"Pro-Life" Isn't.

One of the great coups of the anti-choice movement was getting their hands on such a generalized, warm-fuzzies, can't-argue-with-that name as "pro-life" and securing its usage in popular discourse.  According to that moniker, they are in favor of life!  Who could possibly say that's a bad thing without sounding like a total asshole?  Life is a good thing to be in favor of, right?  Who wants to be anti-life?  Yeah.  They kicked our ass on that one.  Pro-choice is an accurate statement of what we believe, but it doesn't have the ring or raw power of a phrase like "pro-life".

Thanks to our refusal to use their preferred title, though, it's falling out of use in favor of the more accurate "anti-abortion".  NPR, just a few months ago, issued a statement declaring they would no longer use the terms pro-choice and pro-life in their reporting, but would instead refer to "advocates/opponents of abortion rights."  

But why do we refuse to play along and call them pro-life?  Because they aren't.  Because their concern for life begins and ends in the womb.  Once you're on the other side of the birth canal, you're on your own. Pro-choicers have joked about that for years, in a lolsobby sort of way - I remember a bitterly funny political cartoon I saw once (have tried to find it several times since, and never can), depicting a pregnant Latina woman with a toddler holding her hand, standing in a rainstorm, and a white male politician-looking guy solicitiously holding an umbrella over himself and her pregnant belly, leaving her and her child in the rain* - and have prodded at so-called pro-lifers to support things like health care for pregnant women and contraceptive coverage, in order to actually reduce the abortion rate.  They refuse, repeatedly, to hew to their stated values.  They do not earn their title.  And so I refuse to give it to them.

Unconvinced?  Still willing to ascribe positive, if desperately misguided, motives to anti-choicers, and give them the benefit of doubt that they, at least, really believe they're saving babies?  Lolwhut.  A few days ago, when a Democrat-authored bill aimed at lowering the US's abysmally high infant mortality rate through the use of community-based health programs came up for a vote in the House, 64 Republicans voted against it.  The nays included such anti-abortion crusaders as Michele "WTF" Bachmann and Virginia "Dear Gods Who Let You Near The Laws?" Foxx.  I did some random googling of various names on the nay rolls, and turned up, without exception, Republicans with 100% ratings from National Right to Life Committee/0% ratings from NARAL.  These are heavy-duty "pro-lifers".  And when push came to shove, they voted AGAINST a bill that is about saving actual babies' lives.  Actual.  Living.  Babies.  You know, these are the people who are all "Think of the innocent baybeez!" when you're talking abortion.  And yet when you want to talk about infant health and infant mortality rates, it becomes "fuck those babies."  

So if it really is about saving babies, not controlling and demeaning women, how do you explain that?  Why isn't the almighty baby coming first in the priorities here?  What kind of stultifying level of cognitive dissonance would you have to endure in order to simultaneously genuinely believe that the life of the unborn child is of paramount importance and overrides all other concerns like the incubator's health and life, and yet vote against a bill aimed at saving the lives of living infants?  It's not even fucking remotely imaginable.

Anti-choicers are truly the people to whom it's only a precious baby until it's born.

 *ETA: The comic, it has been found!  Fuiin Ekusu, in the comments, provided me with a link to a FB group which uses the comic as their image. 

1 comment:

fuiin ekusu said...

Hey, WW, but I saw that you were writing about a picture that you said you thought conveyed the ProLife movement to a T? Well, the picture is the profile picture for a group I'm a member of on FB. Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622&s=40#!/group.php?gid=17450870476


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