Here in America we have ourselves a particularly peculiar political person known as the “Pro-Lifer.” These are people who vehemently oppose all abortions — many times even in the case when the life of the mother is under direct threat — because in their view all abortion is tantamount to murdering babies. They rationalize this viewpoint to us by saying they consider all human life sacred enough to be protected, and they’ll even argue that adults should never be taken off of life support systems as evidence of their abiding love of all human life.
For many of us, just the notion that terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester– when a full 80% of the miscarriages that make up roughly half of all pregnancies occur — being classified as murder is weird enough, but here are five more truly strange and weird beliefs that “Pro-Lifers” have.
#5. Life Begins at Conception, But Apathy to Life Starts at Birth
For most of us, this is the most glaring example of the double-standard and hypocrisy of the pro-life movement. The same people who claim that life begins at conception and therefore Plan B is an abortifacient — it isn’t — are so quick to turn their backs on the children of the poor once they’re born. These are the people who sit on the same ideological side of the fence that tells us things like social welfare programs are bad. If you take their arguments to their logical conclusion, here’s what you get, and you tell us of it sounds completely nuts to you or not.
Every life is sacred and must be protected until birth at which point it must be allowed to starve to death because “freedom.”
#4. America is a Theocracy
Maybe they’re just confused about what the First Amendment of the Constitution really means, but it’s very odd to us that pro-lifers think just because their particular religious beliefs dictate that a single-celled organism or a zygote is deserving of the same protections as the host organism upon which it depends, that means we all have to live under such belief systems. For many pro-lifers they think they should be able to point to their Bibles and demand we change our laws. And then they wonder why we compare them to another group of religious fundamentalists who think their spiritual beliefs should be an acceptable basis for legislation — The Taliban.
Here’s how you can tell all the Theocrats on the right are hypocrites in two seconds. Just ask if they’d be okay with people of a religious faith getting together and passing a law in their small town in Idaho that bars women from leaving the house without a note from their husband or father. Then ask them if their opinion would change if we told them it was a group of Muslims.
#3. You Can Stop Abortions from Happening at All
Maybe the most dangerous assumption that Pro-Lifers make is that they can ever actually stop women from terminating unwanted pregnancies. They make this assumption by just completely ignoring reality and history, because the simple truth is that evidence exists that ancient Egyptian women were inducing an “unnatural” end to their unwanted pregnancies, and we know that all over the world nearly every culture has seen its women trying to control reproductive decisions themselves. The danger in presuming you can legislate abortion out of existence of course is that it creates a black market for them, as we had in this country for decades, which turns them into far more dangerous procedures, that don’t happen any less frequently than when they are legal and safely administered.
#2. Forcing People to Have Children They Don’t Want Won’t Cause Major Problems Somewhere Down the Line
No one ever accused a conservative of caring what happens in the future. Just think about their shortsightedness on the environment. That’s the same kind of contemporary emphasis they use when they scream about abortion being murder. In their world, it’s better to have millions of unplanned pregnancies than to lose a single, innocent blastocyst to an abortion procedure. But what happens to all those unwanted pregnancies?
Do social conservatives also support a strong safety net to help all these children that will most certainly create a tougher financial burden on their parents? Do they support strong social programs to help government workers check in on these large families to make sure all is safe? After all, poverty leads to desperation which leads to all sorts of negative consequences. Pro-lifers may not like to hear this, but abortion does help families make sure that no matter what they are as ready and committed as they can be to bringing a new life into the world. It would seem that pro-lifers simply believe that the decision to make a new life and bring it into the world is such a frivolous and easy one, that it should be up to the religious zealots in society to decide for everyone what’s best for our families.
And that’s just creepy.
#1. Overpopulation Doesn’t Exist
I hate to draw a second parallel between social conservatives, climate change, and abortion, but it’s an unavoidable conclusion that the same group is insanely anti-scientific, though the new spin from the right is that it’s we liberals who are ignoring science because it’s undeniable that “life” begins at conception. It’s an incredibly simplistic way to view things, and it’s also completely ignorant of the fact that while life may “begin” with fertilization, there are so many biological processes and machinations that have to take place that it takes several weeks for the life form growing with a woman’s uterus to become something that even has a remote fighting chance to survive outside its host organism.
But even if you remove the question of when exactly life begins, there are still numerous science-related issues surrounding abortion and birth control in general that social conservatives just flatly refuse to deal with in any adult way. Over-population is a real problem on this planet. As evidence, simply look around at the seven billion humans already here, and then start looking at the poverty, infant mortality, starvation and obesity rates. All of these issues are at least in some way exacerbated by there being too many people on the planet for the amount of money people are willing to spend to feed, clothe and shelter us all.
The paradigm that pro-lifers want us to swallow is that the most important time in our lives is the time that none of us will remember because we’re not only too young, we literally don’t have a brain when they consider life to begin. If a toddler tells us up is down or that rainbows are where pots of gold are hidden we don’t take those thoughts seriously. Perhaps it’s time to stop taking scientifically illiterate theocratic sycophants seriously.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.