When I first arrived on Daily Kos almost 10 years ago, I was pro-life, having hopped the fence on abortion back in 2003. But that changed two years ago, when a growing trend of disregard for privacy and basic human dignity made me realize I couldn't call myself even a non-traditional pro-lifer. However, I was still on the fence on this issue, though leaning pro-choice. No longer. The prospect that it could potentially be legal to desecrate a corpse has pushed me off the fence and firmly on the side of a woman's right to choose. I posted last night, but I'm reposting since it got lost in the discussion about the State of the Union.
What finally prompted me to resign from the pro-life movement was learning about a horrible law in Florida that would have required every woman getting an abortion in the state to get a vaginal ultrasound beforehand--a procedure that essentially amounted to state-sanctioned rape. I didn't think it was even remotely possible to come up with anything more monstrous than that--though a proposed law in Wisconsin that would give in-laws the power to stop an abortion came pretty close.
But then came the recent ordeal that the Munoz family had to endure. Marlise was brain dead as of November 28, and may have lost all spontaneous brain function when she collapsed two days earlier. Despite this, and the fact she had let it be known she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means, John Peter Smith Hospital claimed that state law didn't allow them to turn off the machines because she was pregnant. Never mind that according to her husband, Erick, Marlise was already showing signs of decay.
When the decision finally came, Operation Rescue and Texas Right to Life wrung their hands, claiming that Wallace was sanctioning the murder of an incapacitated woman and her child. As ignorant as that sounds, it isn't surprising. After all, we are talking about a movement that gives succor to pregnancy centers that have been proven to put out inaccurate information. Dangerously so, in some cases--some of these centers claim that STDs can disappear with time. Now consider that these people are pushing laws that would effectively force abortion clinics to close while doing nothing about pregnancy centers that are almost unregulated. What's wrong with this picture?
Erick's lawyers pointed out that if a hospital is really required to keep a legally dead woman on life support if she's pregnant, hospitals could potentially be required to check dead women for signs of pregnancy, and hook them up to life support if they are. If that is even remotely possible, then there's no longer any doubt--the pro-life movement doesn't have a damn thing to do with the sanctity of life, and everything to do with eroding our privacy through the back door. It's a scenario that could potentially become a reality if Monday night's Republican lieutenant governor's debate in Texas is any indication. All four candidates said that they would have kept Marlise on life support, and two (and possibly three) of them would support amending the law to require brain-dead women to stay on life support if they're pregnant.
SemDem told me two years ago that I didn't leave the pro-life movement--the pro-life movement left me. It took the prospect that it could even potentially be legal to desecrate a corpse to convince me of it.