“Babies like yours are generally not comfortable enough to sleep.”
That’s just the beginning of the explanation Kate Carson received from her doctors about the deformity effecting her unborn child. The child would never walk, talk or swallow. Her child could potentially survive for a couple of years in hospital, while undergoing a battery of sustaining surgeries and organ transplants, but continued survival was impossible.
Her medical dilemma could have been resolved with a safe, simple procedure performed by her local doctor. Thanks to the interference of calloused, ignorant preachers and politicians, the family would have to travel across the country to end her late-term pregnancy in a procedure that would cost thousands of dollars borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund. The medical facility was protected behind razor-wire, a measure made necessary by threats and assassinations carried out by “pro-life” religious nuts. Welcome to the loving arms of the so-called pro-life movement.
Carson’s experience, like that of other families in this rare and terrible situation, has been aggravated by men like Senator Ben Sasse, who built their careers around abortion mythology. Last week, Sasse failed in his second bid to pass what he called the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would mandate lifesaving health care for infants born alive from a failed abortion.
In a concern-trolling op-ed in USA Today last month Sasse explained the rationale for his bill, “Infanticide shouldn’t be a partisan issue.” It isn’t. He continues, “Picture a baby that’s already been born, that is outside the womb, gasping for air, that’s the only thing that today’s vote is actually about…Today, an extreme pro-abortion lobby is advocating for abortion anytime and for any reason — even after the baby has left the womb.” That would be a terrible situation if it were real. It would also already be a crime several times over. Ben Sasse is lying. He’s OK with that, because he’s convinced that his religious superstitions are more important than medical science, your civil rights, your health, and your family.
Why are abortion opponents promoting bills to protect “born alive” infants? They are trying to mainstream a conspiracy theory about the abortion process. Sasse’s bill was organized slander, an effort at write a blood libel into law.
Needless to say, it is crime to kill a baby. A fetus, removed from the mother’s body, is a baby, already protected by law just like anyone else. But it gets better, Republicans have already passed a version of Sasse’s bill in an earlier wave of attention-whoring on this non-issue. The Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 is the same bill, banning the same already illegal non-practice, to promote the same idiotic mythology. Why propose a virtually identical bill? Merely pointing out that a bill already exists wouldn’t get Sasse on TV, or warrant an op-ed slot. Sasse isn’t protecting anyone or anything besides his own career.
Pro-life activists lie because the truth won’t sell. It is a bad idea to replace the skills and expertise of doctors with the mysticism of TV preachers. That gets people hurt. But “pro-life” activists don’t care who pays for their ambitions.
All this lying suggests that pro-life activists are perhaps motivated by something other than their unquenchable love of babies. The truth behind the pro-life lie is that pro-life activists have no interest in actual human beings. Blinded by their superstitions and comforted by sanctimonious mythology, they spread misery without conscience. A pro-life movement would care whether children had access to health care after they were born. It would care about children being gunned down in schools. A pro-life movement would loathe a man like Donald Trump. Out in the real world where theology meets consequences, the pro-life movement is nothing more than a campaign to ensure that women stained by sexual activity cannot escape their rightful penance. The pro-life movement promotes births, not babies, and certainly not the interests of full-grown humans, who are entirely disposable. Pro-life activists are committed to the protection of every human life from the moment of conception until just before some man has to start writing a check.
Pro-life activists have been lying to the public for fifty years. They lie about their motives. They lie about their history. They lie about their ambitions. They even lie about easily disprovable details of the medical process. Finally, after decades of hard work inside the Republican Party, they found a President who isn’t bothered by lies, a President who will embrace their most outrageous and damaging cult legends from the dais of the House Chamber.
After half a century, pro-life activists have found a leader corrupt enough to embrace their movement, and they revere him. Ben Sasse tries to be the smiling, sane face of Republicans and the pro-life movement, but he’s telling the same lies as his leader of his party, drafting in Trump’s wake. Neither Sasse nor the GOP will escape the stain of their compromises. Donald Trump is the Pro-Life President. Their movement deserves the reckoning that lies ahead.
In the Gospels, Jesus warned his followers that “false prophets” would seek to lead them astray. He advised that, “You will know them by their fruit.” Here’s the fruit of the pro-life movement: