3 July 2022
One of my US friends quipped that ‘Republicans are pro-life until it is actually born’. During the birth
process Republicans are against free health care and after the birth they are against welfare, child
support, living wages, equal opportunity in education etc.
The Pro-life senator in Oklahoma, Wendi Sherman, who was the proponent of the abortion ban
there, said, “The purpose [of government] is to protect life, not to provide for citizens.”
The practical corollary of this definition of the role of government is that women are forced to have
children that they did not want and then forced to care for them, when they knew before the birth
that this was too difficult to attempt. One might ask whether this is the same religious view that was
extant when I was young that having a baby was punishment for the sin of having sex. There is no
quote or evidence of a question on this subject, but these sort of fundamentalist views do seem
extant in the US.
I wonder if political hardheads in the Republican party just use abortion to shore up the significant
religious vote. Abortion is painted as a ‘life and death’ issue and so has great weight. Other policies
like foreign wars, tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to Medicare and welfare programs can sail
through because of this preoccupation/obsession.