The one point of view conservatives hold that makes them believe they hold the ultimate moral high ground is their strong anti-abortion stance. Coming up with the catchy phrase “pro-life,” they easily spread the word that they are all about keeping babies alive. Let’s be honest—there is nobody on this planet that wants to kill babies. They’re like puppies!
But let’s make another thing clear—conservatives are not pro-life. Sure, they may be all about giving birth, but that’s about where their efforts end. You see, once you pop a beautiful little human out into this world, you aren’t done taking care of them. They require food, shelter, and clothing like all humans. Beyond that, you can’t just give them money and hope they figure it out—they need protection, education, and healthcare, because babies do not have the autonomy to protect themselves and were born without means to earn money or health coverage.
So where is the conservative push to enact universal healthcare for everyone under the age of eighteen? Where is the push for free childcare, since once you’ve had the child that you were legally required to have, you need someone to protect it while you’re off earning money to ensure they won’t die after their born? At that point, why are conservatives not pushing for universal healthcare for everyone? Every single one of us was a child at one point. Every single one of us has the right to life.
The point is, abortions are not being given out willy-nilly to anyone who asks for one. Actually, abortion rates have been dropping since birth control and quality healthcare has become more available—not that conservatives want to discuss that. Since the landmark case of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortions in 1973, the abortion rate skyrocketed until about 1983. Ever since then, the rate of abortions has been rapidly declining. In 2012, the rate of abortions was 3.30 per 1,000 women, compared with 6.79 in 1982 (Johnston Archives). Those who are receiving abortions are making the hardest decision of their life, and they are not taking it lightly. Nobody walking into an abortion clinic is excited to lose a part of their life.
Beyond the fact that abortion is not taken lightly, anti-abortion legislation also outlaws vital procedures for women who are not receiving abortions. Many people who have not given birth before or had a miscarriage (i.e., some women and all men) are unfamiliar with procedures that are involved with births or miscarriages. In fact, a well-practiced procedure prohibited under anti-abortion legislation is colloquially called a “D&C.” A D&C, or dilation and curettage, is performed after a woman miscarries in her first trimester—a clearly traumatic experience to all involved. To ensure all fetal tissue is removed, they dilate the cervix and remove any excess tissue that has not already come out due to the miscarriage. D&Cs do not only limit emotional damage from waiting to finish miscarrying your unborn child but also help avoid any further health complications from tissue staying inside of you (American Pregnancy Association).
Are conservatives really pro-life? No. They’re pro-birth, a term coined by a Catholic nun. Giving birth is a small part of ensuring someone has a life—in fact, sometimes it ensures someone doesn’t, since abortions may be necessary to save the life of the mother for a fetus that is either already dead or has little chance of surviving. Beyond that, stopping all aid to the mother after birth—either via child support or government—further kills any chance of life being spread.
So, here’s my challenge to all the conservatives who say they are pro-life: prove it. Next time you propose legislation that bans abortions, put in provisions that help out those babies you are “protecting.” Make sure that foster homes and adoptions are wonderful situations. Make sure all babies get proper pre-natal and post-natal care and healthcare through their entire childhood. Don’t let babies go hungry or cold because their parents can’t support them. Don’t let babies wear clothes for four year olds because their parents can’t clothe them. Don’t let babies die in the street because their parents can’t house them. Don’t let babies die—let American people live. Stop fighting abortions and contraception. These measures only help raise more productive and healthy babies who will definitely grow up to be participating citizens in our world.