I have a question about the current budget debate and possible government shutdown. A serious question. And no, I’m not being facetious with this serious question regarding a serious topic that, once again, is front and center of the serious, current political/social conversation. Seriously.
Do right wing conservatives really care about abortion because of “humanitarian” reasons, or has it just become the ultimate hot button issue they use to irk liberals?
Let’s face it, and this isn’t exactly a newsflash: Politics is dirty. Really dirty. Taunting has always been a favorite pastime of Washington. There are often laws proposed simply to get a rise out of the opposite party; this is common practice (look no further than Republicans symbolically proposing a law to repeal the new healthcare act that they knew would never pass). But the abortion issue has always represented the main divide between the parties, so it was no surprise when Republicans decided to add a provision in their budget proposal that would defund Planned Parenthood in the name of abortion (even though PP really only uses 3 (or so) percent of its resources to deal with abortion; it’s against the law for them to actually supply funds for the practice.) But we know exactly why this policy was added: to piss liberals off. After all, the defunding of Planned Parenthood doesn’t affect the overall budget and is hardly worth government shutdown. Why else would it be there? (Not to mention, Republicans also wanted to limit the control of the EPA and the financial regulation supplied by the Dodd-Frank act: two other policies strongly supported by liberals that have nothing to do with funding the government or decreasing the deficit. Transparent much?)
Excuse me for jumping to conclusions, but the Republican track record on any humanitarian issue has not exactly been stellar. They never seem to mind cutting education (they threatened to gut the Headstart program in the latest budget, which helps thousands of low income children obtain education...as if that’s what’s causing the deficit), or any social service that may aid the poor for that matter. In fact, the idea of universal healthcare, a program that would overwhelmingly help the less fortunate, is absolute poison to them. Essentially, the right wing seems to care about babies from conception to birth, and then doesn’t really give a shit what happens to them once they are out of the womb. Especially poor ones. So why should I believe they really give a shit about the health/existence of a human embryo?
Plus, don’t republicans consistently request for LESS government control? At every turn, whether it be gun control or taxes, they live and die by their “small government” motto. Hell, some Republicans (or Tea Party members) don’t even want the government involved in government programs, as evidence by the memorable “keep your government hands off my Medicare” quote released during the healthcare debate. The right wing is pretty consistent about this line of thinking until it comes to abortion; then they don’t mind if a bunch of old white men decide what women can and can’t do with their bodies.
Yes, they cite religious doctrine and beliefs as the reason they feel abortion is “murder.” But excuse me if I don’t really buy it. When it comes to competition and winning, it’s easy for humans to dig trenches in thought or theory they may not actually feel that strongly about, especially when it comes to being “right.” And if they find an issue that really drives the other side crazy, they’ll often double down on the rhetoric in an effort to drive the opposite side bonkers.
And the anti-abortion stance, especially among politicians, reeks of this.