A new anti-abortion bill has just passed through the House of Representatives that allows hospitals to deny a pregnant woman an emergency abortion in the event she faces life-threatening complications. The Protect Life Act also prohibits women from purchasing health insurance plans that cover abortion services, though most plans allocate money and coverage for such procedures.
A study conducted by CNN shows that only 47 percent of Americans support abortion "in all or most cases" – a sharp decline in public support compared to previous years.
This bill not only legally allows hospitals and health care physicians to deny their Hippocratic Oath, but it dictates how women can spend their money and treat their own body. Allowing this bill to pass is a regression for all feminist movements executed in order to bridge gender equality gaps. It also allows multiple different facets to dictate not only the woman's pregnancy, but also the rest of the mother’s life.
Denying a pregnant woman facing medical complications risks both the life of the child and the mother. If an individual has designated himself or herself as a “pro-life” supporter, they cannot be selective about which life they are supporting. By advocating strictly in favor of the unborn, by taking away a mother's voice, an individual is not ultimately advocating for what is in the best interest for both lives at stake. At that point, you begin to measure the value of one life against the next, and frankly, it is not your job to play God.
Whether you are “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” there is no denying the blatant inconsistencies and, frankly, contradictions the American public is creating. More than half of the United States votes “pro-life,” yet, according to the Washington Post, “only about one-in-ten (11 percent) Americans hold a ‘consistent ethic of life’ position, opposing legalized abortion and capital punishment.”
I am not advocating for “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” nor am I arguing whether I agree with the death penalty or not. I will save that for another column. Inconsistencies simply become a segue for power-based oppression.
“Pro-life” cannot be a subjective matter that vacillates at the public’s will. That sets an unprecedented standard for human life. Long-standing institutions, such as the death penalty, have given us the impression that we have the right and ability to dictate the course of one’s existence and to measure the value of one life against another.
Being “pro-life” cannot simply be designated to “in favor of life only for unborn children.” Supporting life by jeopardizing another is not being “pro-life.” It is being sacrificial with the rights of others. You completely disregard the value of life and render your position discreditable. The broad-based American public has no problem with committing a criminal to death, or sacrificing the life of a mother, but it advocates for the unborn.
Inconsistencies render our laws subjective and changeable at the will of the powerful. This is not a matter of life versus choice. It is a matter of figuring out who has the right to decide who lives and dies. Who are you to weigh the value of one life against the next?