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  /  Opinion   /  How I Could Get Behind The Pro-Life Movement

How I Could Get Behind The Pro-Life Movement

On May 14th, 2019, Alabama passed a law that almost effectively banned abortion, even for rape survivors and incest. Georgia recently passed another anti-abortion law, while New York and other liberal states chose to keep safe abortions accessible to women. However, the current pro-life movement continues to have a field day, mainly through Facebook, posting factually incorrect propaganda.

Along with this fear mongering, many have continued to lobby for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, an organization that millions of Americans rely on. Only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s work is dedicated to abortion, while an overwhelming 94% is dedicated to providing free female, male,  and LGBTQ+ health services, such as Pap smears, cancer screenings, and birth control. Defunding Planned Parenthood would not end abortion, nor would it save the lives of fully grown babies; it would, however, leave 3 million Americans without vital healthcare.

The current pro-life party rallies to end abortion, stating that they are “saving tomorrow’s children,” while simultaneously claiming  that they are fighting for “women’s and girl’s rights.”

Whether or not you believe that life begins at conception or hold religious values that dictate that abortion is wrong, which are not points of view that I am trying to disrespect or undermine, the current pro-life movement is not backed by facts and does not provide any real substance or plans of action for change. In fact, “life” is simply not included in the current movement’s agenda.

I even hesitate to call it a political movement, as it largely consists of verbally (and sometimes physically) assaulting and shaming women who attempt to enter Planned Parenthood facilities, fear-mongering Facebook posts, and rallies with signs of dead, seemingly 9-month-old babies covered in blood with hashtags such as #EndAbortionNow. How is this, in any way, a good thing, or a respectable political movement?

Simply put, the pro-life movement needs rebranding. Thus, I will be outlining the ways that I, a fiercely feminist liberal Democrat, could get behind the pro-life movement.

If the pro-life movement would lobby for free birth control and comprehensive sex education nationwide, then I could get behind the pro-life movement.

If the pro-life movement would campaign for free child care services and federal funding for foster children and orphanages, then I could get behind the pro-life movement.

If the pro-life movement would fight for children of color who are unjustly killed by police officers because of their race, then I could get behind the pro-life movement.

If the pro-life movement would advocate for South American children that are dying under the custody of ICE, then I could get behind the pro-life movement.

But, somewhat nonsensically, this is not the case.

Abortion can be a terrible, emotional and life-altering experience that many women go through, sometimes as the result of already traumatic experiences such as rape and assault, and it is not to be taken lightly. However, the way to lower abortion rates is not through fear-mongering, or bringing unwanted babies into the world for them to live a life of neglect, ill-treatment, and poverty. Lowering abortion requires strategic and realistic legislative action.

The reality is, that leaving Americans without the option of  a safe abortion will never completely eradicate abortions; it will only prevent women from having access to safe and legal abortions. Banning this right would drive women to seek dangerous and life-threatening abortions.The arguments behind legal and safe abortion are often skewed, but the truth is this: you cannot end abortion. You can make it illegal, you can defund organizations that perform it safely, but you cannot end abortion.

Despite the fact that a fetus cannot survive independently until roughly 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and have little chance even after in an incubator, I completely understand the fears and reservations surrounding abortion. I feel these feelings too. It’s an incredibly emotional topic, that has somehow fallen into the hands, in many cases, of men.

Although I personally disagree with the current pro-life movement, the binary nature of the whole abortion debate is deeply flawed and lacks reason. It’s not as simple as being pro-life or pro-choice. This issue is not that simple, the politics of this issue are not that simple, life is not that simple.

Maddie Gunnell is currently a senior at The Packer Collegiate Institute and the social media editor and Cylinder editor for the Packer Prism this year. Last year, she was the photo editor and is excited for her second year at the Prism. She hopes to make the Prism more accessible to the Packer Community, and broaden the web and social media content. She loves History and writing, and is extremely passionate about journalism and its importance in today’s society. Maddie loves her dog more than she loves the rest of her family, and most of all loves taking pictures of her dog. Maddie can be reached at magunnell@packer.edu

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