Pro-Life! But Don’t Care If You Die.

Portia Gibbs of Belhaven, North Carolina

Portia Gibbs of Belhaven, North Carolina

“Pro-lifers” are poised to create 9,800 unnecessary deaths per year.

That’s what will happen if Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito — the rightist of the right — cobble together a ruling against the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare.


Meanwhile, “pro-life” Congress members have voted against the Affordable Care Act at least 54 times. If they ever got their way, that’s 9,800 more deaths a year.


And since so many “pro-life” governors have rejected parts of Obamacare, people are already dying.

Like 48-year-old Portia Gibbs of Belhaven, North Carolina. 

After suffering a heart attack she waited for a helicopter to take her to the nearest hospital, 84 miles away. She didn’t survive.

After she died, Belhaven’s mayor, Adam O’Neil, held up a framed photograph of Portia in front of the capital, lamenting that,

She spent the last hour of her life in a parking lot at a high school waiting for a helicopter… Rural citizens dying should not be soldiers of the South’s defiance to the new health care law.

Belhaven, North Carolina residents

Belhaven, North Carolina residents: “Save Our Hospital”

All because North Carolina, which usually votes “pro-life,” had rejected the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare, closing the local hospital’s doors.

Pro-life? Really?

Meanwhile, laws against abortion cost a lot of lives as desperate girls and women die after going to back alley abortionists, or trying to do it themselves.

The most effective way to stop abortion is birth control. And free birth control appears to cut the abortion rate by 62%.

But guess who is against birth control — and especially free birth control?

That’s right. “Pro-lifers.”

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 13, 2015, in feminism, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. When I took a Sociology of Gender class I watched a documentary that showed the very real harm that denying birth control and abortion are women. Prior to that I did not know that it was common for women to seek out dangerous emergency abortions which caused many injuries and deaths. As such I find the Pro-life arguments to be devastating to women’s health. I believe that it is okay for a person to be personally against abortion and birth control. However, that decision should not be enforced to all people especially given the dangerous consequences. Furthermore, I find it hypocritical of the Pro-life groups to claim to be about protecting life. Their concern is simply on ensuring that a women does not have the right to abort a pregnancy even if it is dangerous to their health. If they were truly Pro-life, in my opinion, they would channel their resources to support mothers and children after the birth process. That would truly be about protecting lives instead of restricting the rights and health of women.

  2. Many pro-lifers like to use the argument that they are against abortion because it is taking away the life and potential of an unborn child who might’ve changed the world. However, they do not realize that by preventing abortions, they are actually taking away the lives of the women who perhaps could not afford to have a baby or simply were not ready. Especially in student cases of pregnancy due to rape, they are taking away the student’s whole future because of an incident which should not have happened at all. You would think pro-lifers would use every chance they can get to help people who are actually alive, but it is actually the pro-lifers who are also voting against Obamacare which aims to help people in need get proper healthcare. These actions are not representative of someone who is pro-life. I once saw a statement that said pro-lifers only care about you until you are actually born, then you are totally on your own with no proper healthcare or support. I couldn’t agree more.

  3. I really agree with everything that you state here. Nothing quite stood out to me as much as the image that you shared in class about the hypocrisy of the pro-life debate ( Opposition to the Affordable Care Act is just another thing to add to a long list of the hypocrisy the pro-lifers create regarding their stance.

  4. Marissa Martinez

    There is an irony right there. I would think people who are pro life would want to save all lives. Instead they are limiting the life of people who are living. Not supporting Obamacare one of the many ways to have more dead bodies in America. Without this people will die from diseases, heart attacks, and unhealthy lifestyles. The next that will cause many deaths is illegal abortions and no free birth controls. Without free birth controls a lot of girls will die at a young age because they try to do it themselves abortions or a place that is not qualified.

  5. I feel like pro-lifers do not see the harm of raising a child in a bad situation. Making a 16-17 year old have a baby is bad for their financial situation and that will trickle down to the baby’s stability. Also can a 16-17 year old raise a baby? Do they have the mental capacity or stability? People need to be prepared and ready to raise a baby, it is a big achievement. Even if someone is 40 and thinks they are unable to raise a baby then they should not raise one. The world is getting overpopulated as it is, why are people trying to increase that?

  6. I hadn’t thought of the irony of the term until you pointed it out. I totally agree with you.

  7. It’s very worrisome to me that we are still talking about women’s rights issues like abortion. I would have hoped that we would have moved on to other issues at this point. I would hope that men would understand that we already have fought for and earned a right to choose.

    It makes me so mad to think about the fact that there are people in this country who take the freedom of speech way too far. I don’t dictate to them how they should manage their bodies, why do they get to dictate how I should?

  8. Political leaders are same…everywhere…

  9. It is quite remarkable that a welfare policy related to Health might be taken as a symbol of policies associated with ghosts of communism… (I wonder if Cuba is the counter-example in this sense, as they are advanced in Medical Issues and have extraordinary professionals in this scope) It seems that is the general idea here … I wonder if such an important topic (i. e health) might be related to different parties… Even more when Life is the main legal right…
    As far as I know Carolina del Norte has always been a republican state, so the chess movement is understandable… but these issues should be simply left out of the political battlefield… (Mind the Gop… Oh Gap)~
    Best wishes, Georgia! Aquileana 😀

  10. I mean, this is just insane to me. I’m from a traditionally religious country (Greece) and despite their patriarchy and cultural/political attachment to religion, especially in the education system and government (which does lead to other “evils”), there has never been a question of whether a woman has a right over her body. This question of pro life vs choice barely exists in Europe.

    • Lucky you! We have a bunch of crazies over here.

    • America! The Puritan Country.

      Some of the first white folks that came here and ruined a bunch of other non-white, non-Christian people’s lives were the most terribly conservative religious groups, even by the standards of the time. It seems the white, Christian, conservative standard was set from the very “beginning”. I like to think there is hope for the U.S., but many days that hope is dashed against the conservative wallpaper. This country often feels like it’s doomed to be run by the white, Christian, able-bodied, straight, [old] man.

  11. Harhar. You don’t get to be against abortion AND birth control. Do right wingers not see the logic? Nobody is going to stop having sex. Over and over again, teaching kids abstinence has been shown to be a complete and utter failure in preventing pregnancy. Teen pregnancy has only gone down because of birth control access.

    Conservative jerks just want women to be pure and virginal. Again, it goes back to controlling women and women’s bodies. When will it end? It just makes me want to cry sometimes!

  12. This is insanity to think that Pro-Lifers would be against so many life saving decisions. When the article mentioned 48 year old Portia Gibbs died of a heart attack while waiting for a helicopter to take her 84 miles away to the nearest hospital sounds devastating. This woman could have lived to be 80 years old but instead her life was cut short because of the out ruling of Obomacare. I see myself as a Pro-Lifer but it feels like the governments “Pro-Lifers” are kind of a hypocrite. It seems like they are Pro-Money in regards to not spending it on people who need it. I have nothing against the Rich aka “people in power” but when you deny free healthcare because it will coast to much money that’s when you begin to realize that your government may not care about you “the citizen” as much as you thought they did. For every dollar they save from closing down Obomacare countless lives are being piled up across the United States because not everyone can afford health insurance.

  13. Christopher Solomon

    When I read about politics I always laugh. We always have these men spearheading the campaign for prolife. I am a man, and yes I like the power that it holds. But what I do recognize is that one day I will have a daughter, and all of the things like prolife that affects her, I would want her to be the one making that decision. Men want to maintain control of women one way or another. In the home, in the office and in politics. I know for me, I would want someone that truly understands what I go through as a man to make decisions for men. I do not want a woman hypothetically to tell me about how it feels when testosterone is off, just as I do not think men should have a say about what they are going to do with their bodies. I understand the freedom of speech, but things have gone too far because now those speeches are the very foundation for political parties.

  14. Thats a horrible thing to hear. That is so wrong that happened. The “pro-life” topic really has always bothered me so much. Women should always have a choice. Its their body and these people dont know each individual story. This woman could have been raped and their fighting for her to have to keep this child, a product of something horrible that should have never happened? Its obviously not the childs fault, but to have to bear that burden of birthing and raising a child out of those circumstances is unfathomable. This is how babies end up in dumpsters or neglected. Or women or girls end up dead from a botched abortion, something that could have been completely prevented. I have known people that have had far more than their share of abortions and thats touchy, i do not agree with women who use abortion as a solution because of an accident. Thus the free birth control topic. That is one thing that should definitely be free and readily available. Its too bad that these politicians think that they should be able to determine the fate of someones life.

  15. Seems a political affair; perhaps healthcare should not be privatized at all period. Each state is acting according to either a democrat or republican ruling to either accept or reject the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare, closing local hospital’s doors. Private hospitals have the right to deny any third party insurance payers, and even when Obamacare is still under Medicaid rules, it is treated as ‘third party insurance’; this is why private local hospitals have the right to deny care to ‘Obamacare’ insured individuals, precisely because republican ruling has not allowed for ‘Affordable Care Act’ expansion. Sad affair!

    • Straight universal healthcare like they have in Europe would have a lot less red tape and be a lot more effective, and a lot cheaper. But insurance companies give a lot of money to political campaigns — legalized bribery — and other special interests do the same thing. So Obamacare is the best that could be cobbled together in the US for now.

      • I know, but Imagine if the U.S. used the straight universal healthcare like they have in Europe! Could that ever even become a remote possibility?

      • Yes, if people felt empowered enough to really ask for it. But most Americans aren’t that politically active. And a lot of people have been brainwashed by interests who benefit from the status quo. I’ve been working with some groups to try to get money out of politics, which has been very hard to do.

    • I think what it comes down to in America is our cultural aversion to taxes. No one likes them anywhere, but GOOD universal healthcare would not be possible in this country without a significant tax hike. Every country with a good healthcare system has pretty high taxes, as far as I know.

      The argument can be made that the military budget could be cut, because we spend more on it than any other country, but that’s not going to be touched.

      • And people don’t get that their total out of pocket medical cost would go down even though a higher percent of that money would be in the form of taxes.

  16. It really disgusts me, the lengths that far-right Republicans will go to keep their religion tangled with our government. I don’t understand how one can logically argue that termination of pregnancy is not okay (even going so far as to punish women who have had miscarriages, in some cases) but allowing for someone else’s life to end because their access to health care was denied is completely acceptable. People want to deny women their rights to birth control and abortion because their religion tells them that all life is sacred, but yet they won’t apply the same “compassion” to people who have actually been born, but are suffering.

    “Anti-abortion” is a much more accurate term than “pro-life.” Anti-abortion fanatics don’t take into account any circumstances in which the mother cannot keep the child. They have no concern for the mother at all, because it’s her fault for getting pregnant, right? Because sex is always consensual, and because sex should be a luxury only afforded to those who can pay out of pocket for birth control, or afford to give birth to and raise whatever children they wind up conceiving, right? I feel as though people are picking and choosing which lives they have compassion for, and I just can’t get behind that.

  17. A healthy population yields stronger economy and a more stable society so I guess I’ll never understand countries that leave important health issues to the hands of private health and insurance companies. I’m in no way against having private companies per se, but they shouldn’t be allowed to have owner ship of these issues. Health should be a responsibility of the state with the inclusion of public hospitals and other health institutions then private companies can fill out the blanks if there’s a shortage of capacity or specialists for instance.

  18. In the mean time, conservative candidates are coming down hard in favor of capital punishment. In Texas, even mentally challenged people are put to death. Pro-life?

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