Sacred Hypocrisy

The entire “Right-to-Life” movement in the United States is based on the idea that human life is “sacred.” Except that’s not true. In both practice and ideal, the movement insists that only unborn life is sacred.

The life of a woman who will die from a pregnancy isn’t sacred. The lives of tens of thousands of unwanted children born to women who cannot support them aren’t sacred. The so-called Right-to-Lifers make no provisions for the needs of unwanted or ill-fed children. Nor do most of them support legislation or provisions to aid poor mothers. At a time when minimum wage jobs won’t support an individual in most U.S. cities, let alone a family, what do Right-To-Lifers think is going to happen to all the unwanted children who will be born if abortion is banned? Not only that, but how many more unwanted pregnancies will occur because birth control counseling and means have been restricted or banned.

We already have too many homeless in our cities and streets… and the anti-abortion crowd thinks that banning abortion won’t create more?

Like it or not, human beings will have sex. Puritans, strict Catholics, and many, if not most, Evangelicals insist that abstinence is the only “approved” form of birth control, and, given restricted or banned abortion, and without access to knowledgeable and available birth control, there will be even more unwanted children and mothers who either cannot physically support those children… or who will not. Moral proscriptions and moralizing won’t change that.

Nor will moralizing and laws change the fact that most poor women don’t have the resources to raise children in ways that won’t leave many, if not most, of those children without the skills and resources to be productive members of society, particularly at a time when decent paying, low-skilled jobs have all but vanished. But the majority of the Right-To-Life crew doesn’t want to pay to provide that support.

In addition to that, the Right-to-Lifers won’t acknowledge that a significant number of unwanted pregnancies are the result of men forcing themselves on women. Given that, in most cases, men are stronger than women, the Right-to-Life position is essentially condoning the subjugation of women to the will of men, both in forcing women to have sex and then forcing them to bear unwanted children.

So Right-to-Lifers want to force women to have children they can’t support, and that Right-to-Lifers won’t. I don’t see any deity swooping down to provide manna for food or angels constructing lodging… and while some charities do the best they can, it’s not enough, and it never will be.

What the Right-to-Lifers are doing, however well-intentioned they think they are about the sacredness of life, is trying to require unwanted children to be born and then denying support to that unwanted life once it is born, because apparently those children aren’t all that sacred once they’re born and suffering, with the result that the massive costs of inadequate government benefits for those mothers and children are dumped on everyone else. And on top of that, most of these right-wingers then complain about the burden those children and their mothers place on society.

And the only terms for that are religious hypocrisy, ignorance… or stupidity, if not all three. Take your pick.

15 thoughts on “Sacred Hypocrisy”

  1. Tom says:

    Life and freedom are meaningless words without accompanying modifiers to narrow their definition to a comprehensible level. Your analysis of the minority thinking we label “right to lifers” seems to me telling in its completeness.

    But: “right to lifers” are not the only ones caught up in our present world of intense narcissism which we are labeling “sovereignty” – a most intense self-regard and self-adulation well beyond anything in history including Nero and Marie Antoinette.

    Your “EVANESCENCE” combined (for me) the physics definition of “life”(living beings are thermodynamic systems with an organized molecular structure that can reproduce themselves and evolve as survival dictates) with the Aristotelian definition of soles (Vegetative sole of plants: Sensitive sole of animals; Rational sole of Cognitive beings – indicating the presence of reflective thought). The Aristotelian definition of soles is more suitable to our present humanity’s return to authoritarian “beliefs” (aided by mealy mouthed scientists) despite evidence to the contrary from experiments.

    A good time for the appearance of a Messiah?

  2. R. Hamilton says:

    You’re wrong, or at best, picking on only the most extreme position. Few if any think a woman should die rather than have an abortion – even if one supposes that the unborn are definitely human beings, a woman does not somehow lose her right to self-defense. But attempting to avoid any lesser consequences of an action to the possible detriment of another, ESPECIALLY if the action was voluntary, is hardly a moral position. You don’t want a bun in the oven, don’t boink, end of subject. (there are other options, but only abstinence is 100% effective) It doesn’t take religion to make that obvious. And the guys that don’t take responsibility should be castrated and their names publicized.

    There are LOTS of connections between pro-life groups and adoption agencies, and a number of pro-life groups that encourage those of like mind to adopt, foster, sponsor, etc. A few seconds of googling will find examples. Here’s just one:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/christians-are-pro-life-after-birth-too-11560465692

    Nevertheless, it’s an uphill battle promoting adoption, even according to an article in a generally left-leaning publication:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/05/why-more-women-dont-choose-adoption/589759/

    1. This is the same old BS that the right-to-lifers have been pushing for years. The plain fact is that they don’t have any real concern for life after birth and all the politics and facts support that. You don’t want abortions, then support education for the uneducated. Study after study in country after country shows that birth rates and the numbers of unwanted children decrease with more education and economic opportunity, but the same people who oppose abortion are largely the same people who oppose better education and economic opportunity, especially for women.

      What you propose doesn’t work — except in dictatorships, which you oppose. So get real.

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        I have no problem with public education, including trade school and scholarships (although not universal free everything by any means), although the indoctrination and propaganda goes way too far, almost all of it almost everywhere to the extreme left. I have no problem with sex ed either, so long as it emphasizes responsibility and consequences (without neglecting other preventives).

        As much as you seem to favor balance in many areas, it should be possible to acknowledge that a stereotype of pro-lifers falls far short of telling the whole story.

        I do NOT think that pro-life with respect to the unborn requires compulsory meeting of every need of every human in a nation or on the planet, to be consistent. If that’s the standard you expect, you’re going to be disappointed. People can VOLUNTARILY help each other…or not, even if the former is preferable. Safety nets are horrible anyway; I hear stories via relatives of European medical care that are far removed from being everyone gets their needs met; more like if it’s not easy, the system will kill them off through rationing or incompetence.

        1. I’ve never been in favor of “equality of outcomes.” I am in favor of true “equality of opportunity” in so far as practicable. The problem with libertarians and too many conservatives is that they refuse to see structural inequality of opportunity as a problem. At the same time, the far left too often equates racial identity with structural inequality of opportunity; they’re not the same.

  3. Frank says:

    First off, I agree with the points made in the posting, especially as regards the preposterous hypocrisy that the so called “right to lifers” espouse.

    The argument that I hear most often, especially in the “legalistic” arguments have to do with viability and/or when does a fetus become a human with rights? I don’t know the answer, but I propose this analysis: I don’t think most would say that once an egg is fertilized by a sperm it is instantaneously a human. Otherwise a mother could be charged with some crime if she smoked or drank alcohol after (what theoretically was the point of conception). Neither would most pro-choicers agree that a mother has the right to kill her one hour/day/week (etc.) old child because it is born of her body. So, it seems that if the baby is inside the mother, it is still the mother’s body…when it is out (and alive) it is a separate person with rights, etc. I know this is a very simplistic view, but it seems to me the only view that encompassed “common sense” and doesn’t become an invasion of a woman’s rights over her own body.

    I’m a father. I watched my sons being born. It is, unquestionably (to me) a miracle. I don’t want abortions, they sicken me and I find “frivolous abortions” to be debasing. BUT, a woman’s right to have her body be her call, no matter what that call is, seems the only way to respect the needs of others…all others involved in the issue. I don’t care if some evangelicals get bent out of shape, I don’t care if pro choicers agree. Let anyone who wants to stop or decrease abortions work on the causes and effects of the issue. Use some of that fervor to take care of unwanted children, make sure that women all get the opportunity to become educated. But whatever you do or don’t do, a woman MUST have the choice over her own body…anything less is unacceptable. And to the so called conservatives in this debate…keep the government out of what it clearly a private matter…or is conservatism only correct when it suits your predetermined opinions?

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      What if it’s not born yet, but could survive a c-section in a neonative intensive care? Seems human to me. What about reactions observed with ultrasound an cameras? Now consider that the earliest age of assisted viability will just keep moving earlier as the science and technology improves.

      Yet if you hold up brain development or the mirror test, a one-year-old might not pass the standard.

      Narrow definitions of human have been horrendously abused before. Millions of abortions happen that could have been prevented by abstinence or birth control. If by even remote chance the definition IS too narrow, that’s mass murder on an unprecedented scale.

      I don’t think metaphysics are necessary to err on the side of caution.

      I do think rapists should be castrated and named, or else publicly executed. If men typically have an advantage where physical force is concerned, they should be held to a higher standard.

  4. DW Archerd says:

    The current standard in Roe vs. Wade is that the crossover point between the rights of the woman to control her body and the rights of the fetus to live occur when the fetus is normally viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks. That has been a workable compromise between these two, sometimes conflicting rights and one that can be adjusted in the future in response to improvements in medical techniques.
    But if your starting point is that human life begins at conception rather than at some other point further down the line leading to independent viability, then any kind of abortion is going to be defined as murder. Just bear in mind that “life begins at conception” is just as much a personal opinion and not a scientific fact as “life begins at viability”.
    As far as the motivations of the Right-to-Lifers, especially the extreme ones as in Texas who want to penalize abortion after around 6 weeks (when many women don’t even realize yet that they are pregnant), if I were cynical, I might suspect that the real intention is to return to the good old days of the 1950’s when wealthy, usually white women could always find a safe and (usually) legal abortion somewhere and poor, usually non-white women were relegated to risking back-alley abortions or deadly self-abortions. If the real intent is to ensure that poor, non-white women suffer or die, they’re definitely on the right track.

    1. R. Hamilton says:

      Maybe the poor should stop treating sex as free entertainment; responsibly it’s about as far from free as it gets.

      1. John Mai says:

        I cannot believe that you just stated that sex is only allowed or available to those who can afford it.

      2. Hanna says:

        And maybe “conservatives” (the extreme rightwing kind) should exit themselves to the 1950’s too.

        Sex, or whatever you call it, used responsibly or not, has been around forever for everyone and not just for “poor” folks. That’s just idiotic generalizing.

        This is just [modern] GOP political BS anyway; has nothing at all to do with being pro-life or pro-choice. Really, it’s another knee-jerk reaction (right along with voter suppression – mainly for POCs and in this case, Dem-voting Texans) to the (truly justifiable) tRump loss.

        More republican BS to come. Count on it.

  5. John Mai says:

    I’d comment on this, but I seem to be lacking a uterus.
    When I get one, I’ll feel the right to declare a position.

  6. Frank Raymond says:

    Please don’t misinterpret my point. It is not a deep philosophical analysis/answer. It is not a political statement. My point is that there is a rather obvious “natural” dividing line, i.e., if a person is born and is out of the mother’s body…I think it is reasonable to say that person is now a human. If the fetus is inside the mother, it is my position it is not, yet, a person.

    I leave it at that simplistic of a viewpoint because it seems to me that it does not interfere with the mother’s rights to control her own body. When a fetus is born, living outside the mother, I believe it should be viewed as a person with rights. It is the only explanation that does not interfere with the mother’s rights…which I believe is the paramount issue involved. I agree with the point about the advancement of medical science, but also believe that those advancements, given enough time, will lead to an ability to take the fertilized egg immediately after conception and “grow it” outside the mother’s body. For whatever it is worth, I believe that it would be unconscionable to claim rights, independent of the mother, for the fertilized egg.

    I don’t claim any particular wisdom or knowledge in this area…rather I think we have overthought this and created a “slippery slope” that could easily break our society and culture apart.

    1. Tom says:

      Common sense is wisdom hence the jokes about the rarity of common sense.

  7. Joe says:

    Better access to contraception would help reduce the problem. That’s something politicians could work on.

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