My frustrations with the recent abortion bans and criminalization have brought me to think a lot about what I can do in response. The narrative of protecting women's right to their own lives and their own decision-making simply isn't enough and it still is not working. I think we need to be more creative in our appeals to those who disagree with us because it takes a lot to reason with someone who does not have the same beliefs as you. So, I've decided that if we are going to pass this part of the pro-life agenda, let's make all of our legislation in support of human life.
Starting with maternal and child health during childbirth, the United States has a ridiculously high infant mortality rate for a developed country. The United States also has the highest rate of maternal deaths during pregnancy in the developed world. Perhaps we need to enact legislation to research why this is and to prevent the deaths of many mothers and children during childbirth. It is completely unreasonable that a developed country should have the lapse in childbirth care that the United States has, so why wouldn't legislators want to save the lives of all of those mothers and children?
Next comes healthcare insurance. If we're protecting the lives of unborn children, we must also protect the lives of children who have already been born, which means giving their families access to quality health insurance. Without sufficient healthcare people across the United States face unnecessary deaths. 2018 congressional candidate Amy Vilela experienced this phenomenon first hand when her daughter passed away after being refused medical care because their family did not have health insurance.
What about gun laws? With the number of Americans regularly dying from gun violence. It seems unrealistic to save unborn children but not protect children in our school systems from death. Legislators need to prioritize preventing unsafe individuals from obtaining guns and placing restrictions on when and where individuals can carry firearms. We should be protecting the lives of children beyond the day they are born, ensuring that they will not be killed by people who have unrestricted access to weapons.
There are hundreds of other issues, from federally funded childcare and early education to better public schools to stopping childhood hunger, to pulling single mothers out poverty. It is unrealistic to claim care for young children when, legislatively, there is no care for them once they are actually born. If the pro-life community wants to prove to women that they aren't simply trying to control an entire gender, they need to pass legislation that protects children at all stages of life.
I am always a supporter of giving children a better life, but it doesn't make sense to force them into a world that gives them little chance at a life of comfort and opportunity. Let's create a world that women want to bring children into and that they can afford to bring children into before we restrict their ability to control their own fate.