If Only Being Pro-Life Was Pro-Life

Opinions Zachary Wiggins- MarchForLife21.WDC_Elvert Barnes_1.22.15_Flickr.jpg

Zachary Wiggins
  Staff Writer

The political conservatives and Republican Party love to tout the thought that they are the “pro-life” group in the United States.  They degrade the Democratic Party and left-leaning individuals as being murderers, and anti-life.  “Pro-Life” groups have effectively struck a chord with their supporters’ emotions and do a wonderful job at appealing to the emotions of religious and other Republican groups of people.  

Unfortunately, that’s as far as their advocacy for life goes.  These people shouldn’t be seen as “pro-life” groups because they’re not.  They’re pro-birth groups.  

They advocate for the birth of children, while not looking at the health and well-being of the mother.  They advocate for a fetus, while completely ignoring the fact that minority groups such as the LBGTQ+ community and people of color are killed and emotionally tormented each day. They would rather force a woman to have an unwanted pregnancy than fight for the many people of color who actively have their voting rights taken away.  

It is tiring to hear this hypocrisy of the Republican Party and other “pro-life” individuals.  

To be pro-life, you have to fight for that individual to also have a safe, happy, and productive life.  If you’re pro-life, you cannot also be saying All Lives Matter, as a way to ignore the struggles of the black community.  

If you are claiming to be pro-life, you cannot also advocate for a halt on Syrian refugees as the women and children of Syria are being bombed, burned, and tortured.  If you’re pro-life, you can’t just tell the homeless to get a job, or look down on minimum wage employees.  And if you’re pro-life, then you can’t fight stricter gun laws as children were massacred at an elementary school. That’s the hypocrisy of the religious right, who claim to care about the lives of everyone.  

I would hope that people on both sides of the spectrum would find common ground and express the need to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies.  That is the goal.

We want all women to be in a place where they want the child and know that they can take care of him or her.  But again, the Pro-Life proponents do not put programs in place that help the women prevent unwanted pregnancies, and if they do get pregnant, help them feel comfortable enough to have that child.  

This fracturing can be seen is the connection of teen pregnancy and sex education. One thing that can be effective in preventing abortions would be a comprehensive sex education program in schools. This way, states could not add or drop certain parts of it or add a religious undertone to it.  

Mic.com looked at the numbers and found that the states with the most teen pregnancies were the ones that had abstinence-only sex ed programs.  In fact, it reported that The Washington Post found students who received a more comprehensive sex education, were 60 percent less likely to have become pregnant as a teenager.  

These states are also in the Bible Belt, and that religious culture is partly why they have abstinence-only programs.  However, if they really cared about women and bringing the abortion rate down, then why don’t they support comprehensive sex education? Maybe the answer is that they don’t truly care.  

These states that are controlled by conservatives and claim to be pro-life also have other social aspects in common.  These states, for the most part, have low minimum wages.  Lower minimum wages and lower median incomes cause single mothers and couples to be in financial situations that are not suitable for children and cause them to doubt their ability to bring a child into this world.  Really, who can blame them?  

States in this aforementioned category are also some of the most gerrymandered in the nation.  These same Republicans who claim to be pro-life actively try to strip away the rights of Blacks and other minorities by reducing the power of their voice.  

Many of these same states are also the ones that haven’t accepted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  You cannot claim to care about the lives of your citizens when you refuse them more efficient and affordable healthcare.  

Also, some of the states that are supposed to be run by people who are “pro-life” are also the ones that have the worst anti-LGBT legislation in the nation.  If Republicans really cared about their citizens’ lives then they wouldn’t deny their LGBT brothers and sisters the basic rights that most other people get to enjoy.  

It’s truly a disappointment.  

Republicans at federal and state levels have cut the education budget by large amounts, further complicating any progress on providing comprehensive sex education and a quality education in other fields.  

They also want to reduce welfare, but do not have an alternative.  If the United States government ended the Affordable Care Act as the Republicans want, 20 million people would lose their health insurance without having a solution. At the same time, they want to control medical care for women’s health, while silencing the voices of millions who disagree.  

Are these people really pro-life? No. They’re not.  Its is why I am so tired of their hypocrisy.  

Republicans need to stop disguising their hatred, fear, and ignorance as caring for a fetus, and life.  They need to start working with Democrats and other groups to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and put programs in place that encourage a higher quality of life.  At that point, maybe, they can start to claim that they are truly pro-life.  

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