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September 11, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Sept. 11, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader ponders the term ‘pro-life’

Once again, the subject of abortion has made the news, thanks to Republicans Todd Akin’s and Paul Ryan’s ongoing efforts to force rape victims to carry any resulting fetus to term.

Personally, I am opposed to abortion for convenience sake but I believe Akin, Ryan and their kind must stop referring to themselves as “pro-life.” They are anything but, and they should be considered “pro-birth” only. The current “pro-life” position is that a woman must carry the fetus through to delivery — even if conception was the result of rape or incest, if the fetus has severe birth defects or if the pregnancy could result in the death of the mother.

But once the child is born, everything then becomes the concern of the child and his/her family. This position is harsh, unfair and arrogant — at least as applied by the ideologues in the GOP. A child born of rape is not only cursed with having no father, but even a well-loved child serves as a living daily reminder of a horrific event in the mother’s life. A child with severe birth defects may not even be aware that they are “living,” if you can call it that. But you better believe that the parents are, as measured by the ruinous financial costs and the frequent heartbreak.

Not every parent sees such children as gifts from God. As for dangerous pregnancies, the ideological right obviously believes that the mother’s life is not worth that of a zygote.

I’d like to know how these men who consider themselves experts on women’s bodies define “life.” I believe it entails everything from conception to death — and that we must always strive to improve the quality of life, not just mandate its beginning.

But today’s GOP limits the term “life” strictly to the exact moment a baby exits the womb. They care nothing for the quality of that baby’s existence, before or after birth. If life begins at conception, then why is the GOP so opposed to helping expecting mothers who cannot afford prenatal care? Why are they against affordable health care once the child is born, not to mention the new mother’s needs?

Republicans have consistently blocked every effort in Congress to make health care affordable for the millions of Americans who currently do without through no fault of their own. Why do they always want to cut funding for this same child’s public education? We won’t even discuss the hypocrisy shown by pro-lifers who support the death penalty.

Face it, no one can call themselves “pro-life” if they seek to impose their will and their religious beliefs upon everybody else, only to then turn their backs upon these new families and force them to fend for themselves with insufficient means. They certainly cannot call themselves Christians.

Perhaps they could call themselves “pro-fetus” so they won’t be mistaken for someone who actually cares about the lives of people once they leave the delivery room.

— Joseph Moore, Georgetown

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