Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) is an interest group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans and their straight allies. PLAGAL supports the pro-life position that life begins at conception and thus abortion is unjust lifetaking that should be prevented, especially through opening up other choices.
History and evolution Edit
The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians was founded in 1990 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Washington D.C. under the name "Gays Against Abortion" by Tom Sena. Its first President was Philip Arcidi, who was elected in 1994. "Gays Against Abortion" changed its name to the current "Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians" in early 1991 to better reflect its membership of gay men and lesbians. PLAGAL also encompasses bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed persons, as well as straight allies.
PLAGAL has pointed to pro-life research that shows a link between abortion and breast cancer. They have also taken the position that even if a woman is infected with HIV she should not abort the fetus because there are ways to prevent the transmission of the virus from the mother. They support expanding access to antiretroviral drugs for all people who need such treatment, including pregnant women and their fetuses. In March 2005, PLAGAL came out in support of legislation introduced by State Rep. Brian Duprey of Maine which, assuming that science would discover a significant genetic component to homosexuality, would make it illegal for a woman to abort her unborn child based on the child's predicted sexual orientation.
Reactions from the gay community Edit
Since the pro-life position is advocated by the religious right, some gay people have been unnerved by PLAGL's membership in a coalition that includes groups they perceive as hostile.
LGBT (Lesbian-Gay Bisexual-Transgendered) pro-lifers counter that their beliefs on abortion derive from beliefs regarding nonviolence, human rights, and the interconnectedness of human rights. Although some PLAGAL members are otherwise conservative, they span the entire political spectrum. PLAGAL President Cecilia Brown, for example, is a member of the Green Party. Another national officer, Jackie Malone, is outspoken on disability rights.
As early as 1994, Chuck Volz, co-founder of the now-defunct Delaware Valley PLAGAL chapter, started a row in the local gay media when he condemned the sponsors of the Philadelphia AIDS walk for diverting "crucial funds" to assist in the abortion of HIV positive children.
Most of the debate within the gay and lesbian community remains peaceful, if not always civil. However, in 1995 PLAGAL applied for participation in Boston's annual gay pride parade and was denied. PLAGAL set up a table along the parade route, where members distributed literature. During the parade, the table was surrounded by angry hecklers who tore up PLAGAL's leaflets, leading to police asking PLAGAL to leave the parade area to restore order. 
Reactions from the pro-life community Edit
The verdict of the pro-life community is divided. Some pro-life advocates see their position as part of a more secular, human rights position sent letters of support for PLAGAL. Some of these individuals and organisations affiliate their opposition to abortion as part of the Consistent Life Ethic.
Others see the struggle against abortion in more pragmatic terms and welcomed the support of PLAGAL, without care for their positions on other issues. While still other pro-life advocates that see their position as part of a broader religious movement, opposed the pro-life movement allowing a pro-gay rights organization to be associated with their movement. The debate is still on-going, but as the pro-life movement is not solely a sectarian-conservative Christian one, PLAGAL has been welcomed to events including the annual March for life.
- PLAGAL Official Home Page
- PLAGAL in a Gay.com story
- Article with PLAGAL from the Advocate archived at encyclopedia.com
- Pro-Life Gay, Lesbian Group: Homosexual Orgs Shouldn't Be Pro-Abortion, Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, 9 June 2006.
- Pro-life Feminists, Review by Agnieszka Tennant, Christianity Today, 1 July 2006.
- Gay and Republican, but not Necessarily Disloyal to the President, David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, 9 March 2004.
- The Outsiders: A new breed of campus activists are trying to drag the pro-life cause away from the religious right, Jason Gay, Boston Phoenix, 30 November 1998.
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