The Supreme Court has, as everyone knows, reversed Roe v. Wade after nearly fifty years of precedent. This writer will leave the analysis of that decision to the legal experts who are all, it seems, weighing in. Additionally, were this writer a legislator, in a position to make laws, he would be guided, in this circumstance, by the opinions of women and the facts of science. Since he is not, he will leave those decisions to those who are.
However, his question today concerns the term ‘pro-life’. One must wonder how one can call themselves ‘pro-life’ if they oppose abortion but:
Support every war the United States engages in, wherein innocent men, women and children are slaughtered, having committed no ‘crime’, except to be born in the country the U.S. invades.
Support the bloated U.S. military budget, which enables the U.S. to terrorize and kill people around the world.
Honor soldiers and veterans on every Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day and Independence Day, and often on airlines, where active-duty soldiers board first and are often applauded on the flight. These are the men and women who kill the aforementioned innocent men, women and children, or spend their time preparing to do so.
Unconditionally support the ‘boys in blue’, the U.S. police force that routinely, and generally with complete impunity, kill unarmed citizens, usually Black. The shocking murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for several minutes, did result in Chauvin’s conviction and incarceration, but one must wonder if that was simply an anomaly resulting from the savage murder being videotaped, and the worldwide condemnation. People across the United States and around the world took to the streets to demand justice for Mr. Floyd.
‘Stand with Israel’, which not only oppresses the Palestinians, but kills innocent Palestinian men, women and children, all with the support and financing of the U.S. Some people say that there are crimes and killing on both sides. Since 2000, a total of 1,304 Israelis have been killed by Palestine, and 10,368 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. Among that total are 137 Israeli children, and 2,353 Palestinian children. international law gives an occupied people the right to resist the occupation in any way possible, including armed struggle. One cannot ‘Stand with Israel’ and be ‘pro-life’.
Believe that capital punishment is just. Certainly, there are crimes committed that are so egregious and appalling that one’s first impulse might be to do to the perpetrator what he/she has done to the victim. But if one is, indeed, pro-life, wouldn’t one oppose such measures?
Oppose so-called ‘safety net’ provisions which provide food, housing and other services to the poorest members of society. Often there are calls to ‘balance the budget’ by reducing or canceling ‘entitlement’ programs. If one is pro-life, wouldn’t one support ‘safety net’ provisions? After all, an impoverished woman who finds herself pregnant may be more willing to carry that pregnancy to term if she isn’t already worried about how she is going to feed the children she already has.
Oppose gun control. Children, it seems, are precious in utero, but not in the classroom, the home, at parades or anywhere else.
Oppose contraception. Justice Clarence Thomas, in the concurring opinion he wrote for the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, said that the decision in Griswold vs. Connecticut, reached in 1965, that married couples have the right to obtain contraceptives, was ‘demonstrably erroneous’. During the administration of George Bush, the U.S. cut funding to the organization MSI (Maria Slopes International), because it provides family planning services, although not abortions. MSI estimated that, due to this funding cut, approximately 200,000 women in their serving area who didn’t want to get pregnant, would, and of those, approximately 60,000 would have abortions. This does not appear to have been a ‘pro-life’ decision.
The ‘Rehumanize International’ movement opposes abortion, capital punishment, police brutality, torture and war. One may agree or disagree with any of their positions, but at least there seems to be a consistency in that organization’s viewpoints that is lacking in most of the ‘pro-life’ arguments this writer has heard.
It has been said by some that people who oppose abortion are not ‘pro-life’, but can better be described as ‘pro-birth’. They will do anything to protect life up to and including birth, but after that, the baby and his/her parents are on their own. Let them live in poverty, in gun-saturated neighborhoods, without sufficient food, and little opportunity. At least they are alive.
Where the Supreme Court will next take the nation remains to be seen. In addition to contraception, Thomas also wrote that the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage, was also ‘demonstrably erroneous’.
With three Trump appointees on the Court, many of the individual rights that people in an ostensibly free democracy should take for granted are in jeopardy. But the U.S. is an oligarchy, and as long as the laws continue to favor the rich, nothing will change.