Actress Patricia Heaton has been in the headlines recently over some critical Twitter comments aimed at Sandra Fluke. The conservative actress -- who rose to fame on Everybody Loves Raymond and currently stars on The Middle -- took Rush Limbaugh's side after he attacked the Georgetown University law student for testifying before the House of Representatives that birth control should be free.
After Limbaugh called Fluke a slut and challenged her to share videos of her sexual activity, Heaton tweeted her own criticism of the activist - though she used gentler language. Hey G-Town Gal: If your parents have to pay for your birth control, maybe they should get a say in who you sleep with! Instant birth control!
Both Heaton and Limbaugh have since apologized for their comments; Heaton repeatedly. Her most recent tweet about the matter came on March 5: I apologized to Ms Fluke last week. I may not agree with her views but I didn't treat her with respect and I'm sorry. I was wrong. Mea Culpa
On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Times profile of the actress pointed out that Heaton is a consistent life ethicist - which is someone who believes that human life should be preserved and protected under all circumstances. In addition to being pro-life, someone practicing consistent life ethics will also be against capital punishment and euthanasia.
In 2005, Heaton spoke out against the decision to remove Terri Schiavo from life support. The 41-year-old woman had been in a vegetative state for fifteen years, and her husband Michael opted to discontinue life-prolonging measures against the wishes of Schiavo's Catholic parents. Michael Schiavo believed he was carrying out his wife's wishes and won a court ruling to remove her from life support. Terri Schiavo died on March 31, 2012, nearly two weeks after her feeding tube was disconnected.
Heaton published a statement on the Feminists for Life website calling for measures to keep Schiavo alive. We must not let Terri Schiavo be starved to death, Heaton's statement said.
This deliberate and painful destruction of a woman's life cannot be justified or tolerated. Terri deserves better... By his actions Michael Schiavo has demonstrated that he should not be the one making the ultimate life or death decisions for a woman who, only in legal terms, remains his wife.
Feminists have always challenged the idea that married women have no rights of their own, the statement continued. A husband should not be granted absolute control over his wife's fate, especially a disaffected husband with dubious motives.
The Consistent Life organization includes a mission statement on its official website:
We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a 'consistent ethic of life'. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotectare committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a 'consistent ethic of life'. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotected.
We serve the anti-violence community by connecting issues, building bridges, and strengthening the case against each kind of socially-approved killing by consistently opposing them all.
Actress Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) also follows the consistent life philosophy - but unlike the conservative Heaton, Mulgrew identifies as a liberal democrat.
Life is sacred to me on all levels, Mulgrew told the American Feminist in 2001. Abortion does not compute with my philosophy.
Capital punishment is also in opposition to her philosophy. Execution as punishment is barbaric and unnecessary.
Heaton is currently advocating for the release of Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was imprisoned and is currently facing execution in Iran after converting to Christianity.
[via the Los Angeles Times]