With the recent assault on Women’s Reproductive Health, by mostly men in male dominated legislatures, with the clear agenda of overturning Roe v. Wade across multiple states, it illuminates more clearly than ever that we have a fundamental disagreement about human life. Not only do “lay people” and scientists disagree, but also, more importantly, many who support overturning a woman’s right to choose a safe legal abortion should it be necessary, clearly give “certain life” more value than other life. It seems that to be “Pro Life,” when considering the argument that is often made against Choice as an option for women and girls who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, is to be pro the life that is yet to be born (the embryo within the womb) and NOT to be pro Life itself.
When laws can be passed that penalize victims of rape, incest and women who are unable, for a myriad of reasons, to carry or deliver a baby more than they punish the perpetrators of the rape and the incest, it is crystal clear that the “pro life” mantra is more about the unborn life than those who have already been born. When healthcare providers can be sentenced to life in prison for providing safe and legal abortions while murderers, sex offenders, thieves and the like can have a “get out of jail free card “ without ever serving any real jail time? When we continue to see unarmed black and brown people violently murdered by law enforcement officers with little fanfare and even less justice for the victims, how can these advocates of “life” continue to say that they are Pro Life? When little children continue to be locked up in cages, separated from their parents, given minimal care while being forced to sleep under Mylar blankets on cold concrete, how can you ignore all of that injustice and despair and still claim to be “pro life?” When African American women are dying at the highest rates in the world due to the complications of pregnancy and delivery and nothing is being done to address it, how can you continue to say you are pro life? Pregnancy is always a risk to women’s lives but for black women in America it is a far greater risk. The U.S. has a higher mortality rate for women caused by pregnancy and post-pregnancy complications than places like Afghanistan. And yet, state legislatures all over the country are attempting to make women risk their lives and health by carrying a pregnancy to term when they do not want to do so for whatever reason. How can you continue to claim that you are pro life?
For whose life is it that you are concerned? It is certainly not the women or the girls. It can be argued that your concern isn’t even for the unborn and unwanted child because there’s been no outcry to take care of the health and medical expenses for these children or to provide child care so that these women can actually work at jobs that can provide for the children born from unwanted pregnancies. Programs are being cut entirely or defunded by the same legislatures that are imposing these new anti-abortion laws. STOP. Stop saying you are pro life! You aren’t! You are pro birth, but your commitment to Life generally stops right there. –After birth. It is clear ALL LIFE is not equally important or valuable to those who espouse that they are “Pro Life!”