During the past election season, we heard much from the right about abortion and the right to life. Several Republican-led state legislatures attempted to pass laws requiring pretty intrusive measures, like trans-vaginal ultra-sounds and mandatory counseling and waiting periods before the procedure. All this is basically a way to get around Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court decision that may have jump-started the right’s war with what they consider activist judges (which seems to be any judge that rules in a way they don’t agree with). If you’re one of these people, I hate to break it to you, you are not pro-life.
I say this to anyone who obsesses over abortion while supporting the death penalty. I say it to anyone who believes we should prosecute war against a country who has the temerity to differ from the United States (or that has resources we want. That seems to be the real reason we fight). I say this to anyone who believes in forcing a woman to carry a child to term, then tries to take away programs that would help that child survive and thrive. I say all this and tell them they’re not pro-life, they’re just anti-abortion.
So, you might be thinking, how does one move from being merely against abortion to being truly pro-life? These statements by Tony Jones (more here) are a good place to start:
- I believe that, whenever possible, a fetus/baby should be carried to full-term and delivered. I believe this makes me “ardently pro-life.”
- It has been proven by our societal experience that outlawing abortion does not serve to protect fetuses/babies from being aborted.
- The church — both conservative and liberal — should quit trying to legislate and adjudicate this issue and should instead work hard at the meta-level, reshaping American society into a place of love and care so that the teenage moms and the other women who contemplate voluntary abortions might be overwhelmed with the amount of support and care they will receive should they choose to carry their fetus/baby to full term.
I would add the following for those who continue to oppose abortion:
- Stop shitting on families by forcing them to carry a child to full term then removing or changing the programs that will help her care for that child.
- As children of color are much less likely to be adopted (As much 7 times less likely for African-American baby boys), adopt one of those black or brown babies you forced to be born.
- As the death penalty inordinately affects the poor and people of color, reconsider your support of the death penalty.
- As some young men and women join the military to get out the poverty trap, stop supporting wars for oil or other corporate interests. In fact, stop supporting war for any reason.
As I said before, until you do these things, you’re not pro-life; you’re just against abortion.