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GOP Candidates are ‘Pro-Life’ on Abortion, But Not When it Comes to War
by Ezra Van Auken
Being pro-life is more than about saving one mother from abortion or ending Planned Parenthood because they are your political nemesis via what the right-wing of politics says. To be pro-life is to respect all life, both unborn and born, and to nourish and understand the value of life itself in all of its aspects. In accepting that, any individual who believes the right to life is fundamental in the womb should also carry that principle over to the rest of the world – the born.
If the reason for being pro-life is that your moral compass tells you it is wrong to take the life of the unborn, and acting to abort the unborn is a form of aggression, then should this not apply to the act of ‘war’ on innocent non-combatants who are killed, robbed and injured during wartime? Surely, the non-combatants and even those fighting in self-defense of the initial act of aggression, e.g. invasion, are not consenting to the abortion of their properties, markets, villages, and peoples.
The non-combatants and actors in self-defense are indirectly forced to deal with the actions of another individual or group of individuals – collectives and militaries. Just as the unborn baby is dealing with the actions of the mother’s choice to abort, so too the villagers who watch an MQ-1 Predator missile abort the lives of their neighbor’s home or active funeral service. Although different situations, both uses of initiatory aggression goes overlooked at the expense of human life; depending your political status.
This is what’s amazing to me in the current Republican Party platform – everyone is so heavily pro-life – but it is rarely principled, across the board ‘pro-life’. It is the political ‘pro-life’ of the Trumps and Huckabees. The flip-floppers and the war-mongers. Instead of being supportive for the necessary care of all life – even in times of war – the Republican on stage will so easily make a snark comment about ‘Planned Parenthood’ and abortion, but refrain from showing any pro-life colors on war itself.
As we saw in the first Republican Presidential Debate, nearly all the candidates were able to clarify their pro-life position; of course at a time when political convenience of the issue is expected – given the exposure of newly-released Planned Parenthood videos. Each candidate made it a habit to ‘preach to the choir’: Scott Walker talking about how he de-funded Planned Parenthood, Jeb Bush talking about how he de-funded Planned Parenthood, Mike Huckabee talking about how he wants to use amendments in the Constitution against abortion, Marco Rubio re-assuring folks that he is anti-abortion, and so forth.
In conclusion, each candidate showed his commitment for unborn life inside the mother based on moral compass and/or religious value. But when the issue of life or death, such as war is brought into the realm of thought, it is not treated in the same principle. Instead of breaking ‘war’ down into individual people, the potential loss of innocent lives, the amount of innocent lives in a given land mass, the unintended consequences of disregarding innocent lives, the Republican Party rather display potential war conflicts as divisional rivalries in areas all over the world.
Without debating what a ‘just’ war means – a justifiable conflict, justice for those who were initially impeded on, self-defense – the American politician today goes right into the war itself, discussing whole-entire nations as if the entire populaces of ‘Iranians’ or ‘Afghanis’ are an enemies of another entire population. This could be further from the truth. By taking millions of individuals and reducing them to ‘Iranians’ or religious ‘Muslims’, and using the device in a negative context, e.g. statist politics, you reduce the issue as a whole to something it is not – also missing the point of ‘just’ war.
Sadly the war-hawk Republicans never reach the point at which they realize this fallacy of equating nationalist states to whole peoples – reducing the understanding of human life involved to the larger conflict itself. After all, being pro-life is the principle we are aiming for here. Life, across the board, that is. If abortion of an unborn life is the height of a nefarious choice, then so too, should be the act of war – unless that war is ‘just’ and in self-defense of peoples for specified reasons; *war propaganda not included.