The national March for Life was a few days ago and I personally attended my state’s local march on the 16th. It got me thinking about what it really means to be pro-life, and what a pro-life economic policy would look like. If we’re really committed to defending the lives of the innocent: we should defend it at every stage, both inside and outside the womb.
The GOP, which claims to be pro-life, supports a laissez-faire, ultra-capitalist approach to economics that values corporate profits over human life. Roughly 874,000 Americans die from poverty every year — more than cancer and heart disease.
A genuinely pro-life economic platform would put life over profit, including a living wage, universal healthcare, and a welfare state designed to save and improve lives.
Furthermore, 97% of abortions are for socio-economic reasons and 75% of women who have them make less than double the federal poverty level. A pro-life economic policy would decrease the number of abortions — and although I support abortion bans, blue states will never implement them, and illegal abortions will still take place should we fail to address the root cause.
A Pro-Life Wage
Minimum wage workers can’t afford to rent a two-bedroom house anywhere in the country (nor a one-bedroom house in 93% of counties), let alone raise a family. This means many minimum wage workers end up homeless or living in poverty, unable to pay for basic necessities, like food and utilities.
A pro-life, living wage of $15 an hour — or even a more modest $10 an hour — would save countless lives. The former has support from a super-majority of Americans: 62%, while a smaller figure would garner the support of 52% of Republicans.
Medicare for All is Pro-Life
According to Yale: Medicare for all would save 68 thousand lives every year — as well as $450 billion. Keep in mind that it would (or should) cover care for both new- and un-born babies.
The facts don’t lie: Medicare for all is pro-life, while the current, for-profit healthcare system needlessly kills countless Americans who either can’t afford health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover what they need.
A poll by Morning Consult shows that 55% of Americans support Medicare for All, including 26% of republicans, while a poll by The Hill claims that 52% of Republicans support it. Even a public option, which Morning Consult says has support from 56% of Republicans, would be better than nothing.
A Larger Welfare State
Welfare programs are a major component of a pro-life economic policy. SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) feeds 38 million Americans — 12% of the entire population — who would otherwise have gone hungry. The vast majority of SNAP recipients, 66%, are in families with children. Expanding benefits and eligibility (which doesn’t include all food insecure Americans) would save even more lives.
If we want to call ourselves pro-life, rather than simply anti-abortion, we must support economic policies that save lives both inside and outside the womb. A living wage, Medicare for all, and more welfare are all examples of policy positions suitable for such a platform. Let’s be pro-life for the whole life!
Alicia Adamczyk. “Full-time minimum wage workers can’t afford rent anywhere in the US, according to a new report”. CNBC, 14 Jul. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/14/full-time-minimum-wage-workers-cant-afford-rent-anywhere-in-the-us.html.
Amina Dunn. “Most Americans support a $15 federal minimum wage”. Pew Research Center, 22 Apr. 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/22/most-americans-support-a-15-federal-minimum-wage/.
C E Clark. “Poverty Kills More People Every Year in the U.S. Than Heart Disease or Cancer”. Soapboxie, 15 Apr. 2021, https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Poverty-Kills-More-People-than-either-cancer-or-heart-disease.
“FACT CHECK: Medicare for All Would Save the U.S. Trillions; Public Option Would Leave Millions Uninsured, Not Garner Savings”. Public Citizen, 21 Feb. 2021, https://www.citizen.org/news/fact-check-medicare-for-all-would-save-the-u-s-trillions-public-option-would-leave-millions-uninsured-not-garner-savings/.
Gaby Galvin. “About 7 in 10 Voters Favor a Public Health Insurance Option. Medicare for All Remains Polarizing”. Morning Consult, 24 Mar. 2021, https://morningconsult.com/2021/03/24/medicare-for-all-public-option-polling/.
HLI Staff. “Why Women Abort”. Human Life International, 5 May, 2021, https://www.hli.org/resources/why-women-abort/.
Jennifer De Pinto. “Most Americans favor a higher federal minimum wage — CBS News poll”. 5 Sep. 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-wage-opinion-poll-09-05-2021/.
Julia Manchester. “Majority of Republicans supports ‘Medicare for all,’ poll finds”. The Hill, 22 Oct. 2018, https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/412552-majority-of-republicans-say-the-support-medicare-for-all-poll.
Lauren Hall. “A Closer Look at Who Benefits from SNAP: State-by-State Fact Sheets”. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 12 Jan. 2021, https://www.cbpp.org/research/food-assistance/a-closer-look-at-who-benefits-from-snap-state-by-state-fact-sheets.