Being Really Pro-Life: A No-Win Scenario

I am pro-life as hell. I’m just going to own that now.

I oppose *abortion in all cases. Period.

But being pro-life isn’t just about abortion, is it? There have been countless articles and social media posts from numerous sources saying people who oppose abortion aren’t “really” pro-life.

Overall, these articles agree that bombing civilians, police brutality, racism, poverty, and corrupt immigration policies are not pro-life. Therefore, if someone opposes abortion, they are not pro-life, they are pro-birth.

Abortion opponents are stereotyped as Republican, conservative Christians who obviously agree with everything else on the party platform.

EXCUSE YOU.

While I am a Christian, I consider both Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes. I see the US’s interference in the Middle East as an economic decision to benefit big business at the cost of human capital. I think the LGBTQ community should…you know…be treated like people.

I see GEO Group’s family detention centers as a human rights violation. I know exactly how permeating rape culture is and though I oppose abortion, the last thing I want is women seeking them to be hurt.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be TRULY pro-life? 

I take crap from everyone. I don’t wholly agree with either the liberal or conservative ideology. It sucks.

I tell people I oppose abortion, they start slinging “liberal” like a cuss word and blaming all Earth’s problems on Muslims. Other times, folks hear I want looser immigration and assume I worship Judge Ginsberg.

Being truly pro-life means hiding half of my beliefs no matter who I’m with.

There are very few who are willing to hear me out, fewer willing to accept my views, and almost none who agree with me. Like I said, it sucks.

So yes. I am pro-life, REALLY pro-life. With all the flak I have to take from both sides of the aisle, that title is mine. I’ve earned it, damn it!

*In life of the mother situations, treatment for ectopic pregnancy is not defined as abortion. 

Life-threatening conditions such as eclampsia tend to occur later in the pregnancy when the fetus is viable outside the womb. In these situations, a C-section is also the fastest means of ending the pregnancy as abortions at this stage have a 2-3 day prep time. 

Abortion is also not necessary for a pregnant woman to seek treatment of such conditions as cancer, though harm to the fetus may be a secondary effect.

While incredibly tragic and something no person should go through, I do not believe in exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality.

 

Why the Government Shouldn’t Fund Art

It’s tough being an artist. Anyone who disagrees with me is welcome to try it for a day, a week, a decade. Artists are made out to be bums, slackers, addicts, and people too stupid to get “real” jobs. For a true artist, it’s quite the opposite.

Being a true artist isn’t lying on riverbanks sketching a $300.00 print or plucking out your next tune high on marijuana. It’s staying up until 3am to finish edits on a manuscript, practicing a few hours before your shift at the diner, or performing a flawless dance routine even with a broken toe.

And the sad truth is it doesn’t generally pay well (if at all).

As an artist, I wish society appreciated what we do, how hard we work, and the sacrifices we make. I also wish people valued our work.

However, I do not want the government valuing my work. When the government comes into art, censorship is inevitable.

Regardless of how inclusive or diverse any program attempts to be, government funding of art requires vetting. You have to make sure these are serious artists, right? This means criteria have to be met. What criteria? It doesn’t matter.

The result will be a separation between what’s considered worthwhile and what’s not.

But really, what is worthwhile art? I had the great fortune of a professor who made me consider these questions. If you really think about it, all the qualifiers for what makes good and bad art come from racism, sexism, or just plain snobbery.

There was a time when Shakespeare was considered garbage because he wrote for peasants. “Universally relatable” literature was once always about white guys because it was white guys who deciding what was relatable. Two people who write military fiction and romance both cater to a specific gender, but guess which one caters to women? Now which one do you think isn’t taken seriously?

Are street dancers less valid than Russian ballerinas? Classical guitarists less valid than electronic bassists? If the government subsidized art, these sorts of decisions would have to be made.

They are made right now when the people at PBS decide what goes on and what doesn’t. As much as I love PBS, I know that not every art form and certainly not every deserving artist is going to be showcased there. Nor is that possible.

The thing is, you can’t put art into policy, not really. Laws and governments should belong to rationality and art should belong to feelings. The purpose of art is to make us feel, isn’t it?

 

The Texas Bathroom Bill: I Have Two Questions

SB 6 or the “Bathroom Bill” is a high priority of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and conservatives in the Texas legislature. He’s even demanding a special session if it doesn’t pass before the deadline.

SB 6 mandates that people use bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their “biological sex.” 

This is a response to President Obama’s strong urging that transgender youth should be allowed to use the lockers and restrooms of their self-identified gender. (It was great business for homeschool teachers, let me tell you.)

According to proponents, SB 6 is meant to protect women and girls from predators using transgenderism as a means of getting into women and girls’ private spaces. According to opponents, it’s transphobia in writing. Either way, there are some things about its very existence that still don’t make sense to me.

1. What problem does it solve?

Are predators currently claiming to be transgender in order to stalk women and girls? Is this something that’s happening? Has it ever happened anywhere? I have yet to hear anything.

I would have thought mention of cases where this had happened would be front and center of the debate, but no.

Transgender individuals are estimated to make up around 125,000 or 0.66% of Texas residents. Registered sex offenders number at around 87,000 or 0.35%.

It also bears mentioning that SB 6 only applies to government entities. This law would effect a very small margin of persons in very specific places.

If this is a real problem, how could such a narrow legislation solve it it?

2. How does the state plan to enforce it?

I’m serious. Assuming proponents do get it passed, can anyone honestly tell me that? Are we going to have a pants check? Government ID scanners on all bathroom doors? Honor system?

We have to talk about these things!

I don’t understand the case for this legislation. Conservative businesses made it very clear during the public hearings they don’t want to deal with it, but apparently conservative voters do.

As for me, I’m just…seriously, I’m so confused right now.

Read the engrossed version of SB 6 here.

The Texas Freedom Caucus made me a liberal

Last Thursday, the Texas Freedom Caucus decided to lash out in response to “personal affronts” by stalling and ultimately killing more than a hundred bills in the Texas House.

Several of those bills would have saved lives.

(I was too angry to write about it last week. For the record, I’m still salty.)

According to the FC and their supporters, HB 948 by Rep. Tinderholt (a total abortion ban) and HB 844 by Klick (a dismemberment abortion ban) were the only “real pro-life bills” because they would outlaw all abortions and the most common method of abortion, respectively. Rep. Stickland kept trying to bring up both these bills toward the last hours and minutes of Thursday night and getting called to order. There were other bills and political ickiness that came into play, but those two bills were a big part of it.

Because they couldn’t get these and several other of their pet bills heard on the floor, the FC elected to stall the proceedings. They made random parliamentary inquiries, asked excessive questions, handed in amendment after amendment, talked about their own military service, and (my personal favorite) discussed their weekly meetings from early in the session.  (They met every Monday evening for dinner, in case you were wondering.)

As a result, the 100+ bills that died included:

  • HB 2063 by Rep. Bonnen that would have forbidden DNR orders by doctors without knowledge of patients and/or their surrogates. (This isn’t already a law???)
  • HB 200 by Rep. Burkett that would have banned partial birth or “intact D&E” abortion and banned the sale of fetal organs. The former has been outlawed at the federal level for years.
  • HB 2043 by Rep. Thierry that was intended to address the high maternal mortality rate among African American mothers by authorizing a study.
  • HB 3476 by Rep. Huberty that would have made a cardiac exam mandatory for student athletes. This bill was written in response to the death of Cody Stephens, a teen athlete who died as the result of an undiagnosed heart condition. Rep. Huberty has been trying to get this bill passed for some time and had promised Cody’s parents he would get it through this session, as he said Thursday night.

Members of the FC and their supporters are blaming Speaker Joe Straus. I have read their arguments and those of their supporters several times over. They still make no sense. As best I can tell, Straus and his allies aren’t conservative enough and therefore letting people die is okay.

Egos take precedence over human lives, so long as you can blame it on a “liberal” or “false conservative”?

I thought I was a conservative for a long time, but it’s not just what happened last week. These past months, hearing these “true” conservatives’ views on immigration, LGBTQ people, pro-choice women, and the views some of them hold on racial/religious minorities, I just…yikes.

I thought I was a conservative. Unfortunately, I happen to think the LGBTQ community, immigrants (legal or not), people involved in abortion, and racial/religious minorities should be protected in every way possible. They should be treated as human beings, right? Just like straight, American-born, white-passing, Christian little me.

I happen to think personal pride is less important than human lives.

Granted, the FC are the extremists. The Democrats and liberals have them, too. The Freedom Caucus is to most conservatives what the Spanish Inquisition was to Christianity. All the same, the FC is quite effectively ruining the label “Republican conservative” for me.

Every pie has its nuts, but these people who call themselves “true” conservatives are just f***ing crazy.

Wanting to pass bills that will survive the Supreme Court and actually go into effect isn’t “pro-life” because it “regulates murder” instead of outlawing it, if you listen to FC supporters. It also makes me *gasp* a liberal. At this point, I don’t care. Call me what you like.

If wanting to save some lives instead of none makes me a “liberal,” by gosh by golly, I’ll be at the next Pride Fest waving a little rainbow flag. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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