For decades, the right wing has sat its ghastly butt on the "pro-life" designation. We have to listen to people like Paul Ryan bragging about his pro-life stance as he redefines rape into not-really-rape. Or Todd Akin or that horrible Mourdock person whose claim to be pro-life rests on their opposition to women having any control over their bodies.
And these same "pro-life" people are usually square on the side of the leaders of the NRA. They're pro-life so they oppose any and all sensible gun regulations that would protect the lives of others. They don't believe in providing mental health services that might address the problems some of these shooters have.
I think it's time to take back the word "life." It should rightfully belong to those who really care about the lives of fellow citizens, not people whose concern for "life" is focused only on fetuses and whose interest and caring ends when the fetus becomes an actual child.
I propose that politicians and ordinary citizens should have the right to claim to be pro-life only if they:
and partly because of this absurdity from today's National Review editors:
- value women's lives and the right of women to make the choices about their own bodies based on what's best for their lives and for the lives of their family members;
- value our children and legislate and work to make sure all children have food and shelter and health care, to improve our educational system and increase opportunities for the future of our children;
- value our elderly and their contributions to our nation and work to protect the programs that allow them to live decently during the last part of their lives;
- value our earth and support with words, funding and laws protections against pollution and destruction and support investments in sources of non-polluting energy and non-polluting manufacturing;
- value the health of our citizens by promoting and supporting the health of the public in terms of safe water, safe food, access to medical, mental, and preventive health care, decent living conditions, vaccinations, and both emergency and ongoing help when disaster strikes our communities;
- value the work of our citizens by supporting a living wage for everyone, by encouraging labor organizing, by demanding decent working conditions and benefits;
The practical consequence of living for nearly two and a half centuries under the almost universally benevolent protection of the Second Amendment is a society in which there are hundreds of millions of guns, in which 47 percent of families — and nearly as many Democrats as Republicans — own guns, and in which the dissent over the sacrosanctity of gun rights is heard largely because of the overrepresentation in the media of the coastal, urban Left. Those upset with the order of things are welcome to try, and doomed to fail, to repeal the Second Amendment via the constitutional process. But the guns of America aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and generic calls to “do something” — even insofar as doing something is desirable — must reckon with this fact.[italics mine]
But particularly because of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut (and in Tucson, AZ and in Aurora and Columbine, CO and in Blacksburg, VA and in too many other places to list), claiming to be pro-life requires that they:
- value the lives of our citizens by supporting the enactment of laws that restrict a limited degree of gun ownership to individuals mature enough, stable enough, and thoroughly trained in both the safety and understanding of such weapons; and that refuse access to any individual seeking weapons and ammunition designed for mass-killing.