Monday, November 16, 2009

Joseph O. Patton: Debunking the “pro-life” myth

  Though I do not share their stance, I’ve always been respectful of those who claim to be “pro-life.” Oversimplifying a bit, but in short I think the rights of the mother come before the “rights” of a potential child. I also do not approve of any branch of government attempting to dictate to a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body. And yet, I completely agree that there are far too many abortions occurring in this country and that we should all work collectively to educate those who are sexually active - especially teens - and more firmly instill a better sense of responsibility in our young people.

  I do value and can sympathize with those who fervently hold true to their personal values and religious upbringing when it comes to the sensitive and controversial aspects of abortion - views that lead them to honestly and genuinely oppose most - if not all - instances of terminating a pregnancy.

  Increasingly, however, it seems self-described pro-lifers only value “life” in a hypocritical, narrowly-defined, marginal and selective way…

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to our foreign policies which are killing thousands of innocent civilians - often women and children - in places like Iraq and Afghanistan?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to capital punishment?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to rampant gun violence in this country?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to combating high infant mortality rates in America and around the world?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to fighting poverty?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to improving accessibility to health care?

  Where are the pro-lifers when it comes to pushing for increased funding for stem cell research and other scientific advances to fight various diseases which could benefit millions of people the world over?

  And currently, where are the pro-lifers when it comes to supporting the pending health care reforms in Congress? Overwhelmingly, these self-styled conservatives who always pontificate about saving the lives of unborn babies don’t seem to give a damn if an adult or child dies as a result of being unable to afford health care and/or health insurance. They’re more than willing to kill all such proposals over mere tiny facets of the bills which relate to abortion while ignoring the overwhelming benefits to the country. I believe they have no concern or compassion at all for the millions of Americans who would suffer greatly if no such reforms are enacted.

  Though it may not appear fair to paint with such broad strokes, I firmly believe that most self-professed “pro-lifers” aren’t pro-life at all… they only support the “rights” of the unborn (i.e. a fetus) while unflinchingly ignoring all the life-related issues facing the rest of the world among people of all ages. To be blunt, their “pro-life” sentiment seems to only apply to a potential human prior to its exit from the womb… following a child‘s birth, pro-lifers apparently don’t care anymore and their consciences simply dissipate.

  But all is not lost… tonight you can rest easy knowing the pro-life movement is looking after you… only if you happen to be a fetus, that is. If you’re fortunate enough to make it into this world and are a man, woman or child struggling to meet life’s unending challenges and dangers, however, the pro-life movement has already forgotten you and will invariably turn a blind eye to your basic human needs.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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