In early May of 2022, the United States Supreme Court voted to strike down the landmark Roe vs. Wade case that legalized abortion in this country. This decision, made nearly fifty years after the case was decided, is a victory for the pro-life groups like the GOP and fundamentalist Christians. The problem is, these “pro-life” groups don’t seem to care what happens to a baby after it is born.
Many in the Republican party have made it their mission to make abortion illegal in the United States, with politicians in states like Texas and Oklahoma banning abortion after six weeks, a time frame in which a woman may not even realize that she is pregnant. Their argument against abortion is that ‘life begins at conception,’ however they’re not too concerned about that life after it’s actually born.
For proof of this, we just need to look at the baby formula shortage that is currently affecting the country. The reasons for the shortage are complicated, but the results of the shortage could lead to the deaths of numerous infants. However, when a bill came before the House to allocate $28 million to the FDA to address the shortage, 192 Republicans voted to strike it down.
This vote came less than a week before 19 children were shot in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas by an eighteen-year-old brandishing two semi-automatic weapons. This incident, the latest mass-shooting in the United States, has led to calls for stricter gun control, a notion that is absolutely abhorrent to most in the GOP. When Texas Senator Ted Cruz was asked how these shootings are purely an American issue by a Sky News reporter, Cruz evaded the question, calling the reporter a propagandist and running away.
The idea of being “pro-life” is understandable; feeling that life is sacred and should be protected is a grand notion. However, when those beliefs are not consistent across all ages, that’s when the belief gets dubious. One cannot be “pro-life” and vote against measures that will help feed infants. One cannot be “pro-life” but support the sale of weapons to those whose mental stability is questionable. One cannot be “pro-life” and support the death sentence for prisoners.
The idea of “pro-life” in American politics is anything but. It’s a way to legislate and control women’s bodies. This is evident by the growing number of Governors who have signed bills that make no exceptions for rape or incest when receiving an abortion. Arizona’s Doug Ducey, Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt, and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have all signed similar bans in 2022.) Even former-football-star-turned-Senate-hopeful Herschel Walker is running on a platform that recognizes no exceptions for abortion, including the health of the mother.
So much for being “pro-life.”
Politics in America has become polarized over the past few decades. Some people on the right believe that there are topics that shouldn’t be “politicized,” like the idea of stronger gun legislation in the wake of mass shootings, but are completely fine with legislating a woman’s bodily autonomy. Even “My body, my choice,” the rallying cry of pro-choice groups that sums up the idea of how abortion affects one person, was co-opted by the anti-mask, anti-vax movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, completely overlooking that their “choice” to not wear a mask affects everyone they come into contact with.
There’s a great hypocrisy in American politics, and much of it stems from the idea of being “pro-life.”