Abortion, one of the hotly contested topics in American politics for over fifty years. For decades, the ideological lines on this topic were drawn in vibrant paint. To be right leaning or conservative, one must condemn abortion. While in order to be left leaning and progressive, one must endorse it as a vital human right.
Since Roe V Wade, this argument has only been stripped of the nuance at its core. Instead of discussing the actual rights and power in contention. The dialogue has devolved into mudslinging diatribes about “What is life” and “Baby Murdering”.
Which is where the conservative movement has made the greatest possible mistake. By allowing their left leaning counterparts to control the direction of the conversation, they have missed the core argument. This is not about the lives of unborn children, but entirely about the power being offered to the United States government.
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Since 1987 the pregnancy related mortality rate in the United States has been on a steady rise. Every single recorded community in the country has a higher infant mortality rate than the average of 1987. This is taken per 100,000 people, so while yes the population overall has risen, the rate per 100,000 has drastically risen, outpacing the population growth.
Many pro-life advocates operate under the assumption that pregnancy is safe for women to go through. While for many women it is a completely safe part of their life, for others it’s not a viable option. Those others include people with heart conditions. 15% of recorded pregnancy-related deaths are caused by cardiovascular conditions that cannot handle the stress of the pregnancy.
Others include infection or sepsis from poor access to health care. A genuine risk for someone struggling through poverty, that accounts for almost 13% of pregnancy-related deaths. Cardiomyopathy is a hereditary disease that is diagnosed in roughly 200k people per year. It accounts for 11.5% of pregnancy-related deaths. .
Hemorrhaging, cerebrovascular accidents, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy account for 20% of pregnancy-related deaths. Those aren’t even things you can really prepare for. Doctors can’t project if you are going to hemorrhage, they can’t project if a woman will have hypertensive disorders.
Do you trust the government deciding if your wife can carry a child through those conditions? Stop and ask yourself for a moment one very important question. Do I trust Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer, Kevin McCarthy, AOC, or Joe Biden to decide if my wife can carry a child to term?
What happens when they’re wrong, and your wife is dead? What happens when they make a mistake, and ban a valid medical necessity from abortion? When your sister dies because her body couldn’t medically handle the pregnancy?
The pro-life movement is offering the government the power to force medical procedures on somebody for the sake of other individuals. Certainly on the surface it doesn’t seem that way. Many pro-lifers, and former pro-lifers like myself, never thought of it as offering the government power. Our concern was for the rights of every individual, including the rights of the unborn individual.
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Unfortunately, in our concern, we didn’t see the other side of that coin. It took a worldwide event to wake many of us up to the power we had unwittingly been offering. For many former pro-lifers, the Covid-19 pandemic was a massive awakening to our mistakes.
Conservatives have forgotten what happens when you offer the government an inch of power. They always snatch a mile’s worth before using it to hang us. This situation is no different, and it is amazing how naïve we were at this possibility.
What happens when the government demands your wife must be vaccinated “For the safety of the baby”? How will you feel when the government demands your pregnant sister take certain medications “For the safety of the baby”? How about when the government forces your mother to follow a strict diet “For the safety of the baby”?
For that matter, what makes the argument behind abortions any different from the argument behind vaccine mandates? The left are currently arguing that they should be able to force people to undergo medical treatment for the sake of others. Isn’t that exactly what the pro-life movement is demanding?
Out of concern for the weak, conservatives have offered up a power they openly do not want the government to have. Now, as we see the government trying to snatch hold of that very power, is the time for that movement to change course. Not to change our minds on the value of life, but to recognize the importance of the right to choose what type of medical treatment you will receive.