I think it’s time to really look at who in this world are the real pro-lifers. You see, I don’t think it’s the Sarah Palins or Mike Huckabees or any of the people who claim to be. Their concerns and protections are really only for the fetus when it’s in the womb. They stop the moment a human being is actually born. I think they should call themselves “pro-fetus-ers.” These people who cry “foul” that their freedoms are being taken away are the very same people who want to take away a woman’s right/freedom to choose whether to term or terminate a pregnancy, which has been a constitutional right since 1973.
They want to take away every woman’s freedom of choice about what happens within her own private and very personal body. Not only that but they adamantly oppose all forms of birth control, which we all know prevents unwanted pregnancies and abortions. After they decide that women must have their babies, whether wanted or not, whether victims of rape or incest, these “pro-lifers” refuse to help these same mothers & babies- in even the slightest way. They oppose public option health care. During the health care debate, we saw far too many instances where these “pro-lifers” have callously booed and ridiculed others for their health problems or loss of a loved one. Is this pro-life? I don’t think so.
Compassion is at the core of the Judeo-Christian way of life, not heartlessness, righteousness and cruelty. This past year, the Catholic Church threatened the Washington, D.C. City Council that, if they approved of gay marriage, the church would suspend all social services to the poor. In my humble opinion, the church looks & acts a lot like the mean-spirited folks I just talked about at the town hall meetings- which leads me to wonder if some religious leaders are not somewhat responsible for a lot of this ugly behavior from the masses. The fact that the Catholic Church would punish poor people for the passage of a legislative decision is both manipulative and antithetical to everything Christ stands for. Such behavior is further evidence that the Church has no intention of upholding the church/state separation which is a leading principle upon which this country was built. Recently, with the passing of the health care reform bill, we heard many legislators, mainly men, who- due to their religious convictions and other agendas-decry federal funds for abortion. What about those of us whose religion is based on non-violence, who have to have our tax dollars go to wars and many other violent acts of our government?
Onto the death penalty, where at least the Catholic Church continues in steady opposition to it but most of Americans favor it. Pro-lifers tend to support the death penalty. I certainly understand the feeling of wanting to kill in revenge but I personally do not support it. Being the daughter of a criminal defense lawyer, I know that too many innocent people are wrongly executed due to corrupt police and court proceedings as well as inadequate lawyers and jurors with prejudices- to name just a few of the myriad reasons. I find it again hypocritical to demand that a child be born and then, demand that same or any person be killed, due to abhorrent behavior. Defense lawyer, Sam Amirante, said it best when he said-“How can we condemn someone for killing, then turn around & kill someone ourselves? Are we collective John Garys?” ( a convicted mass murderer).
And then there are our current wars where thousands of innocent men, women and children are maimed and murdered by our weapons of mass destruction and our land mines and cluster bombs while trying to live their lives in their own homes, schools and businesses. Why are so many pro-lifers for war and pro guns? Why would they support the debris field of war that destroys the lives and hopes of far more civilians than combatants? Also why would they support carrying guns, which are meant to kill, whether it be a war or a political rally or just an American neighborhood. Again, just this week in
Arizona, we have seen innocent people gunned down due to weak gun laws, political tensions and strong NRA lobbyist at our Capitol who refuse to draw any lines in the debate on guns & gun ownership. This baffles me. Again, it points to the fact they no longer care about these human beings when they’re not fetuses anymore. It is ironic that so many of “pro-lifers” have no objection to the billions spent on unnecessary wars but continue to convulse at the thought of spending even a fraction of that amount on health care. In other words, spending money to kill and maim people is good but spending money to take care of people is not? Is that really pro-life? Jay Leno conveys my point in his typical comical way by saying- “”A lot of right wingers are very upset about this because they believe this health care bill will cost a lot of money. You know what I think? Just pretend it’s another unnecessary war. You’ll feel better about it already.”
Overpopulation is a serious problem and the pro-lifers seem to have no concern for the ecological, economic and emotional toll from it. Forty thousand children die everyday for lack of food as the overpopulation for a planet whose resources are dwindling goes on unchallenged, in large part due to their outrage and obstruction. It doesn’t seem to matter that people and our environment suffer and the quality of life for all of us diminishes.
Lastly, I will bring up an issue dear to my heart- animals and the earth. Those who call themselves pro-life seem unable to consider the lives and the well-being of other creatures on this planet- and even the well-being of the earth itself. Animals and their importance on our planet need to be recognized. We need to treat them respectfully and humanely. Pro-lifers tend to be hunters, carnivores and irresponsible consumers of the environment as well as nay-sayers to the urgent realities of global warming. To me, each of these characteristics point to a lack of respect for life, human & non-human, and a destructive arrogance as to the impact of humans and their responsibility to all who share this planet with them. Eating animals is cruel, unnecessary and environmentally disastrous. Billions of land & marine animals are slaughtered each year causing environmental consequences that are devastating, including global hunger, and this will affect all of us and all future generations. Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, Eating Animals, points out that for every tuna being caught for food, there are 145 others species, from dolphins to sea horses, who are being trapped in these same nets and needlessly killed. These species, as well as countless others, are dying and, as they disappear, our planet faces even more critical ecological problems due to the warping of the balance of nature and her species. But the “pro-lifers” cling to denial and follow the path of self-serving greed, leaving a trail of death and destruction for all including their own families and future generations.
As far as the debate over global warming, I think that our leaders and we the people need to assume the worse case scenario. If global warming turns out to be true, we will have created new technologies, cleaner energies, new jobs, and saved our magnificent planet from destruction for all of her inhabitants. If it does turn out to be false, we will, again, at the least, have created new technologies, cleaner energies, new jobs, and made a healthier planet for all. We can, at least, say that we faced the dilemma and tried to do something to prevent it or weaken its impact for the actual benefit of all life on this planet. That certainly seems like the more “pro-life” approach to me than to continue to pump oil unabashedly and pillage the heart and lungs of the planet for personal and immediate profit.
Frankly I think that I am more “pro-life” than those who claim to be. I believe deeply in the fragility and gift of life and the necessity to take each and every life seriously and respectfully. I am pro-choice, pro-family planning, pro-environment, pro-health care reform, anti-death penalty, and a longtime vegetarian/vegan. But please don’t call me a “pro-lifer” because the term makes me cringe. We all need to examine the inconsistencies of the pro-life movement and rally around a “pro-planet” movement in order to truly secure life for all species including our own on this spectacular planet we share.
- My Speech after Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at Worldfest- Los Angeles, Ca. May 20, 2012
- 9 Reasons Why You Should No Longer Care About People’s Approval
- Endangered Wildlife: Where Did All Our Birdie & Beasts Go?
- The Subject of Bullying
- Fighting Prop. 23 one phone call at a time