I’m certainly not the first observer to note that for the conservative “pro-life” crowd, concern for life seems to magically end at the moment of birth. In their world, once the mother has been forced to carry the pregnancy to term, mother and child (and their family support networks) do not deserve any more consideration. Instead, according to the conservative view, they’re on their own. If death results, so be it. Survival of the fittest. No more concern about ensuring that life continues.
We can see this in play here in California, where conservative Republicans have made children, mothers, and families the target of their attack on public services. Many of the same Republicans who demanded these cuts were the same ones who, during the Legislature’s floor session on the July budget deal, tried to make an issue of state funding of abortion services.
It was the recent story about the decline in US birth rates that got me thinking about this. It makes perfect sense for more and more Americans to delay having a child when their political system is telling them quite clearly that if they do, they and their child will be given no support or aid from the state whatsoever.
Let us count the ways in which conservative “pro-life” politicians in California, in many cases with the assistance of pro-choice Democrats, have made a mockery of their supposed commitment to life:
• At least $10 billion in cuts to public schools, leaving children unable to get the education they need to thrive
• 80% of domestic violence shelter funding was cut in the governor’s illegal line-item veto – leading counties like Monterey to lose all their domestic violence shelters.
And of course many of these conservative Republicans are the same folks who are opposed to President Obama’s health care reform, which would help provide health care to all Americans – including mothers and children, even though Democrats appear to have already caved and agreed that a public insurance option would not cover abortion servives.
It’s contemptible enough to oppose these kind of programs that help save lives and promote health and safety. It’s deeply hypocritical to do so when you pass yourself off as a “pro-life” supporter – especially when one consequence of the cuts you’ve championed is that more pregnant women will lose access to pre-natal care.