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The Evangelical Environmental Network recently spent $150,000 on TV and radio ads and billboards promoting new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mercury pollution regulations as a pro-life issue because of mercury's effect on neonatal health. Leaders connected to the Cornwall Alliance called the campaign's portrayal "disingenuous and dangerous." Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family employees and others signed a joint statement rejecting the issue as a pro-life one. "The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself. The term denotes opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies," the statement said. Observers spoke with Christianity Today about whether the issue should be seen as a pro-life concern.

"When it affects one in six children, reduces IQs, and increases heart disease, it's a pro-life issue. Being pro-life means protecting life at every stage. We have to be consistent in our theology. Jesus calls us to care for the unborn. Abortion is critical; so is this."

"The sanctity of human life is at issue in many areas. Some people make abortion the overriding issue. We need biblical balance. If being concerned about all the things God cares about 'waters down' a pro-life stand, that's God's fault and God's problem."

"Being pro-life means more than just opposition to killing the unborn. It also means opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, support for the handicapped, and affirmation of the elderly and infirm. And yes, it may also mean protecting babies from hazards."

"Being consistently pro-life requires more than opposition to abortion. However, politicians who favor abortion-on-demand cannot claim ...

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Is Mercury Pollution's Effect on Newborns a Pro-Life Issue?
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March 2012

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