Texas death penalty abortions, pro-refugee and pro-Black Lives Matter.
Capital punishment, without question, should be championed as a pro-life cause.
As Texas legislators debate House Bill 896, which classifies abortion as homicide and allows women who have abortions to be liable for the death penalty, life is not the central tenet of this bill. Fear is.
Texas lawmakers considering the death penalty for women who terminate proves that their so-called “pro-life” ideology is more concerned about controlling women than it is about preserving life. To be fundamentally opposed to abortion and not the death penalty is not a pro-life position, but an anti-abortion one. To be pro-capital punishment and pro-life are entirely contradictory belief systems.
I call myself pro-life as a radical reclamation of the term. It is not anti-choice, but pro-education, contraception, and safe, legal, and rare access to abortion.
Being pro-life to me isn’t about protecting only “the innocent” or the unborn: it is about protecting the lives of black children like Antwon Rose and Trayvon Martin; it is pro-refugee; it is anti-war; it is veganism. My pro-life ideology is an unapologetically leftist, anti-capitalist statement to refuse to engage with any state-sanctioned killing, especially as the death penalty is framed as killing in the name of greater peace.
Groups like Rehumanize International use the term “consistent life ethics”: protecting life from womb to tomb, regardless of politics, on the basis of shared humanity. It is about the most fundamental human right: life. That’s the true definition of pro-life, not anti-abortion zealotry.
We allow the state to kill a post-abortive woman for “being a killer”, on the basis of what? Maintaining a monopoly on who is permitted to commit violence? If one believes all life is sacred for whatever reason, that should not change when life exists outside of the womb, is a refugee, or commits a crime — but state legislators seem to disagree.
If HB896 is signed into law, no one affected, from pregnant people to the children they are forced to have, will benefit.
As abortion bans are becoming more and more popular under the Trump Administration, who will suffer most? Although most initiatives are blocked from truly banning abortion on their constitutionality, we are seeing a dangerous turn away from safe, legal, and rare.
If made illegal, abortion will be surrounded again by silence, death, and fear. Groups like Code Name Jane — covert abortion networks — will rise again. Women who suffer abortion injury will not be able to seek medical care. Disabled women will be subjected to extremely unsafe terminations. More children will be placed into foster care and adoption.
Unwanted pregnancies, and in turn, termination, is not an issue we can just legislate away. Pro-life means all life, and the real pro-life community will come out against this.