Friday, January 20, 2012

Pro-Life, Or Pro-Quality-Of-Life?

I consider myself to be a pro-life person.

By that I mean I am basically against war, especially since they are usually fought over natural resources instead of human rights violations, which would make more sense. I tend to be a live-and-let-live type of person, understanding that the things that divide most people - religion, power, money - are all somewhat arbitrary, and only hold the value we decide to bestow upon them anyway. Why fight over them?

At the end of the day, we all want basically the same things. Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics . . .and everyone in between . . .we all want a roof over our heads, we want sufficient food to sustain us and our families, and we want a certain amount of freedom to live as we please, provided doing so doesn't impinge upon the rights of others to do so, as well.

That, in a nutshell, is what pro-life means to me.

There is, of course, another meaning . . .a political meaning. Most of the time, when you start talking about the concept of being "pro-life," someone automatically assumes you're taking a stand on the abortion issue.

First of all, let me say I don't believe anyone is actually excited about abortion, even those who make their living by administering them. It's viewed as a necessary evil by most mainstream Americans, those who understand that there will always be a case in which the vast majority of people agree that an abortion is appropriate. If the mother's life is in danger, if a rape results in pregnancy . . .there are circumstances in which abortion is the only humane act. My only feeling on the issue is that abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. The decision about having one should be up to the mother, first and foremost, with input from parents, guardians, friends, clergy and doctors also taken into account.

The government should butt out.

And it does.

The only time government gets overtly involved in the abortion issue is during an election year, when they try to make political hay by pandering to the 25% of America that constitutes the "religious right." There is a great deal of money to be made by saying you're going to outlaw abortion, so they say it and they rake it in.

What is idiotic to me is that the same political party is quick to espouse the government making medical decisions for women is also the party of small government - the Republican Party. They are also the party working hardest to make life as miserable as possible for the child in question once it is born.

To me, being concerned about the life of a child goes much further than fretting over whether or not the child will be born. It extends to the health care that child should receive, the education it is able to pursue, the chances of it getting a good job, and even the fitness of the environment it will grow up in. To be pro-life, in my estimation, also means being for a high standard of affordable public health care, a high standard of public education, a strong work force in which a living wage is easily attainable, and clean air and water are readily available.

For some reason, however, there is a stunning disconnect between these concepts in the world of politics.

While Republicans are clambering for money from the mega-churches and right-wing political action committees, they are also taking money from industry that wants to offshore every job that isn't minimum wage, privatize social security and education, and completely erase the Environmental Protection Agency from existence. They want those things so desperately that they will filibuster, block, and otherwise strip down any attempts made by the opposing party to bolster those essential aspects of life.

If you want to find people fighting for a child's lifestyle and not just it's life, you have to turn to the left side of the political spectrum. It's the Democratic Party that constantly (and meekly) fights for the quality of life of our children. They fight for health care, education, jobs, clean air and water, all the while being called "baby killers" by the extremists who seem to stop caring about a baby once it's born.

Can we really afford to stop caring about the life of a child past conception? Is that really the Christian/Muslim/Jewish/HUMAN way?

Of course not.

Next time you feel the need to vote based on a "pro-life" notion, make sure you're thinking beyond birth. Forcing a child to be born, only to rob it of any and all quality of life is surely more inhumane and certainly causes more suffering than a simple (early term, please) abortion. As you stand to applaud a candidate or politician who claims to be pro-life, make sure you stop long enough to ask where he or she stands on health care, education and the environment.

To be concerned with one and not the other is hardly being pro-life.

Now that I think about it, perhaps it's time for a new political label. Instead of saying we're pro-choice, perhaps Democrats should say we're "pro-quality-of-life."

You see, to me, the issue of what's best for a child extends well beyond whether or not they are born. In fact, the birth issue should be the least of our concerns . . .unless, of course, we know the pregnant party personally and are asked for our advice.

Want to protest abortion. Great! Line up at your neighborhood abortion clinic and volunteer to adopt a baby. If you're not willing to take that step, stop wasting your time and money and focus on what we can truly change: the plight of children who are born into an ever more self-serving and self-destructive society.

5 comments:

I think agnostic should be capitalized like all those phony religions are.

Anyway. Great post. I'm glad to see after all my urgings you are starting to become more political. Kids will do that brother. ;)

We should be ready for a run in 2020. What do you think?

Hell if we run as Republicans we could win in a landslide against those freak show acts.

LOL . . .yeah . . .anyone with any common sense could run away with the Republican nomination. Trouble is, the would-be candidates with any sense are too afraid to try to get involved in a party that is so busy kowtowing to extreme right-wing religion and completely wacky Tea Party-ers.

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Well the sad truth is if they didn't have those two groups they wouldn't even have a party. It would just be a few "Stupid White 'Spoiled Rich' Men" showing up. It's all they got... No intelligent (not intelligent design either) person is going to vote with them so they gotta find the weak minded and just outright stupid. Unfortunately the average American only has a 98 IQ, which not surprising giving the state of our educational system... Don't get me started on that. Think about what that really means though; that means more than half the population in the good ole USA has an IQ below 100, which is considered to be average intelligence. If you ask me the Republicans have an unfair advantage already. lol

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