The Pro-Life Fallacy
In the pro-life conservatives’ ideology, it is acceptable that people will die because they cannot afford healthcare — but abortion is wrong.
It is acceptable that there have been 45 school shootings in 2015, and zero new federal gun laws — but abortion is wrong.
It is acceptable that 1 in 5 children starve in poverty while the top one half of the top one percent of people in America own as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent put together — but abortion is wrong.
In what capacity is this ideology pro-life? How can the belief that abortion is murder be reconciled with the belief that healthcare is a privilege instead of a right?
Pro-life conservatism is unequivocally hypocritical when the supposedly moral fight to protect life only extends till birth and ends after that.
Outlawing abortion is nothing more than taking away a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body. It is forcing a child into this world and then leaving them to starve and suffer.
Make no mistake, the so-called moral conservatives fighting against abortion are the same people who view women as nothing — as a man’s property.
In the words of Rush Limbaugh, “How many guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”
These are people who believe that when a woman says no, it only means no if the man decides it does.
Envision the outrage if the government proposed a federal law or another military draft mandating men to subject women’s lives to unnecessary risk without their consent. Telling a woman that she is not allowed to have an abortion is no different. There is no justifiable way, in a free society, that one half of the population has the right to tell the other half that they must put their lives in danger whether they want to or not.
The disparity in addressing women’s healthcare compared to men’s healthcare further illustrates the disingenuousness of far-right, pro-lifers. Conservative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings, STD testing, contraception and reproductive education among other services, demonstrate a sincere disregard for women’s health.
Is it right, or even rational, to eliminate health services for millions of poor and disadvantaged women when less than 3% of all services are abortions? Regardless of beliefs on abortion, nobody who genuinely values life believes that eliminating vital services which can preserve a woman’s life is beneficial in any capacity.
Not one conservative representative in Congress is arguing against mandating Viagra coverage. If pro-life conservatives discourage female contraception and abortion on moral grounds, then they should be equally critical of insurance mandates to cover Viagra. When it’s a men’s issue — let alone one used more often for sexual gratification than legitimate health concerns — there’s no debate. When it’s a women’s issue with life altering consequences, conservatives decide to be good Christians.
The endless fight over abortion just divides people and distracts us from what we can achieve in solidarity: getting money out of politics, forbidding banks from speculating with public money, taking care of veterans and building new infrastructure. Those goals are not ideological — they’re common necessities.
Anyone audacious enough to call themselves pro-life and a conservative is living a fallacy. It shouldn’t take effort to convince someone who genuinely supports life that free healthcare is a good thing.
If you truly believe that all life is sacred, and from the moment of conception has an unquestionable right to existence — then abandon conservatism and inform yourself as much as you possibly can.
Ryan Toves is a second year literary journalism major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org