A true pro-life movement
Last updated 6/28/2022 at Noon
Now that the Supreme Court has, as expected, overturned Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists have a choice to take their movement in one of two directions: from pro-birth to forced birth, or to pro-life.
Where exceptions for incest and rape are removed, pro-birth will transition to forced-birth. Enforcement could require extreme electronic and other monitoring of individuals, as happens in China. Prosecutions could target not only abortion providers, but also friends, family members, or anyone else who gave aid or comfort to the person seeking the abortion. The forced-birth movement might then declare its work done and move on.
But a fully lived life just begins at birth.
A truly pro-life movement will recognize and act on that fact.
A true pro-life movement would turn away from persecutions or prosecutions and toward incentives.
It would admit the Court’s decision will be hardest on those who can least afford it.
It would insist on public policies and funding intended to give each infant child opportunities to thrive and grow into a rewarding and successful life.
A true pro-life movement would support its pro-family politics with taxpayer- or employer-funded programs, including these: pre- and post-natal medical care, including ongoing pediatric care; postpartum depression care; pregnancy loss bereavement time; maternity and paternity leave time measured in months, not weeks, so parents can properly nurture and get to know their newborn; child daycare when parents choose to return to work.
It would support parental leave to take care of injured or sick children; equally high-quality and well-funded education programs across all zip codes; free public school meal programs, after-school and summer programs, and waivers of extracurricular fees; access to contraception to reduce or eliminate the need for abortions.
But pro-life responsibilities don’t end there. Research based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicates that in 2020 firearm injuries became the leading cause of death among American children, passing motor vehicle accidents as the top cause. Legislators should pass or strengthen gun ownership responsibility laws to protect children from accidental or intentional death from firearm injuries, including by suicide.
They should also act to ensure asthma and other medications remain available to children who need them. If a critical but low-profit asthma or other medication or class of medications begins to go out of production, a combination of federal and state regulations and incentives could keep it in supply and affordable for all families. Of course, there will be opposition to doing anything beyond banning abortions.
Some will argue paid supports for post-Roe newborn and their families are unjustified and unaffordable welfare payments.
Reasonable means tests would help counter that complaint.
So would improvements to child support payments and collections.
But this is the financial bottom line: A true pro-life movement recognizes its cause has a cost, and is willing to pay it.
However, others might say their God has a plan for each born child, and that no public benefits should intervene to alter it.
But suppose the ultimate plan is to get answers to two questions: Was the pro-life movement committed to supporting a full life for children and their families? Or was the movement’s purpose to force births and then avoid, ignore, or deny responsibility for those children? In that case, on a judgment day, the decider would want to know and weigh the answers to those questions.
Views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.