WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The Environment Evangelical Network says it won't back off its position that restrictions on U.S. mercury emissions are "pro-life" actions.
The network is under pressure to drop its support of Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on coal-fired plants, which Republicans say are burdensome to business, The Hill reported Friday.
"We believe protecting the unborn from mercury poisoning is a consistent pro-life position," network spokesman Alexei Laushkin told The Hill. "An issue that impacts the unborn -- that's where we resonate as a pro-life organization."
The EPA says mercury can harm the nervous system and the network says that becomes a "quality of life" issue for fetuses.
The religious right, however argues most environmental causes "promoted as pro-life involve little threat to human life itself, and no intent to kill anyone."
Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., argued at a House hearing this week that the "life" in "pro-life" refers only to "opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies" -- abortion.