The collateral damage of the pro-life movement

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When I talk politics I try to limit what I consider recent events to be a national level incident that has the potential to really happen or really impact peoples lives.  For example, I don’t like to write long blogs about some local official somewhere thinking his use of the n-word doesn’t make him a racist.  However, sometimes you find something so quintessential of long term challenges that I want to talk about it.

Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Texas) has launched a proposal that forbids the termination of any pregnancy post 20 weeks which is a full 4 weeks prior to the deadline set by the Supreme Court.  Proposals like this are a dime a dozen these days and have already decimated reproductive health care in many areas.  What makes this one slightly different is this allows for zero exceptions even if the fetus is nonviable.  It would even contravene the wishes of doctors.  To forbid abortions even in the case of nonviable fetuses represent an extreme threat to the health of the woman.  Such a thing would be very dangerous.  Either Matt Schaefer is unaware in which case he has no business crafting such legislation, or he is aware and does not consider the life of the mother worth protecting.  I doubt that something like this would pass, and even if it did, I doubt it would survive a constitutional legal challenge.  But less extreme regulatory attempts to shut down abortion providers and facilities are successful.  So successful there are states, like Texas have almost completely run abortion providers out of the state.  The result for this abundance of life? In the past few years infant and maternal mortality has skyrocketed.

For the record, it’s stunts like this and the never ending war on abortion that has left the United States with the greatest mother and infant mortality rate the highest in the developed world and, it’s rising. At some point, the conservatives have got to get it through their skulls that the war on women has actual real life casualties to the tune of hundreds and thousands of women and children every year without doing a thing to save the lives of fetuses. You want to know the real pro-life position? It’s everything liberals are talking about: easy access to contraception, easy access to reproductive health (all options), a comprehensive sex education in school (none of this abstinence only nonsense). I can appreciate the good intentions of conservative positions, but the health of women, particularly women of color, women of limited resources, women in rural areas, and women vulnerable because of domestic and other kinds of violence is now threatened. So much so that it appears that conservatives simply don’t care, but the stats don’t lie.

Conservatives want to protect life, this is a laudable goal, but their actions are proving counter productive to this objective.  Women are literally dying in the collateral damage that conservatives are creating.  If you’re not looking after the health of women, you can not possibly consider yourself “pro-life”.  You are not serving humanity by attacking the lives and health of women.  I’ll also let you in on another fact, abortions have been steadily falling since Roe v Wade and not because of the legislative assault on abortion, but because of better access to contraception and education.  Every child needs to be intentional, but only half of pregnancies are planned.  If you want to protect the life, healthy, and financial well being, then you have to give women the freedom to explore their constitutionally mandated freedoms.



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