Smith: Republican spending cuts don’t support pro-life ideals

As a passionately pro-life moderate, I felt more than a little anxiety voting for a Democratic president. I had no idea that the biggest attack on everything the pro-life movement stands for would come from the Republican right.

When talking about the pro-life movement, it's important to understand that many of us don't want to take women's rights away. We do, though, see an inherent contradiction in a service that legally provides what we perceive as murder.

That means, from a pro-life standpoint, that legalizing abortion is giving women the right to murder their children – a right that they wouldn't have once the child is born.

Abortion is not going to be outlawed any time soon. It just won't be. And the consequences of women resorting to back-alley abortions again are a high price to pay for correcting a moral contradiction in our laws.

It's time to start looking for alternatives and compromises. Since both sides see the stances of the other as so inherently wrong, it's been hard to start a discussion, but a discussion is exactly what we need right now.

Unfortunately, the Republicans in office right now are only interested in taking abortion down a peg, no matter how many bodies they have to roll over in the battle for "life."

Recently, a wave of "pro-life" legislature has swept the country. I'd be psyched – if it weren't all insane.

A bill proposed in South Dakota would declare the murder of an abortion doctor a "justifiable homicide" if the murderer was protecting an unborn fetus. Never mind that killing doctors is just as much an attack on life as killing fetuses.

Meanwhile, the proposed House spending bill would make drastic cuts to funding for services that benefit women and children, including programs that prevent teen pregnancy and provide support for single mothers.

I want abortion gone as much as the next pro-lifer, but it's inhumane to encourage women to follow through with unwanted pregnancies and then raze the systems that would allow them to support the children they're not equipped to care for. It's like giving someone a ton of bricks to carry and taking away the wheelbarrow.

The argument for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, at least, is ideologically understandable. As someone who is fundamentally opposed to abortion, it's hard to think about my tax dollars funding a company that provides abortions, even if that money isn't directly funding the abortions themselves.

But the best way to get rid of abortion is to undercut the demand for it by providing support services and alternatives for women and children. If there's an infrastructure for women considering abortions to fall back on, then there's less chance that women will have to resort to killing their unborn children.

Being pro-life shouldn't just be about protecting unborn babies. It should be about protecting life in all forms, or we're all hypocrites. You can't say you're pro-life and then take away services that allow that life to thrive.

As Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. said in a recent House speech, "For you to stand on this floor and to suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous." She'd just admitted to having an abortion as her 17-week pregnancy was failing.

Pro-life advocates need to stop overlooking the individuals to paint the larger moral picture. Women end up at places like Planned Parenthood because they genuinely think they have nowhere else to go, and if the House makes the intended cuts, Republicans will have more blood on their hands than the abortion doctors they hate.