Readers Write: The Supreme Court pro ‘some’ life

Readers Write: The Supreme Court pro ‘some’ life

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide “Dobbs v. Jackson (Mississippi) Women’s Health Organization,” a case whose arguments were heard in the fall, it is timely to consider the issues at hand.

The arguments are about a women’s right to healthcare privacy as opposed to a restriction on those rights.

The arguments against a woman’s right to choose when to terminate a pregnancy are framed as “pro-life.” They are anything but.

They are anti-choice. They consider neither the risks to a woman’s health and life, rape, nor severe fetal anomalies as reasons for a woman to make the choice. If they were “pro-life” advocates would have more consistency in their beliefs.

Yes, it is said that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” but being consistent is not always foolish. Pope Francis, for example, is consistent in calling for peaceful solutions instead of war, ending the death penalty, addressing climate change and poverty, and condemning predatory priests as well as celebrating the sanctity of all life.

Why do some value a fetus’s life more than its mother’s life? Why does the unborn, unformed fetus have rights that are denied to the living? Why is a woman denied control of her body while men can get prescription help for theirs?

A “pro-life” stance would advocate for vaccinations and masks in public places. A consistent approach would be to argue for government intervention in support of public health and safety, not just to deny the right to end a pregnancy.

A true “pro-life” stance would argue for access to affordable healthcare, nutrition, housing, and schooling for children. Wouldn’t these be consistent “pro-life” positions?

Wouldn’t a “pro-life” philosophy include Black lives and concerns about the disproportionate disadvantages of being Black during a pandemic and while walking in a white neighborhood?

And what about guns? Wouldn’t a reasonable “pro-life” position be to support gun control measures, including requiring a license to own and operate a gun just as we do for driving a car?

The list goes on. Think of executions and exonerations? How can capital punishment be “pro-life”? Aren’t exonerations supported by fetal tissue DNA? And fetal tissue research is elementary in the development of life-saving vaccines.

Think about climate change. It threatens all life, on land, in the air, and under the sea. Shouldn’t a consistent “pro-life” position take into account the lives of all living things?

And what about war? Wouldn’t a true “pro-lifer” address differences through peaceful means rather than by violence and weapons? Wouldn’t a true “pro-life” person act to ban nuclear weapons, the gravest threat to human, animal, and plant existence?

Why is only some life deemed sacred? As humans, we can think and make choices that will not limit our capacity to make choices. The examples given above are about choices, about considering alternatives and acting in the best interest of all concerned.

Those who oppose a woman’s right to choose are anti-choice, not “pro-life”.

Dr. Robert A. Scott

Retired president of Adelphi University

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