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"Culture of Life"

Posted by Tsach Gilboa on August 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM

“Culture of Life”

It is amazing how inventive we are and how words and phrases can be so easily manipulated to advance one’s agenda, valid or not. The anti-choice people, those who favor personhood amendments and a return to the pre-Roe v. Wade world of abortion being illegal in all cases–including rape, incest and the life of the mother–have a new slogan: “Culture of Life”. I must say, it sounds great! Who can possibly be against the “Culture of Life”? Only mad people surely.

However, us being sentient beings after all, and just as an intellectual exercise, lets go a little deeper and explore what “Culture f Life” the way they use it actually means.

America still has the death penalty in 33 states plus the U.S. Government and the U.S. Military. In the first half of 2012 alone, eight states executed 23 people, half that number in Texas and Mississippi. In 2011 the US executed 43 people, according to Amnesty International, ranking it fifth in the world in Capital Punishment, after China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, not exactly the company we want to keep or the example we want to follow.

It is important to note–as reported by the Innocence Project–that since 2003 17 people have been proven innocent and exonerated by DNA testing in the US after serving time on death row. These people were convicted in 11 states and served a combined 209 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. “Funny” thing about killing someone, you cannot bring him/her back if you made a mistake, as the state did in these cases. We can also never return the lost years these people spent in Prison, while being INNOCENT, but we can at least release them and allow them to live the rest of their lives as free people, something you can obviously not do if they are dead.

What makes this issue even more important and frustrating is that all those anti-choice believers and proponents, even in cases of rape, incest and life/health of the mother, have no problem, as a whole, with the death penalty. If this is the “Culture of Life” why are we, as a society, executing people? And we are doing so with the full knowledge that our imperfect legal justice system has a troubling and unacceptable record of convicting the wrong people in alarming numbers, with the belief of this writer, that even one falsely convicted and executed person is too much!

Another layer here is religion. Fundamental to the Personhood campaign is that once the sperm fertilizes the egg it is a Human Being with full rights and privileges. That is not a scientific view of life but a religious one. Assuming, arguendo, that we are believers here and that God is the source of life and all that is so amazing about the universe and our existence as a small part of it, what gives us the right to executed people? Should that not be the prerogative of God?

And that brings me to my final point here. The Republican Party platform clearly states no abortion under any circumstances including rape, incest and health/life of the mother. So if the mother’s health and life is in danger if she cannot abort the fetus, are the anti-choice people saying that the fertilized egg of a few hours, days or weeks is more important that the life of a fully grown woman? Let the mother die?

Of course during pregnancy and after birth there is no assistance and care to the mother and fetus/baby/kid since that would be “Big Government.” Government monitoring each pregnancy and making sure we get the result Government wants, that is not “Big Government”. Protecting, assisting, educating us after we are born to ensure productive and competitive Americans is bad. Government forcing women to carry babies to term and having them, regardless of circumstances and the possible resulting poverty and misery, instead of quality of life, is good.

Just what is the “Culture of Life” according to this anti-choice view: It seems that it is limited to forcing women to carry their babies to term under any and all circumstances. What happens during the pregnancy and after the baby is born, if he/she is, well that is your responsibility. You are alone after all.

Categories: Conversations with a Mad Man

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