There are few issues that have such divisive labels like abortion. Pro-life or pro-choice. It is one that closely toes the party line, one that can make or break a candidate regardless of her other views or qualifications. And, I’ve noticed, the abortion argument is often used by Republicans who wish to derail discussions on other issues that involve lives. Democrats have tried to appeal to Republican’s sense of humanity, noting the 23 million people who would lose their health-insurance under the AHCA, and presumably die under Trumpcare. They have tried to tell the story of the black Americans who are being disproportionally killed or jailed in our country. They even urge Americans to act responsibly and take better care of the earth, because climate changes’ famines and flooding will harm the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. But Republicans are quick to counter, what about the millions of innocent lives who are killed each year? With that one argument, any hope of a productive discussion dissolves away (especially if the discussion is online).
It has already been asked whether Democrats can be Pro-Life, to Nancy Pelosi specifically, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. She said yes, although her response generated negative reactions from members of her party who saw her comments as a step backwards and not in line with the progressiveness of the Democratic Party. But there were others like Vox writer Patrick Day who were encouraged by Pelosi’s response, and wonder whether Pro-Life Democrats will ever be accepted into the fold. Perhaps not. But I only see such perceived oxymoron’s growing within the Democratic Party.
Because for me the real question is whether Pro-Lifers can really call themselves Republicans.
For a party that claims to have a higher moral standing on the issue of abortion, it sure doesn’t seem to care about people’s lives after they are born. If someone truly believes that life begins at conception, and that abortion is the ending of a life and therefore an immoral act, then logically shouldn’t this same person care about the lives of those who are sick, those who are disabled, those who are in need of refuge, and those who are victims? Not just white male American victims but ALL who suffer violence, and especially those who suffer under systematic and institutional oppression. There are plenty of people who are able to hold contradictory views, but if someone were to be consistently Pro-Life, is it really possible for them to be a Republican? I think not. Which makes me believe that those Republicans who claim to be “Pro-Life” are more accurately “Anti-Abortion,” a belief that is not based on one’s morals but other ulterior motives.
I currently reside under the label of Independent. But as the Republican party’s ideals and actions become less and less desirable and relatable to the average American, the Democratic Party should expect voters (especially independents) with strong opinions on issues such as healthcare coverage and climate change to align more with Democrats. These newcomers, however, may not fit the conventional Democratic voter in all political aspects. And while a Pro-Life Democrat sounds like a paradox, it actually may be more logical than a Pro-Life Republican.