despite holding conflicting views? It’s also true that when an inspirational figure dies, admirers are motivated to continue the work. It’s as if death shows us how to appreciate people in a way we failed to do when they were alive.

12 thoughts on “Pro-life campaigner dies

  1. Charles Cowling
    Richard

    Claire, would you care to explain why this is such a great quote from the late great Bill Hicks. Surely, if a pro-lifer or pro-choicer smiles they exude joie de vivre and if they scowl they don’t. I’m sure those holding either view do both. It sounds to me more like fatuous name-calling than anything worthy of someone great.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    claire callender

    To quote the late great Bill Hicks:

    ‘you ever look at their faces? “we’re pro-life.” don’t they look it? don’t they just exude joie de vivre?’


    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    Richard

    It seems the premise that death as leveller inspires forgiveness and posthumous appreciation is disputed here because of the example used. I wonder if the response would have been different if the example used was, say, Christopher Hitchens, and a right-wing Christian had admired the convictions, but not necessarily the substance, of this left-wing atheist.

    “Some here might not agree with HIS beliefs but is it not true that death is a great equaliser, a time when we admire someone’s convictions despite holding conflicting views? It’s also true that when an inspirational figure dies, admirers are motivated to continue the work. It’s as if death shows us how to appreciate people in a way we failed to do when they were alive”.


    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    james showers

    I think it is important to take a view, and that death changes nought about whether someone did things that were helpful or not.
    e.g. Mother Teresa – perhaps the most damaging force in sustaining poverty in recent times, who campaigned so tirelessly against the empowerment of women, which – as has been so clearly proven – is the single most effective way to relieve poverty.
    Saint? Righteous and self promoting reactionary, in my book.

    Ditto most of Phyllis’ dubious activities. Her later ones in direct conflict and only slightly atoning, in my view.


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      Daniel J

      So Mother Theresa is “perhaps the most damaging force in sustaining poverty in recent times” and she “campaigned so tirelessly against the empowerment of women”?

      Wrong on both counts.

      First, she didn’t ‘sustain poverty.’ She worked tirelessly to bring love and compassion to those living in poverty – especially those dying unwanted and unloved. Have you done as much? She never set herself up to be a politician, social campaigner, or social worker. She never claimed she was and in fact said she wasn’t. If you don’t like what she was, don’t criticize her unreasonable for NOT being what she never intended to be.

      The poverty in India and other places is not down to her. She left it to others to deal with. Have you done anything about it?

      Second, she never campaigned against the empowerment of women. It’s a ridiculous claim to suggest that she did.

      You obviously don’t like Mother Teresa, but you should get your facts right. If you can get past your prejudice, you may find it enlightening to try to understand what she was really trying to do.

      [And yes, I’m writing a while after you posted, and you may not read this.. but somebody may. I’d sooner stick up for a good woman like Mother Teresa – a human being who is incomparably greater to someone like me – than just about any other person on the planet. She was a good woman and doesn’t deserve such disrespect.]


      Charles Cowling
      1. Charles Cowling
        Richard

        Daniel J, well said!


        Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Ru Callender

    Don’t fancy yours much.


    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    HaggisForBrains

    is it not true that death is a great equaliser, a time when we admire someone’s convictions despite holding conflicting views?

    No.


    Charles Cowling
  7. Charles Cowling
    Richard

    Claire, whether you call an unborn human a foetus or a baby, we were all both foetus and baby once and most are glad to be alive – regardless of various circumstances.


    Charles Cowling
  8. Charles Cowling
    claire callender

    I despise and loathe what she stood for and what she campaigned for.
    I wish she had ‘fought tirelessly’ for all the unwanted, unloved children already born into the world.
    And Richard, that should read unborn feotus not baby, it’s not a baby until it’s born.


    Charles Cowling
  9. Charles Cowling
    Richard Rawlinson

    GM, as you deduce, Phylliss Bowman was a peaceful campaigner, not a violent activist, however strongly she opposed the termination of the lives of millions of unborn babies each year. As a Christian and a ‘pro-lifer’, I’m sure she opposed all murder.

    As for the right phrase for her opposition: I, of course, wouldn’t use words like pro-death or anti-life. I think they refer to themselves as pro-choice when discussing the choice to end life.


    Charles Cowling
  10. Charles Cowling
    gloria mundi

    I like your interpretation Richard, though it is also possible to have conflicting views and not admire people’s convictions per se – surely it depends what people do with their convictions? Some of the people with powerful “pro-life” convictions in the USA, for example, have done the most appalling things to people who disagree with them, up to and including murder.

    (No stones being cast here at this lady, I hasten to add.)

    “Pro-life.” Interesting. Does that mean that the opposition are pro-death? Talk about a polarising slogan.


    Charles Cowling

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