As Coronavirus Continues to Cause Chaos, Where is the Pro-life Movement?

The ongoing crisis has prompted me to reflect on the movement that claims to truly care about the wellbeing of people.

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Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

Whether it be the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job, or the terror of having ourselves or someone close to us reporting to work in the midst of this crisis, the coronavirus pandemic has continued to wreak havoc, leaving devastation the likes of which we haven’t seen in modern history in its wake. The other day, white house advisor Kevin Hassett made headlines when he referred to the American people as “human capital stock” as he discussed the potential unemployment rates come November and the need — in his view — to get the American people back to work.

In the time I’ve had to process this comment and its place in the broader context of the American political system, my mind began to consider the overall complete and total disregard for human lives among the right wing. While it’s certainly served as a mask off moment for out healthcare system and the fragility of the end stage capitalist world we find ourselves living in, there’s also an argument to be made that it’s served as a mask off moment for the right wing’s “pro life” movement as well.

For as long as the pro life movement has existed, we all know those who participate have argued that we need to respect the dignity of life in all of its forms, arguing against abortion and even equating it to murder. But for all the uproar and the lengths that they have gone to destroy access to abortion to the best of their ability all throughout the nation, in the midst of a crisis that has left tens of millions unemployed, uninsured, and on the precipice of being starved in to submission and returning to work before it is safe, there is nothing but resounding silence from those who claim to truly value human life.

You would think, at the very least, as a group that claims to want to protect human life, that the pro life movement would be advocating for the American people to remain safe at home with the government returning $2000 dollars of our money each month for the duration of the crisis to get us through. You would think that as a group that reportedly cares about protecting life, they would be concerned for the young mothers they so desperately wanted to have children, who are now out of a job with children to provide for at home and no money to do so. And yet, Republican lawmakers in particular have instead continuously advocated against doing even the bare minimum to protect the very groups they pretend to be the most concerned about.

As obvious as all that might be, Kevin Hassett’s added yet another fascinating layer to the infuriating and callous nature of those who claim to be “pro life”.

It has never, ever been about protecting the unborn. Instead, it has just been about ensuring there are more future workers out there, ready in the waiting to get out and keep the capitalist machine running as smoothly as possible. After all, we aren’t people anymore, remember? We’re human capital stock. So long as there are enough people out there, that stock remains in fair shape. Everyone is indeed replaceable, and none of us need to be protected. Rather, we must be sent out there — oftentimes for poor wages — to preserve their actual stock portfolios, and watch as they reap the benefits of our labor while taking our tax payer money in bailouts as well.

More babies, more workers.

Just once, I would like to see a Republican lawmaker actually mean it when they say that human life in all its forms matters to them. Surely if it did, then they would be absolutely horrified as the stability of working families all throughout the country collapses around them on an unprecedented despair. Surely, the ever growing despair and hardship would be utterly destroying them, and they would be doing everything they could to prevent it. Instead, they’re laying us at the foot of capitalism’s alter as sacrificial lambs. I wish I could say I was surprised.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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