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Are Politicians Who Cut Food Stamps and Deny Health Access Truly 'Pro-Life'?

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: healthcare, congress, constitution, americans, abuse, ethics, government, politics, protection, women, ethics )

- 1077 days ago -
Those most vocally opposed to reproductive rights are also most likely to cut assistance to poor families.

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Beverly Fjobhunting (86)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 8:16 am
When Wendy Davis proclaimed that she is "pro-life" — a description long since appropriated by conservatives opposed to abortion rights -- the right-wing media practically exploded with indignation. How could she dare to say that? But having won national fame when she filibustered nearly 12 hours against a law designed to shutter Lone Star State abortion clinics, the Texas state senator with the pink shoes doesn't hesitate to provoke outrage among the righteous.

Speaking to a crowd at the University of Texas in Brownsville last Tuesday, Davis, now running for governor as a Democrat, made a deceptively simple but profound declaration: "I am pro-life. I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry their children's future and their ability to provide for that."

Her argument directly pierced to the contradiction within the right's "pro-life" sloganeering. So far the feeble answer from the right is that Davis must be "lying" because nobody who supports a woman's right to choose is pro-life.

But that response is merely a repetition that seeks to evade her deeper philosophical thrust. Whatever anyone may think about abortion, the persistent question for self-styled pro-lifers is why they tend to insist on making life so much more difficult for so many children who have entered the world. The same Republicans — and they are nearly all Republicans — most vocally opposed to reproductive rights are also most likely to cut assistance to poor families, infants and children at every opportunity, from the moment of birth long into adolescence and beyond.

The imperiled Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is only the latest instance of this drearily familiar anti-life syndrome. This week, more than 48 million Americans, including 22 million children, saw their food stamp benefits cut as a temporary enhancement of the program expired. That was worse than bad enough. But next year, if the Republicans have their way, the government would cut $40 billion from the program over the next 10 years — immediately depriving 4 million people of food assistance and then another 3 million every year.

Supposedly, the excuse for this cruel scheme is to encourage able-bodied adults to work, even though jobs continue to be scarce. But what about the children who will go hungry, thanks to the budget advanced by the "pro-life" House leadership?

Incidentally, these are the same "pro-lifers" who will do almost anything to frustrate the long-sought national objective of universal health insurance. On that issue, one of their favorite complaints is that expanding health care to all will increase the availability of family planning, including abortion. But what of the tens of thousands of Americans who die every year because they lack insurance? Saving their lives is evidently not a "pro-life" priority.

Wendy Davis is right, but perhaps she didn't go far enough. You see, the other self-serving sobriquet appropriated by the right is "pro-family," a code term for opponents of reproductive rights, marriage equality, and other progressive policies that actually empower families of all kinds. Again, these same politicians tend to disparage not only Obamacare, but also extended unemployment insurance, Social Security's old age and disability assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, student loans, tuition assistance, family leave, the earned income tax credit, and the entire panoply of successful government programs that help to keep real working families from disintegrating under economic, social, and medical stress.

In fact, Davis might reasonably question whether the minions of the religious right and the tea party are even truly "anti-abortion," although they have long since tried to escape that category. It is true that right-wingers have tried incessantly (and unsuccessfully) to outlaw abortion. But today they often seek to restrict contraception and effective sex education as well, even though preventing unwanted pregnancies is the most obvious way to reduce the number of abortions.

How would conservatives behave if they honestly wanted to save the family — as House Republicans will now claim when they kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, banning workplace bias against lesbians and gays? They might begin by reconsidering their ideological project of dismantling federal programs, long supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, that help families maintain stability, care for each other, maintain healthy children, and advance in each generation.

The real enemies of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for American families are those who seek to polarize incomes, destroy the social safety net, and impose misery on women and children in the name of religious morality.


Arielle S. (313)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 8:22 am
I guess when the Republicans talk about pro-life, they mean their own. Nobody else's.

Freya H. (355)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 8:24 am
All too true. They care about life only if it's in utero, or has a seven-figure (or more) income, or is kissing the right a--es.

Roseann d. (178)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 8:51 am
Prolife is big business for them in the adoption arena. Plus they need low income infants to grow up and enlist to become cannon fodder.

Nancy Black (308)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 10:58 am
Noted, tweeted, shared, tweeted, shared. The answer to the question is politicians who claim to be pro-life and are willing to cut food stamps, affordable housing, medical protection, education, childcare are NOT pro-life. They ARE pro-control. They are more than willing to control a woman body and her right to contraception, but they are not willing to help once a child comes out of the womb. Can't understand how anyone can justify starving a baby which takes a while while they force women to have these babies they can't provide for. It has to be power and control that motivates them or maybe they just want future fast food workers or soldiers who are used to fight until they are wounded and then forgotten about. It stinks!

Kit B. (276)
Monday November 11, 2013, 12:05 pm

We are still using old and out dated slogans. People that support the right of each woman to make a choice about her life and ability to properly care for a child is not pro death. It is openly respecting that only that woman can know what she is able to provide. Pro- choice is any thing but anti-life. Is is a silly slogan that is meant to state clearly that we respect a woman's body and her rights to make the best possible decision for her potential pregnancy. Yes, I know some call it murder, which is all drama and no substance.

Unfortunately the behavior of the right seems to be have that child, if possible we will force you to take that pregnancy to term. What then? We have a very broken and vastly underfunded child care system in this country. Some babies are adopted and have a great life, too many are simple shuttled about in a system with too many babies that do become children and the older they grow the less chance for them to adopted.
Should that woman have the baby, she then needs to work and provide a home, food, transportation, medical care, clothing and education and safe child care while she is working. what does the government do for that women and child? In fact, what to the churches do to assist this sad situation? We all know the answer, very little.

Before you take it upon yourself to dictate what another person will do with their body and their life, you better be damn sure you have all possible social safety nets properly funded. Even then, how dare you live in country that speaks to freedom, unless you are a woman.


Roseann d. (178)
Monday November 11, 2013, 12:36 pm
The same politicians are not pro-environment needed for a life-sustaining planet. If you are claiming to be pro-life, better back it up by being pro-environment. You know...the Intelligent Design they claim to love only to kill it all with Moronic Destruction.

Rose Becke (142)
Monday November 11, 2013, 7:26 pm
GO Kit

Karen Kersten-Chestney (112)
Monday November 11, 2013, 7:56 pm
Read it and forward the article to facebook and twitter....No not pro-live !!! Pro-money!!!! Psudo-christians selling plastic Jesus to stupid people who vote against themselves.

Angelene B. (148)
Monday November 11, 2013, 9:51 pm
nope, they're not!

John Gregoire (293)
Tuesday November 12, 2013, 7:26 am
Cutting food stamps (and they wouldn't like us using that nomen, is entirely different from removing that program from the Agriculture bill. It's about time -overtime- for every program to stand on its own and be voted on that way. Ditto for all the sneaky add-ons and pork items that still exist.

Dandelion G. (386)
Tuesday November 12, 2013, 7:32 am
I agree it is about control, the American Taliban. Control those women, keep them barefoot and pregnant so they can't work, become educated, then they'll beg to have some man take care of them whether they are beaten or enslaved in the house. Too many women already are trapped with abusive men as they can't find jobs at living wages to leave at the same time services to these women have been cut back or no longer exist.

Already the right to vote is being made harder for those who are women for their names today do not match their birth records. These women having to find or chase down documents of marriage and divorce is not always so simple and also adds costs. Many times these women are unaware of what changes have been signed in and will be turned away at the polls.

Yup, they'd like us women to be back to the pre-Suffragette movement when men owned everything and the women from daughters to wives were at their total mercy. A woman was needed to give a man a son to be able to carry on the name and leave his property to. Women who didn't present a male child, even though it is now proven she doesn't make that determination, back then, if no male child was given women were beaten, tossed out with no place to go or murdered so the man could get another women to give him a male child.

Women had no rights to vote, no say in how many children, no say in the direction of your life at all, no rights to own property, in fact women were in the count along with the pigs, cows and chickens. Back in the real good old days, when the man died the house didn't even go to the wife, it went to her eldest son or a son, if she had no son it would go to a brother of his, and many time the wife was forced into servitude to the one the house went to. Being removed from her bedroom to some outback building or storage room to sleep while she cooked meals, cleaned, or did the chores to earn her keep to remain in the home.

Sounds outlandish.......but these extremist are never happy......they want to push us further and further back into some dark place in history.

I'm glad Ms Davis is turning the tables on them. We need to stop placating to these bullies that are now holding office and call out the bullies for what they are. I wish Ms Davis a lot of luck in that State, she is going to need it, too many people there have drank the kool-aid for too long that the followers of these extremist don't even realize how terrible and heartless they appear and sound. And those who do know are thirsting to get us to those days when they were rulers of the roost.

Barry AWAY T. (938)
Tuesday November 12, 2013, 8:40 am
Pro life usually = anti-life. people who are more concerned with life that hasn't started yet than they are with the often horrible conditions of life imposed on those who actually HAVE BEEN BORN (and sometimes wonder why, perhaps wish they hadn't been)

Carrie W. (6)
Wednesday November 13, 2013, 10:18 am
Maybe Michelle O should have kept her hands out of the Food Stamp funds!

Obama using food-stamp cash to fund Michelle’s ‘Let’s Move’

Frank R. (51)
Thursday November 14, 2013, 4:33 am

Candy L. (473)
Friday November 15, 2013, 4:23 am
Only in the Zygote Stage

GGmaSheila D. (203)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 12:18 pm
o many good commens, couldn't have said it better...Agree it's all about Power and Control, nothing about Life.

Dandelion G. (386)
Wednesday November 20, 2013, 12:51 pm
A rather right wing slant to the article you left Carrie, and I'm not disputing that may be so, that some savings went over to Michelle O's project. However, the article left the Republicans hand clean and that isn't the case either. If we, as Americans, can't stop and see that BOTH Parties are selling us down the drain then it's going to be a back and forth between the red team and the blue team and both are playing lousy upon the American public.

We need to call out equally BOTH Parties for neither have their hands clean in the messes we are dealing with today. Yes, I'm an Independent voter so I will call out either party when I see it and I have as we all should be doing. Having a blind spot or Party loyalty and only pointing the finger in one direction fails to have one seeing 3 are pointed in the other direction. This blindness has held the American people captive in their own chains that bind.
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