The “Pro Life” movement has met its worst enemy: itself.
The original “Pro Life” movement was about recognizing the importance of life in your actions and decisions and of those around you. It had multiple goals, including reducing the number of abortions, promoting healthy relationships and communities, and raising healthy children. It was a movement everyone could embrace regardless of their political leanings.This all changed in the early 80s when the GOP co-opted “Pro Life” and turned it into a tool to galvanize support (and votes) for Republicans. To the shock and despair of leaders in the Pro Life movement, political operatives (and opportunists) such as Jack Kemp turned “Pro Life” into a simple litmus test: you either opposed abortions or you were a baby killer. And if you were “Pro Choice”, you were a baby killer .. simple as that.
Jack Kemp and his ilk could not have cared less about “Pro Life” outside of its ability to get their candidates elected. And it worked.
“Pro Life” is now more about using hate and rage as a way to promote political support than it is about truly supporting life.
Rep. Tony Tinderholt’s (TX) legislation to criminalize abortions with the death penalty may be extreme, but it is the bottom of the slippery slope of any “Pro Life” legislation. Ultimately, when it comes to legislating “abortions” and “life”, you can’t be “Pro Life” without embracing the hate and rage behind this kind of legislation.