If one holds the belief that life begins at conception, celebrating the ban on abortion Texas abortion via a “heartbeat legislation” is understandable. After all, it’s the belief that vulnerable human beings are having their lives saved, and we’re talking about a literal beating human heart.
It’s should also be noted that it is reasonable for people to have concerns with how this law has been implemented, the content of the law, how the law will be executed, and who pushed it through – with all of those being views that could be held by both pro-life and pro-choice individuals (with the latter understandably having other, larger concerns).
Those concerns do not disqualify one’s “pro-life creds”, nor does it mean that the concerned individuals care less about unborn children. Likewise it shouldn’t be assumed that those who support the law don’t have similar concerns and/or are actively helping people in need.
The above said, the reality is the pro-life movement is no longer what some think it is – or perhaps it never was. The movement has become largely anti-abortion, with that being the “preeminent issue” – with the word “preeminent” actually meaning “only”. Which is awkward, when you consider those within the movement are insistent with rejecting several concepts that could reduce the demand of abortion. Or, in some cases, they have attitudes which will actively INCREASE the demand for abortion – like rejecting affordable Medicare, maternity leave, vocational training for youngbloods, universal basic income, the list goes on. The actions and language of several high-profile pro-lifers (Abby Johnson, +Strickland, LifeSiteNews, Father Frank Pavone) and their followers has bothered a few people the last while. These individuals have caused harm and continue to do so – and you can’t ask for others to ignore them. In fact, after spending more time thinking about things, I believe one of the biggest takeaways is just how “lost” the current “pro-life movement” is.
To be clear, I’ve been against abortion for some time now, with one change being that I’ve become better at communicating why. It’s never been about theology for me, it’s been about the bioethical and philosophical ramifications of “when does human life actually begin?” This took on additional significance a few years ago upon my diagnosis of being autistic and dyslexic – and the realization of how deep systemic ableism runs. “Thanks” to things like prenatal screening ableism starts *in the womb* with terminations occurring specifically because unborn children are disabled, and that is something which I cannot abide by – unborn children getting snuffed out specifically because they’re disabled – this is called eugenics, and it is disgusting. It also feeds into my staunch belief of the consistent life ethic, we *must* improve the structures and systems that surround men and women so they don’t feel that they *have* to abort a child because they cannot handle a disabled kid.
Which makes it very telling that while several people like myself detest abortion and fight against regularly are skeptical of many aspects of the law and the sincerity of the pro-life movement who is celebrating this law – which features a “bounty system” that could impact innocent bystanders. The “bounty system” shows that the “pro-life establishment” has learned nothing, because they’re still basing things on the punitive (handing out punishments) instead of restorative (working on structures and supports). Instead of a snitch hotline, rolling out this law with paid mat leave or a vocational training program for future parents or protections for women and men so they can leave their jobs for a bit and no worry about losing it when they get back or universal basic income or some mix of these or even JUST ONE of these would’ve made a huge difference in the eyes of several.
From a pro-life perspective, this *should* be viewed as a victory for human life, but for many who consider themselves pro-life is doesn’t feel that way. And for some, they don’t even view it as a victory. And in my opinion, the current pro-life movement, especially the high profile “celebs”, should examine why people feel that way and why their (the celebs and their ilk) movement has little social capital across the board. Especially during the pandemic, they’ve effectively been undermining themselves for quite some time.
At the end of the day, all I ask of everyone is “be consistent”. Fight against abortion. Fight against what leads to the *demand* for abortion.