What does Pro-Life Mean?

For the last few weeks, I’ve had friends post to Facebook and Twitter praising specifically, Republican’s for their pro-life stance. After chatting with some of them I realized that what they think is pro-life is actually pro-birth.

I’m not promoting the idea of abortion nor am I trying to argue for or against it. That’s not what this post is about. What I want is for readers to explore the idea of what being pro-life is actually about.

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March for Life in 2015. Credit: Catholic News Agency

Many Republicans have prided themselves for being pro-life and for being against abortion. But that’s just it. They’re against abortions. Once a baby is born, there’s little Republican lawmakers have done to provide a life for the child, the mother, and father that will help them take care of that child or its future or current siblings.

In Missouri, for example, one in five children live under the poverty line. Lawmakers have done little to help the situation by making tougher restriction on welfare which have been taken off it. From 2011-2016 welfare assistance dropped by 66 percent (2011: 109, 639 to 2016: 37,486). And while people were getting kicked off welfare some $4 million has gone towards Alternatives to Abortion Program instead.

Other states have created stricter restrictions to abortions while also doing little to accommodate working mothers.

In South Dakota, legislators haven taken steps to toughen up on abortions laws and on the same day they got rid of a bill that would require accommodations for pregnant and new mothers. Rep.Wayne Steinhauer (R-SD) responded with this message, “If the person’s not allowing you to breastfeed at work… You don’t want to work for that guy… It’s not prison. You can quit. You got a choice everyday, you make a choice whether you come to work.”

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WalletHub’s research on the best and worst states for working moms. Credit: WalletHub

In 2016, WalletHub, a personal-finance site, researched the best and worse states for working moms. The top five states with the best day care systems are New York, Washington, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. The top five states for the worst day care systems are Alabama, Louisiana, California, Nebraska, and Idaho.

For Republicans to continually call themselves pro-life is hypocritical. To me, pro-life is more than just the stance on abortion. Life is more than just being born. It’s about being able to live a life that does not involve poverty or lack of liberties. Republicans have refused to allow very little accommodations for women who are pregnant or are mothers. Families who become pregnant unexpectedly may struggle financially and where welfare is decreasing families are left with little options. Lawmakers, Republican or Democrat need to understand that if they cannot provide accessible parental laws abortion will continue to be the go-to option for low-income families.

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