Each of the states which have very publicly unveiled strong anti-abortion legislation in recent weeks have characterized the position as “pro-life,” though often those same states are also enthusiastic when it comes to making use of the death penalty and weak in other quality-of-life metrics, GQ reports.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, and Missouri Governor Mike Parsons each celebrated their legislative victories with dramatic pro-life sentiments.
“Time to make Missouri the most pro-life state in the country,” declared Parsons as he vowed to sign a bill banning abortion after just eight weeks of pregnancy.
The “pro-life” branding of opposition to abortion has been around as long as many Americans can remember. But in fact, the terminology became mainstream shortly after the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed Americans the right to abortions in 1973. The moniker was largely developed at the behest of religious leaders as they vowed to fight the ruling going forward.
Critics of that characterization have pointed out that many of the states, politicians, and citizens describing themselves as pro-life have little to point to with respect to issues other than abortion where they act in favor of human life.
Using Alabama, Missouri, and Georgia as examples of states framing their abortion bans as pro-life initiatives, the numbers don’t look good when it comes to statistics such as maternal mortality rate. Georgia actually has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, referring to the rate at which women die from complications during childbirth.
As for Alabama and Georgia, those states have a statistically poor showing when it comes to a similar metric: infant mortality rate.
Alabama is second in the nation when it comes to gun deaths and Georgia is sixth. Each state boasts lax firearm regulations.
The trio of Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia once again clusters together statistically with respect to capital punishment, with those pro-life states ranking fifth, sixth, and seventh with respect to sentencing prisoners to death.
Pro-Life Republicans are only pro-life with unborn babies....not living humans. Pro-Life is simply code for Anti-Choice.https://t.co/xI4SMl79Jj— Michael Martinez (@MikeM512) May 17, 2019
“When it comes to gun safety and capital punishment, concerns for the ‘sanctity of life’ apparently go out the window,” writes Jay Willis for GQ.
“What are some other useful indicia of a passion for all things life?” Willis asks. “Between 2010 and 2014, Missouri, Georgia, and Alabama each saw double-digit increases in the percentage of kids experiencing recurring maltreatment, according to the federal Children’s Bureau. During that same period, Alabama saw a 379 percent increase in the number of children experiencing maltreatment while in foster care,” he closes.