The hypocritical gaps in Republican party’s pro-life stance

The hypocritical gaps in Republican party’s pro-life stance

Photo Credits: GAGE SKIDMORE [(CC BY-SA 2.0)] / FLICKR

Being “pro-life” often stops at policies concerning abortion

The majority of people are indeed “pro-life” — it’s just that liberals are generally not willing to trade the life and free will of women for the life of an unborn child. The real question is the degree and duration of one’s “pro-life” position. It’s understandable if voters feel that conservative pro-life principles start at conception but, ironically, these principles are terminated at birth — when conservative policies tend to leave children and their families to fend for themselves.

Republican attitudes toward affordable health care and adequate education are most telling. While the Affordable Care Act, in conjunction with the Children’s Health Insurance Program, is largely responsible for providing 95 percent of American children with health coverage, the ACA was widely and vehemently contested across the Republican party. The position seems to be that all humans have the right to life — just not the right to maintain one. The fears of many people who choose to have an abortion trace back to this very issue: caring for their child. Many simply don’t have the financial means to do so, and the problem is exacerbated when the government makes access to healthcare more difficult and expensive.

The United States seems to fall even shorter when it comes to education. Public investment in K-12 schools has declined drastically. For the 2017-2018 school year, at least 12 states cut the primary form of state funding for elementary and secondary schools, known as general (or formula) funding. General education funding in those states was reduced by 7 percent per student over the last decade. Seven of the 12 states (Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina and Oklahoma) also enacted income tax cuts that cost up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. While this gave tax payers back some of their money, it also specifically reduced funding for education. The current administration’s plans to further reduce federal education funds will magnify this problem. Just how pro-life are conservatives then?

The Trump administration’s child separation policy is a bold manifestation of this apparent disregard for human life. While children were being ripped from their parents, babies torn away from their mothers — even while breastfeeding — the pro-life movement was notably silent. Even with the discovery of photos of children being kept in cages and recordings of them crying out for their mothers and siblings, the pro-life movement remained blaringly mute on the matter. It’s an ideological fallacy to think you can advocate under the pro-life title while simultaneously ignoring the detainment of children because of their nationality. Harming innocents in an attempt to deter immigrants is decidedly anti-life. The pro-life community, in the spirit of their fundamental beliefs, has an obligation to speak out.

Roy Moore, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, was the 2017 Republican nominee for senator of Alabama. The race between Moore and Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee, gained national attention when several women accused Moore of sexual misconduct — some of whom were teenagers at the time of the alleged incidents. Moore was even banned from the local mall for making young girls feel uncomfortable. Rather than trying to distance itself from Moore, some members of the Republican party — most notably the Trump administration — rallied behind him instead. While Moore thankfully lost the election, he managed to garner 650,436 votes. Where were the pro-lifers when a representative of their party had credible accusations of assault and pedophilia waged against him?

All of these policies — and many more — reveal the limits of pro-life sentiments held by conservatives. They’re only willing to be pro-life when it means blocking abortion rights. Above all else, it seems that conservatives put loyalty to party over loyalty to their so-called pro-life principles. At the risk of offending conservatives, I have to ask: Just how pro-life are you?

Written by: Hanadi Jordan — hajordan@ucdavis.edu

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