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Stand up for Marshae Jones

Marshae Jones was shot in the stomach and her baby died. Now she’s being prosecuted for the child’s death. This is madness. Everyone who believes that the humanity of the unborn and the rights of their mothers are NOT mutually exclusive needs to stand up here.

Should she have gotten involved in a fight? Probably not. But a) the person responsible for the child’s death is the person who shot her and b) there are many things in life that might conceivably, if things go very wrong, harm an unborn child. Having to avoid them all cannot possibly be the standard a pregnant person is held to. Blame the person with the gun, not the person with the womb.

And to say that the baby is “the only real victim here”? That’s just inhuman. Jones was shot. She lost her child. By any reasonable measure she is a victim. But to see her as a victim, you’d have to see her as a person, not just a vessel.

The worst thing you could possibly do for the unborn is make people choose between seeing their humanity and being compassionate toward the people who bear them. And increasingly, that’s what’s been happening.

One wonders whether the state of Alabama is as zealous about protecting unborn children from the dangers of, say, pollution or inadequate health care (or indeed, gun violence) as it is about blaming pregnant people for any harm that befalls them.

You can call the Bessemer District Attorney’s office, who is prosecuting the case, and let them know that you don’t think this is a helpful way to defend life: 205-497-8610.

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Equal choices, as long as the choice is abortion

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner has signed a bill into law that, among other provisions, will require Medicaid in the state to cover elective abortions. Governor Rauner issued a statement saying “I understand abortion is a very emotional issue with passionate opinions on both sides. I sincerely respect those who believe abortion is morally wrong. They are good people motivated by principle. But, as I have always said, I believe a woman should have the right to make that choice herself and I do not believe that choice should be determined by income. I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”

To be clear, this bill does not remotely give poor women the choice that wealthy women have. Wealthy women can choose to bear children without having to worry whether they’ll be able to feed them, house them, raise them in safe neighborhoods, and educate them in quality schools. This bill is about giving poor women parity as regards one particular choice, and one only.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 75% of women who sought abortions in 2014 were poor or low-income. Twenty-six percent had incomes of 100–199% of the federal poverty level, and 49% had incomes of less than 100% of the federal poverty level ($15,730 for a family of two). Exactly how free are those choices? How much is that choice “determined by income”?

Rauner’s administration has devastated virtually every other social service for the poor, and now we’re supposed to believe he’s acting out of respect for poor women? Sure–and Hugh Hefner promoted abortion in Playboy because he was all about the feminism.