Given covid, aren't red states proving that when they say 'pro-life' they really just mean pro-pregnancy?
The red-blue covid divide is deepening
How did we get back here:
‘They couldn’t take it anymore’: Hospital exec says employees are walking off the job
Covid 19 is a bastard that has already killed millions of people around the globe, including at least 630,000 in the United States. It is airborne and contagious and is crafty enough to mutate to allow itself to keep spreading.
I hate that damn thing, if you can really hate a virus. I give no quarter to Covid 19. I wish it would go away or die or mutate itself out of existence. I wish it infects not one more person, no matter who they are or where they are or what they’ve done. That’s why I’ve done as best I could to follow the sensible guidelines to ensure I’m not spreading it, or to at least make it hard for covid to use me as a vehicle.
I haven’t been perfect but I’ve done the masking and the social distancing and the handwashing and the Zoom events I wanted to be in-person and skipped things I wanted to attend. It’s why I’m fully vaccinated and have begun wearing a mask again in some indoor settings given the Delta variant. I wish I didn’t have to do any of that, but I understand I have a small role to play in this. Because I actually want all of us - all of us - to get through this together so we can fuss and fight and debate on the other side of this pandemic, or laugh and relax or whatever else we human beings would be doing if Covid 19 wasn’t a reality.
Because I believe in the sanctity of life - though I don’t consider myself “pro-life” for a very specific reason. Because that label has long seemed largely political rather than principled, despite the many pro-lifers - and there are many here in South Carolina and were a hell of a lot in the mostly-white evangelical church I spent nearly two decade in - who keep trying to convince me that when they say pro-life they really mean pro life. And yet, as I type these words, many of those who are most staunchly “pro-life” are among the most likely to flaunt the simple things asked of them to help us end this damn pandemic. They are the least likely to have been vaccinated, the least likely to wear masks, the least likely to commit to social distancing despite all the unnecessary deaths around them.
If you live in a red state like I do, you see that contradiction all the time. It is one thing to have “pro-lifers” pledge allegiance to a cartoonish version of the Second Amendment despite all the unnecessary gun deaths in our region, including an alarming number of white men committing suicide. That’s bad enough. But it’s much worse to watch those same folks scream “freedom” and “liberty” while knowingly helping to spread a deadly virus that can kill not only themselves but others.
I wish this wasn’t a political issue. And I know that vaccine hesitancy isn’t only about what Trump voters want to think and believe and what primetime Fox News hosts keep selling. I know for some people, particularly in the black community, it has to do with this country’s long history of medical racism. That’s extremely unfortunate. Medical racism killed and maimed black people in a thousand different ways before Covid 19. Now the knowledge of that history might be maiming and killing even more black people. That has to be grappled with better than we have so far. But that’s a far different issue than what it animating the supposed “pro-life” crowd.
Louisiana’s governor apparently shares my frustration.
"I’ve heard it said often: Louisiana’s the most pro-life state in the nation. I want to believe that. It ought to mean something. In this context, it ought to mean something," he said yesterday.
He’s right, of course. It should mean something. Unfortunately for the “pro-life” crowd, it’s clear that it doesn’t actually mean an embrace of the sanctity of life, meaning their critics were right all along, that it just means “pro-pregnancy,” maybe just another way to control a woman’s body.
Update: Even the “pro-pregnancy” argument isn’t what it seems, given this fact someone just pointed out to me:
If they really cherished life as much as they keep proclaiming, there’s no way in hell this would be our reality:
“One of the main factors driving differences in COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country is partisanship. Our surveys consistently find that Democrats are much more likely to report having been vaccinated than Republicans, and Republicans are much more likely to say that they definitely do not want to get vaccinated. In May, just as vaccine supply was starting to outstrip demand, we examined average vaccination rates by county and found that rates were lower in counties that voted for Trump in the 2020 Presidential election compared to those that voted for Biden. Now, two months later, we find that not only does this remain the case, the gap has grown.”
That’s from this Kaiser Family Foundation data. It’s sobering as hell.
This is not pro-life behavior:
How do we know this is anti pro-life behavior? Because it is a major factor in the growing number of unnecessary covid deaths we are currently experiencing:
This doesn’t even include the myriad other ways covid is sucking the life out of people, whether they are long-haulers, who have severe symptoms months later, or the millions who have yet to return to work, or the growing number of kids who are getting hit with this thing directly and indirectly with yet another school year in jeopardy, which will bring with it all kinds of miseries.
Stop telling me you’re “pro-life” and start acting like it.
Are pro-lifers the only reason we are back in a dark place with covid? Of course not. But they’ve long held themselves as moral arbiters, passionately explaining to others what living a life focused on cherishing life is really about. They say they have a higher calling. I just want them to live up to their words.