The US Congress came back in session earlier this month, and ever since I have seen one article shared again and again on social media feeds. The headline of this article reads:
Congress Introduces A National Abortion Ban On Its Very First Day Back
Quick recap: the bill bans all abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, based on “scientific” claims that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks (this “science” has been refuted by the Journal of the American Medical Association).
After reading about how Rep. Trent Franks (R, Arizona) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R, Tennessee) sponsored this legislation to protect “innocent and defenseless children,” I’d had enough. In my mind, GOP politicians care eversomuch about children inside the womb, but once they’re out they believe they can fend for themselves.
Let’s examine how much Rep. Franks and Rep. Blackburn actually care about children, shall we?
“But we, as a nation, find ourselves at a point at which we don’t offer unborn children even the most basic protections.” –Rep. Franks (R, AZ) (x)
Let’s say you care very deeply about protecting children on a basic level. Hypothetically, here are some things you might care about.
You’d definitely want those children to have access to healthcare, right?
Or… not. Franks and Blackburn have voted to make it harder for American families to get health insurance multiple times in the last five years, as well as voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (x, x, x)
Okay, but you’d help out children who really needed it. Say, disaster victims or needy families that require temporary assistance.
Nope. These representatives voted against disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. You read that right: Against. Disaster. Relief. (x) They also voted not to provide temporary relief to needy families after the recession. (x)
Well, how about basic things, like making sure children’s food is safe to eat?
Meh. Our two favorite Congresspeople would rather not have food safety regulations. (x)
We’re off to a rocky start in the here and now… Let’s talk about the future. We can all agree that future generations of children should have a healthy Earth to live on and safe air to breathe, right?
That’s a big fat nope from our GOP BFFs. They vote against environmental research and reform like it’s going out of style. (x, x, x, x)
Let’s see… Here’s one: children need teachers!
Sure, but these two would rather not have to pay them. (x)
Getting back to the core issue, the point is children have a right to live. So without a doubt, we really, really want to change the fact that nearly 10,000 American children are injured or killed by guns each year.
Well… the thing is… if given a choice between children and gun owners & manufacturers, Franks and Blackburn do not choose children. They choose gun owners & manufacturers. Even when faced with gun safety regulations, like putting a lock on triggers, they say no thanks. (x, x, x)
Okay, this is a huge downer. Can we lighten the mood a little?
How’s this? In one day, these two voted against federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides free health education and healthcare to American children and their parents, and for federal funding for NASCAR. Hey, I thought it was funny! (Also deeply disturbing.) (x, x)
One last thing: they hate NPR. No one hates NPR! (x)
I’ll leave you with this quote from dear Marsha Blackburn:
“We are taking an action that will enable so many children to enjoy that first guarantee, that guarantee to life.” –Rep. Blackburn (R, Tenn.) (x)
If they think a fetus can feel pain, how about a six year-old whose home was destroyed by a hurricane, whose parents can’t afford healthcare, who can’t walk into school without a threat of gun violence looming? Shame on you, GOP. Despite how much they claim to care about children, these lawmakers have proven that once those kids are born, that’s when they stop caring.