Mikulski Calling Health Care Bill ‘Whole Life’ Inspires Launch of Pro-Life Web Site

By Penny Starr | December 16, 2009 | 6:47 PM EST

Filmmaker and human rights activist Jason Jones

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) repeatedly has described the Democrats’ proposed Senate health care legislation as “pro-life” and “whole life,” but filmmaker and human rights activist Jason Jones told CNSNews.com that any law that would allow taxpayer money to fund abortion is “anti-life.”
“To call this bill ‘whole life’ is Orwellian,” said Jones, referring to George Orwell’s novel “1984” about a totalitarian government. “That they would use our money to destroy children; that they would place value on the elderly or disabled with these so-called death panels, is frightening.”
“For Mikulski to say that her way is if you don’t support this bill you are not ‘pro-life’ or ‘whole life’ is absurd, even if you didn’t have abortion in it,” said Jones. “But the fact that it does have the destruction of human life in it, of course, it’s no life – it’s anti-life.”
Jones said he was not only offended by the liberal senator’s remarks, but they inspired him to launch a Web site earlier than planned as part of the “I am Whole Life” campaign, which he founded two years ago following his involvement in the Terri Schiavo case.
The mission of the campaign is defined on the Web site, www.iamwholelife.com, as protecting the dignity of every human life, “from the child in the womb to the child in Darfur; from the embryo to the elderly.”
“We all have rights and dignity that deserve protection from the moment of our biological beginning,” said Jones, who produced the film, “Bella,” which won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. The movie tells the story of a woman who decides not to get an abortion when she faces an unplanned pregnancy.
As CNSNews.com reported, when asked if it was morally right to take tax money from pro-life Americans to pay for health plans that cover abortion, Mikulski said the Senate health care bill was “whole life” and “pro-life.”
The Maryland senator said: “I think it’s morally wrong to vote against health care, because if you really are pro-life – or as Richard ‘Rick’ Warren says “whole-life” – then universal access to health care that would guarantee maternity health, sound wonderful deliveries for children, and so on. I think that’s what we want to do. 
“I believe voting for universal access, ending the punitive practices of insurance companies, particularly their discrimination against women, is morally wrong,” she added.
Mikulski used the same language when she spoke against an amendment Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) offered that would have specifically prohibited the use of federal funds for abortion in the Senate health care bill. The amendment was tabled (ended) before it could be voted on.
“Health care reform is the most important social justice vote that we will cast in this decade,” Mikulski said in a Dec. 7 press release. “Universal access to affordable health care is a basic human right. It should be a fundamental American right. There is nothing more pro-life than making sure that every American has health care.  
“We must pass health care reform to provide universal access to health care, to end punitive insurance company practices that deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, and to strengthen and stabilize Medicare,” Mikulski said in the statement. “These are pro-life principles. To use the words of Rick Warren, they are ‘whole life’ principles.”
Jones said his belief that every life should be protected, including the unborn, came from his own life experience. Just days before his 17th birthday, Jones’ high school girlfriend told him she was pregnant. And even though Jones said he had grown up in a family that was hostile toward religion, he said he and his girlfriend never considered abortion.
“When I was 17, I was an atheist,” Jones, 38, said. “I clearly understood that the disruption of innocent life in the womb was a fundamental human rights issue.
“One doesn’t have to be a Christian to know that destroying a human being – and clearly the biological beginning of the human person is at the moment when the egg is fertilized,” said Jones, who is now a Catholic. “That’s our biological beginning.”
The young couple decided to keep their secret to themselves. The plan was for Jones to drop out of high school, join the army, and marry his girlfriend after he completed basic training. Two weeks before he finished boot camp, his girlfriend informed him by telephone that her father had forced her to have an abortion.
“She was crying like I’d never heard anyone cry before,” Jones said. “The only way I can describe it is her soul was crying. She just kept saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It wasn’t me.’
“I promised her that day, that if it took me the rest of my life, I would end abortion for her and our daughter Jessica,” said Jones, adding that the abortionist told his girlfriend that the baby, at almost 6 months gestation, was a girl.
Jones apparently has lived up to that promise through his human rights activism, and his high school girlfriend is also active today in the pro-life movement.
Abortion, however, is not the only cause in the “I am Whole Life” campaign. In March, Jones traveled to Darfur where he helped distribute $2 million dollars in aid, including food and medicine.
Jones said he did not want to get caught up in the health care debate but when he heard “whole life” being used to describe legislation that would use taxpayers’ money to pay for abortion, he pushed production of the new Web site and wanted to speak out about his cause.
“Our culture should really protect human dignity. It shouldn’t work against human dignity,” Jones said.
He added that the grief he felt when he lost his daughter three months before she was born changed his life forever, and if people understood just how destructive abortion is, they would be against it.
“I wish the whole world saw abortion the way this 17-year-old saw it,” Jones said. “If Americans knew what abortion was, they wouldn’t support it. If every woman had a glass womb, there would be no abortion in America.”