Thursday, August 04, 2022

The ProLIfE Lie

Back in the day the Republican Party supported abortion rights. But in the 1980 presidential election Reagan's campaign operatives realized they could capitalize on anti-abortion sentiment among Catholics and Evangelicals.

Around the country they packed Republican district conventions and caucuses with single-issue anti-abortion voters and Reagan won the nomination over George Bush and John Anderson (who ran as a third-party candidate that year).

But this whole time the proLIfEr movement has been a lie. These people are not pro-life, they are anti-women. The states -- red, Republican states -- that are banning abortion now don't care about life. How can I say that? For a number of reasons.

Red states have looser gun laws. 

More guns means more death. It's really that simple. Any moron can get a gun in Texas and shoot up a school full of kids.

Red states have more murders. 

Here are the top ten murder states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Illinois and New Mexico. Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Oklahoma aren't far behind. New York is in the mid-30s and liberal bastions like Massachusetts and Minnesota are in the 40s.

Red states have more suicides.  

The top ten: Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Dakota, Utah, West Virgnia. Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota and Missouri aren't far behind.

And I think these numbers underestimate the number of suicides. A few days ago my brother died in North Dakota. He texted my sister and mother about five in the morning and told them he loved them. This is not a thing he would normally do. My sister was alarmed, and called the sheriff's office to do a wellness check. They found him dead in his house, and said it was "natural causes." They officially called it myocardial infarction. But there was no autopsy. No toxicology report was run. No check for an oxycodone overdose.

Which is nonsense. Everyone dies of myocardial infarction, because as long as your heart is beating you're considered alive.

He had been suffering from severe back pain and was considering having multiple vertebrae fused. The last time I saw him he looked and moved like a 90-year-old man, and he was just 61.

I think that the police in North Dakota chose to tell my family it was "natural causes" because they thought it will spare their feelings. And will make North Dakota's suicide rate less embarrassing.

The death penalty is still in force in most red states

It is the height of hypocrisy to claim that you are proLIfE if you support the death penalty. The injustices of the death penalty are too numerous to mention here, but the question is: why are conservatives, who constantly moan about "government overreach," in favor of the most egregious type of government overreach: the taking of a person's life? 

Unless a murder is committed live on national television, there's always going to be some doubt about who really did it. Why give the government the power to kill sovereign citizens based on the word of crooked prosecutors, lazy cops who just want to close a case, and jailhouse confidants who offer up perjury in exchange for less prison time?

And just because someone confesses to murder doesn't mean they actually did it (Central Park Five, anyone?). There are countless cases of bad cops using the "Reid Technique" to force false confessions. 

No exceptions for abortions.

In many of these proLIfE states there is no exception for rape, incest and the health of the mother. Women will die because doctors won't perform an abortion on a dead or dying fetus for fear of being maliciously prosecuted by DAs eager to please proLIfE fanatics.

Life is cheap in red states. 

So why are they so hell-bent on banning abortion?

Think about it. Conservatives have been bitching about "welfare queens" since Reagan's time. Yet by banning abortion they are forcing more women -- and women on welfare -- to bear children that they can't afford. If they've got new-born children they can't work. The state will have to educate these children. And then these unwanted children will wind up getting pregnant at 14, be forced to bear that child, and the cycle will repeat over and over.

And why no exceptions to rape and incest? Why reward vile criminals by forcing women to bear their children? Aren't conservatives afraid the impulse to rape is a genetic trait? Isn't it better to be safe than sorry, and abort a potential rapist, this demonseed, if that's what the mother wants to do?

Conservatives are also behind the movement to reduce access to contraception, most notably the Hobby Lobby decision, which allows businesses to exclude contraceptive care from their health insurance coverage. How does this make any sense? Why do they want more unwanted children?

"But it's an innocent life!" the proLIfErs will scream. No, it's not a life in any meaningful sense. An unfertilized egg is just as alive as a fertilized one. A sperm is alive too. For centuries churches hated on masturbation ("onanism") because "spilling your seed on the ground" was a sin against God! They mistakenly thought that sperm was the baby that men implanted in women, and that women were just the vessel for the miracle of life that men produced. Today's proLIfE fanatics have similar misconceptions about conception with their abortion bans.

Historically, in Jewish and Christian law an unborn child was not considered a person. Infanticide was common. God frequently commanded his followers to murder babies and "ravish" women. A rabbi in Florida has filed suit against the state's limits on abortion as a violation of Jewish religious freedom, considering it the imposition of religious Christian tyranny.

A blastocyst is not a person. A zygote is not a person. An embryo is not a person. A person is someone with a brain, who has memories and has lived a life. A fetus that cannot survive on its own is not a person. It is a part of the woman, like her kidney or gall bladder. 

We recognize this truth with brain death at the end of life. It's exactly the same at the beginning of life. A six-week-old fetus has less of a brain than a tadpole.

Why do people oppose abortion? 

Some legitimately believe the fetus is a person. They're wrong, but it's a legitimate religious belief, as long as they also oppose suicide, the murderous guns-everywhere mentality, the death penalty, and support exceptions to save the mother's life. But it is still wrong for them to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else, no matter how firmly they hold them.

But mostly, people oppose abortion to keep women down and in their place. And that leads to the next reason:

It's a desire to punish women. Donald Trump played on this impulse, intentionally or unintentionally, when he said, "There has to be some form of punishment" for abortion. The proLIfErs were embarrassed and quickly denied this. Trump recanted the statement later, but he had screwed up and given voice to the proLIfErs' real sentiment.

This constant hunger for vengeance has consumed the Republican Party in general, and Trump and his fanatics in particular. That's why they want the death penalty, that's why they want guns. That's why they commit more murders. That's why they want no exceptions for abortion. They want vengeance. There has to be some form of punishment for accidentally getting pregnant.

But why punish the women? 

I mean, women don't get pregnant by themselves. They get pregnant because a man had sex with them. And I would guess that 95 out of 100 times a woman needs an abortion it's because the man initiated the sex.

Why is there never any discussion of punishing the men for knocking the women up in the first place?

Seriously. The cause of every, single, solitary unwanted pregnancy is all these men who can't control their impulses.

Instead of banning abortion, how about we let the women have the abortion and then imprison the men for getting them pregnant?

We all know the answer. If men were on the hook for abortions, all these laws would be repealed tomorrow.

Kansas just had a referendum on abortion, and rejected the proLIfE lie by 18 percentage points. If we had real democracy in all those red states, instead of the gerrymandered plutocracy that Republicans have imposed on more than half the country, abortion would be legal in every state.

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