Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When Life Matters

Wisconsin Republican legislators introduced a bill that would ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, an effort to narrow the window of when life can be legally terminated. According to supporters of the bill, this is the point in human development that pain can be felt. (9 out of 10 abortions are performed within 12 weeks – most are performed before 9 weeks.) Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has vowed to approve such legislation, a move that wins points with social conservatives in Iowa, site of the first presidential battleground.

This bill is dishonest in its very mission, finding a backdoor around Roe v. Wade when Republicans should confront it head on. Instead of leading on the basic fundamentals of human rights, they have missed an opportunity to protect lives. I think 20 weeks is too late. In this case, half steps are tactical missteps.

Life matters from the beginning until the end.
Hypocritical Oath

The Republican Party needs to do more than simply adjust messaging; they need to adjust their attitudes toward the value of all stages of life.

GOP inconsistency begins early. The initial conservative reaction to food stamp programs, a life sustaining measure, is disgust. Select Wisconsin conservatives have shown their disdain by drafting legislation that would restrict certain types of food purchases for citizens on food stamps, requiring increased government involvement and oversight (hardly a fiscally conservative stance that does nothing to reduce waste). “Beggars can’t be choosers” is the default mentality of the conservative wing of the Republican Party; all the while those in need struggle to get by.

To be fair, Wisconsin state Republicans seem to genuinely care about providing quality education and health care to citizens, though Gov. Walker’s $127 million cuts proposed to K-12 education shows cost aversion outweighs long-term investment. Cutting programs that provide a net-positive contribution to society is shortsighted. Republicans are saving for the next quarter, not investing for retirement.

When conservatives aren’t displaying indifference toward quality of life, they’re perceived to callously disregard the value of individuals.

According to Pew Research, Republican support for capital punishment remains steady at 77%, contrasted by only 40% support from Democrats. How can a group hold the sanctity of life in one hand and flip the execution switch with the other?

Democrats are hardly innocent, being a party for social justice, yet resigned to allow humans to be aborted. There is a detestable pride that accompanies the majority of pro-choice Democrats in their efforts to deprive a fetal human’s right to life.

For both parties, parsing exactly when life has value, and when the public good trumps that value, is not pro-life or pro-choice; it’s pro-convenience.

The majority of Democrats have proven a willingness to postpone the moment human rights matter (preferably after the birth certificate is stamped). Wisconsin Republicans are hypocrites for proposing legislation that reduces the time frame for abortion instead of ending the practice outright.

In the absence of boldness and clarity of vision, people will die as they wait to be born.

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