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The Sanctity of Human Life

Gonzales v. Carhart feels like old news already (which is not to say that its legacy won’t be with us for a long, long time), but I haven’t been able to think about it and write about it as much as I would like—well, I don’t really like talking and thinking about it, but I do feel compelled—because caring for my baby takes up so much of my time and energy. Of course, the fact that I care about my baby at nine months as much as I cared about her before she was born is one of the reasons I find the anti-choice ascendancy so upsetting.

This New York Times article about escalating rates of infant mortality in the South seems to be archived now, but Lawyers, Guns and Money and Feministe both offer succinct analyses of the material, and a brief look at Mississippi tells you pretty much everything you need to know: As a governor who has backed a number of anti-choice laws, Haley Barbour is proud to call his state “the safest place in America for an unborn child,” but he has also presided over welfare and Medicaid cuts that have made Mississippi a decidedly unsafe place for children who have actually been born. Barbour has commemorated the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by calling for “a week of prayer regarding the sanctity of human life,” but his policies are a perfect reflection of Barney Frank’s famous and sadly perfect formulation: While they might call themselves “pro-life,” most anti-choice advocates “believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.” Fetuses are sacred. Babies are expendable.

May 2, 2007 | Permalink

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