After some extensive reflection, I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as pro-life legislation regarding the issue of abortion. The problem is that the largely religious forces who are behind making abortion illegal are at best overly simplistic in their ethical assessments or at worst bald faced liars when they use the “pro-life” label.
First, the general problem is that if you are going to label yourself “pro-life”, then you need to be pro-life across the board. You need to be opposed to the death penalty because the death penalty ends lives – and if you are “pro-life” then you by definition must be opposed to ending life for any reason.
Second, if you are “pro-life” then you must be pro-social welfare programs as well. It makes absolutely no sense to assert that you are “pro-life” and then allow the very fetuses you supported in your anti-abortion crusade to live in squalor, disease, receive a substandard education, and live a life of chronic under or unemployment. To be consistent, you must support adequate social programming.
Third, if you are “pro-life” then you have to be concerned about the elderly, that they have adequate health care, prescription drug coverage that renders their medications affordable, adequate housing and long term care coverage, and adequate hospice benefits.
Finally, if you are really “pro-life” then you recognize that the abortion question is complicated and not just a yes or no question. You recognize that legislation to stop legal abortions will not stop illegal abortions, and illegal abortions out the mothers at risk. Therefore, you can’t have that one both ways. You simply have to rely on winning the hearts and minds of the individual mothers.
Some of you will say that all of this is too expensive. I say to you that we have been paying for an ill advised first strike war that was based completely on lies and we have been paying for that for more than five years. If we want to be truly pro-life, we can. The problem is that way too many of us are willing to settle for being only pro-fetus – largely because being pro-fetus doesn’t cost us much, and being pro-life is expensive indeed!