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Pro-Life is a Lie

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Every few years, the anti-abortion organization, Justice For All, pays a visit to my college campus while touring the nation visiting other campuses as well. They aim to spread the message that abortion is the biggest problem in the world today. How do they do this? They display an enormous, three-sided, three-story billboard full of shocking images of bloodied fetuses and erroneous “facts” about abortion. Then, they send representatives disguised as regular students into the crowd in order to incite debate.

In a month, JFA will be returning to my school, and it has me thinking about the so-called pro-life movement in America. What does pro-life really mean?
The last time I checked, most people who are against abortion aren’t pro-life at all.

According to a May 2010 Gallup poll, 47% of Americans call themselves pro-life, whereas 45% identified as pro-choice. Only 31% of Democrats and 34% of those who lean Democrat chose pro-life. The poll went on to say that 68% of Republicans and 61% of those who lean Republican prefer the pro-life label. This is an increase from a 2004 poll, in which 57% of Republicans and 53% of those who lean Republican identified as pro-life.

So it’s mostly Republicans who are trying to save the poor innocent babies from being aborted. So what do they do? Well, here in Oklahoma, they’re on a mission to prevent abortions and shame women who have them. The mostly Republican state Congress has passed laws requiring an ultrasound and verbal description of ultrasound results for women seeking abortions; preventing women who have a disabled child from suing doctors for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in utero; and requiring women to complete a 30-question survey before receiving an abortion, results of which were to be published on a tax dollar-funded public Web site. Although Governor Henry vetoed the survey and continues to veto blatantly anti-woman legislation, Congress can override these decisions and has.

But that’s just a local perspective. Republican organizations and politicians across the country are trying to limit access to abortion. They say it’s because they’re all about life. But it seems to me that they only care about life for that unborn fetus. Once that fetus becomes a baby, the pro-life crowd quickly becomes notably anti-life.

Take gun control, for instance. The 2008 GOP platform voiced support for the Second Amendment of the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. vs. Heller, which revoked Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban. Additionally, the gun rights lobby donated over $19 million to Republican candidates in the 2008 election season. Firearms account for 67% of murders in the United States, and the right to own and carry them is supported by the Republican Party. Pro-life? I think not.  So why don’t we look at healthcare? Surely anyone who supports life would also support universal healthcare! Oh, wait, no; a 2009 Gallup poll shows that 49% of Republicans don’t think health care should be reformed, even though 1 in 6 American adults does not have health insurance. Another 2009 Gallup poll showed that 77% of Republicans and leaners think that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. So I guess they are pro-life, well, if you have insurance, that is.

I bet a pro-life person would be anti-war, though. If you support life, how can you support violence? But George W. Bush was totally anti-abortion, and he started a preemptive war in Iraq based on false accusations! And other pro-life people supported him!

In fact, those who call themselves pro-life are actually only pro-life when it comes to that single issue: abortion. When that baby is born into poverty (42% of women having abortions are poor, according to a 2010 Guttmacher Institute study), pro-lifers will deny or try to deny it welfare, food stamps, health care, and a decent education. And then that baby might just get sent off to die for our country’s oil addiction.

So what is it that the pro-life lobby is for? It’s certainly not life. But I guess pro-death is a little harsh. Maybe, stay with me here, maybe these people really are anti-woman and anti-sex. Abortion is the only issue here that concerns sex and (exclusively) women, and they want to strike it down.  Pro-life is not pro-life at all. Don’t let the words fool you.

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About annikalarson

  • Kim Crawley (#28), as one of the far-right loonies who visit this site, I object to your cheap shot about how the Republican party encourages kids to die for their country in pointless war. The Democrats do the same! Consider what the Obama administration is up to in Afghanistan. Fact is, we Americans are strictly nonpartisan when it comes to encouraging kids to die in pointless war.

  • Wow, annikalarson, what a great article. I can’t believe how many far-right loonies visit this site.
    I’m happy to be Canadian, where women can obtain contraception and abortions easily.

    It is strange how the Republican party doesn’t want poor women to have abortions or use contraception, but will deny those children welfare, and encourage them to ‘die for their country’ in pointless war.

  • zingzing

    dan: “Most of this country is either flat out against abortion OR only support it purely as a hypothetical.”

    that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? i wouldn’t want to be party to an abortion, but i’m also not going to say someone else can’t get one just because i don’t like it. if someone really wants one, they’re most likely going to get it done, legal or not, and i’d rather they live through it and aren’t arrested on the other side. if you don’t think that’s the point, then you’ve missed our (the liberal left’s) point.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    Trotting out tired leftist rhetoric usually garners at least a B.

    But what about tired right-wing rhetoric? You seem so full of that but somehow never tire of it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Most of this country is either flat out against abortion OR only support it purely as a hypothetical.

    In other words, those who say they support the right to choose are just lying about it? How do you support choice as a hypothetical?

  • Arch Conservative

    Of course the professor will go easy on her.

    Trotting out tired leftist rhetoric usually garners at least a B.

  • Dan

    Tommy Mack: should that really be the objective, “piss[ing] off the right”?

    All her points, as well as yours, have been made over and over and over again.

    Much of the liberal left who so adamently support abortion rights wouldn’t dream of having one themselves, and would be horrified if their offspring decided to abort a pregnancy.

    Most of this country is either flat out against abortion OR only support it purely as a hypothetical.

    I hope this professor is a tougher grader than you, Tommy, because a C- would be a gift. Of course, odds are the professor will go easy on her.

  • zingzing

    “The prof teaches writing. These are not for a psych course.”


  • She gets a C- on the assignment by missing a couple of obvious points.

    First, the label Pro-Life attempts to sell a positive in that it looks and sounds better than Anti-Abortion.

    Second, a service member in body bag started as a fetus. It is alright to kill a mature, air-breathing human who was once someone’s baby.

    With a good editor and a healthy rewrite she could really piss off the right.

  • Mel Odom

    Actually, the prof teaches them not to respond. An opinion is just that, and those who comment are just as entitled to theirs. These guys are young and they’re just starting to stick a toe in the water. I’ve always found Blogcritics to be a good place to do that.

  • Jules

    The prof teaches writing. These are not for a psych course. These students have a lot to learn it seems.

  • zingzing

    because, archie, the articles aren’t for a politics course or a writing course, they’re for a psychology course. they’re just watching you, observing you, noting your rightwing ways, becoming more leftwing themselves and “intellectual” and less “ignorant,” soaking up that indoctrination. you know how college students roll. if someone made a comment on your homework a day later, would you bother responding, or would you have moved on to your next assignment?

  • Clavos

    It’s not “sudden,” Arch, they show up every fall. A prof at Oklahoma University assigns them to write for BC; it’s been going on for at least three school years now.

    I don’t know why they don’t reply to the comments.

  • Arch Conservative

    Why are all of these college students who have suddenly started posting articles not even responding the the comments on their own articles?

  • Kathy

    I just ran across this article by accident. I am the mom of three wonderful adopted children. All three are bi racial and two are in this world only because their birthmothers did not know they were pregnant. Each birthmom had two abortions each before giving birth to these kids. Somehow they were protected. I’ll fight you to my death for my kids. My husband and I love them all so much and we could not imagine them not being in this world. There are so many people who want to adopt and that option is always open. Adoption is forever.

  • Baronius

    Note that while the article alleges that Republicans are hypocrites, the standard I’m using is consistent: government providing basic protection, and individuals free to do most anything else. Basic protection would include defense. Individual rights would include gun ownership and financial decisions on health care. Agree with it or not, when viewed in this way the Republican thinking is consistent.

  • Baronius

    “Imposing your morals on someone else is the ultimate act of selfishness.”

    Seems to me that killing someone who gets in your way is even more selfish. I’m no fan of government imposition, but government does have a role in civil society. Basic life and death stuff – police, fire, laws against killing.

    You probably would agree with that, but don’t see abortion as killing. Fair enough. That’s where our discussion should begin. Government should let people do their own thing as long as they’re not hurting each other. So is it reasonable to think that abortion kills a human being?

  • Ruvy

    Doug, while I do not agree with that particular point of view, that was the direction that Annika should have been heading with this article.

  • doug m.

    Imposing your morals on someone else is the ultimate act of selfishness. Unless you are going to offer to adopt the baby, stop wasting everyone’s time with your hollow indignation.

  • Arch Conservative

    Abortion is the ultimate act of selfishness.

    It only ceases to be a baby and become a fetus when it is deemed unwanted.

    Maybe when Ms. Larsen becomes pregnant one day and either has the baby or aborts it and sees what she has done she will realize what the ultimate reality of abortion is. Maybe not. Maybe she’s so vacuous that she’ll still think it’s about political rhetoric and inane catchphrases like “anti choice.”

  • Alice

    “we are not animals, we are women with dignity and using contraception does nothing but open us up to being used, abused and thrown away by men who want nothing else from us but the ability to have pleasure with no responsibility. You aren’t helping women by making us available to sex 24/7, you are removing our worth because men no longer have to resist or abstain. Give yourself more credit, you’re worth the wait.”

    You are right; we have worth as women, we have rights to be seen as human beings with thoughts and feelings. But before contraception and women’s rights, women were not seen as possessing worth. We were considered possessions, objects belonging to men. Men did not resist or abstain; they took what they wanted because the law said they could. The law said a woman couldn’t say no to sex from her husband. The law offered no respite from perpetual pregnancies and being used like a sex toy rather than valued and loved and given a choice to have sex or not.

    Promiscuity is stupid. Young women should be taught to value themselves and treat sex as special, rather than being forced to succumb to societal and peer pressures (from men and other women) to “put out.” Contraception is a protection from unwanted pregnancy – and from needing an abortion. Many of the abortions happening these days could have been prevented by these women using contraception – they wouldn’t then have created a life only to destroy it.

  • Ruvy

    Mind you. I’m, against abortion generally and will discourage it whenever I can.

  • Ruvy

    One would have wished that the author was a bit more literate and knowledgeable about the issue she was discussing. States in America do not have congresses, they have legislatures. One wishes that this young foolish woman was able to line up her ducks more logically.

    She does have a point. Had she stuck to it, she would have had a powerful and condemnatory argument of what passes for “conservative moralism” in the States.

    The argument goes this way:

    Conservatives, the same ones who will not allow a woman to get an abortion, are also the same ones who very often do not want her to use birth control, want her to be forced to bear the product of rape, etc.

    Thee very same people, having forced the baby to be born, refuse to provide a system where it can be fed, housed or educated. This, they pompously declare, is the mother’s responsibility, and she alone should bear it.

    This is the hypocrisy that she is railing about.

    Annika, you need to think this stuff out more carefully before typing up an illogical screed like this.

  • Butch

    This isn’t really an article about abortion.

    Its merely an anti-Republican screed and nothing more.

  • Lisa Gonzalez

    PS – we are not animals, we are women with dignity and using contraception does nothing but open us up to being used, abused and thrown away by men who want nothing else from us but the ability to have pleasure with no responsibility. You aren’t helping women by making us available to sex 24/7, you are removing our worth because men no longer have to resist or abstain. Give yourself more credit, you’re worth the wait.

  • Lisa Gonzalez

    Stacy, If we agree that abortion should be available for women who are raped, that would be less than 1% of all current abortions. From 1973 to now there have been 53 Million abortions. Those are more deaths than ALL of the deaths in ALL of the wars since the founding of the United States, including all the deaths of the holocaust!! But then there is that little inconvenient detail that the child of these women/children who are raped have no fault. They are innocent. The act of aborting is violent for the child and for the mother. That woman who was raped is a mother for the rest of her life and her decision can either make her stronger and give her and her child dignity or it can break her and kill her child. Why do you all insist on making her kill her own child? This child is 1/2 hers, it’s blood, DNA, everything that he is comes from his mother. When you remove that child from its mother, you are causing a trauma worse than the act of rape. You are depriving that mother of her dignity. So, IF we were to make abortion legal only for those women who are raped, what will you tell her when she suffers the trauma of knowing she killed her own child, not to mention the side effects of the abortion that could keep her from ever having more children? If you did your research, most women who have been raped do not voluntarily opt for abortion, they naturally want to save the child – they are usually coerced into having an abortion to cover the rape, leaving the woman open to more violations because the rape was never reported.

  • Sherry

    I am not anti-abortion, but I find this article ridiculous. What does the war in Iraq have to do with abortion?

    I’m not particularly in favor of the Iraq war, but I don’t think Bush started it because he wanted people to die. War is a complex issue that has been oversimplified here. What about WWII? Wasn’t military action necessary to prevent further death?

    Do you have proof universal healthcare would prevent more deaths? Where is your evidence of that? Do less people die in Great Britain? Does everyone receive optimal care there? Do you know emergecny rooms cannot turn people away regardless of their ability to pay?

    Furthermore, giving birth to a baby does not require a person to raise that baby. Yes, giving up a baby for adoption is not an easy choice, but neither is an abortion.

  • Stacy Calvert

    So you Ms. Gonzalez are against abortion AND contraception? If only everyone could be as perfectly chaste as you. What about the women that get rapped every year? They didn’t CHOOSE to have sex. A woman’s body is hers to do what she pleases with. If an abortion is in her best interest, she should be able to get one without the guilt and shame that prude conservatives try to bestow upon her.

  • Lisa Gonzalez

    Ms. Larson, it’s a shame that anti-woman, anti-baby and anti-family writers like yourself, are so inarticulate about the facts. Your article header “Pro Life is a Lie” was not even explained in the body of your article. All you did was rattle on your opinion about the Pro Lifers and your disgust with the supposed information. So, where are the facts? What is it about Pro Life words that are lies? I didn’t see one solid example. You brought up war, but war is not an anti-life action. Without war, you nor I would have the rights we currently have in this country. We are not fighting against the people of a country, we are fighting the government and, although there is always collateral damage, the war is necessary for the good of all.

    My question to you is even if the Pro Life movement is not perfect, what is it you have against innocence? Why are you against the lives of human beings who have done nothing to deserve the horror of being ripped from the body of their mother. All women know what causes pregnancy, they are not innocent in this action. The child has no guilt. So, what is the Pro Lifer saying that is not true?

    I go back to my accusation. You are anti-woman, anti-family, anti-child. The one you will reject is anti-woman. Why are you anti-woman? You are anti-woman because instead of researching the error and poison of contraception and abortion on a woman. A woman suffers a list of side-effects that are dangerous to the woman, but women like yourself continue to accept the lies and poison of the contraception/abortion industry. Instead of researching the truth, you continue supporting the lies AGAINST women. The industry doesn’t care abotu women, they care about the money, period. I think you need to do more research on the subject and start to talk about the FACTS and leave your opinion at the door.