Or: Why most pro-choicers are anti-capital punishment and vice versa.
The argument against abortion that is most commonly used is: “It’s murder.” And anyone who is pro-choice is pro-murder. I’m here to tell you why that’s a load of bull.
Gallup ran a pool in October of 2009 that demonstrated that Republicans are almost twice as likely to support capital punishment (81%) as Democrats, where less than half of Democrats support it (48%). If those numbers aren’t convincing, perhaps the opposite will be: 47% of Dems oppose the practice, where only 16% of Republicans do.
Republicans, who overwhelmingly identify as “pro-life” (70%, Gallup 2009), believe that a “baby” is “alive” from the “moment of conception,” and that abortion, even prior to week 9 (when the embryo becomes a fetus), is “murder.”
As a burgeoning psychologist, let me break this down for you:
What this poll is telling me is that Republicans, who are vehemently anti-choice, are more likely to sanction murdering someone who commits a crime? Well, that’s interesting. Where is the “value of human life” now? Is it only human life of “innocents” that they deem “valuable?” How do they know that the “baby” that they forced a woman to carry to term isn’t going to be the next Hitler? Or Stalin? Or what-have-you?
That is somewhat beside the point, so before I harp on that for too long, and get into all the ways that “pro-lifers” devalue human life on a regular basis (oh, the irony!), I’m going to switch gears and explain how being pro-choice and anti-capital punishment makes perfect sense.
It’s really simple: pro-choicers value human life. All life, including the lives of people who have committed crimes and the lives of women, regardless of some arbitrary “values scale” that the other side has apparently drafted and been using. For us, if you are a woman, and you don’t want to have a child, you don’t have to, because we value you and want you to be a happy and productive member of society. For us, if you have committed a crime, even a violent one, we still value your life and would prefer to rehabilitate you so that you too can become a happy and productive member of society.
We understand that people are not perfect. People make mistakes. And yet, we still value you. We value you more because you’re not some perfect image of a human being, but because you are a real person trying to do the best that you can with what you have.
For this reason, it makes more sense to me to be pro-choice and anti-capital punishment than the other way around. I mean really, if the choice isn’t yours in one scenario, how can it possibly be in the other?