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Friday, May 24, 2019

What the Anti-Choice Movement Really Stands For

Adina Marx

Communications Associate

In the past several weeks we have seen different types of abortion bans moving through state legislatures, and in some cases getting signed by governors into law. It is important to note that none of these bans have taken effect; abortion is still legal in all fifty states. But these bills point to a troubling trend in reproductive rights. The national conversation on abortion access seems to have swung wildly in the direction of the anti-choice movement.

It is fascinating that this movement calls itself “pro-life.” The so called “pro-life” movement seems to be in favor of one thing and one thing only; regulating people with uteruses. They might as well have called themselves the “pro-starting-of-life” movement, because by their track record, they don’t seem to much care for children and mothers once a baby has been born. Three states that currently have massive abortion bans either passed by the governor, in the cases of Alabama, Missouri and Georgia have some of the worst health outcomes for mothers and infants. Here are some things that the so-called “pro-life” movement is not currently taking action on.

Georgia is by far the most striking example. According to America’s Health Rankings, Georgia has the highest rate in the country of maternal mortality, 46.2 deaths per 100,000 births. That rate is already twice the national average, and rising. It is also 44th in country for publicly funded women’s health services. America’s Health Rankings rate Georgia as the second worst in the country for policies that determine health decisions of the female population. In other words, Georgia’s policies create the second worst incentives in the country for patients to seek care.

Georgia's rankings for childcare are just as appalling. Georgia has the fifth highest infant mortality rate in the country, with roughly 8 deaths for every thousand children born. And once a child grows up, the state still does not seem interested in helping them. According to Circle Ranch Inc., an organization which runs foster homes in Georgia, 700 children age out of foster care every year. 53 percent of them end up unemployed, and 43 percent end up homeless. Most shockingly, more than half of the women who age out of the foster care system will have children who end up in foster care.

Alabama and Missouri have some equally terrible rankings. Alabama is second in the nation for infant mortality at roughly 9 deaths per every 1 thousand children born. Missouri is ranked seventh in the nation for maternal mortality.

All of these statistics are coming from states that are now purportedly moving in the “pro-life” direction. Do lives only count until they start? Does saving the “unborn” preclude someone from helping lives that already exist?

The only thing the “pro-life” anti-choice movement stands for is forcing people with uteruses to give birth. They do not care about the life of the mother, and once they child is born they do not care about the child either. The point of these bills is not to help women or save children. The point is to suppress half of the population.