Pro-Life?

Below is an anonymous letter to Paul Ryan. Click the image to read the entire letter.

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3 responses to “Pro-Life?

  • Rachel

    Do you know where one can read about the policies she is referring to? I don’t recall coming across anything about legislation concerning people with disabilities on Romney’s website but maybe I just didn’t know where to look.

  • llcall

    That was a really heart-wrenching story. I hope that I am never faced with that kind of decision. While I sympathize with the terrible position she was in and how raw and emotional the topic must be for her, I still tire of people telling other people that they are not pro-life. This topic of human life is dear to me, very dear to me, and it bothers me that other people think they can tell me whether it truly is dear to me based on their own definition of pro-life. I tire of the abortion debate, among many others, because people on both sides refuse to see the legitimate motives that both sides have (lately, I feel like “legitimate motives” has become my mantra — it’s all I have in a frustratingly partisan election cycle like this).

    While I believe that many (most?) abortions are thoughtfully considered and assessed on moral grounds, I know there are women who had abortions who are now pro-life based on their own assessment that they did not weigh the morality of that choice in the proper way at the proper time (and feel that they are paying a heavy psychological toll now) — and that societal forces contributed to that less than appropriate measuring. I also know people who are pro-life who are raising children with the type of genetic defects that she is talking about. I am no lover of Rick Santorum and his policies but I read a fantastic column about him during the Republican primaries, about his beautiful disabled daughter, a child that the majority of people would have chosen to abort. I’m not judging others’ choices when faced with the same heartbreaking situation, but I am saying that Rick Santorum and his wife have put their money where there mouths are in terms of raising a child that many in society think may not be worth giving birth too. I liked the column precisely because it was a pro-choice columnist grappling with the fact that seeing Santorum’s daughter smile was giving him pause to see if there was another way to look at this debate that in his mind had been long since over.

    Her assessment that Ryan is not pro-life because he does not favor all the same policies that define pro-life for her is, in my mind, misguided. She fails to acknowledge that for conservatives government is not the sole provider of support for the poor and needy, nor should it be. Conservatives feel that the gov’t should have a more limited role and instead encourage local organizations, charities, faith-based groups, etc. to do much of that care. Indeed, studies suggest that right-leaning individuals do donate more time and money to charities, etc. Applying her own lens to one part of Ryan’s belief system/policy stances while ignoring other components and then declaring what he ACTUALLY is as if she is the arbiter is exactly one of the common dysfunctions I see in our political discourse these days. (By the way, I am not a Paul Ryan expert by any means, I am merely speaking about my experience with the conservative mindset and policy positions in general.)

  • Miri

    Camilla. Ohhhhh my goodness. I was in tears reading that letter. I can’t believe how grateful I suddenly am that Ryan and Romney did not win… Not because I think they would have been any kind of particular evil, but just because I hope that their loss signals a bigger change in the country—one that will mean we are finally really beginning to move away from that whole patriarchal culture they represent.

    llcall, why do you think she “fails to acknowledge” that conservatives don’t believe government is the sole provider of support? I felt like she acknowledged that point pretty clearly, actually. In fact I felt like her acknowledgment of that point was the entire basis for her letter. She’s perfectly aware that Ryan doesn’t think government should provide that support. That’s why she’s writing him the letter. That’s WHY she doesn’t believe he is truly pro-life.

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