Pro-life (until birth)

A friend sent me a Family Guy clip on abortion that has, apparently, become quite popular again under current circumstances.   It’s short and pretty good, but the key comes just after a minute in:

“I’m here to save the unborn, once they get out of the vagina, they can go f*** themselves.”  Ouch.  But, when you look at the actual policy preferences of so many “pro-life” folks, not a particularly unfair satirical take.

I truly believe that the vast majority of people opposed to legal abortion take this position because of a sincere belief that they are protecting human life.  And, yet, the seemingly minimal concern for post-natal human life makes it far too easy for so many liberals to honestly believe that the pro-life crowd is primarily motivated by a desire to control women’s bodies and sexuality.  Again, I don’t think that’s quite right– people are complicated and fabulously irrational thinkers– but not an unreasonable criticism when you look at, for example, how Alabama treats its poor children that have been born.

Also, today, a friend shared this take from a Methodist pastor from last year that is so good and I think really nails it:

“The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It’s almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.

So, I try to be charitable on this issue.  In part, because you’d be surprised how long I favored substantial restrictions on legal abortion (in fairness to myself, all the while believing in robust government support for families an children).  But, at this point, I don’t have a lot of patience for those people who place all their politics on the value of the lives of the “unborn” while placing so little value on the lives of those already here.

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