The irony of “pro life”

Not a particularly new point, but I really loved this from EJ Dionne in light of this week’s events:

On Tuesday, four high school students — ages 14, 16 and 17 — were fatally shot in Oxford, Mich., by a 15-year-old classmate firing a 9mm pistol with 15-round magazines.

Less than 24 hours later, a Supreme Court majority that seems on the verge of weakening the nation’s gun laws heard arguments in a case that could lead to tougher restrictions on abortion.

Please tell me: What can the words “pro-life” possibly mean when the same people who want to constrain abortion are eager to make it easier for Americans to obtain and carry deadly weapons?

How is it “pro-life” for a nation to accept school shootings as a routine part of our daily news feeds? Can it possibly be “pro-life” to pretend that because no law will ever end all such shootings, it’s not worth trying to pass anything that might at least make them less likely?

We take for granted a conservative ideology rooted not in intellectual consistency but in the politics of culture wars that hold abortion rights as an abomination but gun rights as inviolable. And we wonder why the shootings continue… [emphases mine]

The disconnect between warm, life-embracing rhetoric about abortion and indifference toward the loss of innocent life furthered by our nation’s uniquely permissive gun laws moved Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to call out this moral scandal on Tuesday night.

“I listened to my Republican colleagues come down here one after another today and talk about the sanctity of life at the very moment that moms and dads in Michigan were being told that their kids weren’t coming home because they were shot at school, due to a country that has accepted gun violence, due to Republicans’ fealty to the gun lobby,” Murphy declared on the Senate floor. “Do not lecture us about the sanctity, the importance of life when 100 people every single day are losing their lives to guns, when kids go to school fearful that they won’t return home because a classmate will turn a gun on them.”

Murphy’s point is amply justified by Republican blockades in the Senate against even modest gun laws, including bills on background checks passed by the House in March…

The Michigan shootings are another reminder of the lethality of our political deadlock on guns — a powerlessness the Supreme Court majority seems eager to aggravate.

Here’s what we’re facing: conservative jurists ready to expand states’ rights when it comes to limiting or banning abortion but equally prepared to block states from enacting gun laws aimed at protecting the right of their people to live beyond their teenage years.

Or this.

“Pro-life” is, apparently, great when you are controlling women’s fertility, but not so much when already born humans are getting mowed down by guns at rates far past any other modern democracy and dying of the pandemic at rates past most all other modern democracies.  


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