So Gov. LePage, along with new Representative Bruce Poliquin, participated in the annual Augusta crusades to denounce Roe Vs. Wade and to demand its being declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court someday soon. I am hardly the only critic of these and other anti-abortionists to observe their overwhelming indifference to public and private programs that would be considerably more “pro-life” than their tiresome rhetoric.
With few exceptions–domestic violence and little else–LePage is opposed to helping the very poorest Mainers who, if faced with pregnancy, would have limited places to go for counseling and possible termination of the pregnancy. Since Poliquin during his campaign supported Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s (latest) budget to cut ever more taxes for the richest Americans and to remove funds from the most vulnerable ones–not least, in public health–he surely chimes in with LePage’s “pro-life” hypocrisy.
As many of us recognize, LePage and Poliquin have little concern for babies once they’re born. Their compassion is largely restricted to the fetus. Their concern for the mothers and fathers of newborns is no greater. LePage can’t get away in Maine with the closing of health centers that, as Texas Governor Rick Perry has done, provide abortions but also much more that often has nothing to do with abortion. Let us see how Perry promotes his fanaticism now that he has left office and may well try again for the Presidency. Maybe he can hire some retired Texas Rangers to surround facilities in other states that dare provide abortions.
Like Perry, LePage and Poliquin DO care about some prospective newborns: those who would be born to the wealthiest Americans. If these folks chose abortions, they would have ready access to private providers out of sight of those who scream at women (and men) entering clearly visible health clinics (often NOT for abortions). Rest assured, moreover, that LePage and Poliquin would not pin on them an anti-abortion equivalent of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s scarlet letter A. Just as Ohio Republican Senator Portman changed his mind about supporting gay marriage when–by sheer coincidence–his son came out of the closet and declared his intention to marry another gay man–LePage and Poliquin would surely make moral exceptions for members of the 1% in Maine and elsewhere. Or, God forbid, for one of their own offspring or other family members.
Finally, those who, like Rick Perry, are supposedly “pro-life” are invariably passionate about capital punishment. I also favor capital punishment in selected cases, but I don’t cast myself as “pro-life” in the context of anti-abortion zealots.
It doesn’t take a logician to recognize the contradictions inherent in what it really means to be “pro-life” in Maine.